Going into God’s Mission Field
For 147 years, the disciples at St. John’s have brought the Word of God to the mission field known as Springfield, Illinois. Through our partnerships with service organizations in the community, we have taken the call to become the hands and feet of Christ to heart and have followed the command to care for one another.
Over the past year, the Social Ministries team has been in discussion and discernment as to how God is calling us to continue taking God’s Word into Springfield through our many ministry partnerships. As we began this process, we witnessed that there are many more opportunities and ways we can be connected than one group of people can effectively coordinate. In order to best continue this mission, as well as provide opportunities for new partnerships, the Social Ministry team has decided it would be best if we split into more topic and area specific ministry teams. This will allow us to strengthen our relationships with community partners, such as Contact Ministries, Grace Food Pantry, and many others, as well as give us more opportunities to partner with other organizations. On the next page, I’ll introduce you to the new ministry teams.
Christmas Ministry Team: This ministry team oversees two main projects around Christmastime. First, the team is responsible for running Breakfast with Santa. Through our partnership with the Committee for Children, this event serves as one of their major fundraisers for the year. We also will be responsible for the Mitten Tree, and distributing hats, mittens, scarves, and other cold weather clothing throughout the city through our partnerships with local schools and other social service organizations
Hunger Ministry Team: Our hunger ministry team partners with organizations in Springfield with the primary focus of feeding people. Right now, we work with providing food and help for the Grace Food Pantry through our weekly collections and Thanksgiving food drive, as well as working with the St. John’s Breadline, by providing help as well as by partaking in Breadline Sunday in November.
Neighborhood Ministry Team: This team is primarily responsible for the behind the scenes work with our summer Dinners on the Lawn. However, we are always looking for new ways in which we can strengthen our relationships with our neighbors at Fairlawn and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Maternal Care Team: This team supports and partners with service organizations that work with providing care for mothers in our community. We are currently helping the MERCY House by providing Mother’s Day gifts and by collecting items for layettes to be given to the Kumler Outreach Ministries.
Prison Ministry Team: Currently, we are working with Lutheran Social Service of Illinois in providing volunteers for the Storybook project, although in the past we have also worked with adult literacy programs and helped by collecting and distributing clothing.
School Support Ministry Team: This team works closely with our partnerships between St. John’s and Dubois and Harvard Park Elementary Schools. We are always looking for volunteers who are interested in tutoring students, as well as volunteers to help out teachers in any way. We also help run the Harvard Park Hams around the Easter season.
United Cerebral Palsy Ministry Team: We work, in partnership with UCP, on providing cards to UCP clients around many major holidays, as well as providing Christmas presents and a fellowship opportunity around the Christmas holiday.
If you feel God calling you to help out in our local mission field through one of these ministry teams, or if you have another idea on how St. John’s can help our community, please talk to Pastor Adam, and he will get you connected to the right person.