We were among the first to include women in all levels of leadership, including ordination. We’ve been consistently welcoming of gay and lesbian people for decades. We have never cut back on our financial contributions to local and global charities, even when times have been financially tough. And so much more. It’s in our Baptismal Covenant to work for justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every human being, and we try hard to do just that.
At St. Mary’s, “outreach” is a key component of who we are as a community. A great many of us are quick to say that it is the St. Mary’s community, or the style of worship, or the welcoming nature of our church is the primary reason we come to St. Mary’s. But folks often note as well that they are drawn by all we do in the name of Outreach – that we have an intentional connection to the community in which we reside and beyond.
The commitment that so many at St. Mary’s have to “doing good” reaches into both our local community as well as the wider world – whether it is working with the students at Galtier Elementary School or helping to support students in Haiti; volunteering to help serve meals at First Nations Kitchen in Minneapolis or packing meals for Feed My Starving Children; spending time with residents at Episcopal Homes or providing micro loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries through KIVA; or standing in solidarity and action around social justice issues that touch our community.
As we continue to grow as a community we believe we ought to challenge ourselves by continually asking: “How we paying attention to those in need around us?” “Are we taking the time to connect with people in a way that says ‘you and I are both human beings equal in the eyes of God and equally deserving of dignity and respect?’” And “How can I serve others in a way that lets their humanity touch mine?”
In addition to volunteering time to our various causes (you can learn more on these Doing Good Web pages) St. Mary’s also donates money each year to support the causes to which we are committed.
In 2015 St. Mary’s made the following donations:
- $300: Department of Indian Works Food Shelf. St. Marians also personally donated more than $300 to the food shelf during the Souper Bowl of Caring drive in Jan. 2013. Each year a significant amount of food is also donated by members of St. Mary’s to the food shelf.
- $650: Galtier Outreach Fund. To help pay for volunteer expenses to support teachers as well as student uniforms.
- $500: Galtier Partnership Fund. To provide instructional support to teachers.
- $500: Pastoral Care gift cards. 20 Target gift cards valued at $25 each for LeeAnne to use for church and community members in need of emergency assistance.
- $500: Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative. To support the development of a housing unit for homeless youth (Prior Crossing) in the neighborhood near Episcopal Homes in St. Paul.
- $750: First Nations Kitchen. St. Mary’s Youth Group members also raised $147 to donate to FNK by bagging groceries at Kowalski’s. First Nations Kitchen is a community at All Saints Indian Episcopal Mission in Minneapolis. More info, and the 2017 schedule, click here.
Each year, .7% of the money members pledge to St. Mary’s helps support global outreach causes. In 2013, your pledges helped support the following:
- $500 to Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) Green School Program. This amount provides education about treating water to make it safe and basic hand washing hygiene to about 14 school children and adults in developing countries to improve the health of communities, including in Haiti.
- $980 to Bonne Nouvelle School. This provides ongoing support to schoolchildren in Haiti in partnership with parishioners at St. James on the Parkway in St. Paul. This was in addition to $411 donated by St. Marians during the education drive in August.
- $200 to the Mama Ada Foundation (to support school children in Kenya as part of the 2013 mission project of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota).
For more information on how you can participate in St. Mary’s Outreach activities, visit the individual pages in the Doing Good section of this site, or contact Julia or Brian Nerbonne at firstname.lastname@example.org