Since St. Andrew first began gathering as a congregation in the late 1950s, a focus on Mission (with a capital M) has been a key directive to us as a Christian community. Throughout the past 63 years, our church’s bylaws, strategic plans, and budgets have consistently supported Mission through setting aside a significant percentage of any funds raised to be used locally, regionally, and globally.
Our Per Capita fees and our special denominational offers (One Great Hour of Sharing, Pentecost, Peace & Global Witness, and Christmas Joy) have helped serve the broader Mission of the Presbyterian Church (USA). And our Locally Designated Benevolence Fund has been used by our Mission, Outreach, & Service Team to support:
- Individual missionaries with ties to the St. Andrew community.
- International Peacemakers visiting Eastern Iowa.
- St. Andrew teams serving in Haiti, Guatemala, Pittsburgh, and various flood-damaged cities in the U.S.
- As well as organizations who serve people in need in Johnson County (such as Shelter House, CommUnity, Houses into Homes, and the Free Medical Clinic).
Over the decades, we've learned how our focus on Mission depends on forging connections between our friends and members and people serving on the global mission field. The Mission, Outreach, and Service Team has worked to do this through Adult Education programs, presentations by visiting missionaries during worship services, Alternative Christmas Markets, and other information displays in the church building.
In 2020, St. Andrew officially joined the Matthew 25 Movement within the PC(USA). Matthew 25 churches commit to be churches of action, with a special focus on serving people who are hungry, oppressed, imprisoned, or financially struggling. Please stay tuned for more opportunities to get involved with these actions.
The Mission, Outreach, and Service Team has been discussing future actions for the congregation. Our team members held a retreat in June to outline the purpose of our work and discuss how best to serve the congregation and those outside the church walls.
During those discussions, we learned that many St. Andrew members didn't know what the M, O, and S in our old acronym meant. Moving forward, we decided to refer to our team by its full name, so people would be reminded of our charge:
- Mission: To be disciples, acting as the hands and feet of Jesus to spread God’s love and work with our neighbors near and far.
- Outreach: To be able to go out of our building and comfort zones to meet people where they are and to listen to their needs.
- Service: To humbly enter into relationships with people through activities that attend to their needs and that bring us all more wholly into relationship with God.
In 2022, the Mission Outreach and Service Team has designated a significant amount of financial resources toward a single mission focus: Food Security. The plan is to continue support to our many mission partners but to focus our attention on a single area in which we will coordinate volunteer opportunities for the congregation.
We would love to have you join us—whether as volunteers and partners or as official members of our team.