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Our Outreach Ministries

Oasis

St. John's has three Feeding Ministries, and Oasis is the oldest. Co-founded by parishioner Joan Russell in the 1970s, the ministry is now independent as The Oasis Coalition of Boston and runs several programs for the unhoused out of the Old West Church in Boston. St. John's parishioners still provide a hot dinner to  approximately 60 neighbors one Monday a month. We deliver lasagna, salad, fresh fruit & cookies. Please contact Jane Kaveney at jane.kaveney@gmail.com if you would like to be involved by either cooking or purchasing an 11x14 inch tray of lasagna, or by providing fresh oranges or bananas or cookies! Our next  dinner will delivered on Monday, September 11. Please let us know if you would like to be a part of this wonderful ministry!

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Westwood Food Pantry

St. John's has three Feeding Ministries, and our support of the Westwood Food Pantry is the most locally impactful. We have a designated shelf in in the narthex where we invite you to bring in healthy, non-perishable food items or cleaning products. We make a monthly delivery to the food pantry, which is located adjacent to the Council on Aging at 60 Nahatan St. There is just as much need during summer months as during the rest of the year, so we thank you in advance for contributing! We are also looking for volunteers to drive donations to the Pantry; contact MaryAnne Carty for more information at carscan3@aol.com

We also support the Westwood Food Pantry through the Souper Bowl of Caring, an annual fundraiser by our children on Super Bowl Sunday in February.

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UrbanPromise Honduras

St. John's Westwood has a deep connection to UrbanPromise Honduras. Our next service-learning trip to Copán, Honduras will be at the end of June 2024. This is an opportunity to spend a week working with staff at either an after-school or a summer camp for local Honduran children. Participants will be given simple lodging and three meals a day and will engage in Scripture devotion and fun activities with the children, including reading, offering homework assistance, and games, and will be introduced to the the local culture through entrance to National Parks, a tour of the Mayan ruins and a bird sanctuary.

This service-learning trip is open to older teens and their parent(s) as well as to adult parishioners who are interested in broadening their spiritual life, expanding their cultural awareness, and having a Christian impact beyond Westwood and Massachusetts. If you are interested in this summer's trip, please contact Michael at: rector@stjohnswestwood.org

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Prison Book Program

We have a designated box in our narthex where we invite you to bring in books -- reference or fiction or non-fiction -- to be donated to incarcerated individuals. A few times a year, we travel to Quincy to partner with the Prison Book Program in the basement of the United First Parish Church and sort, label, and package books to be donated. Come support this For more information, go to: www.prisonbookprogram.org

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Ecclesia Ministries

St. John's has three Feeding Ministries, and our partnership with Ecclesia Ministries is one of our most enriching. Ecclesia Ministries, also called common cathedral, is a organization providing support for unhoused men and women on Boston Common, opposite from St. Paul's Cathedral. St. John's, in collaboration with Epiphany Parish, Walpole, provides sandwiches and fresh fruit once a month.

We also invite members of the common cathedral community out to the suburbs twice a year, for a large summer picnic at Hale Reservation in August and for bowling & ice cream in February. Our bowling & ice cream excursion is primarily an outreach ministry for our teens. Ecclesia is grateful for our years of support and if you would like to become involved in this ministry, contact youth.minister@stjohnswestwood.org

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B-SAFE / B-LOVE Summer Programs

For many years St. John's, along with our partner parish, the Church of the Holy Spirit (CHS), Mattapan, have supported the B-SAFE summer program for elementary school kids in Boston. In summer 2023, we hosted a field trip for we for children from St. Stephen's, Boston. Volunteers from both St. John's and CHS met kids and counselors at McGolf in Dedham in the morning and then accompanied them to St. John's for a lunchtime of pizza and an afternoon of games and activities, including corn hole and stomp rockets, jump rope, and face painting. We concluded with ice cream sundaes on our parish lawn. We offer sincere thanks to the many parishioners who helped make this happen: shoppers, lunch volunteers at St. Stephen's, and the multiple volunteers who helped make the activity day at St. John's a success.

 

St. John's also participates in the B-LOVE component of St. Stephen's summer youth programming and this year St. John's, along with Church of the Advent, Medfield, and Epiphany Parish , Walpole, provided groceries for 57 families. (Special thanks to Dan MacDonald who filled his truck with many of these bags!)

If you'd like to learn more about the B-SAFE program, please visit www.ssypboston.org

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St. John's Westwood offers outreach opportunities specifically for our youth and teenagers:

Norwood Food Pantry

During the program year, we invite our middle school youth to volunteer at the Norwood Food Pantry one Saturday a month.

Bowling with Ecclesia & CityReach

In February, the high school youth (and chaperones) invite members of the common cathedral community out for a Saturday afternoon of bowling, and in March, as part of the culmination of their faith formation program, we invite our high school youth to attended the CityReach Friday-into-Saturday overnight program at St. Paul's Cathedral in Boston, in order to learn about homelessness from folks who have experienced and are experiencing it. On Friday evening, they hear stories about how unhoused people survive in Boston, and on Saturday morning, they provide lunch, hot drinks, lots of warm clothing, and perhaps most importantly, kind listening and conversation.

Cradles to Crayons

St. John's endeavors to at least once a year invite our teens to Newtonville for the always popular clothes-sorting for at Cradles to Crayons.

Epiphany Dorchester

St. John's invites its teens to volunteer in the kitchen at the Epiphany School in Dorchester to prep and serve after-school meals.

For more information about any of our outreach opportunities for youth and teens, contact Emily Sugg at: youth.minister@stjohnswestwood.org

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Outreach for Youth/Teens

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