Christ came not to be served but to serve, teaching us through the example of his life that God’s will for us is to care for our brothers and sisters. The parishioners at Saint Andrew’s have been called in many ways to care for others. Some of our programs were established decades ago while others have more recently sprung up in response to new needs and opportunities to reach out a supportive hand. Many ways are available for your hands to do God’s work. All are welcome to join a community of people who choose to serve.
The Community Cafe
The Community Cafe was born of a desire by parishioners to fill the outreach void that was left when the State College Area Food Bank, which was housed at Saint Andrew’s for many years, outgrew its space. Since March 2009, the Community Cafe has been serving soup and bread suppers from 5 to 6:45 p.m. every Thursday, and welcomes everyone to the table. Volunteers arrive at 4:00 to begin setting up and usually finish by 7:15. But it’s more than an opportunity to volunteer; it’s an opportunity to break bread together, to help those in need — whether they’re in need of a hot meal or fellowship — and to support this growing ministry.
Parishioners’ Ministry has been a part of Saint Andrew’s since 1958. Six stewards administer the funds and the parish supports PM with a monthly contribution. Individuals have also been most generous. Parishioners’ Ministry works quietly and with confidentiality to meet the needs of people in the community who find themselves in need of help. The PM steward on duty works with social agencies in the State College area and financial packages are put together to aid clients. A variety of needs are met, including help with medical expenses, eye glasses, oral surgery, utility bills, shoes, rent, gasoline and more.
Saint Andrew’s Knitting Ministry
St. Andrew’s Knitting Ministry has joined the international group, Women4women/knitting4peace, and have formed our own Peace Pod. We gather together monthly for fellowship and to create hand made items given to those in need of hope, healing, and peace. Currently, we are making Peace Pals, Caps4kids, Scarves4peace, prayer shawls and Afghan Soldiers Hats. Patterns for knitting and crocheting are available for all the items we create.
Our widespread community also includes thousands of women and children in local and global areas of conflict who receive our items of hope, healing, and peace. We are dedicated to making a difference in the world by “knitting together” the global Beloved Community, stitch by stitch by stitch, day after day after day.Please join us and spread love, through these handmade items. Contact Vicky Ponish for information on meeting times/dates.
The Social Justice Committee
The Social Justice Committee, through dialogue, prayer and reading, seeks to discern a focus and a direction for the church’s efforts to help our community achieve a greater measure of social justice. The Bible speaks passionately about the rights of the poor, therefore we are called together in faith to help our community in areas such as housing, health and hunger and to build a stronger sense of parish community while educating others about the manifold forms of prejudice and the grievous harm it causes to individuals and society.
Click this link for a more detailed history of this committee. History of Social Justice Committee
Annual Mission Trip
Youth and their leaders have engaged in six summer mission trips over the past decade. The first mission trip in 2010, chosen as the culminating activity for senior high youth, involved traveling to New Orleans to assist in the clean- up and repair of homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. In 2012, our youth group established a relationship with Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity in White Sulphur Springs, WV; each summer since then it has sent a group to West Virginia. These mission trip are open to all members of the parish.
Prayer Quilt Ministry
This group of volunteers makes quilts to welcome newly baptized children into the community, and supports those in need of prayer. The quilts are finished with ties rather than quilting, and as they tie the finishing knots, quilters offer prayers for the recipients.
Because of the central location of Saint Andrew’s, the building is an excellent venue for community gatherings. Meeting space is provided to 12-step programs every day of the week and several campus organizations use the facilities for fundraisers such as spaghetti suppers. For information and availability, please call the church office.
Involvement With Community Outreach
In addition to the outreach programs that are a part of St. Andrew’s, our parishioners also participate in many forms of outreach and service projects within the State College community. Some of them are described below.
CROP Hunger Walk
In this community-wide event sponsored by Church World Service at the international level, and organized by local congregations at the community level, participants walk through their towns earning donations to fight hunger both locally and abroad. St. Andrew’s participates annually in the 5K walk through the borough of State College. The State College Food Bank receives 25% of walk donations.
Out of the Cold
Founded in 2011, Out of the Cold: Centre County is dedicated to providing a safe and warm place for homeless men and women to sleep during the winter months. From October through April local churches serve as emergency shelters, where homeless people are received when Centre House Homeless Shelter is full. St. Andrew’s now provides hospitality, meals, and chaperones for our guests during a two-week period each winter.
Interfaith Human Services
A registered non-profit organization, Interfaith Human Services is a collaboration of faith communities helping low-income neighbors in need throughout Centre County. It currently addresses such critical needs as heating costs, rental assistance, and money management. In addition, it operates a program to provide free furniture and appliance recycling. Currently, St. Andrew’s is one of the more than 30 governing congregations.
Founded after 9/11 to support the local Muslim community, Interfaith Initiative Centre County (https://www.facebook.com/InterfaithInitiativeCC) has become a sustaining, welcoming environment for all communities of faith. The group consists of Bahá ’is, Buddhists, Christians, Jews, and Muslims, as well as the unaffiliated, and its primary activity is to engage in mutual sharing and support. It also sponsors coffee hours, picnics, round tables, and educational events.
Food Bank Deliveries
The State College Food Bank no longer resides at St. Andrew’s, but we continue to support it with volunteers, cash donations, and with a large basket in the Narthex that is regularly filled with goods contributed by parishioners and transported to the Food Bank.