St. John’s is very active in providing outreach in the local area. Throughout the year parishioners can get involved in the SHARE Food Program, the Safe Haven Winter Shelter, the Prayer Shawl Knitting Circle, and Back to School Backpacks. To help the parish show support to the community during the holiday season members can help deliver Thanksgiving dinner packages and Christmas Gifts to children in transitional housing. All the ways to reach out are listed below.
SHARE Food Program
The SHARE Food Program is a ministry that is supported by a discounted food bank in Prince George’s County and by financial gifts from our own parishioners at St. John’s. It serves mainly persons and families who are participating in the county’s Transitional Housing Program. These clients can purchase a box of food to help supplement items bought at a grocery and pick this food up at St. John’s. Some boxes are delivered directly to the participants of the Transition Housing Program. Parishioners can buy (i.e. donate) a whole box of food that is distributed to those in need. People within our parish may also purchase these foods for their personal use at the same reduced prices.
Safe Haven Winter Shelter
For one week each winter St. John’s provides nightly shelter for a cohort of men who have no home. We join approximately 15 other congregations in providing this important support during the coldest part of the year. Parishioners prepare and serve both an evening meal and a breakfast for each day and provide overnight supervision.
Prayer Shawl Knitting Circle
This group gathers on Tuesday evenings every other week to enjoy knitting beautiful prayer shawls which are taken to persons who are ill as a sign of our congregation’s commitment to enfold them in our prayer support and compassion. Those who gather also share in the rich fellowship of the Spirit as they gather each week and support one another as well.
Back to School Backpacks
This ministry is to the many young children in our county who will not have the basic resources needed to start school in the fall without our generosity and that of many other churches and civic organizations.
Thanksgiving Dinner Packages
Through financial donations made by members of St. John’s, this congregation annually purchases fifty Thanksgiving dinner packages, and distributes a complete feast, including a whole turkey, to those in our SHARE program.
Christmas Gifts for Children in Transitional Housing
This is outreach sponsored by the children and families of our own Sunday School. Individual bags of small gifts and candies and a Target or Giant gift card are given to the families in the Prince George’s Count Transition Housing Program.