Serve

Volunteering at St.John’s

St. John’s is a center of continual Christian formation. We share in God’s mission of restoration and reconciliation by cultivating meaningful and reciprocal partnerships with local and global neighbors. We offer members of our congregation multiple opportunities to be involved in specific outreach activities at different levels of engagement at the parish and at the diocesan level, so that everyone may have an opportunity to transform the lives of another and to have their life transformed by another.

To participate in any of the following ministries, please contact Chelsea DiDonato via email at chelsea@stjohnsessex.org or phone her at 860-767-8095, ext. 10.

St. John's Soup Kitchen

St. John’s sponsors a Tuesday evening Soup Kitchen to provide nourishment and fellowship to those in our communities who need help.  The ministry’s goal is to make every guest feel welcome and cared about and to increase the volunteer base for the Soup Kitchen teams.

Meals are prepared and served by volunteers from St. John’s and other volunteers each Tuesday between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m.  The minimum commitment is two hours every six weeks or so. For more information about the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Food Pantries, Inc., please visit https://www.shorelinesoupkitchens.org/.

St. John’s-Habitat for Humanity Ministry Group

Partnered with Middlesex Habitat for Humanity

Middlesex Habitat for Humanity (MHFH) is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. It is an independent, locally run, IRS 501(c) (3) organization, headquartered in Cromwell, CT and working throughout Middlesex County.

MHFH’s mission is to build, renovate or repair simple, decent, affordable houses in partnership with eligible families. MHFH’s objective is to help eliminate substandard housing in Middlesex County, one house, one family at a time. MHFH seeks to make decent housing a matter of conscience and action. MHFH provides training and access to resources to help families/individuals improve their shelter conditions. Habitat provides eligible homeowners an opportunity for a hand up, not a hand out!

The purpose of the St. John’s-Habitat ministry group is to support the mission and objective of MHFH.

Our ministry group offers an opportunity for parishioners and individuals in our surrounding communities to put into action Jesus’ command for us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”  St. John’s and MHFH have established a formal partnership in mission and ministry.  This partnership represents a shared, mutual relationship between the people of St. John’s and MHFH.  St. John’s has pledged spiritual, physical, and fiscal support, and MHFH has pledged to send representatives to the parish to speak of their vision, to share their needs and plans for the upcoming future, and to provide helpful information to communicate throughout the congregation about their work and the lives that are being changed as a result.  These relationships give our outreach programs the “hands-on” characteristic that we treasure and which helps us make a tangible difference in our community.

Since 2006, St. John’s has supported and partnered with MHFH through donating time, talent, and financial assistance. Skilled and unskilled volunteers are welcome to help, and on-site training is available. There are volunteer opportunities on house builds, at our ReStore, and on committees.  St. John’s continues to make donations from funds raised for mission outreach. We would like to engage the time and talent of even more parishioners, and individuals in our surrounding communities in regularly volunteering on habitat house builds, at the ReStore, on committees, and helping to raise funds for the house build projects.

Be a part of MHFH’s most ambitious initiative to date:  MHFH’s completed its 15th house project which was designated for a wonderful military/veteran family. The next projects are a builds in Westbrook, Middlefield & E. Hampton. The Westbrook project began in spring 2020 and is MHFH’s first opportunity to build affordable housing in a lower Middlesex County town. Additional funds will be needed for the builds. Donations of any amount are appreciated and will enable MHFH to make the dream of home ownership for deserving families become a reality!

Together, we can join hands and truly make a difference along with building awareness of how MHFH’s programs are effectively serving more families in need in Middlesex County.

To volunteer, please go online at www.habitatmiddlesex.org. Thank you for your continued support!

For further information, please contact the St.John’s-Habitat Liaison, David Evangelisti, email: dage154@aol.com

Every year the St. John’s community teams up with the Southeast Child and Family Agency before school begins and during Advent for Christmas. Members and St. John’s neighbors look forward to helping children and their parents for the school year by filling backpacks with supplies, and purchasing Christmas presents to over a hundred children and teens.

If you are interested in this program, please reach out to the Office Administrator, Chelsea DiDonato 860-767-8095 ext. 10 or chelsea@stjohnsessex.org.

Ministry to Veterans and Active Duty Military Personnel

The focus of MVAMP is on offering pastoral, sacramental and temporal services for veterans and active duty military members within the parish and their families, as well as for other persons for whom care is requested outside of the parish. We see ourselves as agents of reconciliation between “the Church” and those who have served (and who are serving currently) in our military forces. Through our efforts, the ministry hopes to enable these faithful people to understand that they have a place at the Lord’s table and under His roof. The ministry aims to have a positive effect on their lives, to promote healing where healing is needed, and to recognize the sacrifices that have been made.

Efforts directed beyond the parish include an ongoing working relationship with the Old Lyme Veterans of Foreign Wars in support of specific projects; the use of church facilities (when available if needed) in the event of a veteran’s funeral; space for veterans to gather for information sessions or group activities centered on fellowship and healing; and an active and ongoing liaison with the town’s Veteran’s Administration Service Officer. The Ministry is also made aware of special equipment that becomes available from time to time, and that may be especially useful to veterans with impaired mobility. Stairlifts and power scooters, for instance, have been donated and installed. Further, this ministry of St. John’s is also willing to engage and develop working relationships with additional veterans organizations, the Veterans Administration, and nearby towns.

Inside the parish, the ministry’s efforts include Memorial Day and Veterans Day observances within the context of each of the three Sunday services. Services have included prayers for veterans, their families, active duty servicepersons, and fallen comrades. Members of the ministry also organize public presentations and forums related to the Veterans Art Foundation, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Re-entry Issues and others.

Anyone who would like to attend the meetings or special functions sponsored by this ministry is most welcome to do so.

Altar Guild
  • Group in a church charged with the maintenance and preparation of the altar and its furnishings in a church for Sunday and Holiday Services, Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals.
Verger
  • The Verger’s main ministry is that of welcome. He or she may carry a mace or ceremonial staff in procession; vergers also may have responsibility for the condition of the interior of a church, lay schedule and oversees Sunday service and church decorations and flowers. Each Verger’s role is determined by the Rector.
Counters
  • Count monies received from Sunday Services.
Acolytes
  • Assists the priest, lights and carries candles, and performs other ceremonial functions such as carrying the cross in procession, and may also be a lector or intercessor.
Lectors
  • He or she may read a lesson in a service. Lay persons may read any lesson but the Gospel reading is usually done by an ordained person.
Greeters & Ushers
  • Welcome parishioners for service, distribute bulletins, and provide count of attendees. They may also present the gifts (bread & wine) at Communion time to the altar. Guide parishioners to altar rail for communion services. Will reset church pews after service.
Intercessor
  • He or she (lay person) leads the congregation in the Prayers of the People.
Chalicist
  • A chalicist administers the wine to the congregation during communion.
The mission of Building and Grounds is to preserve St. John’s as a very special house of God and to provide a safe and inviting place for worship over time. We believe that how a parish cares for its buildings is symbolic of our commitment to St. John’s ministry and reflects how this community cares for each other. We strive to make the most effective use of funds, always trying to strike a balance between needed repairs and our other important ministries.
  • The Team currently consists of seven active team members who meet once per month on the 2nd Tuesday at 7 PM. At this meeting, we review the current building status, new items needing to be addressed, and our project “To Do” list. Depending on where we stand with our budget, we prioritize the remaining jobs on the project list. To share the workload, we have developed a list of disciplines from which we can identify approved contractors and team contacts depending on the type of maintenance issue that needs to be addressed.
  • Membership – To learn more about the Building and Grounds team, or to join our teams please feel free to contact any of the team members: Roy Black, Steve Elich, Ken Ewell, Geoffrey Burns, Mike Gagliardi, Rob Gabelmann, Bill Scharfenstein. Please call the church office (860) 767-8095 to contact any member.

St. John’s generally is in very good repair. Over time many structural and safety issues have been addressed as they have been identified. In 2014 thirteen projects were completed. In addition, there were five emergency repairs, for a total of 18 tasks completed by members of the B&G in concert with our value-added contractors.

Example of significant projects completed in 2014 includes repairs to the bell tower, considerable furnace remediation, and the replacement of the Cross Street dry well.

The Rummage Sale

The Rummage Sale Committee is a group of parishioners who oversee the planning of St. John’s annual Rummage Sale.

This committee gathers household items, clothing, shoes, books, and many other items to sell. They also prepare for a Silent Auction with many donated items ranging from vacation homes, grills, gift baskets and more.

The sale is St. John’s largest fundraiser of the year. It takes many hands to set up and break down the event, as well as many hands to work on the days of the sale itself!

Our Rummage Sale takes place in October and allows our parish to work together, have fun and raise money for the parish.

The more hands we have, the more fun we have, and the workload is less taxing.

For more information on how to become a team member for Rummage Sale please contact St. John’s Parish Administrator, Chelsea DiDonato.

You can contact her at chelsea@stjohnsessex.org

Items We Can Take
  • Small Furniture
  • Household & decorative items (small)
  • Books
  • Jewelry
  • Antiques
  • Collectibles
  • Toys
  • Tools & Garden Equipment
  • Sporting Goods
  • Vintage Wear
  • Clothing 
  • Small appliances 
  • Artwork
  • Bicycles
Items We Can Not Take
  • Children’s car seats
  • Children’s underwear, swimsuits, socks (UNLESS NEW)
  • Men’s PJ’S, Underwear
  • Swimsuits or bathrobe (UNLESS NEW)
  • Women’s Lingerie, Swimsuits, PJ’s (UNLESS NEW)
  • Magazines
  • Reader’s Digest Books
  • Textbooks, encyclopedias
  • Mattresses & Box Spring
  • Electrical Blankets
  • Large Appliances
  • TV’s & Telephones
  • Music Centers
  • Music Tapes
  • Computers
  • Computer Accessories
  • Electric Typewriters
  • Exercise Equipment: Treadmills, Ellipticals etc.
Flower delivery
  • Parishioners may sign up on the flower chart at the back of the church for a specific date to offer flowers to the glory of God and in thanksgiving for a special event or person, or in loving memory of a relative or friend.Following the Sunday service, usually by Wednesday, those same flowers which enhanced our worship service are then taken by our Flower Deliverers to people who are homebound or who are on our prayer list. The Flower Deliverers will break the arrangements down into three or four manageable arrangements and then take them to pre-designated recipients.

If you would like to get involved with this ministry, or for more information, contact Chelsea DiDonato.

Card Ministry
  • Pastoral Scribes are parishioners who, once a month, take the responsibility for writing a short note in a pastoral care card and mailing these cards to the people who currently are on the Pastoral Care list of St. John’s. These cards are sent to those who are lonely, ill, dying or who are involved in a life-changing event — and they are greatly appreciated!

If you would like to get involved with this ministry, or for more information, contact Chelsea DiDonato.

Prayer Shawl Ministry
  • The Prayer Shawl ministry involves parishioners who like to knit or to crochet. These parishioners then make prayer shawls on their own time and bring the finished products to St. John’s.When a time or opportunity presents itself, the completed shawls are then labeled, wrapped together with a printed prayer card, and delivered to individuals who may be ill, hospitalized, or are bereaved. Blankets for infants or children are also made available from time to time.

If you’re interested in getting involved with this ministry, please contact Chelsea DiDonato.

Prayer Circle
  • The Prayer Circle has been a staple ministry over the past twenty years, and has been parishioner led since the time of its conception. It is not a publicly well-known group, but they welcome anyone who would like to join them. They currently meet once a month except during the summer months. They meet in the Parish Hall at St. John’s to review their list and a little bit of fellowship, and they currently have four members.

If you are interested in providing a name to the list or becoming a member, please reach out to Chelsea DiDonato through phone or email.

Pastoral Visitors
  • Pastoral Visitors are parishioners who visit members of St. John’s who are in need of seeing a friendly face and hearing a kind word. These members may be homebound or live in a nursing home or other care facility.Volunteers meet with the Pastoral Visitor Chairperson and together they identify a parishioner or two who would be a good candidate for them to visit – and then, working with their schedule, the volunteer will go and touch base with their assigned visitor, often times catching them up on the happenings of St. John’s!Lay Eucharistic Visitors (LEVs) are parishioners who deliver the elements of Holy Communion (that have been consecrated and blessed) to parishioners who are homebound, in nursing homes, or who may be hospitalized. Such visits do not replace but rather supplement the visits that the parishioners receive from our clergy.
  • LEVs visit in teams of two and generally make their communion visits after a Wednesday or Sunday Service of the team’s choice. Ideally, LEVs visit a person at least once a month and more often if needed or desired. The length of these visits varies as LEV’s take the time to visit and then pray and administer Holy Communion by using an abbreviated service. They may also choose to share the Gospel reading of that day and talk about the message from the sermon.
Tony with John Schumacher - Lay Eucharistic Visitors
Tony with John Schumacher - Lay Eucharistic Visitors