GO Ministry Journal

St. John the Divine GO Ministry & Community Needs 

Posts in May 2020 - COVID-19 Pandemic 

May 31st - With May ending and the summer upon us, I'd like to share a few updates with you.

  • Tany James has accepted the role of GO Ministry Manager and will be working closely with me and the GO committees: Local MIssions, World Missions and the Strategic Missions Team. Please congratlate her and continue to pray for healing and completer recovery from her shoulder injury.
  • Local Missions is reaching out to community partners for prayer and to assess their needs. The team will be meeting later in June to consider grant applications and decide upon awards.
  • World MIssions met recently to consder requests from world partners they've supported in the past. After prayerful and considered deliberations, financial awards were decided upon and will now to the Vestry for approval. 
  • GO Mnistry Communications - as you may know we're making efforts to improve communciations about parochial outreach, both financial and direct volunteer engagement. Toward that end, I welcome any stories you are willing to share that help members of our parish understand how God using us, individually and corporately, to minsiter among the poor and the marginalized in the name of Jesus.
  • Volunteer Roles -  If your serving in the community on a consistent basis I'd like to hear from you. It can be as simple as, "I routinely volunteer at SEARCH.", or "I serve on the Board of Agape Development."  My intent is to compile and highlight the ways our members are engaged in community service; no names will be used, just a description of the role and the organization.
  • Lastly, Tany and I want to identify individuals and teams that are will to act as liaisons with partner organizations, local or global. A few teams and individual liaisons already exist; Lord of the Streets, ECHOS, The Beacon all have faithful leadership that help connect with and coordinate volunteer and prayer efforts. Please contact Tany or I if you'd like to be involved with GO in this manner.
  • Please feel free to send along your questions and comments about how SJD is GOing and serving in the world.

Week of May 4th - The SJD Prayer Ministry and Local Mission Teams are reaching out to several of our community partners to attentively listen to, and to pray for those serving on the front lines. Calls went out to ECHOS, Agape Development and The Beacon this week. These call have helped us better understand the challenges our partners are facing during the pandemic, and hopefully to provide some sense of comfort and that they are not alone in their service. 

Other Information and Activity

Lead-in photo for GO Journal 

Read more from Dr. Michael Berkeley 
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Recent Financial Gifts to Community Partners

St. John the Divine received a generous grant from the Brown Foundation, Inc. in 2019 that has enabled the church to provide financial donations to several organizations in our community working to provide relief to individuals and families adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • The Forge for Families is open and providing an Essential Day Care (school) program for students whose parents are first responders/essential workers; shopping for parents and the elderly; meeting virtually with teens throughout the week to continue encouraging educational progress and Bible study, and offering Ladies Bible Study virtually on a weekly basis. 
  • The East Harris County Empowerment Council (EHCEC) serves the unincorporated areas of Galena Park, Crosby Sheldon, Channelview and North Shore. This area is a food desert and is underserved, in comparison to areas of the county, by the Houston Food Bank at this time. The pandemic has exacerbated the accessibility of food for seniors, low income families and individuals, and those who’ve lost their jobs. EHCEC will use donated funds to provide gift cards to those facing shortage of essential food items. 
  • Agape Development, a long-time community partner of St. John the Divine, has been serving families and individuals in the Third Ward for more than a decade. Their response involves screening individual and families for acute short-term financial needs, and when identified, addressing that need with one-time stipends. Funds donated by St. John the Divine will help cover expenses and stipends related to their work in the community. 

In addition to these donations the Local Outreach Team and the Vestry of St. John the Divine made contributions totalling $90,000 to aid several of our community partners (listed below) facing a dramatic increase in need for food, shelter and basic medical services.

  • Christian Community Service Center (CCSC)
  • Kid's Meals
  • Epiphany Community Health Outreach Services (ECHOS)
  • The Beacon
  • Lord of the Streats (LOTS)
  • Mission of Yahweh 
  • L.I.F.E. Houston
  • Covanent House

Please pray for those in distress and need, and for our community partner organizations that serve them in these challenging times.