Memorial Church Participates in the St. Johns County HFH Apostle Build
A Matthew 25 Moment
In early 2020, Memorial Presbyterian Church, St Augustine, committed to participate in the Apostle Build for St. John’s County (SJC) Habitat for Humanity (HFH). The HFH model addresses the Matthew 25 focus of Eradicating Systemic Poverty.
This commitment was a community collaborative partnering with a local Habitat for Humanity affiliate along with three other churches who committed financial support as well as providing work crews to the building site. What the church didn’t know at the time of the commitment was that the country would be in the middle of a pandemic.
They planned and God led the way. With the support of Pastor Hunter Camp, and Session, the planning moved forward. They met socially distanced in parking lots, backyards, on ZOOM, and many other creative ways. SJC Habitat for Humanity had stopped building in the area during this time of preparation. In August, the decision was made that the Apostle Build would move forward. Two Apostle Build Homes were planned instead of one with a timeline for both families to move in by Christmas.
A variety of groups within Memorial Church worked together to meet the goal: Session, Deacons, Trustees, Youth, APEX (young adults), Outreach Committee, S.M.A.R.R.T Men, Laurel Circle, Mary Circle, Debra Circle, Sew and Sow, and Rosamond Parrish, a local artist who sketched the homes as a gift to the families.
The youth learned the lesson of loving your neighbor as yourself. The children made cookies for the future homeowners and their neighbors, and a Sunday School teacher delivered them. One of our session members and her three-year-old grandson Alan, presented a Children’s Bible to 3-year-old Oliver, who would be starting a new life in a clean, safe loving Apostle Home with a bible from Alan.
Both HFH Apostle Build homeowners made settlement on December 22, 2020 – just in time for Christmas. The church family worked, prayed, supported each other and shared our skills. They shared in the families’ joyful experience of joy as they celebrated Christmas in homes which were built with love and God’s people.
As a Matthew 25 church, the Memorial Church family remains actively engaged in the world, so that their faith comes alive and they wake up to new possibilities to share God’s love.