St. Brendan's is an active parish with numerous ministries going on all the time. We continually seek to serve God and support each other by putting our faith in action--in our own church community and in our larger community. Whether it is picking up trash on the highway, cooking meals for homeless women, volunteering with our English as a Second Language class, participating in our book club, or visiting those in need, there is something for everyone. New ministries are formed throughout the year as members are called to respond to changing needs in our community and in the world. We also have frequent short-term outreach projects an fun activities, so keep an eye on our newsletter, the Little Log, for additional opprotunities.
St. Brendan's Ministries
Adopt-a-Highway is one of St. Brendan’s oldest community ministries. Four times a year, parish volunteers get together on a Saturday morning and pick up trash along the Camp Horne interchange of Interstate 279, which is several miles from the church. Anyone age 14 and up may participate, and our crews pick up anywhere from one dozen to three dozen bags of trash during a cleanup. The effort usually takes about two hours.
Members of St. Brendan’s Book Club meet monthly in the church library to discuss the pre-selected book and choose future reading topics. Meetings are typically held on the First Thursday of each month. All are always welcome, so please join us for some fun, fellowship, and fiction (usually)!
In the spirit of St. Brendan the Navigator, the church's hiking group, Brendan's Boots, hits the trail once or twice a month to enjoy nature, fresh air, and fellowship. This is a great way to exercise our bodies & well-being as well as appreciate God's gifts around us. Each hike begins with a meet in the Church parking lot at 9 am and then lunch typically follows the hike.
Children are a cherished part of St. Brendan’s, and we encourage our children and youth to be an active part of our community through worship, service, and socializing. On any given Sunday, you’ll see kids serving as acolytes or ushers, singing in the children’s choir, playing in the chime choir, helping plant and harvest food in the Garden of Hope, collecting donations for the food pantry, and participating in numerous other projects and events at St. Brendan’s. Sunday school classes for children ages 4 through 5th grade occur at 10 am every Sunday during the school year, except for the fourth Sunday of the month, when they participate in the children's liturgy. Youth in 6th through 9th grades are invited to join our Rite 13 youth group, which meets the first and third Monday of each month at 7:15 pm.
Community of Hope
The Community of Hope is an international program that equips lay people to serve in all forms of pastoral care. Founded in the fall of 2017, St. Brendan's Community of Hope members have completed an in-depth training on pastoral care. They visit and call parishioners of St. Brendan’s, as well as others in the community, to share the ministry of presence and prayer. St. Brendan's Community of Hope also hosts "Under One Roof," a support group to help multi-generational households that meets every other Wednesday at 6:30 pm.
At its inception, St. Brendan's made a vow to always allot 10% of our church's operation Income for outreach purposes. This group is called CRIES (Christian Response in Emergency Situations) Advocacy, so named because its intent is to hear the cries of those near and far who are in need. Any member can be a part of this committee and/or suggest where the money should be donated. The committee meets monthly to vote on distribution.
The Discipleship Group is a small group of parishioners who meet regularly and support each other's spiritual journey through prayer and discussion of what Fr. Christopher Martin has called the Seven Core Christian Practices (prayer, worship, service, giving, scripture, listening to God's call, feeding and caring for each other). Members of the Group commit to becoming better followers of Jesus Christ by incorporating these disciplines into their lives. Members demonstrate their mutual love and respect by holding all discussions in confidence.
St. Brendan’s Engilsh as a Second Language conversation groups are free of charge and open to immigrants from all nations and economic backgrounds. Meeting several times a week, we discuss life-topics or articles in the Easy English News, a newspaper written about American life for ESL students. We enjoy learning about each other’s cultures.
Feeding the Spirit
Every month, we ask members to donate food items to the North Hills Food Bank located at Hiland Presbyterian Church on Perry Highway. Look for the monthly posters in the narthex depicting the current month’s request. The donations are blessed before delivery to our neighbors.
At St. Brendan’s we’re keenly aware that many of our neighbors struggle with food insecurity and lack of access to fresh produce. Through our Garden of Hope, we provide fresh produce to the North Hills Food Bank. Parishioners of all ages, including many of our children and youth, contribute to this effort by maintaining the garden, planting seeds, watering, weeding, and harvesting.
The Green Thumb Gang ministers to the grounds and exterior of St. Brendan’s every fall, spring and at least once during the summer. We take care of the gardens, engage in small landscaping projects, perform minor maintenance on the outside of the building, prepare the outdoor chapel for summer worship, and maintain the reverence and beauty of the memorial garden. Anyone who enjoys gardening, the outdoors, or simply fellowship is welcome. Work days are announced in advance in the Little Log.
Meals for MirYam's
The first Sunday of each month, we cook a nutritious meal for homeless or otherwise vulnerable women. The women reside at the Bethlehem Haven home and receive supportive services such as meals, toiletries, case management, referrals, legal services, and social activities through the Miryam´s Day Program
Merry Meal Makers (M and Ms)
The Merry Meal Makers are a group of volunteers who prepare (or buy) meals and deliver them to parishioners who have recently had surgery, lost a loved one, or have another need for which a meal, a smile, and a kind word can help.
Sticks and Strings
Members of St. Brendan’s meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month to enjoy some fellowship while working on a hobby together. Most of this is knitting, but some will even bring mending if they don't knit.