Brotherhood of St. Andrew

The Brotherhood of St. Andrew is a national men’s ministry named for the apostle, who, according to John’s Gospel, after meeting Jesus, went to find his brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah.” Then he took Simon to Jesus.

The Brotherhood of St. Andrew has been an Episcopal Church  ministry of and for men more than 126 years and was even commissioned by Congress, along with the Boy Scouts, in a charter signed by Teddy Roosevelt.

Grace Church began a chapter in 1968; it became inactive no one recalls when. We are now active again and look forward to welcoming more members.

Hey, Brothers! Whatcha doin’?

The question/comment sometimes bordering on raised eyebrow aimed at the Brotherhood of St. Andrew hangs around like eyeing some stranger: “Who are you guys, anyway? What exactly is your purpose? Where’re you heading with this thing?”

Really, it’s, “What do you do?”

Fair question. Kinda hard to answer, like explaining what it means to be a Christian.

The New Testament goes back and forth about faith vs. doing good works as a pathway to Heaven. Belief comes first:  We have our “being” in the Almighty. Then our feelings for God and neighbor may lead us to the “doing.”

The world is all drive to action, to do, to go-go-go. No wonder people expect even a spiritual organization to work off a business plan or focused agenda everyone can see.

Here’s the actual, messy blueprint:

The Grace Parish chapter of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew holds a charter from a very old national church organization to pray, to study our beliefs and to serve – all for the purpose of drawing men and boys to Christ and His church.

Sounds vague, right? So is the meaning of Christianity or there wouldn’t be so many interpretations.

Faith is the glue that holds the Brotherhood together. It is our “being.”

The “doing?”

Well, the Grace men’s ministry fixed up a playground, worked on a Habitat project, gathered Easter hams for the church to give, built a project for VBS, created The Gleaner Box and stock it with parish contributions and came to the aid of a needy disabled veteran and is doing that again currently. Some of us are veterans with a special interest.

Brothers work individually on Grace building and grounds, the vestry, hunger and teaching ministries. They serve in worship services and at breakfast afterward. They join the whole parish in support of the many ministries of parish outreach. 

Wouldn’t they do those things anyway? Yes.

The special calling of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew is to show their faith as a group of men within the parish as a target for other men and boys inside and outside the church. We are an example for others. A magnet for men. Call it “soft” evangelism.

What Brothers “do” are simply the visible things.

What it means to “be” a Brother is to model the faith that draws other men and boys to Christ.

* * *

The Brotherhood of St. Andrew meets for an hour of fellowship and planning monthly at 5 p.m.  on First Mondays in the parish hall.

 When a holiday gets in the way as in September, the meeting is the following week.

There are no membership rules for men over the age of 17. 

To see about “being” one of the Brothers, just come to a meeting.

Chris Waddle,

The Brotherhood of St. Andrew

Grace’s national connection

The historic body dates to the time of President Teddy Roosevelt, who signed its congressional charter, a rarity otherwise enjoyed only by the Boy Scouts of America. The focus is on supporting spiritual values through ministry that enables men to participate in fellowship and work.

Chris Waddle