Reaching out to the community, near and far, is integral to who God is calling each of us to be in response to God’s love for us.
In addition to our participation in national and international organizations such as Episcopal Fund for Human Needs, Episcopal Relief and Development and the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund, St. John’s collectively and individually gives to our community in a variety of efforts. These include, but are not limited to:
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper: This yearly supper occurs on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, when tradition called for all foods that contained eggs, fat or leavening to be eaten in anticipation of the fasting beginning the next day. In our time, this is a great opportunity for fun and fellowship as well as raising money for a designated mission project. In recent years, funds went to support a missionary overseas and to "Sole Hope" (creating shoes for people in Africa).
Summer Lunches: This program feeds about 70-75 children per day over 6 or 7 weeks each summer. These are children who normally receive free or reduced fee lunches during the school year. But for this program, these children might not have a lunch. St. John’s typically is responsible for at least 3 days and other groups use our kitchen to prepare the lunches for additional days. During these days, parishioners make and pack lunches and then deliver them to the children.
Christmas REINdear Project (Reaching Everyone in Need): We join with the local community in purchasing gifts, both needs and wants, for children for Christmas. In the last several years, we arranged for gifts to over 60 children. St. John’s is given information on individual wants and needs for specific children who register with the Montgomery County Youth Services Bureau.
CROP Walk: Teams of people from St. John’s have joined others around the community in October on this walk to raise funds to end hunger at home and around the world.
FISH Food Pantry: We collect non-perishable food items which are given to the FISH Food Pantry for distribution from the First United Methodist Church. Ongoing throughout the year.
Food Finders Mobile Food Pantry: In 2013, 2014, and 2015, St. John’s partnered with others to staff delivery of food and give assistance to those receiving food. Food Finders brings its tractor-trailer full of food to a Montgomery county location for distribution.
Meals on Wheels: Several St. John’s parishioners deliver hot meals to members of the community who are not able to get out. Ongoing throughout the year.
St. Andrew’s Non-Food Pantry: St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Greencastle, determined a need not met by food stamps and many other food pantry programs. Certain items, such as laundry soap and paper products are not eligible to be purchased with food stamps. Thus, a “non-food” pantry was born. St. John’s has helped to support this program through gifts of items and cash. Ongoing throughout the year.
Habitat for Humanity: St. John’s participates with Habitat in several different ways. We provide lunches to volunteer workers. We also participate by serving on a Board sub-committee reviewing applications for partner-families. We also provide volunteer construction assistance. Ongoing throughout the year.
There are a variety of other Outreach Projects supported by St. John’s. These have included: “Dancing with the Stars” which raised money for the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau and volunteering at the Christ Church Cathedral Strawberry Festival which raised money then given to the Dr. Mary Ludwig Free Clinic and at the Crawfordsville Strawberry Festival with funds given to "Nourish."
Many of the members of St. John’s are on various boards or community organizations that offer support services such as the Animal Welfare League, the Crawfordsville Library, the Lew Wallace Foundation, the Friends of Sugar Creek and many, many more. Each of these is an opportunity for St. John’s to be visible in the wider world, sharing the love of God with neighbor and all in need.