Mission is part of being a Christian; it is the sharing of the love of Jesus Christ that we ourselves have come to know. Jesus told us not just to feed the soul but also to feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, care for the sick and have compassion for the prisoners. Our commitment to mission and outreach is based on these commands and out of the love and the grace of God we ourselves have received.
There are different opportunities for outreach and mission at different times of the year. Every Lent, children and adults collect “mites” (small change from daily giving) to buy animals through the Heifer Project to send to poor communities. A few times a year, people from St. Thomas Church will take a meal downtown to Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship, a congregation made up of the homeless, to worship with them and provide food (we collect coats and blankets in the winter to be distributed through Shepherd’s Heart, as well). We have participated with the Diocese’s Habitat for Humanity house-building. Through our Mission/Outreach Committee, every year St. Thomas Church tithes its pledge income to support ministry and outreach beyond our parish. The Mission/Outreach Committee also helps provide different opportunities to participate in mission at different times.
Teams from St. Thomas Church, over the last decade, have traveled to Mexico (Ciudad el Juarez) and to New Orleans seven times for mission/outreach work. Teams are formed and trained, funds are raised and peoples’ lives are changed (certainly our own lives, and we hope the ones we go to help as well). The Mission/Outreach Committee currently is planning our next mission trip for the summer of 2012.