At St. Simon’s we believe that outreach is central to who we are as Christians. We also believe that outreach is how we continue the work that Jesus began over 2000 years ago. We have two parts to our outreach: Action and Proclamation. Action is our social justice piece where we help people on three levels. The first is locally, the second is nationally, and the third is globally. Our proclamation piece is sharing the good news of Jesus Christ to our local and global community through word and deed. Some of our outreach programs include:

Christmas Relief

In the spirit of the “Angel Tree” that was conceived several years ago, our Outreach Cluster currently supports Home Suite Hope in Oakville, and the Anglican Church of Canada’s Council of the North.  In addition, gifts are prepared and distributed to individuals identified as in need of a token of love and caring at Christmas and we also provide food and financial support to those struggling at Christmas time.

School Breakfast Program

In 1999, our Outreach Committee decided to help a local school by serving breakfast to the children on a daily basis. Our program is privately funded, but we report to Halton Food For Thought who oversee all the breakfast and snack programs in the area.

Our coordinators are responsible for the registration, staffing, and menus and most of our volunteers are members of St. Simon’s. We have several dozen children registered, with an average of 30+ being fed daily. We have three volunteers at the school every morning at 7:30 a.m. to set up, cook, serve, and clean up. Participation in the program is granted to any child who has the consent of the parents.

Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund

At St. Simon’s we believe in acting globally. This is in line with our mission statement: “To be caring people, committed to building community, growing with God and serving the world through Christ’s example.

One of our ways of accomplishing this is by working with our national church and its outreach work. This work called “The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund” (PWRDF) is one way for us to live out our mission statement that calls us to be Christians dedicated to living out love, compassion, and justice.

PWRDF is an Anglican agency for development, relief, refugees and justice. It works closely with Kairos, an ecumenical organization committed to justice, refugee issues, and the environment. Individually we may not be able to do much, but when we work together we can accomplish “more than we can ask or imagine”. To find out more you can go to www.pwrdf.org and www.kairoscanada.org.

Belize

Every other summer, St. Simon’s and its Youth lead a mission trip to Holy Cross Anglican School in Belize.  So far, St. Simon’s has travelled to Belize in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2017, and 2017; and are planning a trip in the summer of 2019. Please check out our video montage from past trips.

We feel the mission trip is a time of partnership with our youth and with the people of Holy Cross.  The goal for our mission trips is to show the love of Christ in practical ways that make tangible differences in people’s lives. Our aim is also to allow God to work in us through the residents and workers of Holy Cross, so that together we can be God’s hands in our world.

During the year that we are not leading a mission, St. Simon’s organizes fundraisers to support a specific need or program at Holy Cross.  Some of our fundraisers have included baking and selling pies, putting on chili lunches, as well as spaghetti dinners.  If you would like to make a donation to our mission trip or other Belize-related fundraisers, please see our Make a Donation page for more details.

Food Drives

The Outreach Committee organizes a food drive at Easter and Thanksgiving with donations being given to St. Matthew’s House in Hamilton. St. Simon’s also participates in the June Oakville Food Drive, which collects food from nearby neighborhoods for local food banks.

In the weeks leading up to the NFL Super Bowl (early February), we also launch the Souper Bowl of Caring campaign, where we ask the St. Simon’s community to donate cans of soup, stew, and/or chili. These are all donated to the Fareshare Food Bank in Oakville the week after the Super Bowl.

Usually prior to any food drive, the agency is contacted to determine their current needs and a shopping list is prepared for families to take with them when shopping for their donation. These agencies also welcome cash donations so that they can purchase food or other items needed that they have not received from donations.

Year round, any food donations in our food box in the Narthex is delivered to Oakville Fareshare Food Bank and Kerr Street Ministries Food Bank on an alternate basis.

St. Matthew’s House

St. Matthew’s House is an Anglican initiative in Hamilton.  It is a charitable, non-profit, multi-service agency that serves the needs of families, children, youth, seniors, and individuals living in poverty as well as children with special needs and their families.  It achieves this through a variety of services and programs, provided in a flexible, and non-threatening manner.  As a result, many people of different ages and backgrounds obtain assistance and support with a wide range issues.

Social Support Services and Programs:

As a newly-renovated neighborhood centre located on Barton Street, in Hamilton’s central north end, St. Matthew’s House’s mission is to give hope, help improve the lives and build the capacities of people most in need living across the City of Hamilton.  It does this by offering the following services:

  • Emergency food and other practical assistance
  • Information and referral services
  • Counselling services
  • Supportive housing
  • Seniors’ home support, drop-in and foot care service
  • Senior’s outreach support
  • Health intervention to prevent homelessness of seniors
  • Mental health outreach support
  • Advocacy and community development
  • Legal aid and income tax clinics free of charge
  • Summer camp program
  • Support groups for men, women, and youth
  • Parents Supporting Parents, for parents of young children (birth – five years)
  • Seniors’club

Children’s Services:

  • Day Care Centre
  • Early Childhood Integration Support Services

Halton Fresh Food Box Program

St.Simon’s has been proudly participating in the Halton Fresh Food Box Program as a food box order and pick-up site since 2013. This is a wonderful non-profit program that provides locally-sourced, seasonal fruits and vegetables at a cost considerably less than if purchased at your local grocery store. Packed in a re-usable plastic bin, the boxes are delivered to various drop sites in Halton once a month.

This program is open to anyone who wants to participate, however, the target populations are those on low incomes, students, seniors, new Canadians, and young families and is funded in part by The Ontario Trillium Foundation, Halton Region Health Department, St. Christopher’s Burlington, the Halton Multicultural Council, and Prosperity One. Those wishing to purchase a food box and then donate it to someone in need can request to do so when placing the order.

Included in your order are storage instructions for the various items packed, as well as delicious and nutritious recipes on how to cook them. The Halton Fresh Food Box Program wants to encourage the community to learn more about all of the fruits and vegetables Ontario has to offer, and promote healty eating. Click here to read their blog, which includes the latest news and delightful recipes.

The pick-up date for St. Simon’s is typically the second Tuesday of each month, with orders needing to be into the church at least two Sundays in advance. You can order a small ($10), medium ($15), or large ($20) basket by calling or emailing the church office at 905-845-8351 / admin.stsimons@bellnet.ca.

The program is always looking for new volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Cheryl Haycraft at cheryl.haycraft@sympatico.ca or at 416-528-8554.

Hospital Visitation

St. Simon’s Parish has undertaken to maintain the Anglican presence at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital by forming a team of volunteer visitors. We share this ministry with St. Jude’s Parish. The Hospital Visitors take some training in Pastoral Visiting through various courses that are offered throughout the year, and these visitors are scheduled – usually once a month. Two visitors are in the hospital each week. It is a very rewarding Lay Ministry which often finds the visitor being being given the honor of being asked to pray with a patient.

WHAT IS THE HOSPITAL VISITATION MINISTRY?
The Hospital Visitation Ministry is intended to carry out the instructions of Jesus to “visit the sick.” He said that when we respond to someone in need, we are responding to Him. As His ambassadors, we become His hands and His feet in order to be a blessing to those who are hurting. Our ambition is to bring comfort and the gospel message to those who are in our local hospitals.

WHY DO WE NEED A VISITATION MINISTRY?
Christians are not to be indifferent to those who are suffering. Jesus told us that those who love Him would be easily identified by their simple acts of kindness (see John 13:35). Our aim is to be available, upon request, to bring the love of Christ to those who are confined to their homes or in a hospital bed because of physical injury, sickness, surgery, or terminal illness.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING A VISIT?
When a crisis seems to be our closest companion, a prayer of faith, a touch of kindness, and a gentle, soft spoken word of assurance can be enough to change the course of a day (see James 5:14–15).

We also believe in the Bible’s ability to achieve great results. The Word of God, when directed by the Spirit of God, is able to bring salvation to the lost as well as comfort, encouragement, and healing to the believer (see Psalm 19:7–11).

HOW DO I REQUEST A VISIT?
If you or someone you know is hospitalized or is at home due to an illness and they desire a visit, please let us know by contacting the church office.

VOLUNTEERS
This ministry would not exist if it were not for committed Christian volunteers who willingly give of themselves to serve the Lord in this way. If you would like to become a part of the Hospital Visitation Team, please send us a note of your interest.

Home Visitation

St. Simon’s Parish has developed a Pastoral Care Ministry to the elderly and shut-in parishoners. The visitors are from the congregation and pay friendly visits to people who are unable to attend church on a regular basis.

The person being visited might be in a nursing home, or in the familial home. The visitor might relay to the priests any concerns, or needs, that the parishoner may have.

The priests may also provide Communion if he/she has been trained to do so. For a home visit, please contact the church.

Green Program

St. Simon’s is becoming GREENER! We have completed our Silver Certification in the Green Parish Accreditation Program. Please see the Greening Niagara website for more information about the program:

http://niagaraanglican.ca/green/

Download the Niagara Home Challenge Checklist here to see what you can do to become more eco-friendly at home, and please email your results to Emily Green at emilygreen815@gmail.com. 45% of parishioners have completed the checklist. Let’s go for Gold and get to 80%!

You may have noticed that the “Green Fairy” has changed most of St. Simon’s garbage bins to recycling bins and green bins! Confused about what to put where? Here’s some info to guide you.

We would also like to provide our congregation with some information on the various recycling facilities in Halton Region, including where to recycle old batteries.

To read the latest Green Program update/audit for St. Simon’s, please see here.

If you have any questions please contact Emily Green, your Green Facilitator, at emilygreen815@gmail.com or 905-599-0210.

In addition, St. Simon’s participates in community Earth Day events (cleaning up the surrounding neighbourhoods), student outreach (for our Youth now attending post-secondary), provides family support (as required), and supports the Anglican Niagara Diocese’s Canterbury Hills and their bursary fund (helping to send a child in need to summer camp).