A Vestry member is liaison to the Outreach Committee, which is responsible for the oversight, guidance, and development of a number of Saint Ann’s outreach and mission activities. It meets on a monthly basis, reviewing current activity and exploring new projects. Broad parish involvement is highly encouraged.
Among our ongoing projects are the following.
Loaves and Fishes:
A variety of programs through which parishioners work locally to feed the hungry.
These programs include:
- The Shoreline Soup Kitchen at the First Congregational Church, Old Lyme; The Essex Soup Kitchen
- The local Food Pantry
- Meals for Covenant Shelter in New London.
Contact: Dot Smith (739-5390)
Saint Ann’s parishioners regularly donate school and hospital supplies to Holy Trinity School and Saint Vincent’s Hospital in Haiti. We have provided scholarships for needy Haitian children to attend Holy Trinity, and have provided other financial assistance to numerous organizations throughout the country.
The Dominican Republic:
Saint Ann’s periodically sends a work team of volunteers to impoverished areas in the Dominican Republic to join in mission work with the churches there. These intergenerational teams help us engage mission mutually with others, and through this work we gain a clearer perspective on the real needs and the real riches of others. In addition we work to provide scholarships for needy youth in the Dominican Republic. In October of 2012, Sister Jean Gabriel from Barrio Las Flores in San Pedro de Marcoris, Dominican Republic, visited Saint Ann’s. She spoke at both services, presented at a Griswold Forum and at a luncheon, visited the Nearly New Shop and spent time learning about and seeing the sewing ministry. This opportunity allowed the parish the opportunity to have a more personal understanding of our relationship with this area.
Camp Hispaniola is a week-long camp for over 350 children in Haiti and the batayes of the Dominican Republic. Two hot meals are provided, along with music, arts and crafts, sports, bible study and respite from the difficulties in their daily lives. A place where “children can be children.” Since its inception four years ago, Saint Ann’s has supported the camp through curriculum design, supplies, t-shirts and grants.
This year’s curriculum (2013) will explore The Lord’s Prayer. Several dates are set aside in June 2013 so parishioners can help assemble the material. Donations are also needed and welcomed. All support materials are sent to the camps with our long-time parish friend, Marc-Yves Regis, the founder.
As well as these ministries, Saint Ann’s also has many other outreach projects and mininstries:
Giving Tree: Lymes Youth Service, Covenant Shelter and Child and Family Agency provided “wish lists” of items for those in need during the Christmas season. The parish overwhelmingly responds with their generosity by taking a request off the tree and returning a gift. These are delivered the week before Christmas to the agencies.
WSA/ECW: “The mission of the WSA/ECW is to be an integral part of the total life of the parish as it supports and promotes the work of our lord, Jesus Christ, through prayer, study, witness and action for the betterment of all people.” At a parish meeting this year, the consensus was that parishioners are fulfilling the mission of the group through their works, volunteers were spread thin and there was no need for another “layer” of administration. There was agreement to the benefit of maintaining a relationship with the national, provincial, state and regional ECW programs so that we may share the work being done at Saint Ann’s and learn what is happening around the globe. To that end, a person (or persons) will be recruited to be a member of the Outreach Committee as a liaison/s to the greater ECW. This person will attend conferences and issue a report to the committee and parish.
Sewing Room Ministry: Under the direction of Carole Lamourine, over 36 quilts, 120 receiving blankets, 100 washcoths, and extra blankets were completed in 2012 and included in the layettes that were sent to Barrio Las Flores, Dominican Republic. In addition, 200 hand-sewn items for infants and small boys and girls were designed and created with left over and donated fabric. 200 “ditty bags” that hold the Christmas gifts to merchant seamen through Seaman’s Institute were sent to New York. Three days a week, women (and sometimes men) can be found working at sewing machines, cutting fabric or sewing by hand.
Layette Ministry: Under the direction of Anne Haddad, 36 layettes were sent in bimonthly shipments to Barrio Las Flores, San Pedro, Dominican Republic during 2012. Filled with supplies for a newborn, these packages provide the basic needs for a newborn in a very poor area of the city. Baby clothes are donated, purchased, and in some cases made by the sewing group. Funds for other supplies come out of the Outreach budget, fund raisers or donations to the program.
Griswold Gallery: Under the direction of Sue Joffray, artwork is exhibited in the Griswold Room sometimes with a reception for the artist at the end of the showing. In 2012, we had a reception for John Sargent. The exhibits are open to the public. In 2012, we exhibited: old photographs of the town of Old Lyme collected by Alison Mitchell ; Watercolors and new exploratory work by Nancy Tracy; watercolors and oils by John Sargent; photographs and poems by Stephanie Clayton; Odyssey Painters group work; photos of Essex Meadows seasons by George Razee
Alternative Gift Fair: The first annual Alternative Gift Fair was held in 2012 on December 2. This program offered people the opportunity to give a gift to an organization in someone’s name in lieu of purchasing another tie, sweater, etc. Those represented were: Heifer Project International, Camp Hispaniola, Eastern Connecticut Community Garden Association, Old Saybrook Rotary Club’s Warm the Children, and Episcopal Relief and Development. Gingerbread cookie decorating and Advent Wreath making are also activities of the fair.
New Haven Ministries: Volunteers from Saint Ann’s make trips to New Haven to participate in Chapel on the Green at Trinity Church and Loaves and Fishes at Saint Paul’s and Saint James Church. The parish makes bag lunches for 150 people and distributes them at Chapel on the Green. The Nearly New Shop donates clothing to the Loaves and Fishes program.