Category Archives: Service Commission

News from the Service Commission

Collaborative Service Commission Informational Meeting: Wednesday, February 27 at St. John

Our Collaborative has developed in so many fruitful ways since we began this journey in 2015. Our two parishes, each unique and rich in tradition, culture, and ministry, have continued to thrive as distinct faith communities while simultaneously entwining themselves in organic and God-glorifying ways. The Holy Spirit continues to work with deliberate timing as we discern God’s will for our collaborative, revealing opportunities for even deeper connection for worship, enrichment, and ministry together. It is with great joy that we enter a new phase of collaboration in our service and outreach ministries with the establishment of a Collaborative Service Commission.

During last year’s Collaborative Forum on Christian Service, we began to discuss a shared vision of what constitutes Christian Service and how we can continue to respond to Christ’s call to serve as we move forward as a collaborative. We are blessed to have many meaningful and diverse service initiatives at both parishes, with so many dedicated parishioners bringing the comfort and compassion of Christ to those in need, in our community and beyond. Our new Collaborative Service Commission will be a support mechanism to provide assistance and encouragement, as needed, to our existing programs and those engaged in service, as well as a channel for exploring and incorporating new programs and new opportunities to serve. We invite all parishioners interested in becoming more involved in the work of service to consider serving on the Commission.

Why serve? Christ’s foundational command to love is at the heart of the Gospel message. It is a love that is beyond human comprehension – it grows and builds by the power of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. There is no better expression of our love than the imitation our Lord Jesus Christ who came to serve and not to be served. We serve by the grace of faith, through the strength of God’s supply. Service allows us to discover and develop our personal spiritual gifts and to experience the joy of obedience to God’s will; it surrounds us with other Christians who support us in our walks with Christ and it increases our faith. During the wedding at Cana Jesus performs a miracle. The guests at the wedding aren’t witnesses to that miracle (although they gratefully enjoy its fruits.) The servers at the wedding witness the miracle. Water turns to wine before their eyes. God’s grace is poured out. Serving allows us to witness miracles. Service allows us to see God’s direct hand in the most beautiful parts of His creation.

What holds us back? It’s easy to become overwhelmed with doubt and fear – that we don’t have the right skills, or enough time, or that we aren’t needed or sufficient. Remember that God has used those who doubt and fear to perform unbelievable tasks in His name. From Moses to David to Paul, and of course the Blessed Virgin Mary, God proves we need only say ‘yes’. Indeed, He doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.

If you feel called to serve out of gratitude for what God has done for you in your life; if you want to share God’s goodness with others; if you want to bring the face of Christ into the lives of our collaborative community and beyond, please come to an informational and developmental session of the Collaborative Service Commission on Wednesday, February 27 at 7pm in the Collaborative Boardroom in the St. John Parish Center. To RSVP please email either Kelly Meraw (kelly.meraw@sjspwellesley.org) or Anne Mears (anne.mears@sjspwellesley.org)

If you are unable to attend but would like to learn more about the Collaborative Service Commission and/or other service opportunities within the collaborative, please let us know. We ask for all of your prayers as we begin this new journey in faith together.

 

Our Annual “Coats for Kids” Collection Begins This Weekend – November 10-11 and 17-18!

Each year in November, St. John’s participates in the Coats for Kids drive by Anton’s Cleaners, a Boston-wide coat collection campaign for children, teens, adults and babies. Anton’s cleans all the donated coats and coordinates their distribution to those in need.  Please bring gently used, warm winter coats of all sizes for children, teens, adults and babies in good quality with no rips, tears, broken zippers or permanent stains – coats you would give to a friend (click the flyer for more details) – to the Rectory garage after Mass on the weekends of November 10-11 and 17-18.

 

 

Christmas Wish Kicks Off This Week… Help Make Wishes Come True!

Christmas Wish and TreeSome children wish upon a star. This year, about 400 children will wish upon the caring generosity of our parish community through the St. John Christmas Wish program, which has been making wishes come true since 1993. Needed clothing and a special Christmas wish gift will go to youngsters in our own parish and in parishes in Roxbury, Lowell and Brockton. Christmas Wish invitations with Helper and Applicant forms have been mailed to all parishioners.  If you find your family needs assistance this Christmas season, you are invited to complete a confidential Applicant form.

HELP MAKE WISHES COME TRUE!

 

Thanksgiving Dinner for Bristol Lodge

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and with it comes our commitment to serve Thanksgiving dinner to approximately 80 guests at Bristol Lodge in Waltham. Please consider helping with this important outreach program. Volunteers are needed to provide cooked turkeys, stuffing and vegetable dishes, cranberry saucerolls, and beverages. (The turkeys and other side dishes may be cooked as early as the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving.) The food is dropped off  on Wednesday, November 21 between 12:00pm and 2:00pm in the Saint John School parking lot.  For more details and to sign-up to help please visit our SignUp page:

CANCELLED: Immigrant and Refugee Services Planning Committee Meeting

Unfortunately, the Immigrant and Refugee Services Planning Committee Meeting with Marjean Perhot, Director of Immigration and Refugee Services for the Archdiocese of Boston, scheduled for Wednesday, October 17 has been cancelled due to illness.  We will announce a new date as soon as we can.

A Message from Our Friends at NPH

Last year, for our Collaborative Lenten Gift, we reached out as a community to our friends at Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (NPH) in Mexico, as they worked to recover from a devastating earthquake. Our gift was specifically directed toward the rebuilding of the boys and girls dormitories in Miacatlán, which were severely damaged. Below is a message from our friends at NPH, a year after the earthquake.

“It has been a full year since the 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico damaging the dormitories, classrooms, and other structures at NPH Mexico. Reconstruction is well underway and many of the damages have been fully repaired. None of this would be possible without the generosity of communities like the one in Wellesley who raised over $20,000 this spring to aid in the reconstruction efforts. Please take a moment to view the gratitude from the children and youth of NPH Mexico in this video.

Wednesday, June 20: Looking Forward with NPH

Anyone who is interested in working together to forward the Collaborative’s relationship with Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH, Spanish for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters”) is invited to meet on Wednesday, June 20 at 7:00pm in St. John Powers Hall. Representatives from NPH will be there and we will find out about ways in which we can help to improve the lives of some of our most needy brothers and sisters.

Monday, June 25: Collaborative Immigrant and Refugee Services Committee Meeting with Fr. Bryan Hehir

There will be an ongoing development meeting of the Collaborative Immigrant and Refugee Services Committee on Monday, June 25 at 7:00pm in Powers Hall at St. John. This group was established as a sub-committee of the individual parishes’ service committees. It was born out of the fall Collaborative Service Forum and is committed to the creation and development of service opportunities in the field of immigrant and refugee support. Fr. Bryan Hehir will be sharing his expertise regarding the global migrant and refugee crisis and ways in which our collaborative can serve in this mission field. All are welcome to attend.

If you are not able to attend, but would like to be a part of the discussion at a later date, or have questions regarding the project please contact: kelly.meraw@sjspwellesley.org

Lenten Gift Thank You from NPH USA

The greatest gift we offer our children when they enter our home is the sense of security and hope that once again they are a part of a family. A family that promises them they will never have to go back to where they have come from whether it be living on the streets, going days without food, never stepping inside a school, never seeing a doctor, never having shoes to put on their feet, or the fear of where they will end up after losing their parents. A family that provides the comfort of knowing they will always have food, shelter, clothing, healthcare, and an education. A family that loves them unconditionally and strives to instill the importance of forgiveness, strength, hard work and perseverance so that they will not live in the past but strive to change their future. This promise is evident at each and every one of our homes. There is a moment as each child settles into the home where if you watch closely, you can witness this transformation and see them smile from their eyes. It is in this moment, you know the child has found hope.

This feeling of security was significantly impacted on September 9th when the earthquake hit Mexico resulting in over 5 million dollars in damages to our NPH Mexico home that threatened the core of our programs. During a time when so many significant global disasters were occurring, our NPH home feared it would be years before being able to identify the funding to rebuild and return that sense of security back to our children while meeting their daily needs. It was in that moment, the mission of NPH came to life by the outpouring of support from our greater NPH family network of supporters, who returned that sense of hope, security, and sense of unconditional love. We cannot begin to thank the St. John – St. Paul Collaborative community enough for ensuring our children have hope. We are touched beyond words with your $20,011.00 of financial support to our NPH Mexico children. On behalf of our children, thank you from the bottom of our heart.

Monica Henry & Elizabeth Caletka
NPH USA Team

June 9-10: Men’s Clothing Drive for St. Francis House

stfrancishouse_largeEach spring our collaborative community comes together to support  St. Francis House with a Men’s Clothing Drive. Each year the drive is a huge success because of your generosity and grace. St. Francis House serves approximately 50 clothing appointments per day (M-F), which is 250 full set of clothing per week, to their guests in need. To help meet this ongoing need, we are collecting men’s gently-used everyday clothing.

Right now, the highest needed items include:

  • Men’s pants (especially jeans size 30-40)
  • T-shirts, shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, & spring
    coats
  • Footwear (walking shoes and sneakers)
  • Backpacks/duffel bags/tote bags
  • Summer hats (baseball caps, beach hats)
  • NEW underwear and undershirts (in original
    packaging)
  • NEW socks (for their Foot Clinic)

We hope you will take the time for a quick spring cleaning, and remember to drop off the items to the St. John church garage on the weekend of June 9-10 from 9AM to 5PM. If you can put your items in boxes or secured bags, and label it with the general contents, it would be a great help with sorting. Thank you for your generosity!

Please Note: This year, women’s clothing can also be dropped off.  They DO NOT accept children’s clothing, used socks, or any discolored items.

If you have any questions please contact Shilan Yeung,  either email at shilanhappy@gmail.com or text/call at 508-801-7072.