At St. Andrews, we reach out, in Christ’s love, to those beyond our church. We support eleven outreach ministries, with a mixture of funds, prayer, and labor. Historically, one of our favorite outreaches is Rancho San Juan Bosco Orphanage in Tecate, Mexico. Church members carpool to the orphanage several times a year to visit with the children, prepare a meal, provide fun activities, and deliver needed items and monetary donations. At times we do building maintenance, such as painting. At Christmas the congregation has either “adopted” a specific child and provided needed clothing or contributed to the orphanage as a whole to provide large items from which all the children benefit. Church members personally deliver the Christmas gifts to the orphanage and spend the day with the children. Our Daughters of the King make up Blessing Bags for the homeless with donations from the congregation, many of whom distribute them. The Daughters have also distributed them at a local church, which has an extensive homeless program.
Our Episcopal Church Women make up nutritious oatmeal packets at their meetings, which are distributed to homeless by Crisis House, a local agency. At our well attended catered Christmas Luncheon, the congregation brings an unwrapped toy and/or nonperishable food, which Crisis House distributes. We also house a small food pantry. A popular outreach, locally, is handing out cold bottles of water to thirsty and grateful participants in the La Mesa Flag Day parade each June.
We’ve opened our facilities to three weekly AA groups, Girl Scout activities, and to a Boy Scout Troop that leads San Diego County in the number of new Eagle Scouts and that routinely volunteers for projects that improve our church grounds. Every week, a group of developmentally disabled adults from “Living Independently” learn a variety of work skills at St. Andrews, and a civic group, La Mesa Beautiful, holds an annual plant sale on our grounds. We also host diocesan wide events in our Parish Hall, such as a number of Cursillo events and Daughters of the King Assemblies. We are a polling place for elections and a center for “Lifeline Screening.”
Youth and Children’s Ministry
We have a small Youth Group for middle and high schoolers, who meet after the 10 a.m. service and are involved in fun activities, outreach, and joining in our church life with activities, such as putting on some of our monthly breakfasts, sponsoring a movie night for the entire congregation, and creating recycling stations in the Parish Hall. Our elementary-age children participate in Godly Play, a hands-on, child friendly, educational program, during the 10am service.
How We Serve in Worship
Men, women, and children (acolytes) serve at the altar in St. Andrews as Eucharistic Ministers, Acolytes, and Readers. For the musically inclined, we have both a choir and a praise band. Others volunteer in our Youth and Children’s Ministries. The Altar and Flower Guilds work behind the scenes to prepare and beautify our worship. Greeters and Ushers play a key role in one of St. Andrews’ hallmarks – we are a warm and welcoming church.
Our shut-ins at home, hospitals, or care facilities can count on visits and communion. Many also receive visits from our Daughters of the King, who take them flowers from our Sunday altar. Church members make and take meals to those recovering from medical problems. Our Healing Prayer Ministers pray for people after the 10 a.m. service and during the week upon request; Prayer Ministers meet monthly and attend healing prayer seminars. Our large Scripture based Prayer Team prays independently, at home, for a large number of people both in and outside the church; names on their extensive prayer list are completely confidential. The Prayer Team receives e-mail updates about the people for whom they are praying, and the prayer list is updated monthly. This team meets periodically for corporate prayer and a study on prayer.
St. Andrews is a loving, caring, welcoming community that is truly a church family. We share our lives, support one another, and love to fellowship – monthly breakfasts between services for both congregations, weekly refreshments after each service, monthly Fellowship Luncheons, and we go all out for potlucks throughout the year! We also have annual events: our Fat Tuesday Pancake Supper; a Fall outdoor service in a La Mesa park, with blessing of the animals and a potluck picnic lunch afterward; an Advent Family Craft Night; and a festive, catered Christmas Luncheon with entertainment provided by church members. This year we added a movie night in our courtyard with root beer floats and popcorn provided by the Youth Group. It was such a success that more may follow.
At St. Andrews, we value studying God’s Word, as well as fellowship. A large Women’s Interactive Bible Study, led by rotating members, meets at noon each Tuesday for in-depth bible study and sharing, followed by a light lunch with fellowship. A Monday evening small group, led by our Lay Pastor, has covered a wide range of studies such as Romans and Revelation to theologians, such as Bonhoeffer. The group has grown to 14 members and always has lively discussions, food, and fellowship. Last year we started a Men’s Fellowship Breakfast, which has drawn a steady core of men who meet monthly for study, fellowship, and of course, breakfast. Several smaller groups, both men and women, meet for study, prayer, and fellowship each week. Our congregation is also actively involved in Daughters of the King and Cursillo. In September, we will be resuming our very popular Wednesday evening dinners and study, which were such a success during Lent.