Outreach

“Outreach” is the name for the witness Christians bear to Christ by living lives of loving service in the wider community. Its beating heart is worship, and so the primary witness we bear to Christ is offering of public worship on Sundays and weekdays, and in the proclamation of his gospel to the world: “Come unto me, all ye that travail and are heavily laden, and I will refresh you”

— Matthew 11:28

It is the outpouring of God’s love for us that inspires the true meaning of Christian Outreach. This is where our engagement with the wider community begins, and outside of worship, it takes many forms, some of which are mentioned here:

In July, the youth of St John’s had a great time hosting an ice cream social for over 50 campers at the Fresh Air Home on Tybee. After serving ice cream, they hit the beach for some fun and games. Thank you to everyone who came to help! (Photo courtesy of Susan Arden-Joly)

Parishioners of all ages are invited to help us fill bookbags with school supplies for local Urban Hope students in Cranmer Hall on Sunday, July 24 from 10-11 a.m. (during the Sunday school hour) in Cranmer Hall.

If you are unable to attend, you may also help by purchasing backpacks via St. John’s Amazon wish list or making a $30 donation to sponsor a backpack. Make checks out to St. John’s Church with “Outreach backpacks” in the memo.


We had a wonderful time hosting campers from Urban Hope on June 7, 2022! Thank you to the over 25 volunteers who helped make it a fun day for the campers and for us. We hope to see the students again soon! To see a video of highlights from the day, click here.

 

Thank you for all the volunteers who’ve helped us pack bags of food at PACK’s facility this past year.  We had a lovely end-of-season thank-you dinner on May 4th to celebrate a great year of volunteering with you! We will resume meeting at PACK in September 2022. Hope to see you then!

2022 April/May Donations for Fresh Air Home Campers

Thank you to our parishioners for their continued support of the Fresh Air Home on Tybee Island by providing new bedding and towels for this summer’s campers!


Urban Hope’s fundraising event, Chefs & Chocolate

We had 25 parishioners at Urban Hope’s fundraising event, Chefs & Chocolate, Friday, March 4, 2022. This is Urban Hope’s largest fundraiser of the year. St. John’s Outreach Committee has been working closely with Urban Hope, which was selected as our three-year sponsored organization.


Snack Donation Drive for P.A.C.K.

We had a great response to our call for snack donations during January and February. Sean Finnegan delivered a carload to PACK in early March 2022. Thank you to our many parishioners for their generosity!


St. John’s Outreach in 2021

At St. John’s Church, we aim for an outreach ministry that is done together in (intergenerational) fellowship of parishioners, is hands-on, and builds relationships with others in the community. To that end, the Parish Outreach Committee led by Cathy Baxter chooses one charity as a primary outreach partner for a period of three years. We also have several ongoing outreach efforts throughout the year. To learn more, please read Martha’s Sullivan full report [PDF] by clicking here.


Support for Local Charities

During the school year, the children and youth of St. John’s join forces with members of St. John’s Church Outreach Committee on the First Wednesday of the month at P.A.C.K. to fill bags, make cards, and restock their pantry.

 

P.A.C.K.

P.A.C.K serves the needs of Savannah area children who are experiencing food insecurity. As a result, this organization packs 4,000 bags of food a week! They also provide clothing, shoes, and toys in the Kids’ Boutique section of the facility. Visit the P.A.C.K. website to learn more.

How is St. John’s Involved?
St. John’s currently sponsors the six-year-old girls’ cubby and also meets during the school year at PACK’s facility on the 1st & 3rd Wednesdays of the month from 4- 6 p.m. to help pack bags. We are thankful for the many parishioners who have come to help us pack bags and keep our church-sponsored cubby stocked with six-year-old girl outfits and shoes.

Starting back in September 2022, all parishioners are invited to meet at P.A.C.K on the first and third Wednesdays each month from 4-6 p.m. P.A.C.K is located at 4 Mall Terrace with on-site parking available.  Mall Terrace is located off of Waters Ave between Eisenhower and Mall Blvd.  PACK is just behind the KFC on the west side of Waters Ave.  Their website is www.packsavannah.com for more information.

There is so much to do when we volunteer at P.A.C.K.!  We pack the food bags, make cards with messages of encouragement that go in each food bag, and restock the food pantry. There is almost always a special project happening that helps a child in need.  Working at P.A.C.K. is such a joy and the space is so organized and attractive.  There is something for every age to do while you’re there.

We hope to see you there! If you have any questions, please call Cathy Baxter at 912-704-5111.

Kids’ Boutique at P.AC.K.
In addition to St. John’s ongoing effort to collect new 6-year-old girl outfits for the Kids’ Boutique at PACK, they also need school uniforms (khaki pants and white polo shirts) for older children (i.e. sizes 12-16 and adult sizes small to large). Donations of 6-year-old girl outfits [or school uniforms] may be dropped off at 4 Mall Terrace during the times St. John’s volunteers are there (1st & 3rd Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m.). Please make sure all donations still have the tags on them.

For more information or to sign up to help with this Kids’ Boutique outreach, please contact Elaine Barrow at ehbarrow@aol.com or cell 912-856-1774.

 


A few of the Urban Hope students pose with their book bags from St. John’s. We thank the over 40 volunteers who wrote notes, created name tags, donated bags, and filled them with supplies.

Urban Hope

As a parish, we have been working with Urban Hope in Savannah. Some of the ways we provide support include parishioners packing 50 bookbags with school supplies and treats for students from Urban Hope. These bags — complete with handmade name tags and notes of encouragement tucked inside by our volunteers as well —  were delivered to Urban Hope’s end-of-camp ceremony at Whitfield Center. We were so honored to help students with school supplies and book bags. We continue to pray for their academic success and look forward to working with these students throughout the year.

Parishioners in Outreach

Beginning in November 2020, the Outreach Committee of St. John’s Church has been highlighting parishioners talking about the organizations they support with volunteer service. We currently have fourteen videos in this series. If you haven’t had an opportunity to view all of these videos, we encourage you to hear what others in our parish are doing out in the community. You may learn about an organization you never knew existed or be inspired to volunteer yourself.

  1. NOV 2020: Bonnie Humphrey talks about her work with Honor Flight Savannah.
  2. DEC 2020: Connie Darbyshire shares her volunteer work with Hospice Savannah.
  3. MARCH 2021: George Oelschig speaks about ELEVATE Savannah.
  4. APRIL 2021: Linda Pounds speaks about the Keeping Heads Warm sewing project for chemotherapy patients.
  5. MAY 2021: Jane Pressly talks about volunteering as a docent for the Green-Meldrim House.
  6. JUNE 2021: Rick Wright shares his volunteer work with P.A.C.K.
  7. JULY 2021: Fr. Dunbar talks about the true meaning of outreach.
  8. AUGUST 2021: Holly McClellan shares her experience volunteering as an ACE tutor for Royce Learning Center.
  9. SEP 2021: Susan Banks, the co-chair of the 2021 Holly Days Bazaar, shares the many ways you can get involved with this year’s event.
  10. OCT 2021: David Crowley shares a story about an inmate to illustrate the transformative work done by Kairos Prison Ministry.
  11. FEB 2022: Steven Vanderlip talks about the kids’ clothing boutique at P.A.C.K.
  12. APRIL 2022: St. John’s Parishioner, Linda Pounds, interviews Shannon Baxter and Sue Herrin with Isle of Hope UMC. They share their church’s experience adopting an Afghan family through the organization, Inspiritus.
  13. JUNE 2022: Urban Hope’s Fieldtrip to St. John’s & Green-Meldrim in June.
  14. JULY 2022: St. John’s Parishioner, Joyce McClellan, talks about St. John’s coffee hours

Fresh Air Home on Tybee Island

With the help from several of our talented sewers, St. John’s Church is helping to sew pillowcases for the campers this summer at The Fresh Air Home on Tybee Island. (Left to right: Nita Ann Klein, Martha Sullivan, Lucinda Schultz, Janet Guerry, Linda Pounds, and Robbie Culver).

Holly Days Bazaar & Oyster Roast

The Women and the Men of St. John’s each provide both hands-on and financial support to a wide range of charities both local and global: and this support is funded by events like the Women’s Holly Days Bazaar and the Men’s Annual Oyster Roast. For details about past and upcoming events, visit the Holly Days Bazaar webpage or Facebook page.


The Preschool

St. John’s is also the home of The Children’s School, a small-class preschool committed to providing a Christian environment for young children. It is held Monday through Friday on the second floor of Cranmer Hall. For more details, visit their website at StJohnsPreschool.org.


Alcoholics Anonymous

St. John’s hosts the “Sunrise Solutions” chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous Monday to Saturday in the Fellowship Room of Cranmer Hall (entrance from the lane).


Music Outreach

St. John’s helps to sponsor the Savannah Voice Festival and workshops for local musicians, and one annual workshop for the choir. Partially sponsored voice lessons are offered to individual choir members upon request. We provide rehearsal space for Savannah’s early music ensemble, I cantori. For more details about the choirs and music events at St. John’s, visit the choir’s page or their Facebook page.


Church & Parish House Tours

St. John’s is blessed to have stewardship of a historic church and parish house, The Green-Meldrim House. We encourage visitors to enjoy the historical and cultural heritage of both buildings.  For details about these tours, visit our tour page.


Theological Education

Established by St. John’s Church in Savannah in 2000, Elliott House of Studies’ primary purpose is to assist in the training of young men for the ordained ministry in the orthodox Christian faith as it is articulated in the tradition of the Anglican Communion. For more details, visit ElliottHouseofStudies.org


The Prayer Book Society (USA)

St. John’s supports with time, talent, and treasure the Society for the Preservation of the Book of Common Prayer, and its work of defending and commending the biblical and historical faith and worship of the Church embodied in the classical Anglican Book of Common Prayer, in its editions from 1549 to 1928. For more information, visit pbsusa.org.

For ways to get involved in our Outreach, contact us at info@stjohnssav.org.