Outreach ministries seek to fulfill the Third, Fourth and Fifth Marks of Mission of the worldwide Anglican Communion:
- To respond to human need by loving service.
- To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
The Outreach Committee brings the needs and troubles of the world – poverty, hunger, discrimination, exclusion, violence, oppression – to the attention of the church. It carries out actions and promotes and supports actions by others to work for human dignity and equality, justice, healing, reconciliation and peace through service, education, and advocacy. It administers parish outreach funds to assist church and other organizations with serving human needs locally and globally.
Serving human needs and advocating for justice in the local community often is best done in partnership with other organizations, including the municipality, several community agencies, churches, service clubs and committed individuals. Current partnerships include Homes for Everyone, Perth County Food Security Coalition and Water is Life Forum. St. James is working actively to build new partnerships and seek opportunities for the parish and individual parishioners to bring loving service, peace and justice, and care for creation to our local community.
Community Food Bank
On Tuesday mornings (9:30-11:00) the Community Food Bank at St. James provides fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs, bread and a wide variety of other groceries, hygiene and household items to people living with food insecurity.
As part of a network of churches and organizations offering community meals, St. James and community volunteers serve a full-course hot supper on the Friday of the month (5:15 pm) from November to April. (This program had to be suspended this year due to the pandemic.)
Christmas Day Dinner
For 20 years, St. James has hosted a turkey dinner at noon on Christmas Day, prepared and served by volunteers from parish and community. It is always a joyful feast for people who are unable to have Christmas dinner at home or who otherwise would be alone on Christmas Day. (The dinner is on hiatus during the pandemic.)
Outreach Lunches after Sunday worship make parishioners aware of different human needs, locally and globally, and about agencies working to serve them. Whenever possible, a guest from the featured agency makes a short presentation and answers questions. Free will offerings all go to the featured agency or cause.
Simple Gifts for Christmas
Simple Gifts is St. James’ own alternative Christmas giving program. In place of buying “stuff” as presents, givers contribute to a selection of local, national or international programs serving human needs, and send a St. James' Christmas card telling the recipient about the donation in their honour.
Huron Church Camp Sponsorships
Through a combination of fundraising and Outreach grants, St. James' sponsors local public school children, chosen by their school, to attend a week of summer camp on the Lake Huron shore. These are children who could not otherwise have a camp experience. The sponsorship includes camp fees, sleeping bags, backpacks, and other camping needs.
Indigenous Justice and Reconciliation
The Truth and Reconciliation Circle is a group of people from church and community who learn together about Indigenous life and culture, the history of colonization and the present-day struggles and achievements of Indigenous peoples. Circle members engage in advocacy for justice and reconciliation. The Circle organizes parish and public education events, often in partnership with other churches and the Diocese of Huron “Bridge Builders”, a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Anglicans.
Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund
PWRDF is the Anglican Church of Canada’s agency for sustainable development and relief. It partners with organizations working to increase healthy pregnancies and births, reduce gender inequality, relieve hunger, and break the cycle of poverty in the world’s most vulnerable communities. The parish and individual members contribute financially to PWRDF.
Since the Vietnamese “boat people” crisis in 1980, St. James has sponsored several refugee families to be resettled in Canada. In recent years, in partnership with the other Anglican churches and the Evangelical Lutheran church in Stratford, St. James has helped to sponsor a Syrian family and a South Sudanese family and continues to work on new sponsorships.