Areas of community service are as varied as our membership. It’s where we get the most traction in our tenant of “service.” Here are some examples of community service efforts:
- Sponsorship and active participation in Habitat for Humanity efforts.
- Golf tournaments, cook-offs, silent and live auctions, etc, benefiting camps for children of incarcerated parents and/or those youth who otherwise couldn’t afford to attend church camping programs within their diocese.
- Efforts in aiding homeless veterans through development of “Veteran-friendly congregations.”
- Outreach programs to those temporarily without homes.
- Support of feeding programs throughout the country.
- In many cases community service conducted within one or more of the seven mission areas. (look for them through our “ministries” link for ideas and archived stories.
- Partnering with other affiliated ministries like Daughters of the King, Episcopal Church Women, Union of Black Episcopalians, etc. as we are able.
Any of the areas of community service begin with prayer and discussion so that it may have the best impact.
The Brotherhood of St. Andrew has launched a program to help Brotherhood chapters to provide Faith Chests as gifts to the newly baptized. Available with this program are free plans, ready to finish kits and finished Faith Chests.
Faith chest are simple wooden chests given to baptismal candidates at the time of their baptism. Prior to the baptism, the congregation is invited to contribute small gifts such as cards, poems or other gifts to show their support for the newly minted Christian. When we attend a service that includes a baptism, we swear to support that persons walk with Christ, but, with the exception of family members and Godparents, we seldom have an opportunity to do so. Brothers are encouraged to speak with their rector about how this loving and meaningful practice might fit in the fabric of their individual parish. Most rectors see this as a wonderful addition to the Baptismal Celebration.
The chest is 16″ x 9.5″ x 9.5″, a size intended to accommodate most size parishes. Typically, as the practice of giving Faith Chests grows in the parish, the contribution to the chests grow from a few small gifts to overflowing. Regardless of the contents, the presentation of the box is the most meaningful part of the process. The hope is that, as time goes by, the chest will be a reminder to the person and the family of that person that they are not alone, that they are members of the Body of Christ, a body that includes every Christian.