A core value of St Andrews is to share our blessings with those in need by tithing ourselves and sending ten percent of what we received in contributions back out to do good in the world. Four times a year, the Outreach Committee meets to decide where the money from this parish tithe should go. While we always report on where our money is being spent, I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain little more as to how this committee operates.

There is a list of non-profit agencies that the vestry has approved for distributions of money. The committee can ask the vestry to add to this list at any vestry meeting. Before doing that the committee will have vetted the non-profit to make sure that any money given to it will be well spent on a worthwhile program. We do periodic reviews of these agencies as well, just to make sure they have remained healthy and functioning. Additionally, once a year the committee can send funds to a non-profit agency that is not on the list. In the past we used this provision to give aid to a non-profit involved in disaster relief, such as fire or hurricane relief, where the need for support is urgent.

One percent of the quarterly distribution amount always goes to the seminary fund to support the development of future clergy. Currently we send these funds to the Society for the Increase of the Ministry, an organization that provides scholarships to Episcopal seminarians even if he or she is attending a non-Episcopal seminary.

We also always provide some funds for the Rector’s Discretionary Fund, which Father Martin distributes, and some to the Scholarship Fund. Once a year the Scholar- ship Committee awards educational scholarships to parish members, or their relatives.

We also always send some money to Nourish Pierce County. When the Jackson Street Foodbank is operational these funds are used to purchase food for our own food bank. Throughout the Covid closure of our own food bank, however, we continued to send funds to this agency to support the work it was doing feeding the hungry through other food banks in the area.

In deciding where the money should go we keep an eye on current needs. During Covid, we distributed most of the money to agencies that provide food, shelter and health care. In contrast, educational/campus ministries have not been able to operate normally so, for the time being, our money was put to better use elsewhere. We do, however, sponsor a Guatemalan student through the RISE agency. Elementary education is free in Guatemala, but once the student reaches middle school, a parent has to pay for classes and books. This means that most children do not receive any education beyond the sixth grade. For less that a thousand dollars a year we sponsor a child to continue his or her education (through high school). Look for a picture of our current student, Lilian, on the bulletin board at church.

If giving away money to worthy causes sounds fun to you, there is always room for one more on this committee. If you are interested you should contact its chair, Susan Rowe, or Father Martin.

St. Andrew’s gives generously through our Outreach Committee by Kit Proctor