Volunteering at St. John’s

Whatever your talents and interests, whatever amount of time you have to give, you will find an opportunity to serve others at St. John’s. Each of the groups listed here is looking for new volunteers. Joining them is a great way to meet new friends, deepen connections and experience the joy of giving. Try something new – you are welcome and needed at St. John’s!

Click on the 6 tabs below to learn more.

  • Join the teams involved in Sunday worship services.

    During the service

    9:00 AM Youth Acolyte Teams – If you are a student (3rd grade through high school), we invite you to join one of our teams. Our volunteers light candles, process with the cross and banners, help ushers during the offertory and celebrants during communion, and lead the recessional at the end of the service. Training provided; responsibilities increase with age. Each of our four acolyte teams serve about once a month during the school year. Contact parishioner Christine Curto or Vestry liaison Nancy Petrisko.

    9:00 AM Welcome Teams – Give people a warm welcome at the door on Sunday mornings, with a smile, handshake and program. Help families with young children find Children’s Chapel or the nursery. Volunteer on your own or with your whole family. Young children make great Welcome Team members. Each team usually serves for a month, with substitutions cooperatively arranged. Contact parishioners Greg Murdoch or Suzanne Welch or Vestry liaison Nancy Petrisko.

    11:15 AM Acolytes – Volunteer to serve as an acolyte for the 11:15 AM Sunday service. We light the altar candles, lead the procession, and help ushers with the offertory. Schedule is flexible. Contact parishioner Christine Curto or Vestry liaison Nancy Petrisko.

    11:15 AM Service Ushers and Greeters – Join the teams of ushers and greeters who get things ready for the service, greet people at the door, and help those who need amplified listening devices or assistance getting to a seat. Contact parishioners Mike Belt, RoseMarie Fonseca, or Suzanne Welch or Vestry liaison Nancy Petrisko.

    Choirs – Sing in one of St. John’s four choirs, for adults, children, and teens. Ring in our handbell choir. Perform an instrumental or vocal solo during our services. Our youngest members are 5 years old. There is a place for you in our music program. Learn more. Contact our Director of Music Ministries, Anne Timpane or Vestry liaison Liz Everhart.

    Healing Prayer Ministry – As part of our continuum of pastoral care, serve as a healing prayer minister. You will listen, love and pray for those who accept the invitation to receive healing prayer one-to-one during communion. We process with the other lay ministers during worship and offer our healing prayers in a calm secluded spot near the sanctuary. We regularly pray for each other and those on St. John’s prayer list. Contact our Associate Rector, Sarah Lapenta-H, or Vestry liaison Ann Derse.

    Lay Eucharistic Ministers – Serve wine and bread during communion at Sunday morning services. Lead prayers, read lessons and help clergy by performing acolyte duties. You will be trained by our rector and associate rector and assisted by experienced Lay Eucharistic Ministers. Contact parishioners Richard Saltsman or Penny Winder, or Vestry liaison Nancy Petrisko.

    Lectors – Read the lessons for the day during morning worship services. Volunteers with a love of reading aloud are welcome to sign up to read. You will get the appointed lessons in advance by email so you can practice before you read in church. Contact parishioner Susan Schulken or Vestry liaison Nancy Petrisko.

    Behind the scenes

    Altar Guild – Help prepare the church for communion and care for the items that grace our altar – candles, linens, chalices, cups and plates. Hands-on training provided; you’ll serve with a partner. Each team spends about an hour performing these duties once every 2 to 4 weeks. Contact parishioner Leslie Saltsman or Vestry liaison Anna Smith.

    Bread Bakers Guild – Bake bread at home and bring it to church on Sunday morning for the 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM communion services. Recipes and easy to follow instructions provided; volunteers take turns. Contact parishioner Tom St. Clair or Vestry liaison Anna Smith.

    Flower Guild – Create flower arrangements for worship services and decorations for special seasonal events. The Flower Guild has a workroom on the lower level of the church. Training provided; team members take turns monthly. Contact parishioner Lizzie Glidden-Boyle or Vestry liaison Anna Smith.

    Tellers – Tellers account for pledge payments and other income after Sunday morning services. Each team of three tellers serves about once every five weeks. New volunteers are welcome – you will be trained by experienced tellers. Contact parishioner Penny Winder or Vestry liaison Anna Smith.

    Wedding Team – Help us serve members of the Parish and the local community by making our beautiful space available to couples who wish to marry in our church. Assist before, during, and after weddings by coordinating church space requirements, answering family requests, and directing ceremonial logistics. Contact parishioner and Wedding team co-chair Alice Consolvo or Vestry liaison Anna Smith.

    Worship Advisory Committee – Enrich our worship services with other representatives from our worship ministries, giving Clergy feedback (based upon your experiences, observations, and what you’ve heard from others) on what has worked well and what might be added/improved in planning for upcoming worship services. Contact the Rector, Sari+ or Vestry liaison Anna Smith.

  • Provide pastoral care to people when they are having difficult times.

    Healing Prayer Ministry – As part of our continuum of pastoral care, serve as a healing prayer minister. You will listen, love and pray for those who accept the invitation to receive healing prayer one-to-one during communion. We process with the other lay ministers during worship and offer our healing prayers in a calm secluded spot near the sanctuary. We regularly pray for each other and those on St. John’s prayer list. Annual refresher/training with clergy required. Contact our Associate Rector, Sarah Lapenta-H, or Vestry liaison Ann Derse.

    Lay Eucharistic Visitors (LEVs) – After communion, Lay Eucharistic Visitors take bread and wine to those who are cannot attend church because they are ill or not mobile. When we visit in paired teams, we are a pastoral and sacramental presence and express Christ’s love. Training and licensing is required. Annual refresher/training with clergy required. If you are interested in being commissioned as a Lay Eucharistic Visitor, speak to the Associate Rector, Sarah Lapenta-H or Vestry liaison Ann Derse.

    Pastoral Care Advisory Committee – Help strengthen our net of pastoral care with other representatives from our pastoral care ministries, giving Clergy feedback (based upon your experiences, observations, and what you’ve heard from others) on what is working well and what might be added/improved in offering parish-wide pastoral care. Contact the Associate Rector, Sarah+, or Vestry liaison Ann Derse.

    Stephen Ministers – We listen in confidence to parishioners who need this kind of spiritual support while facing personal troubles or making difficult life choices. We receive 50 hours of training to be commissioned and then meet monthly with Stephen Leaders for supervision and continuing education. Contact parishioners John Mertens and Penny Winder or Vestry liaison Ann Derse.

    St. John’s “Knorwood Knitters” – Knit prayer shawls given to people who need a tangible reminder that they are loved by God and cared for by others. If you know how to knit or crochet or want to learn, please join us. We are happy to show you how to make a prayer shawl. Contact parish secretary, Liz Luck, or Vestry liaison Ann Derse.

  • Join our members who teach and plan the classes and programs at St. John’s that help us grow in knowledge and faith.

    Adult Forum Committee – Help plan and find speakers for the Sunday 10am hour adult forums, programs to enhance the spiritual and intellectual life of the parish. Contact parishioners Carolyn Peirce, Anne Wake, or Vestry liaison Belinda Russell.

    Church School Teachers – Teach a church school class on Sunday mornings. Join a team of nearly three dozen volunteers dedicated to helping children and young adults learn Christ’s teachings and grow in community, character and creativity. Teachers work in teams of two, with classes on Sundays at 10 am from September to June. Contact Church School Director, Nancy Derr, or Vestry liaison Belinda Russell.

    J2A Auction for St. John’s Teen Pilgrimage – Be part of the team that plans and carries out a fabulous parish-wide silent and live auction to support the international pilgrimage for St. John’s Journey to Adulthood teen class members. Held every 2 years. All J2A parents help out, and other volunteers are welcome. Contact Nancy Derr, Church School Director, or Vestry liaison Belinda Russell.

    Library Council – Assist the Librarian. Select materials, catalog, advise readers, provide media for St. John’s spiritual formation and education groups, do research and promote use of the library. Choose activities that interest you. Time commitment is flexible. Contact our Librarian, Toni Hartman, or Vestry liaison Belinda Russell.

    Spiritual Practice Planning – Help plan opportunities for learning about and experiencing spiritual practices, such as Centering Prayer, Labyrinth walks, and spiritually rooted book discussions. The planning committee coordinates and takes turns leading these opportunities. Contact parishioner Bob Uhar or Vestry liaison Belinda Russell.

  • Use your leadership, management, and organizational skills to help the Vestry with business management, financial planning, stewardship and conservation of our grounds and buildings.

    The Vestry – St. John’s elected governing body is responsible for managing the corporate life of the parish. The Vestry establishes the parish budget, oversees finances, plans and authorizes parish activities, coordinates fundraising, oversees building and grounds planning and maintenance, and makes personnel decisions. There are 15 members elected by parishioners at the church’s annual meeting in April. Terms are staggered, thee years. Let any Vestry member or members of the nominating committee know if you are interested in joining the Vestry. The groups below report to the Vestry.

    Archives – Protect and preserve records of St. John’s rich history, and share with the parish the interesting stories you find. Contact St. John’s Archivist and parishioner Cathy O’Donnell or Vestry liaison Lon Anderson.

    Communications Committee – Use your expertise in the field of communications, graphic design or public speaking. Create print media, signs and banners, write for the newsletter and get involved in communicating our mission and programs to the wider community. Contact co-chairs Sue Rohan, Anne Lubenow, or Vestry liaison Lon Anderson.

    Eco Action Team – Help St. John’s care for God’s creation through projects that conserve energy, green our operations, and raise awareness. Contact chair Jane Houlihan.

    Finance Committee – Appointed by St. John’s Senior Warden, members of the Finance Committee help the Vestry budget. We plan, track and oversee the finances of St. John’s. Let the Senior Warden John Ross or Vestry liaison Anna Smith know of your qualifications if you are interested in joining us.

    Memorial Committee – Help with memorial gifts to St. John’s made in memory of loved ones. Oversee acknowledging contributions; receive, evaluate, and recommend requested use of memorial funds; and maintain “The Book of Remembrance.” Traditionally, the committee has consisted of the chairman and the Rector (ex officio). Contact parishioner David Perkins.

    Memorial Garden – The Vestry-appointed Custodian carries out Vestry policy regarding St. John’s Memorial Garden. The Custodian meets with parishioners interested in interring ashes in the collumbarium. Volunteer to help the Custodian with duties including opening and closing the niches. Contact parishioner Nancy Wiecking, Custodian of the Memorial Garden.

    Norwood Parish Fund (NPF) Board – Help make new programs and special projects at St. John’s possible. The NPF makes funds available for outreach, start-up missions, and special projects. Serving on the board requires a generous heart and commitment to thoughtful, fair stewardship of funds donated to the fund through planned giving. Board members are appointed. If you are interested, speak to the Junior Warden Roxy Wolfe or Vestry liaison Bill Fry or click here to learn more.

    Adjacent Property Committee – Represent St John’s interests as plans to develop the adjacent property move forward. Contact Vestry liaison Bill Fry.

    Personnel Committee – Advise the Rector confidentially on personnel issues. Members of the committee managing our employees and addressing their concerns consists of the Rector, the Senior Warden, a former Senior Warden, the Treasurer, the Chair and one or two appointed parishioners. If you are interested in being appointed, speak to the Senior Warden John Ross or Vestry liaison Becky Neal.

    Property Committee – Help keep the building and grounds beautiful and in working order. The committee is open and meets monthly to plan projects. Fun Saturday Beautification Days happen regularly – all parishioners are invited. Check the calendar and Crossroads newsletter for upcoming opportunities. Contact parishioner and co-chair John Gallivan, Junior Warden Roxy Wolfe, or Vestry liaison Brad Kennedy.

    Stewardship Committee – Help with St. John’s annual fall pledge campaign, a mission-critical project that sets our budget for the year and gives us the resources to continue to grow into God’s vision for our church. Work includes planning, publicity, web design, outreach and more. Contact Kurt Ellison, Vestry liaison Tom Hebert, or Junior Warden Roxy Wolfe.

    Website Task Force – Use your web design, writing, programming and content management expertise to help St. John’s keep its website clear, clean, concise and up to date. Contact chair Jane Houlihan.

  • Help St. John’s be a vibrant and loving church community.

    Beautification Days – Join us for a few hours on selected Saturdays to keep our building and grounds in top shape. Plant flowers, paint walls, repair fences and furnishings, rake, prune, weed, mend, clean, fix and install. Talk, laugh and have fun. After serving at two Beautification Days you will be eligible to buy a coveted “Property of St. John’s” T-shirt to show you support the Property Committee. Coffee and Donuts provided to fuel your efforts. Contact Property Committee co-chair John Gallivan or Vestry liaison Brad Kennedy.

    Connections – Help newcomers learn about St. John’s, join the parish family and connect to their interests. Volunteers participate in two in-person meetings a year; respond and correspond via e-mail; and participate in Inquirer’s Classes, Liturgies of Welcome, and new member brunches, to the extent possible three times a year. Volunteers welcome. Contact parishioner Suzanne Welch or Vestry liaison Tom Hebert.

    Felix Hora – Join the planning team for Felix Hora (Latin for Happy Hour), a social community coordinated by young adults with weekly activities organized around fun, spirituality, and service. The planning team meets regularly to plan (shared leadership, core participation, and communication are key). Planning meetings are open to all young adults and gatherings are open to all. Contact coordinator and Vestry liaison Chris Obara.

    Parish Life – Be part of the dynamic group that is vital to the St. John’s community. We plan parish dinners and other events where people who attend our many different services come together to share food, fun and fellowship. You can plan, publicize, cook, serve, decorate and more with the Parish Life team. Time commitment and activities are flexible. Contact parishioners and co-chairs Johnna Story and Rebecca Pasini, or Vestry liaison Chris Obara.

  • Give back to the local and global community through hands-on service projects.

    Outreach Committee – Love and serve others through community projects planned by St. John’s Outreach Committee. This planning committee is open; all are welcome. You can help plan projects at monthly committee meetings or participate in one or more projects throughout the year. Check the calendar for upcoming opportunities. See list of our regular projects below. Contact parishioner Langdon Healy or Vestry liaison Liz Everhart; for Shepherd’s Table information contact parishioner Margaret Hilton.

      • Shepherd’s Table – Cook chili and help feed the homeless at Shepherd’s Table in Silver Spring, MD.
      • Community-Based Shelter – Prepare meals for homeless women in transition at the Community-Based Shelter in Rockville, MD.
      • Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington – Serve homeless and unemployed persons through administrative support, resume writing, computer mentoring and more. Provide support and encouragement to those with HIV/AIDS at luncheons and retreats.
      • Habitat for Humanity – Refurbish or construct homes with Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County.
      • Transitional Housing Corporation – Furnish apartments for families moving from homeless shelters into their own homes, with the Transitional Housing Corporation in Washington, DC.
      • Outreach Auction – Join the team that plans and carries out a parish-wide silent and live auction to support St. John’s outreach projects. Held every 2 years.

    Camp Joy (Christian Appalachian Mission Project – Joining Other Youth) – Join St. John’s youth group in our annual week-long summer service project, repairing homes and building improvements for those in need who live in the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia and Western Maryland. Open to all members of our youth group and their parents. Contact Church School Director, Nancy Derr.

    The Opportunity Shop – Volunteer at the nonprofit thrift and consignment shop sponsored by St. John’s to benefit the community and local charities, at 4504 Walsh Street in Chevy Chase. Contact Vestry liaison Liz Everhart or click here to learn more.

    Walk for the Homeless – Walk during the church school hour to help Fannie Mae’s Walk for the Homeless program. Check calendar for dates; walk is open to church school students with permission from parents. Contact Church School Director, Nancy Derr, or Vestry liaison Liz Everhart.