St. Andrew and the community
Our primary purpose at St. Andrew is to bring our community to know their Savior Jesus Christ. We host several events in addition to our regular worship services as a way to invite our neighbors to hear the Gospel.
English as a Second Language Classes
Twice each week, St. Andrew congregation offers English classes and conversation sessions to those with Hispanic background in our neighborhood. The goal is to build bridges to our community with the hope of sharing the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. Through this program, Spanish-speaking neighbors get to know congregation members and become familiar with our pastor and our facilities. Our members come to better understand the people of a different culture living around them. Best of all, through devotions held each week, the gospel of the Savior is offered to many who have not heard it or understood it before. Our coordinator is a seminary student able to converse in Spanish. Thus, a side benefit is that seminary students skilled in Spanish sharpen their language and ministry skills while having the privilege of seeing the gospel work in the lives of real people. Some of our English students have attended our worship services, and still others have been led to neighboring churches of our fellowship offering services and Bible studies in Spanish.
Day Away is a service project offered to our community on a Saturday in December. During Day Away, we watch the kids (Pre-Kindergarten through age 12) so that parents can do their shopping, baking, decorating--whatever they need to do during the busy holiday season. Children proceed in groups to various activity stations throughout the day: cookie decorating, Bible lesson, singing, arts and crafts, picture-taking, and games. They also get a free lunch! Shortly before supper time, parents return to pick up their children. They are treated to a brief devotion. In this devotion, the children sing the songs they worked on, and our pastor reviews with the families what the children learned in their Bible lesson. It's one way we share the true meaning of Christmas: Jesus is born as the world's Savor from sin! Then families and children are treated to a meal during which time they get to meet our pastor and staff. Everyone is informed of and welcomed to participate in our Christmas services and the various avenues of Christian education we offer. Best of all, Day Away is FREE!
St. Andrew has used many approaches to open the door for proclaiming the gospel to those in our community. We have conducted Vacation Bible Schools, Family Bible Weeks, Music Camps, Open Houses and Block Parties (now called the "Family Fiesta"). The later has been one of the more successful outreach opportunities. It has united our membership in an effort literally to bring the gospel to our streets. The event begins with an outdoor worship service under a large, rented tent. Guests then register, receive information on our church and its ministry, obtain a meal ticket and a schedule for the day. Lunch is cooked and served outdoors, and entertainment gets underway: polka bands and Mariachi groups have been hits with our audience. There are games--and the ever-popular bouncy house--for the younger kids, hoops for the older ones, and Bingo for the adults. We've hosted demonstrations from the fire department and other community groups, and conducted a neighborhood rummage sale. Through it all, our friends and neighbors get to meet each other and find out what we're all about. Meanwhile, we get to meet some of the wonderful people living around us. Best of all, through the event and its follow-up, we get to extend the most important invitation anyone will ever receive: "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved!"
Larry and Marion Klug, almoners
St. Andrew operates a small food pantry, operated by our almoners, Larry and Marion Klug. Donations of food and gift cards are received from caring individuals inside and outside of the congregation, and distributed to those whose need we have become aware of. Most of those who benefit from this ministry are members of St. Andrew congregation, although we also do what we can to help others who approach us with requests for food.