Why we volunteer . . .
Our faith is not a spectator sport. You have to be in it to win it. And that means a lot more than holding down a front row seat on Sunday morning. Scripture tells us: …what good is it if you have faith but do not have works. That does not mean that we volunteer as a quid pro quo deal with God. It does mean that service to our neighbor is inseparable from our faith in God. The motto we have adopted for our parish is Praising God and Serving Neighbor. That’s our faith in a nutshell. C.S. Lewis tells us that these are equal parts of a whole. Christ fused love of God together with love of neighbor in his great commandment. So for a Christian service isn’t an extra chore, it is our life in Christ.
The Sunday Sandwich program was established to feed the hungry in our community on Sundays when most soup kitchens are closed. The number of bags distributed each Sunday has grown from 20 to a recent high of 5 5. This is due to the growth of awareness among the people for whom the program was started, and the recent cutbacks in Federal and State funds devoted to their needs.
Those served range in age from two years to over sixty-five. Those parishioners who distribute the lunches have come to know, like and respect many of the sandwich bag recipients. They, in turn, have told us how much they look forward to seeing us every Sunday, not just for the food but for the opportunity of talking with and getting to know people who care and are interested in them.
Long Island Episcopal Cursillo, a personal renewal experience and a short course in Christian leadership, is an important part of the lives of many St. Peter's parishioners. Members of St. Peter's were an integral part of the formation of Long Island Episcopal Cursillo seventeen years ago, served as team members on the first weekend and were members of the first Cursillo Secretariat (governing board). Cursillo remains an important ministry to many at St. Peter's, as our parishioners continue the tradition of serving on Cursillo teams and serving on the Cursillo Secretariat.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
Each week many people come through the doors of St. Peter’s to participate in AA. We provide a safe haven for those seeking to come to personal integrity. Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and to help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. Meets Mondays at 6:45 p.m. and Fridays at 8:00 p.m.
The annual Thanksgiving food basket program is a great success. Over 50 parishioners as well as Day School and Sunday School children participated in gathering food for, assembling and distributing baskets to more than 50 families and single persons in need, including AIDS families, shut-ins, the elderly and families with single heads of households.
The Christmas Angel Tree program results in distribution of approximately 200 gifts and various food baskets to local families, AIDS children, and individuals and families through St. Patrick's Hospitality Center.
We have sponsored Boy Scout Troop 43 for the past 40 years, and just recently Cub Pack 153 has joined our ranks. Our troop presently consists of 34 scouts, 6 adult leaders and an active troop committee. They are constantly seeking additional adults to serve on the committee, help out on trips and to serve as merit badge counselors. The boys have been active in numerous service projects around the church including working, distributing Thanksgiving baskets and selling Christmas trees. Advancement in rank is an important part of being a scout and almost every scout has advanced at least one rank this past year. Scouting builds the character in young men, and Troop 43 is a credit to its sponsoring organization, St. Peter's Episcopal Church.