Category Archives: Service Commission

News from the Service Commission

April 6-7: Our 2019 Collaborative Lenten Gift Collection

As you know, each year in Lent we reach out as a community to one particular place of suffering, amid so many in the world, through our Collaborative Lenten Gift. This Lent, we open our eyes and hearts to the plight of those who are suffering right here in our own community – and who are so often unseen amid the abundance that surrounds us. With our Collaborative Lenten Gift, we reach out to help through our newly formed St. John-St. Paul Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

The Society is best described by their mission statement: A network of friends, inspired by Gospel values, growing in holiness and building a more just world through personal relationships with, and service to, people in need.

The Society offers tangible assistance on a person-to-person basis through local Conferences. It is this personalized involvement that makes the work of the Society so unique. The St. John-St. Paul Conference, which was established last year by members of both parishes, has already begun this work, with outreach and home visits to individuals and families in need in our community. Our Collaborative Lenten Gift will give the Conference a sound financial base from which to provide much-needed assistance.

A Special Second Collection will be taken up at all Masses in both parishes this weekend, April 6-7, for the St. John-St. Paul Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Checks should be made payable to your parish, noting “Lenten Gift 2019” in the memo. Donations may also be made online by clicking here, or mailed to or dropped at the parish offices. We will total the gifts received from all sources and present one check to the Conference.

The three Lenten disciplines recommended by the Church are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. This is our opportunity as a Collaborative to show Christ-like love for our neighbors in distress, and for each of us to answer Lent’s clarion call to love extravagantly. On behalf of the Collaborative Service Commission, we ask that you be as generous as your means will allow. Thank you.

The Wellesley Townsman: “Wellesley parishes form new group to help needy neighbors”

When a fledgling nonprofit comes knocking at your door or email account, it is often looking for a check to fund staff or office space. But a new volunteer group in town is searching for something more: neighbors in need…

Please visit The Wellesley Townsman to read more…

Our 2019 Collaborative Lenten Gift

Each year, through our Collaborative Lenten Gift, we reach out as a community to one particular place of suffering, amid so many in the world. Over the years, our reach has extended around the globe, as far as the Central African Republic and as close as the streets of Boston. This year, we will open our eyes and hearts to the plight of those who are suffering right here in our own community – and who are so often unseen in the midst of the abundance that surrounds us – and reach out to help through our newly formed St. John –  St. Paul Conference of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Throughout Lent, here and in the bulletin, we will share this story with you – the story of the need, and the story of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul – as we prepare for our collaborative-wide Special Collection on April 6-7. Throughout Lent, here and in the bulletin, we will share this story with you – the story of the need, and the story of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul – as we prepare for our collaborative-wide Special Collection on April 6-7.  Please visit our 2019 Collaborative Lenten Gift page  for weekly updates.

Our gift will allow each of us to share in easing the suffering and to answer Lent’s clarion call to love extravagantly.

 

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.