The Interfaith & Interchurch Committee of SP&SA; is dedicated to bridging the gap between the United Methodist Church and our brothers and sisters of other religions — Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and all others. To achieve our goal, we have either started new or continued existing programming to help bring more understanding between members of our own congregation and members of other congregations within our community. Some of these programs include Interfaith Storytelling, Spiritual Autobiographies, and visits to services of other religious congregations. By educating ourselves and others about not only the differences but also the commonalities within and between our religions, we can begin to practice tolerance and acceptance of one another.
Mission/Church and Society
“Find out, get involved, stay involved” is the motto of the Mission/Church and Society committee at SP&SA.; This committee, the “action committee” of the church, finds ways to put action to the congregation’s words and good intentions. As the mission arm of the church, the committee presents the congregation with ways to get involved in outreach ministry, mission trips, solutions for hunger and homelessness, and advocacy to make New York City and the world more in line with God’s intentions. As the Church and Society arm of the church, the committee presents ways for the congregation to advocate for just systems and peaceful change in society, answering God’s call to make a place for everyone at the table.
(1) Youth at WSCAH. (2) Renovation work of basement. (3) Homework Helps holiday gathering.
MoSAIC, Methodist Students and Young Adults for an All-Inclusive Church, is an organization made up of college students, young adults, and seminarians who are working to make the United Methodist Church an all-inclusive congregation. The group is primarily an advocacy group that works at General, Annual, and Jurisdictional Conferences, asking the church to adopt more inclusive language and policies.
Although a national organization, MoSAIC encourages local activity. The Church of Saint Paul and Saint Andrew (SP&SA;) has a particularly active group of young adults who are leaders in the campaign to build an all-inclusive church and invite others to join them.
The MoSAIC group at SP&SA; works closely with the Young Adult and Reconciling Ministries Committees, in addition to cooperating with other like-minded young adults from seminaries, universities, and churches of all denominations throughout the New York City area, and across the country. If you would like more information about MoSAIC, please email Barbara Wheeler at [email protected].
Reconciling Congregation Committee
The Reconciling Congregation Program is a grassroots United Methodist movement which affirms and works for the full participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the life of the United Methodist Church, both in policy and practice. Here at SP&SA; we welcome all people into our church and reach out to the community here on the Upper West Side. We have an active RC committee which coordinates advocacy within the UMC, guest speakers, special events and organizes our participation with other reconciling congregations in New York’s Gay Pride March every year.
West Side Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH)
The Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew started WSCAH in 1979. After surveying the needs of low-income neighborhood residents, the church found that their need was for food they could cook at home. The WSCAH Food Pantry opened to provide people with nine nutritious meals a month. In the first year of operation, the pantry provided 863 people with food for 7,767 meals. Twenty-four years later, in 2003, WSCAH provided 92,744 people with food for 834,696 meals. To read more about WSCAH, please visit the website at: www.wscah.org.
Homework Help is a weekly tutoring program run by volunteers of SP&SA.; Our twenty-eight tutors include members of the church, members of B’Nai Jeshurun, and neighborhood residents. Tutors meet one-on-one with students–ages 7 to 17 years old–each Wednesday night from 6 to 7 pm to work on a variety of academic subjects, ranging from basic reading skills to questions of probability.