Here are some of the highlights from the last year:
Throughout the year, members of our congregation carried out their baptismal covenants by seeking and serving Christ in all persons, loving their neighbors as themselves, striving for justice and peace among all people, and respecting the dignity of every human being. While we know about the efforts of many in our parish, others act quietly or anonymously. There is a deep spirit of ministry and outreach at St. Andrew's. We invite all to become a part of it and to carry on this greatest of our traditions.
Angel Tree Project: Members of the parish purchased and wrapped Christmas presents for children with incarcerated parents and paid for and hosted a Saturday morning party for the children, including a catered brunch. Other volunteers drove children to and from the event and, after the party, delivered presents to those who could not attend. Our parishioners, working on behalf of the incarcerated parents, made this Christmas a special one for 54 children and their families. The experience was deeply moving for our volunteers and for the caregivers of these children. One especially touching moment was when the youngest children came up to Santa Claus and gave him the Christmas trees they had made at the party.
Breakfast Ministry: Each Sunday, the Church opens its doors to everyone for breakfast. Some have come to this meal and gone on to become members of our parish. All of us are fed, regardless of whether we contribute to the meal. Many members have made a point of welcoming non-members respectfully during this time. Food left over at the end of breakfast has been boxed and taken to various appreciative groups.
Clubs and Groups: Many non-profit clubs and groups met during the year in classrooms provided at no cost by St. Andrew’s. Such groups included NA (Narcotics Anonymous), PASO (Panhandle AIDS Support Organization), Sweet Adelines, Chess Club, and Tai Chi.
Depression and Bi-Polar Support Alliance (DBSA): St. Andrew's hosted and provided logistical support to the local chapter of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Meeting on the first Monday of each month, DBSA provides educational resources and peer support in a safe and comforting environment for individuals and their families, who deal with depression and bipolar disorder. Meetings are open to the public.
Eveline Rivers: In December, we collected books and toys for Eveline Rivers who distributes them to those in need, at no cost, through her Christmas Workshop.
Eucharistic Visitors: Eucharistic visitors each Sunday took communion to hospitalized, homebound, or institutionalized parishioners. Our church is larger than those who come to our services. We who are many are one body, because we all share one bread, one cup.
Faith City Ministries / Pack-a-Lunch: Since 2012, St. Andrew’s has participated in the “Pack-a-Lunch” ministry. As part of a monthly rotation with a few other churches, St. Andrew’s packed and distributed sack lunches to homeless individuals on the third Sunday of the month. Approximately 200 bags were prepared each month. The ministry was organized by Faith City Ministries.
High Plains Food Bank: We collected food, egg cartons and paper grocery bags for the agency.
The Hunger Project: Since 2007, St. Andrew’s has been a Global Investor in The Hunger Project ($5,000+ annually). This contribution has honored resolutions passed at the national and diocesan conventions of 2007 in which churches were asked to allocate 0.7% of their annual budgets to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (now called the Sustainable Development Goals).
Interfaith Campaign for the Homeless: St. Andrew’s Church purchased two tables for the Beans and Cornbread kick-off luncheon in November. Barbara Whitton served as chairperson of the steering committee. Agencies that received funding included: Amarillo ISD – Families in Transition; Amarillo Recovery from Alcohol and Drugs (ARAD); Another Chance House; Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle – Pearl Longbine Youth Shelter; City of Refuge Day Labor Program and Prison Aftercare Program; Downtown Women’s Center; Family Support Services’ Domestic Violence Shelter; Guyon Saunders Resource Center Day Room; Martha’s Home; Salvation Army; Sharing Hope Ministry – Patsy’s Place. St. Andrew’s total contribution to ICH in 2016 was more than $10,000.
We can also connect a member of St. Andrew’s who wants to do volunteer work with any of these organizations.
Music Events: St. Andrew’s opened its doors to the community with special music events.
- ADVENT LESSONS & CAROLS –In December, Amarillo College Concert Choir presented a beautiful Advent Lessons and Carols service, free and open to the public.
- WOWW -- St. Andrew’s hosted outreach for K-5th children of the Texas Panhandle in cooperation with FASO, Window on a Wider World (WOWW), and Panhandle PBS. Artists engaged for the FASO concert season now stay an extra day to teach and perform live for Panhandle area students in the nave. Panhandle PBS streams the concerts live into classrooms through their broadcast system. The recorded concerts are then made available for up to one year to teachers and students in the classroom for all of Region 16. Thanks go to the Bivins Foundation, the Amarillo Area Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, and to generous contributions from parishioners and the community for making this vision a reality.
- BACH LUNCH – St. Andrew’s participated in the annual Bach Lunch program by hosting a free organ concert during Lent.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School Scholarships: Each year the church provides scholarships to support the education of deserving children and to support the ministry of both the school and the church.
Thanksgiving: Thanks again to the generosity of the Brister family for providing the meat and of many members of the parish for providing the rest of the meal, we served food for over 80 people on Thanksgiving Day at the Parish Hall. The Thanksgiving meal followed morning prayer in the nave. Those attending included members of our parish and guests, some of whom come to St. Andrew’s for just this event. Some guests thanked us with tears of joy. If you want to know what Thanksgiving Day is about, come to this meal.
Trunk or Treat: Trunk or Treat on Halloween was a big success. This ministry was led by Edee Aikman and the EYC. They prepared hot dogs while costumed members of St. Andrew’s doled out candy from festively decorated trunks. More than 1,000 members of our community were fed and enjoyed a fun and safe Halloween experience.
For more information, contact Barbara Whitton @ (806) 376-6316 ext. 105 or at .