We put our faith into action through ministry, not only for our benefit, but also to address the needs of those whom we may never meet. Often we partner with other agencies and organizations that have already established effective ways of reaching out and responding to specific needs in our community and abroad. Ministries come in all shapes and sizes and are driven predominately by dedicated lay people. Below gives a sample of the types of ministries we engage in at St. John the Baptist.
Altar Guild exists to care for the Altar and sanctuary and to reverently prepare for worship through the Eucharist. Guild members consider it a sacred and holy privilege to work with the clergy to prepare for all services throughout the church year, including weddings and funerals or memorial services. Guild members work in teams to maintain supplies and to care for the Altar linens, vessels, candles, banners, and clergy vestments for each liturgical occasion.
On three Sundays a month, the choir leads in congregational worship and performs a variety of choral pieces, ranging from classical works to spirituals. Although some members are professionals, the choir is open to volunteers who can sight read music and attend regular rehearsals on Thursday nights at 7:00 in the St. Mary’s Chapel, located behind the altar in the sanctuary.
On the third Sunday of the month, a Rite III service features contemporary music accompanied by guitar, flute, piano, and dulcimer.
The Coulter Concert Series has brought amazing musical experiences to St. John’s over the years from classical singers to Gospel musicians, from the American Boys’ Choir to a Russian choir, from swinging jazz to Broadway belt, from a fully staged production of Hildegard of Bingen’s 12the century masterpiece Ordo Virtutum to the upcoming fully staged production of Jesus Christ Superstar on April 6 and 7, the Friday and Saturday before Palm Sunday.
Trumpeters, flautists, vocalists, pianists, and other musicians provide additional worship music. To participate in this ministry, please call the parish office (503) 245-3777 and ask for music director Scot Crandal’s email address.
Altar flowers are provided through the generous donations of parishioners, often in gratitude for God’s blessing or in memory of a loved one. If you are interested in contributing to the flower fund, fill in one of the forms found with the flower chart on the back wall of the narthex. Your gift will be acknowledged in the bulletin. For Easter and Christmas flowers, turn in an envelope with a check with the notation “flowers” and with information telling for whom the flowers are given.
Coffee Hour Fellowship
Each week following the 10:00 worship service, participants take turns acting as Coffee Hour hosts to share simple snacks. To be part of this ministry, sign up on the calendar in the narthex.
Locust and Wild Honey
These fellowship groups of eight or less are social in nature, meeting in parishioner’s homes or in restaurants to share a meal on the assigned date. Types of groups include dinner, brunch, and family gatherings. The name comes from the diet of our patron saint, St. John the Baptist–but our menus are much better than his! Groups meet three times a year on the same pre-determined date. Dates and sign-ups are announced in the Forerunner, Sunday morning bulletins, and announcements. The next Locust and Wild Honey get-together will take place on Saturday, February 25th.
The structure of the Nursery class begins with the children receiving a prayer in church and then following a procession to the Nursery room. Once children arrive at the Nursery, attendance is recorded and free play commences. Free play is followed by a short worship order developed by the clergy and Nursery staff. The Nursery uses Logos Inc., a lectionary-based curriculum.
The Holy Innocents class uses Feasting on the Word Multi-Age curriculum. Feasting on the Word introduces biblical, historical and moral topics from the Sunday Gospel that are reinforced through age appropriate hands-on activities. The class begins in the sanctuary, where children sit with their parents during announcements. When the clergy says a prayer for the children of St. John’s, they are led in procession to the Holy Innocent classroom in the Under Croft. Guests are welcome to attend.
The Early Christians classes use the Feasting on the Word Grade 6-8 curriculum. Feasting on the Word introduces biblical, historical, and moral topics of the Sunday Gospel that are reinforced through age appropriate hands-on activities. Like the Holy Innocents class, they begin in worship around an altar they created. Early Christians meet at 9:00 am before the 10:00am service. Guests are welcome to attend.
Confirm not Conform
Rather than imparting information from the outside, Confirm not Conform explores the beliefs and questions that come from the youth themselves. The debate and discussion sparked by the students ignite their faith into something lively and real. CnC takes the idealism and skepticism that co-exist in young people and uses that energy to help youth become engaged with their faith and their community. CnC meets twice a month at different Episcopal parishes in the city.
Adult formation classes meet in the Bishop Ladehoff Room from 11:30-11:15 following the Sunday morning worship service. This year, lay and clergy leaders are taking turns reviewing the scriptures assigned during the previous week’s Year of the Bible readings. All are welcome, whether or not you are following the course of readings.
At 10:15 on Tuesday mornings, interested people meet to read aloud and discuss various books by adding their insights to the text. Currently, readers are finishing The Broken Chord by Geraldine Brooks. This fictionalized account of the life of King David was chosen to supplement the Year of the Bible readings. Recent books include Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels and The Beer Drinker’s Guide to God.
Priest and parishioners traveled together on several educational journeys. The most recent travelers took a pilgrimage to Turkey where they visited each of the Seven Churches mentioned in the Biblical book of Revelation.
This parish sponsors Andy McQuery, a student who is finishing his studies at Yale University Seminary.
William Temple House Donations
William Temple House feeds the hungry, clothes the poor, and helps provide for the mental needs of the working poor and those without health insurance. Donations of food and clothing are collected year-round at St. John’s, and volunteers are always needed to help with Emergency Services and the Thrift Store.
Western Farmworkers Association
Western Farmworkers Association is a cooperative of farm workers and other low-paid workers and their family members. Their programs provide emergency food, clothing, preventative medical care, and job referrals. Some of our activities include collecting school supplies, packaging and delivering holiday meals, and providing funding through tamale sales. In July of 2016, our annual auction raised $18,000 for this group. Many volunteer opportunities are available.
Our Partner: OES
St. John’s works with the Oregon Episcopal School in several ways: We support Project Second Wind which helps Neighborhood House. St. John’s parishioners volunteer in support of the Dorm Student Community. We help families that are part of the AASK [Aardvarks Advocate Skills and Knowledge] program, an intercultural partnership with Vose Elementary and Whitford Middle Schools, by putting up a Giving Tree and collecting gifts at Christmas.
Diocesan Outreach Programs
Each year we participate in a diocese-wide ministry. This year it is “Educate for Hope.” This program provides scholarships to children who are members of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Zababdeh, Palestine, making it possible for them to attend the Latin-Patriarch school located next door to their church.
On the first Tuesday of each month from 1:00-3:00 p.m., interested knitters and crocheters meet to make items for our Prayer Shawl Ministry and for the Purple Hat Campaign. The Prayer Shawl Ministry presents shawls to people inside and outside the parish, for reasons of sorrow, pain, or joy. For the CLICK for Babies Campaign, we presented more than 100 purple baby hats for a Sunday blessing at the altar. (For additional information on purple hats for babies, go to the following site: http://www.clickforbabies.org) All knitters or crocheters — or people who would like to learn these crafts — are welcome.
Other Social Ministry Programs
- Episcopal Relief and Development: Holiday Market
- Sock-It-to-Me Sunday: socks for the homeless
- Prison Ministries: Coffee Creek Correctional Facility
- Picnic in the Park: serving over 300 meals
- Meals on Wheels
- Environmental Advocacy
- Social Justice Advocacy
- Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon Interfaith Advocacy
Stephen Ministers are especially trained to minister one-on-one with people who are going through difficult times such as divorce, death of a loved one, chronic illness, or economic hardships. The ministry is confidential and matches men with men and women with women. It is open to people who would like to use their gifts in meaningful ministry. If you would like to meet with a trained counselor, contact the church office.
This committee supplies food to church members who are coming home from hospital stays, confined because of illness, or dealing with a death in the family. The “caring” is shown not just by the food provided, but also by the emotional support of the church family.
Healing Prayer Team
Specific prayers for birthdays, anniversaries, travel, etc., are offered at the main altar after the Prayers of the People. Those who wish prayers for healing, either for oneself or a loved one, can meet with the Healing Team members who are stationed in the side chapel during the Communion.
Healing prayer with anointing is also offered every Tuesday morning at the Eucharist beginning at 9:25 a.m. after morning prayer, which begins at 9:00. In addition, our clergy schedule worship services that focus on healing prayer two or three times a year. At those times, a clergy member and a lay member of the Healing Prayer Team are stationed together to pray for anyone who requests prayer.
All team members meet monthly to study healing prayer and the healing miracles of Jesus and to pray for every person on the parish prayer list.