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 email@example.com 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/.
Middlesex Habitat For Humanity (MHFH)
The purpose of the Middlesex Habitat for Humanity (MHFH) ministry is to support MHFH's mission to build, renovate or repair simple, decent, affordable houses in partnership with eligible families. With MHFH, we are working to eliminate substandard housing in Middlesex County, CT, one house, one family at a time. The group seeks to make decent housing a matter of conscience and action.
In 2015, MHFH is working to build three homes in Portland, CT, for three Habitat for Humanity partner eligible families, and they have started working on two! This is a first in many ways for MHFH. It is the first time that MHFH will have side-by-side lots; it is the first chance to build more than one house at a time (one single/one duplex); it is the first time that they have poured two foundations at once; and it is the first time for multiple opportunities to serve a town that MHFH has not served in the past.
St. John's Habitat ministry seeks to provide skilled and unskilled volunteers to help with house builds and A Brush With Kindness (ABWK) projects. ABWK assists homeowners with minor/major repairs and accessibility modifications to their homes. Volunteers are also needed to ReStore where re-usable building materials and furnishings are sold to support the MHFH mission. St. John's ministry with Middlesex Habitat for Humanity seeks to engage more individuals in our parish and beyond to help MHFH with these projects. Both physical help and financial support are both greatly appreciated. You can check out Middlesex Habitat for Humanity here: https://www.habitatmiddlesex.org/.
Ministry to Veterans and Active Duty Military Personnel (MVAMP)
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.
Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley
St. John's Episcopal Church is also in a partnership with the Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley. Working with their faith-based nurse, who vocation is to develop relationships between the Visiting Nurses and communities of faith, St. John's created the Parish Health & Wellness Ministry. This ministry facilitates different forums on health and life issues ranging from how to handle teenage anxiety to how to handle adults grappling with Alzheimer's Disease. The Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley provide speakers and guides, as well as a monthly health article which we run in our Enews. More information about the Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley can be found at http://visitingnurses.org/.