Here at St. Matthew’s, we believe that reaching out to help our neighbours in need is consistent with our belief in Jesus. As such, our parishioners spend a lot of time, talent and energy responding to the many needs facing our neighbours near and far so that God’s love and compassion might be made known in the lives of others, especially the least and last among us. We do this in a variety of ways:
In addition to responding to the many needs of those around us, St. Matthew’s continues to find ways to discern what God is at work doing in the lives of our neighbours and community and to join with God in that work. Through our Missional Action Team (MAT), St. Matthew’s has been involved in a number of projects in our neighbourhood that have enabled us to work alongside various community partners for the betterment of our local area. And we have been challenged to find new ways of being and doing church in our rapidly changing context. These include:
St. Matthew’s own Refugee Sponsorship group is called ACTS4Refugees (Anglicans Coming Together in Sponsorship For Refugees). St. Matthew’s refugee sponsorship came out of a motion at Vestry in February 2016 to sponsor a refugee family. Since that time, a group of committed volunteers have met about every four weeks to work on the refugee sponsorship process.
As a Refugee sponsorship group, our responsibilities include finding accommodation, furnishings, clothing, language help, education, medical and dental care, employment opportunities and offering emotional support. Our team’s responsibility was to raise the required $40, 000 to support the family for the first year. Together with St. Christopher’s Anglican Church, St. John’s Anglican Church, Willowdale, our own parishioners, family, friends and community members, we were able to raise the necessary funds.
Our formal sponsorship began on June 1st, 2017 amd will end on May 31st, 2018. Donations in support of our sponsorship family can be made through the parish or on-line through our Canada Helps web page.
During the summer months St. Matthew’s, in partnership with Food Share, offer a not for profit food market to our community. Fresh produce is sold at an affordable price in an effort to address food access, scarcity and affordability in our local community. Run entirely by parish and community volunteers, the market is a warm, inviting and hospitable place where people not only have access to healthy and affordable food but visit with their neighbours.
Each week a group of parish volunteers assist in an after school reading program at one of our local schools, Forest Manor. Volunteers read one on one with the students, encouraging a love of reading and help the children improve their reading and language skills.
For the last three years, the clergy of St. Matthew’s has brought the church to commuters by offering the imposition of ashes at the Don Mills subway station on Ash Wednesday.