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Using Mission and Ministry Grant for Community and the Environment at St. Andrew’s, Los Angeles

In 2015, St. Andrew’s, Los Angeles received a Synod Mission and Ministry Grant in order to refurbish their courtyard with artificial turf, part of their mission to reach out to families in their neighborhood and continue on their path to making their campus more environmentally friendly. They also received a rebate from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The turf was installed the following July by DuraTurf, and has been in continual use ever since. St. Andrew’s formally celebrated the turf on Palm Sunday 2016 with a cookout and outdoor games.

“It’s awesome!” said Pastor Caleb Crainer. “The kids immediately took to it and it has given us some much needed outdoor recreational space for all kinds of activities from Vacation Bible School to Sunday School and Picnic Cookouts.”

“The blessing of our new courtyard turf was instrumental in an ongoing project to limit our water usage during our extended drought and to highlight eco-friendly landscaping alternatives. As part of this project, we also turned off our sprinkler system and replaced two more garden areas with drought-tolerant landscaping. Our church is more green than ever! The turf is always green, instead of the dusty, rocky patch of dead grass that was there.”

Since the installation, St. Andrew’s has seen a slow, steady growth in membership, particularly with the addition of families with young children. This has allowed them to develop a renewed sense of community with the neighborhood – exactly what they hoped the grant would help them achieve.

Since St. Andrew’s is now in a stronger financial position, they have generously given the Synod Mission and Ministry Fund a donation in the amount of their 2015 grant to assist other congregations pursue their ministry dreams.

“As good stewards of this God-given blessing,” says Pastor Caleb, “we hope to help other congregations make facility improvements that can enhance their ministry and outreach to the community. We look forward to the continuation of a positive relationship with the synod and other area congregations and we join is mission and ministry.”