When teaching about human needs and service, Jesus said, ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me’ (Matt. 25:40). He bids us to love others as he has loved us, so at the core of our mission is Outreach: ‘sharing Christ’s love and making a difference in the world.’
Our Outreach takes varied forms. A ladies’ group, St. Hilda’s Guild, holds activities to support worthy causes among our neighbors here in Oyster Bay; through this ministry they have forged ties of friendship with Hood African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME Zion) on South Street, Harmony Heights, PeerPals.org and MOMMAS House. A number of our parishioners, young and old, are regularly involved in ‘HIHI’ – Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative – shopping, cooking meals, making sandwiches and setting up cots to house the homeless on cold winter nights. We have also given time and worked hard to build a Habitat for Humanity home. On our grounds is a large Community Garden where we grow wholesome vegetables and fruit, not only to enjoy ourselves, but to share with others. Our newest outreach venture is called the Community Closet, a collaboration with the Youth & Family Counseling Agency of Oyster Bay-East Norwich, offering clothing and household goods to in-need families.
Regular parish fundraising events also include charity parking on ‘Oyster Festival’ weekend, and an annual Mardi Gras pancake supper. Even Charles Dickens has gotten in on the act with a benefit reading of A Christmas Carol for the Interfaith Nutrition Network.
Blessed with a beautiful Parish Hall, we try to be good stewards of that space by opening it up every day of the week for groups like ‘Daybreak’ (for frail or mentally impaired seniors), Alcoholics Anonymous, the Youth and Family Counseling Agency, and the local congregation Camino de Vida.
Part of our Outreach budget is allocated to Outreach Grants, sharing what we have with excellent ventures (some worldwide) in a carefully administered process requiring formal application and review. We strive to assist organizations that support basic human needs, aiming especially to contribute where our help can make the biggest difference.