The Outreach Committee oversees and supports numerous one-time and ongoing outreach efforts and introduces new ways for St. James parishioners to witness to Jesus’ call to love our neighbours as ourselves.
Christians Against Poverty
St. James has become a CAP (Christians Against Poverty) “Money Management Centre”, offering 6-hour courses on a regular basis to help those on limited incomes to manage their money to meet needs, get out of debt, stay out of debt, and even save. To learn more about CAP, go to www.capcanada.org
Every Christmas, the ACW collects small toys and personal care items as presents for children in need within London. The ACW also supports children oversees with the funds from their bake sales.
St. James partners with Wesley Knox United Church, Calvary United Church, and St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Wortley Village to ensure a community breakfast is served every Saturday for Londoners in need of meal assistance.
The Chair of the Outreach Committee establishes Captains for four teams. The Captains in turn gather, communicate with, and lead their teams in preparing, serving, and cleaning up after a hearty breakfast of cereal, eggs, ham, hash-browned potatoes, toast, fruit, juice, coffee, tea – and conversation. The four teams work on a rotating basis so that each team takes care of 3 breakfasts per year.
Throughout the year, we collect dry goods and produce to share with the St. Paul’s Social Services Daily Bread Food Bank and the Anglican Church of the Epiphany Food Bank.
Each February, we hold a special drive called “Loaves and Fishes” to assist these food banks at a particularly difficult time of the year.
Grand Wood Park Service
On the first Sunday of each month, from 2:00-2:45 our Lay Assistant leads a worship service at Grand Wood Park Retirement Home. Volunteers from St. James read the lesson, the Gospel, play the piano and lead hymns, and deliver a homily in a quiet, peaceful setting.
Knitting for Neighbours in Need
Parishioners gather during Advent to knit scarves and socks to donate to Mission Services London. Photo: Blessing of the knitted items from 2015. In 2016, St. James also held an “Undie Sunday” and delivered over 100 items to the Mission Services store in time for Christmas.
Mayor’s Advisory Panel on Poverty
St. James is committed to assisting London City Council to implement recommendations to end poverty in London. Parishioners provided input to the recommendations and, on January 30, 2016, St. James held an “Understanding Poverty” morning workshop, attended by 80 people interested in learning more about the challenge of poverty in London, the causes of poverty, and ways to help end it. See the final report www.london.ca/povertypanel
We join people of faith and caring citizens all over London in the effort to be instruments of peace and justice and to help those in need. For us, that is what Jesus calls us to do on this earth.
Come take a quiet moment in our Memorial Garden on Askin Street, nestled between the church and the parish hall. It was completed and dedicated in June 2003 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Sue Barnes, Bob Wood, and Russ Monteith, representing three levels of government. The garden is lovingly maintained by St. James volunteers and offers a stunning display that is new and interesting every year. Consider using the garden for quiet meditation or for wedding and baptismal photos; we welcome everyone to enjoy its peace and beauty. Bring a chair for Music in the Garden on Summer evenings. Look for the 2016 dates on our website. As the rector at the time, Ken Anderson, quoted during the dedication,
The kiss of the sun for pardon
The song of the birds for mirth
One is nearer God’s heart in a Garden
Than anywhere else on earth.
— Dorothy Frances Gurney, “God’s Garden”
Music in the Garden
St. James is a member of LERC, the London Ecumenical Refugee Committee, made up of a number of London churches in partnership with the London Karen Association. The St. James Foundation provides LERC with funding support and the Outreach Committee holds various fund-raising events to help refugees from Burma/Myanmar who have been living in camps in Thailand, to find a home in London. We hosted “Sonatas for Refugees” in December 2015 to raise funds for Syrian refugees. St. James also supports the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund drives such as the “Ride for Refuge” to help refugees from Syria and other war-torn countries.
St. James Day Camp
Camp St. James Day Camp is open to all London and area children aged 6 to 12 for a week each summer. The children fill their days with stories, crafts, play, and great swims at the Thames Park swimming pool. Registration opens in March each year. They use the church hall, the gym, the meeting room, and our great back yard for sports and games; they especially love the water balloon toss that helps them beat the heat. We also have a draw each year to win one free registration for a week at Huron Church Camp, an overnight camp outside Goderich. For more information or to reserve a spot in the Day Camp, call 519-432-1915. For information about Huron Church Camp, go to http://www.huronchurchcamp.ca/
Toonies for Turkeys
Every year, at Christmas time, we collect toonies to purchase turkeys for distribution through the Church of the Epiphany Food Bank.