SERVE

Contact:

Patricia Laidig, Chair

or Dave Gradwell, Vice Chair

Outreach-SJustice@stjohnsec.org

‘for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’   Matthew 25:35-36 (NRSV)

The St. John’s Outreach Commission and Social Justice & Transformation Committee teams have numerous initiatives, both new and ongoing which have always depended on the participation of many of the St. John’s community for their success.

These ministries depend on the participation of many in our community for their success, and there are many opportunities to Christ's call to serve those in need beyond the St. John's community. Our work extends from Howard County to Kenya, and includes a broad range of efforts, from food and housing insecurity to criminal justice reform to health care assistance for our Kenya Connect partners. Won’t you join us?

Covid-19 Relief Efforts

During the COVID-19 pandemic, St. John's is working to support many organizations. The Outreach Commission's "Porch Pictures" project will benefit the following organizations:

  • Howard County Food Bank: working in conjunction with the Community Action Council of Howard County to meet the increased demand for food, especially for children who no longer receive in-school meals.

 

  • FIRN Howard County (Foreign-Born Information and Referral Network): serving the immigrant population of Howard County and many of whom items like diapers, sanitary supplies, and food.

 

  • UMBC Retrievers Essentials: providing desperately needed food for college students who are food insecure. During the pandemic, many students are experiencing food insecurity due to loss of jobs on and off-campus.

 

  • Casseroles for The Children’s Home : providing homemade casseroles for delivery to The Children’s Home

 

  • Howard County Pop-up Pantries: assisting the Howard County Food Bank and the Howard County Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) to distribute pre-packed grocery bags full of food to families across Howard County.         

 

  • Lunches for the Grassroots Day Resource Center: donating non-perishable items and assisting with the this lunch program for 45 clients living in hotel rooms as a Covid prevention measure.

 

OUTREACH COMMISSION

Outreach Calendar  

  • Casserole Ministry

Prepare and freeze casseroles for the Grassroots Day Resource Center and The Children's Home in Catonsville. Find recipes and due dates with pans in the Historic Church and All Saints Hall; recipes can also be downloaded by clicking the "Casserole Recipes" button above. CASSEROLES ARE STILL NEEDED DURING THE PANDEMIC. Find directions for drop-off at the bottom of the recipe page.

Contact Cynthia Cecil: cpcecil1@gmail.com

  • Serving Meals at Grassroots Day Resource Center  ON HIATUS due to Covid-19

Meal Service 4th Wednesday of each Month, 1-4 p.m., Volunteers bring sides along with casseroles.
Contact Melinda Becker: melindabecker@verizon.net

  • Kenya Connect 5K 

Late March 
Registration opens in January at www.kenyaconnect.org

 

  • "Pots & Pans" Collection 

Prior to Easter and Christmas

Monies collected are used to purchase gift cards to include in Easter and Christmas baskets.

  • Easter & Christmas Basket Ministry

Dates TBA

Contact: Diane Standeven, dstandeven@comcast.net or Bonnie Sturm, bonnie_sturm@yahoo.com

  • Clean Sweep Rummage Sale 

Late March/Early April 2021; Volunteers needed

Contact: Monica Fabbri, monica.fabbri@verizon.net

  • Stock the Pantry for the Homeless 

May

This food drive helps stock the pantry at the Grassroots Day Resource Center.

Contact Melinda Becker: melindabecker@verizon.net

  • SOS/Rebuilding Together Howard County 

Sat., September 26, 8 a.m. – completion

Contact: Dan Wise, dan.wise3@gmail.com

  • Rise Against Hunger 

September; Date TBA

Contact: Bonnie Sturm, bonnie_sturm@yahoo.com

  • Kenya Connect Volunteer Trips

October 2020

Contact: Sharon Runge, sharon@kenyaconnect.org

  • Hunger Programs  

Picking up food from restaurants to deliver to shelters.
Contact: Bonnie Sturm, bonnie_sturm@yahoo.com

Kenya Connect

St. John's has been a partner of Kenya Connect for many years.  Kenya Connect's mission is to engage and empower students and teachers in rural Kenya to succeed in the 21st century. St. John's parishioners participate in collections, 5K walks/runs, and other events to raise money for schools in Kenya, and go on mission trips offered twice per year. Contact: Sharon Runge: sharon@kenyaconnect.org

 

El Hogar

El Hogar provides a quality education and a safe and nurturing home to poor and disadvantaged children in Honduras. St. John's supports El Hogar through fundraising events and mission trips. Contact: Gil Gawthrop, gill@gawthropbuilders.com.

 

Mission Trips

St. John’s takes to heart the concept of pilgrimage when it comes to mission.  A mission trip at its best allows the pilgrim or missioner to experience a deeper spiritual understanding and to grow in their relationship with God, each other, and the rest of God’s creation as they come into closer contact with Jesus’ life and ministry.  In similar ways, when a mission trip is understood as a pilgrimage, it becomes a mutual journey of growth and discernment and helps to foster an experience that authentically reflects our values as followers of Jesus, of humility and self-giving, openhandedness and equality, the building of peace and mutual understanding.

Through working, eating, and worshipping together, sharing stories and experiences, both those who are sent and those who receive have opportunities to be challenged in the best sense and to see themselves, others, and God in exciting and expansive ways.

Here at St. John’s we believe that mission trips can foster openness to grow into a living understanding of God’s abundant, reconciling love for all that God has made, ready to learn from each other and listen to what God is saying to us through people and place, both those people and places which are familiar and those which are not.

St. John’s  members including our young people participate in mission trips in various locations throughout the world including; work with Habitat for Humanity in West Virginia,  Kenya Connect in Wamunyu, Kenya, El Hogar in Honduras as well as work in Haiti and Jamaica and various medical missions.  We work, play and live life together knowing that the time we spend away will change us through the love we share.

These shared journeys with those with whom we work and serve provide space for God to transform us. This might mean allowing us to see issues such as individual or cultural arrogance or shame, wealth or impoverishment, feelings of knowledge or ignorance in a new light, sometimes revealing unconscious attitudes.  A sense of pilgrimage, though, can prepare our hearts and minds and communities to engage in closer mutual relationship, while we actively look for God in our midst. As well, when faced with humility and looking actively for God’s grace, even negative experiences can bear good fruit leading to transformation and reconciliation.

Pilgrimage envisions our growing relationship with God, each other, and even the whole created order as a path to be discovered by the walking – by walking together. Mission trips, seen in this way, are a valuable part of our journey with God as we are invited to experience and show forth generosity and hospitality, interdependence and inclusiveness. We actively open ourselves to better understand who we are and our own needs, the needs of others, and our relationship to the world around us.

If you are interested in participating in a parish mission trip please contact the Rev. Ann Ritonia for more information at aritonia@stjohnsec.org.

 

Outreach Partners

The Outreach Commission welcomes new members!  We meet the first Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m.  Have an idea for outreach?  Contact one of our members:  Dave Bunnell, Cynthia Cecil, Chester Clarke, Gill Gawthrop, Dave Gradwell, Patricia Laidig, George Maestri, Sharon Runge, Diane Standeven, Bonnie Sturm, Elaine Trogdon, and the Rev. Ann Ritonia.

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & TRANSFORMATION

Chairperson: Patricia Laidig, pblaidig@gmail.com

Vice Chair: Dave Gradwell, glfrbss2@gmail.com

Social Justice & Transformation Calendar

​Calendar items to be announced as soon as we are able to gather in person again.

 

The Transformation and Social Justice Committee welcomes new members!  We meet the third Wednesday of each month (except when we have an event). Have any ideas for our committee?  Contact one of our members:  Patricia Laidig, Clare Brooks, David Gradwell, Susan Fedors, Cynthia Cecil, Judy Robbins, Jane Sims, Gina Hoagland, Allison Brasseaux, Cindy Millen, Rev. Ann Ritonia, and Sharon Runge.