St. John’s is a center of continual Christian formation. Leaders and members of our Support ministries recognize the importance of being in an active and continual relationship with our Worship, Christian Education, Outreach, and Fellowship ministry leaders and teams, and we are aware of the different ways that we can collaborate with them in their respective areas of God’s mission. In addition, we recognize our role as being the parish’s chief stewards, and we proactively help to ensure our parish’s financial and physical sustainability, both present and future, by fostering an environment of open communication and mutual accountability. 

Building and Grounds

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


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.




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.

Memorial Garden Committee

Tending to the Memorial Garden, honoring loved ones and maintaining the beauty of our garden is a most peaceful, stress relieving activity, Committee members spend about 20 minutes looking for the few weeds that take hold and maybe another 20 minutes sweeping the stone pathways. They also take responsibility for watering the garden and occasionally replacing pachysandra as needed. Some members complete their care and then remain longer, sitting on the beach in prayer. 

We encourage you to join us and be embraced by the peacefulness of this sacred space. Know that the gift of your time will be deeply appreciated. Our experienced gardeners can answer any questions that perplex others, so no prior experience is needed! Gentle bending, easy sweeping, and an open mind are all you need!

For more information or to volunteer, please contact Rhode van Gessel ( or Stephanie Patterson ( 

Legacy Society

Through the ministry of the Legacy Society (also known as Planned Giving), everyone has an opportunity to ensure that our most sacred values, commitments and ministries are part of a legacy that we leave behind for future generations. By participating we "plant a tree under which we'll never sit."

All gifts benefit the ministry of your choice. These include Outreach, Worship, (including music), Christian Education, and Maintenance (including building and grounds). Gifts also may be designated "Unrestricted." 

Typically planned gifts are made through: a bequest in a will; a capital gift including stocks, bonds or cash; a gift of life insurance; more complicated gifts including life estates, charitable gift annuities, life income gifts and other options. 

To learn more about how you can ensure that your love for St. John's can be shared with future generations, or to serve on the Legacy Society Committee, please email, or phone Chelsea at 860-767-8095 ext. 10. 

St. John's Main Office

The office is often referred to as the "face of the church." As such, throughout the week it serves as the primary greeter and welcomer to all who come through the doors for programs, planning, consultations, deliveries, and diocesan focus groups. 


The office seeks to share the vision of the parish's ministry groups by communicating these through the parish newsletter and parish bulletins and face-to-face with visitors and guests.



The parish administrator assists groups within the parish with various needs that arise in the course of pastoral care, fundraising, pledging and other efforts. 


From time to time the parish administrator engages volunteers to help with mailings, phone coverage and other activities that can benefit from extra hands. To volunteer in the office, please email or phone Chelsea DiDonato at 860-767-8095. 

© 2020 St John's Episcopal Church

Mailing: PO BOX 422, Essex, CT 06426 | Physical: 3 Cross St, Essex CT, 06426