St. John's lives into its mission of "being an expression of God at work in the world" as followers of Jesus Christ in a variety of ways. Below is a list of our ministries divided into two categories—within our walls and beyond our walls. If there is a ministry not listed that makes your heart sing, please let us know! We would love to talk and pray and consider how it is that we can support your way of being an expression of God at work in the world.
The Altar Guild members do their work behind the scenes, preparing for the Eucharist and our other worship services. They lovingly care for the sacred vessels and the linens. They ready the chancel (the area enclosed by the altar rail) for worship, and later they take care of the clean up. They tidy up the pews so that the hymnals and prayer books are where they belong. In short, they ensure that we have all that we need for our worship. And, if you've ever wondered who makes the changes in color that are part of our liturgical tradition, wonder no more.
It may not be possible to overrate the important role of the ushers/greeters.You’ve heard the adage, “First impressions count,” and that is as true for a parish as it is anywhere else.A warm greeting, help with the lay of the land, collecting the offering, and assisting with Communion are among the responsibilities. And, as with our other ministries, this is done in teams.
Literally leading the procession at the beginning of the service and for the proclamation of the Gospel before helping to ensure that the Eucharistic Celebration goes smoothly until leading us back into the world at the end of the service, acolytes are essential to our liturgy. At St. John’s the custom is to have teams of three older children and youth (4th grade and up).
One of the most wonderful aspects of our Episcopal liturgy is that the readings from the Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament are offered by a lay person. Another is that the Prayers of the People are offered by a lay person and, at St. John’s, that person stands among the people.(At most services this person is also a LEM – more on that next.) At the Family Service, which is the first Sunday of the month, the lectors are children and youth.
The Celebration of the Eucharist, though presided over by a priest, is not exclusively the priest’s. Lay members participate in the administration of Communion as chalice bearers. This is an “official” role in the Episcopal Church, requiring licensure (essentially training and verification of training submitted to the diocese each year). At St. John’s, our custom is that the LEMs are also readers: one leads the psalm and one the Prayers of the People.
Music is an essential element of the Episcopal liturgy. Please consider joining the Children’s Choir if you are ages four to 13, or the Senior Choir if you are 13+. The Senior Choir leads congregational singing during our weekly service and offers a special anthem at various times throughout the year. The Children’s Choir sings several times throughout the year, with a special offering, “Welcome to the Family,” at baptisms. Both choirs have been rehearsing on Sunday mornings. If you are not a singer but do have other musical talent, please consider offering your gifts to augment the choirs.
We have a vibrant Church School, coordinated and staffed by a team of faithful and committed volunteers. Church School is held on Sundays (with the exception of the first Sunday of the month), beginning at 9:45am. Children join their families for the Liturgy of the Table (the second half of the service). Nursery care is available beginning at 9:45am, though these youngest among us remain in the nursery for the entire service.
This is the team responsible for counting and documenting the weekly offerings and making the bank deposit after the Sunday service.
Prayer is a critical part of our life together. The Prayer Line is a group of parishioners who receive specific prayer requests and include those requests in their daily prayers.
The care of our building and grounds is crucial to our ability to engage the work God is calling us to do. Although we have paid staff to do the routine cleaning, there is a need for a team to work together on non-routine projects, including the occasional need at the rectory, and for longer term planning.
Stewardship is about how we care for and use the many gifts that God has given us, toward the purposes that God has put in our hearts. Part of stewardship is providing for the ongoing ministry of St John’s, assuring that St John’s has the financial sustainability to continue in perpetuity, as a legacy for those who will follow us in this place.
The Vestry is the lay governing body of the parish, with officers (Wardens, Treasurer, and Clerk) and members elected at the Annual Meeting in January. With the clergy, the Vestry works to ensure that the various ministries of the parish support our vision and mission.
Once or twice per month, Middle School youth gather for an activity or outing, sometimes educational, sometimes service-related, and sometimes just for fun.
This group meets monthly. We gather to learn about our different expressions of faith and to do good work in the community. Regular events are the Thanksgiving Service to benefit the Fuel Assistance Fund and a musical offering in the spring.
This is the group of ten parishes, from Church of Our Saviour in Middleborough at the southeast to St. John’s in the northwest. We gather quarterly in an “Assembly” to share what’s happening at the parishes and to decide how to allocate some of the deanery-based grants from the Diocese. Delegates are elected at our Annual Meeting.
Based at All Saints’, Attleboro, this program provides breakfast, non-food items, and wonderful hospitality to families in need. Since the fall of 2014 St. John’s has been hosting the breakfast (providing food and volunteers) twice per year. We also provide bar soap year round, and have a parishioner on the Board.
We, who are the Diocese of Massachusetts, provide a fun and fabulous array of activities for our adolescent and teen members. The Office of Youth Ministry also is a great resource for those involved in youth ministry. More information about all of these events can be found at www.diomassyouth.org.
At least once per year, a group from St John’s travels to Boston Common to worship with this outdoor congregation of unhoused people. We share worship and fellowship, as well as provide lunch.
In addition to the fun and fabulous opportunities for youth, the Diocese offers workshops and other resources for congregations.Here is a sampling (for more information, visit www.diomass.org)
Each week, St John’s collects needed items for this local charity to benefit our low-income neighbors.
Periodically, St John’s collects money and needed items for this local charity that provides feminine hygiene products and undergarments to low-income women.