Each year, the Community Outreach Committee chooses a project for the congregation of Saint Andrew’s participation. This has ranged from the adoption of families to building houses through Food for the Poor. This year Community Outreach will offer two activities. We will distribute empty Christmas stockings to be filled and distributed at the Jackson Street Foodbank; sometimes it is fun to buy something. We will also be adopting a family, but in a different way.

The Gregorys are a northwest Episcopal family that lived in Seattle and are part of Good Samaritan Episcopal Church in Sammamish. The Reverend Brian Gregory is an Episcopal priest, and his wife, Kelly has a background in education. They have two children, Ellsley and Westin. After a couple of mission trips to Guatemala with the organization Safe Passage, Brian and Kelly felt called to serve in Guatemala. They moved in August to spend a year in Guatemala City.

In Brian’s own words, “Where was Jesus? It turns out Jesus was in the Guatemala City garbage dump.” Sixty THOUSAND people earn their living working in the dump, sorting, scavenging for recycling or items to sell, and living around the dump. The Safe Passage organization provides programs to provide wholeness for the community, families, and individuals, justice, hope, and dignity for all people.

Reverend Brian will be working with Safe Passage and the Diocese of Guatemala. With Safe Passage, Brian will be a support team coordinator, working with short-term vol- unteers traveling for mission trips. With the Diocese, he will be an assisting priest with Bishop Romero. Kelly will work with the teachers and students in Safe Passage to develop an adult literacy program. She will also teach English classes at an Episcopal school in San Andres Itzapa. We can follow their story through their website by clicking here:

During Advent, on December 1st and 15th, we will accept donations to send to the Gregorys’ mission. Community Outreach Committee has set aside $500 seed money, as well as our own donations, as committee members. We will be able to accept cash, or checks made out to either Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, or Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, with the “Guatemala Fund” specified. Any amount will be gratefully accepted; it all adds up. As we have seen in past years with the congregation of Saint Andrew’s, generosity can accomplish amazing feats.

Our international Advent Project: the Gregories in Guatemala