“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. “
St. John’s legacy of outreach to the community spans decades. As servant leaders and disciples, we reach out to those who are in need with aid, prayer and encouragement. We remain committed to showing God’s love and compassion to people in our local community and to the wider community and beyond who have been impacted by natural disasters and war. The monthly newsletters and weekly e-blasts highlight seasonal and global giving opportunities as well. Our goal is to make outreach accessible, meaningful, and spiritually rewarding for all who volunteer.
St. John on the Mountain has been providing support to and partnering with CASA SHaW since 2017. CASA SHaW (Court Appointed Special Advocates in Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren counties) is an organization that supports children placed into the child welfare / foster care system in our surrounding communities.
CASA itself is a network of well-trained, trauma-informed volunteers from our community that help children of all ages who have been removed from their home. CASA volunteers make best interest recommendations on behalf of the children in court. CASA’s goal is to ensure that every child served receives the resources and services needed to thrive and not just survive adverse childhood experiences. CASA meets with the child(ren) at least once a month to see how they're doing - to see if they're healthy or even doing well in school. The CASA representative also has the opportunity to speak to everyone involved with the case: biological family members, teachers, doctors, resource family members, caseworkers, etc. CASA volunteers are an independent voice for the child(ren) they serve. They volunteer and work on their case until the child(ren) is returned home or placed within a safe, permanent home.
The outreach committee at SJOTM has led efforts on behalf of CASA in the collection of the following items for children in need:
Packed 1st Night bags for children being removed from their homes in the middle of the night
Backpacks filled with school supplies
Diapers and wipes
Gift cards for food, gas, clothing and other necessities
Toys, games, crafts and puzzles to fill a Holiday Shop for parents to select Christmas gifts for their children
Holiday "Wish List" fulfillments
SJOTM has also supported events to raise money to help fund needed CASA programs.
Learn more about CASA SHaW here: https://casashaw.org/, or click on the banner to donate:
Food Bank of Somerset County
We serve the Lord by supporting others in our local and wider community, with our efforts to feed hungry people. There are multiple collection sites on our Church campus for people to donate the items most needed by the Food Bank Network of Somerset County. We have supported the Food Bank financially and with donations of food for more than 35 years. Our efforts include staffing the mobile Food Pantry which is located at the United Reformed Church in Somerville every Saturday morning in the months of April and November. We chose April and November because those are the months when we deliver hams, turkeys and lasagnas that have been donated by our parishioners for the Easter and Thanksgiving holidays.
Giving Garden at Ross Farms
Stalwart gardeners from St John on the Mountain and neighboring churches plant, tend, and gather the produce at the Giving Garden. In cooperation with the Friends of the Ross Farm and several community groups, we help plant the seeds, weed, and water, and we reap the fruits of our labor.
We take the fresh vegetables to the Food Bank of Somerset County in Somerville, the Homeless Vets program at the Lyons VA and our local Food Pantry at the Presbyterian Church where they go right onto the tables of our neighbors. You are always invited to dig, plant, weed and harvest the crops in the peace of this beautiful place.
You may come on any scheduled work session days that work for you, and for a portion or all of a work session. You do not need to advise us of your availability for a session, just come and join in if you are able. If you have never been, drop by to see this beautiful, peaceful and productive place.
If you are coming to work, please use sunscreen and bug spray, bring plenty of water or other beverage to keep your fluids up, and bring a weeding tool and/or trowel if you have them. We do have plenty of tools if you don’t.