God’s Work. Our Hands.
We move from worship to “Share Christ’s Love” in the world.
Members of St. John’s are actively involved at the local, domestic, and international levels. Apart from our financial support of these outreach programs, our activities have supplied food, clothing, school supplies, and many other forms of aid to numerous people in need through a variety of organizations:
To serve our local Summit community, we collect canned food and other goods for Loaves and Fishes on an on-going basis. Loaves and Fishes is a foodbank that provides food to the needy in the Summit community. On Super-bowl Sunday, we organize a special collection of money and goods through our Souper Bowl of Caring and leading up to Thanksgiving, we collect turkeys to also benefit the people served by Loaves and Fishes.
To serve our larger community, we assemble lunches for Bridges, an organization that supplies bagged lunches to homeless people in the Newark and New York areas. Our congregation is committed to preparing these lunches on a weekly basis.
We also volunteer at Furniture Assist where we help collect, sort, and redistribute home furnishings ranging from furniture to kitchen utensils to children’s books and toys to members of our community in need. Additionally, we volunteer at Habitat for Humanity, to help build or renovate houses for families who are working and yet still unable to afford the current New Jersey market rates.
Members of this community of faith also volunteer at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey which was started in 1975 by a single concerned citizen and now distributes 40 million pounds of food a year to more than 1,000 non-profit programs, feeding 900,000 hungry people in 18 New Jersey counties. We help clean, sort, and pack donated groceries for distribution to the partner distribution organizations. Our volunteering helps CFBNJ achieve its goal: “With your help we give hungry people in NJ FOOD, HELP, HOPE.”
We work together with Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey, through which we help provide backpacks for children in the Camden area schools, as well as Christmas gifts for children in Camden, and gift bags for senior citizens in the area.
Farther away from Summit, we collect product labels for Mosaic in Bethphage Village in Axtell, Nebraska so that this organization can redeem those labels in large quantities for items that benefit their severely handicapped residents. Mosaic’s mission statement reads: “Embracing God’s call to serve in the world, Mosaic advocates for people with intellectual disabilities and provides opportunities for them to enjoy a full life.”
Even farther away, St. John’s members are involved internationally through our own Christmas in Liberia project, which collects gently-used summer clothing and shoes as well as school supplies for needy children in Liberia, Africa. Each year, with the help of a native Liberian, we ship 2-4 large plastic 55-gallon barrels full of these supplies. The barrels serve as strong shipping containers, but they are actually used to collect the sporadic rain in this tropical country. The gift distributions are joyous events that draw large crowds and prove that our collective donations are well appreciated.