“How can I get more involved at St. John’s?” That is a question that comes to me periodically and especially from newer members of the parish who are excited by what they have found here and want to take full advantage of the opportunities. The question is a good one, revealing a pure intention, and I am always encouraged when I hear such interest.
Certainly there are many things one can do here. Tutoring in the public schools, polishing brass, answering the phone in the office, joining a women’s guild, arranging flowers, teaching Sunday School, helping with Wednesday night meals, auditioning for the choir, teaching Vacation Bible School, working with outreach projects, going on mission trips, welcoming others to the parish, joining a Bible study, going to Sunday School, growing in the stewardship of one’s financial resources, serving on various committees, working for the Bazaar, joining a supper club – the list could fill the page. All good and valuable things for people to do.
Odd it is though that, in our interest to do things or have opportunities to get to know other members better, we tend to forget our chief means of involvement in this community of faith. We are here not only to do good things and grow closer to each other, but primarily to grow closer to our Lord and worship him
My response when someone asks how to get more involved is that one should attend worship regularly and devote a daily time to prayer and self-examination. Out of that simple practice, one will be led to know what he should do. We are not here just to do good things but to be faithful Christians. The very best works come out of a sense of God’s presence in our lives.
Our Christian ministry, more times than not, has to do with the things we are already doing in our lives. Rather than taking on more activities, it may be more appropriate to devote oneself more fully to worship and prayer and then allow a renewed sense of God’s presence to feed that which we are already doing. To accept my present life and activities as the place where I am to exhibit my faith is a humble means of service. Very probably the best way to get more involved in church is to seek to apply the teachings of the church to that which we are already doing.
Occasionally we all fall into separating our faith from our everyday lives. Sometimes we seek forms of Christian service to offset some current activity. In this season after Pentecost, it is good to accept my current activities as the places where God wants me to live out my faith. That takes a humble heart for it does not give us some grand activity that the world may notice and affirm. Rather than taking on something that will draw attention to ourselves, we accept that our attention must be drawn increasingly to our Lord. There will come our guidance as to new activities or endeavors.
Be faithful in your worship, your prayers, and your everyday lives. You are where you are for a purpose and there it is you are to serve your Lord.
Robert C. Wisnewski, Jr.
Family Promise – September 8-14
Family Promise is the homeless family ministry that St. John’s helped get started some years ago and one which we continue to support. Several times during the year we turn a few of our classrooms into welcoming bedrooms for a few families to use for a week. During the day they are at work and participating in a program which helps move them into permanent housing. The families must have children and they must agree to follow our time-tested plan which is designed to help them become self-supporting. Wonderful results have been experienced and we need help for our next week of hosting. Overnight Hosts sleep here one night and are available if a need should arise. Supper Hosts prepare supper for the families (never over 14 people). It’s a simple and pure way to serve. A sign-up sheet is in the Parish Hall or you may contact Diane Locke (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Christian Education for All Ages Resumes September 8
Adult Classes September 8 – October 13
Living the Good News Bible Study
Led by Avis Gunter
Young Adult Class
Led by Jimmy and Mallory Salter and Daniel Cenci
Liturgy and Good Livin’
Led by Candice Frazer
The Holy Grail in Legend and Literature
Led by Robert Wisnewski