by Philip Grove, parishioner

I’ve been a member of St. John the Divine for my whole life. My grandmother was involved in the church from the begining and I attended services at St. John’s with my parents and grandparents all throughout my childhood. My grandmother and my dad have been involved with CCSC (Christian Community Service Center) for some time. Starting in middle school I spent several summers volunteering in the food and clothing pantry there.

I came back to St. John’s when I returned to Houston after college. It was good to come back into the fold, but for the first couple of years my involvement was limited to attending services. About a year and a half ago I decided to give the YoPro Ministry a try. I loved it and have been involved ever since. Matt Marino was leading the YoPro group at the time, and he asked me if I would be interested in serving as SJD’s church council representative to CCSC. I accepted and am now acting as a liaison between CCSC and SJD’s community outreach ministry.

Jesus commands us to be servant leaders, and outreach is a great way to do that. It’s important for everybody to find a way to live out that servant leadership. I have been very blessed in many ways, and I want to use these blessings to help others. I am fortunate to have grown up in a strong Christ-centered family. Being involved in outreach through CCSC is a way to give back and to see the tangible impact.

There are about 40 different churches that support CCSC, and representatives of each of them meet every few months to receive updates on the ministry. In addition, we share stories of the people who have been helped by CCSC. These stories are always my favorite part of the meeting because they serve as a reminder that God is working through this organization to help people through difficult times. Serving others and seeing God work through CCSC is very rewarding and very powerful.

Philip Grove has been a member of St. John the Divine for 26 years. He is very active in the Young Professionals ministry, is SJD's representative to CCSC, and is serving on the search committee for the sixth rector.