Responsibilities of the Outreach Ministry include determining and responding to the diverse needs of surrounding communities, educating and involving the congregation in social issues and affairs of the church, and reaching out to those in need nationally and globally through established programs of the ELCA or other similar programs. Outreach also oversees communications to the community, primarily through signage and the website.
To accomplish these goals the Outreach Ministry follows a framework based on input from the congregation-at-large which broadly supports giving to agencies that fight hunger and housing shortages, and that support families in need and the disenfranchised.
We are also very pleased to have one of our young members participating in the YAGM (Young Adults in Global Mission) program through the ELCA. Bryn Koskinen is in Madagascar for 1 year. You may follow her blog at https://adventuresinmada.wordpress.com/2018/08/20/together or on instagram at https://www.instagram.com/adventuresinmada/. There is more information under our news tab/follow Bryn.
HUNGER: St. John is a consistent supporter of area food pantries in Maynard, Stow, Acton, Sudbury and Concord. Historically St. John has a number of members who participate in the annual Crop Walk in Concord, MA. Global hunger initiatives include the ELCA World Hunger Appeal and God's Global Barnyard.
HOUSING: Locally and nationally St. John supports such agencies as the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, local Habitat for Humanity projects, Household Goods, and the Good Neighbor Energy Fund. There is a consistent response to earthquakes, floods, and tornadoes, through the ELCA Disaster Response. Most recently, monetary aid was sent to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
FAMILIES IN NEED: In addition to addressing hunger and housing needs for families, St. John gives both time and monetary support to organizations that support families in their day to day needs, such as the Boys and Girls Club of Assabet Valley, and Minuteman ARC, which works with children and adults with disabilities and special needs.
DISENFRANCHISED: St. John supports the Concord Prison Ministry, Ascentria Refugee services, and Dignity in Asylum among other organizations that work for those who are most vulnerable.
Guided by prayer and responding to our call to discipleship, St. John Lutheran Church through the Outreach Ministry and with individual gifts, is currently supporting the following organizations and projects. We sponsor and encourage congregational discussions about our mission and projects and take guidance from the concerns of our members. Active volunteer participation of our congregation with these organizations plus our monetary donations and donations of goods provides a critical link to their success:
ELCA Disaster Response to the drought in Sudan, Hurricane Harvey and the devastation in Puerto Rico. http://www.elca.org/
Food Pantries: Acton - https://www.actonfoodpantry.org/
Stow - http://stowfoodpantry.com/
Maynard - http://www.maynardfoodpantry.com/
Sudbury - http://sudburyfoodpantry.org/
Concord - http://www.opentable.org/
Project Bread – http://projectbread.org/
Harvard Square Homeless Shelter – http://hshshelter.org/
Boys and Girls Club of Assabet Valley: flooring, front desk, Christmas gift cards – http://www.bgcav.org
Maynard Public Schools' backpack program which weekly sends home a backpack filled with approved foods to families in need
Vitamins for Guatemala
Household Goods - https://householdgoods.org/
Dignity in Asylum - https://www.dignityinasylum.org/
ELCA World Hunger Appeal - http://www.elca.org/hunger
God's Global Barnyard - https://community.elca.org/good-gifts-2017/animals
Ascentria Refugee support and Human Trafficking Program - https://www.ascentria.org
Good Neighbor Energy - http://www.magoodneighbor.org/
Navajo Lutheran Mission - http://nelm.org/
Reconciling Works - https://www.reconcilingworks.org/
Concord Prison Outreach – https://www.concordprisonoutreach.org/
Restoration Project - http://restorationproject.org/
Dress for Success - https://worcester.dressforsuccess.org/
Acton Community Supper – http://www.mtcalvaryacton.org/communitysupper
Crop Walk – https://www.crophungerwalk.org/concordma
Veteran's Initiative in Worcester - http://www.veteransinc.org/
Souperbowl of Caring – https://souperbowl.org/
Florence House - https://www.ascentria.org/teen-parenting-program
Spread the Bread - https://www.spreadthebread.org/
Minuteman ARC – http://minutemanarc.org/
If you are interested in attending an Outreach Meeting or joining this ministry, the meetings are held at the church on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30.
There are also projects including delivery of goods, transportation, repair/construction/painting, sorting and display of merchandise, plus many varied coordinating responsibilities and research opportunities available to those interested but unable to attend our meetings.