Act In Love: I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food

Rise Against Hunger: Packaging Meals for Those in Need – Saturday February 10
Several of us participated last year in a Boston Harbor Deanery mission event: packaging meals for Rise Against Hunger, an organization that provides food for emergency relief in times of natural disaster and places where there are severe food shortages. The mission of Rise Against Hunger is to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable people and creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.
Boston Harbor Deanery churches are invited to send volunteers to Church of the Advent, Beacon Hill, on Saturday, February 10, from 10am to noon. Children are welcome and encouraged to be volunteers!
 Packages of dry food, enough for one meal, are assembled by the volunteers. Forty volunteers are needed to help package 10,000 meals. Monetary donations will also be welcome.  Last year, Bev Anderson, Maureen Lavely, Bridget Nyhan and children, and Whitney Hayden and children were among our volunteers. Speak to them and find out how enjoyable their morning of mission was.
Please let Bridget Nyhan know if you want to register as a volunteer:
Monetary donations can be made by making a check out to Church of the Advent, and placing it in the offering plate or sending it to the church office.
Thank you!
Renewing Our Commitment to Harvest On Vine
Harvest on Vine is Charlestown’s Emergency Food Pantry, offering distributions of food twice a month, and on special occasions such as Thanksgiving, to Charlestown families in need. Adrienne Sweetser will be making regular deliveries from St. John’s to the Food Pantry, and we want to encourage everyone in the parish to consider bringing some food items on a weekly basis.
Currently, the needs are:
White Rice
Cans of  soup
Cans of  ravioli
Cans of beef stew
All items can be placed in the Harvest on Vine Basket – on the left as you enter the church. Let’s see if we will need to get a larger basket!

Be a Blessing with B-SAFE

Summertime is B-SAFE time and we need your help!!

For the past three years, St. John’s has teamed up with our friends at Old North to spend a wonderful, fun-filled week assisting with B-SAFE … the Bishop’s Summer Academic and Fun Enrichment program.  This fabulous Diocesan program provides a safe, fun, academically enriching environment for more than 600 elementary and middle school students at six Episcopal church and school sites in Boston and Chelsea. B-SAFE also offers meaningful work experience for teens and young adults hired as counselors-in-training and staff.  We will be assisting at the St. Luke’s, Chelsea site from Monday, July 25 through Friday, July 29. Your financial support, your time and your talents are needed.

Donations are being accepted now: Checks made out to St. John’s with “B-SAFE” in the memo will go to purchase the food we will be serving at lunch on Wednesday and Thursday, July 27 and 28, and for lunch and other costs associated with the field trip we are sponsoring on Friday, July 29.

Please check your calendar and sign up now to assist!  We need your help here in our kitchen Wednesday evening, July 27 to prep the meal we will serve on Thursday, and again Friday morning to prepare bag lunches for the field trip. Your help is also needed from 10:30am until 2pm, Monday through Thursday at the St. Luke’s Chelsea site where our friends from Old North will be joining us to prepare lunch, serve lunch and join the children to eat lunch each day.  Middle and high school age children are welcome to assist as well — both in the St. John’s “prep” kitchen and at St. Lukes!

Please click here to go to the electronic sign-up sheet and let us know when you will join us to help.  You can also call the office, or speak to Steve Spinetto to volunteer. Ask anyone who has helped in the past … this is a wonderful, fun and grace filled thing to do!

Ziti was a popular choice for lunch last summer!

Ziti was a popular choice for lunch last summer!

An Invitation to Ministry With the Homeless Community


ecw 005MANNA (Many Angels Needed Now And Always) is a community of homeless and previously homeless folks that meet at the Cathedral of St. Paul on Tremont Street, Boston every Monday at 10:00 am for a meeting, and then lunch for ANYONE who wishes to come at noon. After lunch we have a service with Eucharist celebrated each week.

The Missioner of this program, Cristina Rathbone, is traveling to India for a three-month sabbatical. While there’s a “seasoned” group of volunteers and staff, new energy is always welcome.

Typically I leave Charlestown around 9:20 am to walk to the Cathedral; however, I’m willing to take the T if you’re not a walker. I’m usually home by 3:00 pm. I eat with the guests.

Please speak to me if you’d like to give this opportunity to serve a try.


Maureen Lavely

The Blessings of Serving at B-SAFE

Thanks to the volunteers and coordinators of the St. John’s—Old North Church shared week supporting B-Safe! Led by Steve Spinetto and Catherine Womack from St. John’s, Leah Raymond from Old North, and Priscilla Burns, , our teams enjoyed serving lunch each day and leading a field trip Friday. Thanks to Steve and Catherine, Alice Krapf, Kathleen McCormick, Jonathan McCormick, Nancy Armstrong, Maureen Lavely, Bridget Nyhan, Marion Wood, Bev Anderson, Karen Tompros, Rosemary Kverek, the Heim family, the Herlihy family, Evie and Laura Scoville, the Ringrose family and Barbara Bush who along with the Rector donated time, talents and/or funds to help St. John’s and Old North provide nutritious lunches and snacks for the children attending our Diocese’s summer camp at St. Luke’s in Chelsea.

Among the highlights were spending time at the lunch tables with the campers, (and learning that the ziti casseroles were a great hit), Steve Spinetto discussing with fascinated listeners the intricacies of his various artificial legs, and a field trip on Friday to the Adaptive Playground at Spaulding Hospital.

Thank you again to everyone who made our ministry in Chelsea possible!



From our Postulant

Editor’s Note:  From now until June of 2014, St. John’s is blessed to have serving with us Ms. Emily Garcia,  Postulant for ordination as a priest in the Diocese of Massachusetts. Many of us know Emily from her work last year with the Godly Play program, and this week she writes about her work with us in the coming year.

Dear Parish—hello!

It is such a pleasure for me to be spending this year with you as a Postulant and parish intern!

A Postulant for Holy Orders means basically a “pre-priest”; postulancy is an important time of formation, which is why I’m at St. John’s. I grew up in the Evangelical Free Church and became Episcopalian while at Princeton; once I moved to Cambridge I started attending and then working at the Episcopal Chaplaincy at Harvard. So until I came to St. John’s, I knew very little about parish life! I still have a lot to learn, and I knew I wanted to learn it in the friendly and lively community that you all share.

So this year I’ll continue to teach Godly Play and serve at the altar with Fr. Tom. I’ll also be working with Sandy Nilson and Bridget Nyhan to build up more support for our students, and to recruit more teachers. (Yes, I’m looking at YOU!) I’m leaving next September to go to seminary, and I want to leave our Godly Players with other committed teachers!

During this year, I’ll continue to work at the Episcopal Chaplaincy at Harvard. (I also work at a restaurant and a start-up to pay the bills.) A fun part of being a postulant is that we get to be involved with a lot of the projects and people around the diocese, so I hope you’ll let me know if I can answer any questions about what the broader Church is up to.

Thank you again for so warmly inviting me into your community. I look forward to this year together!

Emily Garcia

Thank You, Generous Givers: A Note From Your Stewardship Team

As we move through the summer months, we are grateful to those of you who have been able to maintain your regular offering of pledges, and to those of you who have been able to make advance offerings. As we indicated at the beginning of the summer, our expenses do not diminish during July and August, and we are committed to carrying out our mission and ministry throughout the year. Your giving makes a difference!

We are already looking forward to October, when we will be inviting all in the parish to consider their commitments to God and to St. John’s for 2014.  We welcome anyone who would like to work with us as we prepare for our stewardship program. Please contact one of us if you would like to help out.

Kathleen McCormick

Melissa Giese

Tom Mousin




An Invitation to Join the Altar Guild

communion photoEach Sunday, members of the Altar Guild carry out the meaningful ministry of preparing our place of worship, in particular the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Members are responsible for setting the altar each Sunday, preparing for baptisms, weddings, and funerals, and making sure the linens, silver, and brass are in tip-top shape.

Have you considered joining the Altar Guild? Here are some reasons God may be calling you to this ministry:

You will be joining a host of other individuals who week by week create our services of worship, including choir members, acolytes, readers, ushers, and coffee hour hosts. By being part of the Altar Guild, you will be making a valuable offering to our community’s worship life.

You will grow spiritually. Members of the Altar Guild find this work to be a true ministry of devotion and prayer. For members of the Altar Guild, worship begins the moment they enter the sacristy before the formal service has started. This ministry can be a form of prayer that enriches your life.

You will discover a community within a community. Members gather as a guild several times during the year to clean and polish vessels and furnishings. Luette Bourne, Altar Guild Directress, also hosts several gatherings during the year at her home, for good food and for time to learn more about this essential ministry. You will grow in faith, and have fun!

Altar Guild members serve on a rotation, so it is not an every Sunday responsibility. If you would like to learn more, please contact Tom. He and Luette will be happy to answer questions you may have.