St. Andrew was a mission church of the ELCA started just over 25 years ago by local Lutherans who saw the need for a Lutheran presence in Charlestown. We started meeting in homes. Then having outgrown that, we worshipped all over Charlestown in our early years: in the library, the old St. James Catholic Church, and finally the old ambulance building. As a community of faith without a home of our own for so long, we know that the church really is the people. Even though we are now located in a beautiful building just off Route 1 at East Beach Road in Charlestown, our focus is on the people who gather to find community here.
Around 1999 we did a visioning process that helped us refocus our energy and resources going forward. We determined the need to grow our ministry with children, youth and families. We reaffirmed our desire to offer diverse, progressive, creative worship experiences. And we committed ourselves to active outreach and service to the South County community. So we expanded our facilities by adding preschool space, a youth room, office and meeting space, and a music room. We also added staff to help us grow our ministries and strengthen our connection to the community.
In the summer of 2013, the congregation retired the mortgage on the first building. The annual savings has allowed us to expand our staff to include a full-time associate pastor. Funds raised in the final year of the three-year capital appeal will be used for building improvements and renovations as well as for seed money for new ministries. At that time, we signed a new “Partners’ Charter” re-affirming who we are as a congregation. In the charter we highlight four aspects of our life together:
LOVE We are loved and claimed by God through God’s only son, Jesus Christ, trusting God has good plans for us.
SHARE We share God’s love with others through our gifts and unique talents.
SERVE We, as a community of faith in action, care and serve our family, friends, church and community.
GROW We are growing in faith, with the love of Christ and the support of the congregation of St. Andrew Lutheran Church, through learning, service and worship.
Because we are still close to our early “mission church” experience, we continue to want to welcome new people into the St. Andrew community. Our namesake disciple, Andrew, was the one who was always bringing friends to experience Jesus by saying “come and see.” We want to follow his lead. So “come and see” . . . see who we are, check out what’s happening, and find your place here!