November Congregational Letter: Local Mission

By November 14, 2017Congregational Letters

Dear St. Andrew’s Family,

At our Vision Night this past September I presented to the congregation assembled our course for the next year.  And at the center of our work this year is an intentional focus on local mission.  Specifically, we are reaching out to our neighbors in proven ways offering both practical help where we can improve the life circumstances of our neighbors; as well as demonstrating Christian love and compassion in ways that are lasting. Under the direction of Anthony Kowbeidu and our Domestic Missions team we are directing our energies towards two wonderful opportunities: Next Steps of East Cooper and the I-BEAM Mentoring/Tutoring program.

What is Next Steps of East Cooper?

Next Steps is an ecumenical ministry where St. Andrew’s mentors walk alongside individuals and families seeking to gain a better life and yearning for spiritual growth. Our hope is that as we assist with practical guidance and spiritual direction the folks we work with will become self-reliant and confident members of our community. We already host mentoring sessions every Friday from 3 – 7pm. In these sessions trained volunteers fulfill many roles assisting those in our community with physical and spiritual needs. We are also blessed to be partnered with Christ Church, Mount Pleasant, offering a hand up from poverty and lack of spiritual commitment and enrichment. The Christ Church volunteers open their doors and hearts on Tuesday mornings from 10am – 1pm. Next Step volunteers can serve at either location.

What is Our Commitment?

St. Andrew’s commitment to our neighbors is twofold.  First, we match those with needs to mentors able to help.  And secondly, outreach volunteers network with other churches and agencies to identify and refer individuals willing to make the commitment to help themselves and join with mentors in setting goals (next steps) and finding the joy and confidence of reaching those goals.

There are many opportunities where you can help and training is provided to all volunteers. For more information please visit the website of Next Steps Charleston: https://www.nextstepssc.org/

I-BEAM Student Mentoring and Tutoring

The I-Beam student enrichment program is an effective and ongoing program offered by the East Cooper Faith Network to all Mount Pleasant Schools. St. Andrew’s has made a commitment to walk alongside struggling students, especially those struggling with reading, at Mount Pleasant Academy.

Many students from low income families and those with learning disabilities fall behind and a caring adult can make a profound difference in the lives and educational growth of the students they tutor.  This takes no special training or skill set; simply a heart of love and a weekly commitment of one hour a week on site at the school meeting with a young student.

Learn more at the East Cooper Faith Network website:http://ecfaithnetwork.org

Can you imagine the impact a church the size of St. Andrew’s can make in our community?

If you’d like to learn more about Next Steps or the I-BEAM Student Mentoring and Tutoring opportunities please contact The Revd Dr. Anthony Kowbeidu (AKowbeidu@StAndrews.Church or 843.284.4327).

In the family,

+Steve