All our ministries
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
As parishioners, we are St. John’s. We are a community in Christ that cares for one another, for our neighbors and for our world. Pursuing justice and practicing kindness, we seek God’s intention for the world – shalom, abundant life for all. Through fellowship and service, we grow as disciples of Christ and help make God’s kingdom a reality on earth. St. John’s offers many opportunities for you to do this good work, engaging in the life of the church and connecting with our broader community. There is an activity that is perfect for you! Please join us in supporting worship, promoting spiritual growth, building community, and making a difference – at St. John’s, in our neighborhood and in the world!
Although our church building is closed at present due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our activities continue enthusiastically online, making a difference in our community and the world! For more information and to connect with fellowship and service opportunities at St. John’s, contact the Rev. Anne Derse, Deacon and Minister for Community Engagement (email@example.com). You can also reach out directly to the ministry and committee leaders indicated below.
We look forward to welcoming you!
Worship is central to spiritual and community life at St. John’s. We welcome everyone, of all ages, to participate in making it a beautiful and enriching experience. There are many opportunities, listed below, to support worship at our 8:00 am, 9:00 am, 11:15 am, or 5:00 pm services when we resume worship in our church building. Until then, please join us online at 10:00 am every Sunday for worship, at 10:00 am every Tuesday for morning prayer, and at 12:00 pm every Wednesday for noonday prayer. We invite you to read the lesson or lead prayers at our online services!
Contact Alex Duncan (firstname.lastname@example.org), Office and Communications Assistant, for information on logging in and to sign up to read the lesson or lead prayers.
9:00 am Sunday Service: Youth Acolyte Teams of 3rd through 12th graders lead procession and recession, light and extinguish candles, assist the clergy to set the altar at communion, and assist during the offertory.
11:15 am Sunday Service: Acolytes, either youth or adult, serve during this service.
Training is provided; experience and comfort level guide role assignment. No weekday obligations. Four Acolyte teams rotate in service throughout the church year.
Contact Christine Curto, parishioner.
The Altar Guild is an essential and sacred ministry, preparing all that is needed to set the table for the sacrament of Eucharist. It is perfect for those who like to serve behind the scenes on small, friendly teams. The Altar Guild cares for the items that grace the altar – candles, linens, chalices, bread plates – before and after services. Hands-on training is provided, and volunteers serve with a partner for one hour once or twice each month, on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
Contact Leslie Saltsman, parishioner.
Lay Eucharistic Ministers (LEMs) assist the clergy with the serving of wine, and occasionally bread, during communion and read prayers or Scripture during the service. Depending on the service, they may also light the candles, carry the cross, and receive the offering. LEMs have the option to serve “vested” (wearing a white alb) or “unvested” and are generally scheduled for 1-2 services a month.
Contact Richard Saltsman, parishioner, for the 9:00 am service, and Julia Andrews, parishioner, for the 11:15 am service.
Eucharistic Visitors bring fellowship and communion once a month to St. John’s parishioners who are unable to attend services. Training is provided.
Contact Penny Winder, parishioner.
Adorning the altar and the nave with beautiful flowers and enriching the worship experience is a special form of reverence. If you would like to learn the art of creating flower arrangements for worship services and special events, please join us in the Flower Guild! Training is provided, the schedule is flexible, and Flower Guild teams rotate, serving one month at a time.
Contact Liz Luck or Lizzie Glidden-Boyle, parishioners.
Healing prayer ministers listen, love, and pray with those who would like to receive healing prayer one-on-one at the 9:00 am and 11:15 am services. They offer these prayers during communion in the quiet, private Tower Chapel next to the sanctuary. The clergy provides training.
Contact Peter Plocki, Tom Hebert, or Marny Helfrich, parishioners.
Help illuminate the Scriptures for our community by reading the lessons during worship services. Volunteers who love sharing Scripture and reading aloud are invited to join the team! Scheduling is flexible, with volunteers typically reading once every month or so.
Contact Andrew Ramsey-Moor, parishioner, when in-person services are available. Contact Alex Duncan (email@example.com), Office & Communications Assistant, to participate in virtual services.
Inspire and guide our community in worship by joining one of St. John’s musical ensembles! Sing in one of our three choirs (age 8/3rd grade and up), learn to play handbells with the Norwood Ringers, or offer an instrumental or vocal solo during our services. See the Music Ministry page on the church website for detailed information on our digital offerings during the pandemic.
Contact Karl Robson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Director of Music.
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 – coordinating church space requirements, answering family requests, and directing ceremonial logistics.
Contact Alice Consolvo or Cathy O’Donnell, parishioners.
A warm welcome and friendly hospitality are hallmarks of St. John’s at all Sunday services!
At our 9:00 am service, St. John’s Welcome Teams offer parishioners and guests their first welcome at the door, with a smile, handshake and service bulletin. As this is our family service, youth and their families are especially encouraged to serve together as Welcome Teams. Teams usually serve for a month at a time on a rotational basis, but the schedule is flexible and substitutions are easily accommodated. Contact Scott McNulty, parishioner.
At our 11:15 am service, teams of ushers and greeters offer a warm welcome at the door. They provide bulletins as people arrive, get things ready for the service and help those who need amplified listening devices or assistance getting to a seat. Ushers and greeters typically serve for a month each quarter. Contact Suzanne Welch, parishioner.
GROW IN MIND, BODY, SPIRIT
At St. John’s, we believe that growing in mind, body, and spirit is an essential part of growing as a disciple of Christ. How will you grow?
St. John’s Adult Forum offers stimulating speakers, presentations, and activities to deepen our knowledge and commitment to community, spirituality, service, and justice. Participate in the Forum sessions online at 11:00 am every Sunday or join the planning team to help organize and run the Forums.
Contact Rev. Anne Derse (email@example.com), Deacon.
Join fellow parishioners and friends for an in-depth Bible Study online on Wednesdays at 10:00 am. Seekers and doubters are most welcome.
Contact Alex Duncan (firstname.lastname@example.org), Office and Communications Assistant, for login information.
Join the fun and dedicated group of volunteers who teach church school classes online on Sunday mornings from September to June. The team is comprised of teachers who love helping children and young adults learn about Christ’s teachings and grow in community, character, and creativity. Teachers work in teams of two and training is provided. Rotational schedules are available.
Join other inquirers in a unique in-depth, four-year, small group program of study covering the breadth and depth of the Christian tradition. St. John’s EfM group meets weekly online to explore the Old and New Testaments, church history, and theology.
Contact Barbara Ordway, parishioner.
Journey to Adulthood, or “J2A,” is a spiritual formation program for students in 7th to 12th grades. Through Bible Study, service projects and prayer, young people learn what it means to be an adult in Christian community. The curriculum includes exploration of the “4 S’s” (self, spirituality, sexuality, and society), confirmation at the National Cathedral, and a high-school pilgrimage.
Your library supports many ministries at St. John’s by providing information and inspiration. Join the Library Council to help select new adult and children’s materials, learn cataloguing, advise readers, and research faith formation questions. Training is provided and time commitment is flexible.
Contact Toni Hartman (email@example.com), Librarian.
We have many exciting opportunities to give life to St. John’s mission: “building community at the crossroads of faith and life.” Join us!
The Cooking for New Parents Ministry works alongside the New Parents Ministry to offer our warmest embrace and support to the newest members of our community and their families by cooking and delivering meals to new parents.
Contact Ellen & Chris Kalisz, parishioners.
Table fellowship was an important part of Christ’s ministry and is an essential part of Christian community. Join a Koinonia Dinner Group and meet periodically over the course of a program year with fellow parishioners to build fellowship and close personal connections!
Contact the Rev. Anne Derse (firstname.lastname@example.org), Deacon.
Join fellow readers monthly for conversation and fellowship.
Contact Earle O’Donnell, parishioner.
The Men’s Ministry is currently very active in community outreach to address the impact of COVID-19. In normal times, the Ministry sponsors periodic Sunday evening cookouts and two annual events, a late summer Crab Feast and a winter weekend retreat. Past retreats have focused on men and their work, men and their fathers, men and their brothers, and men and their children.
Contact John Ross (email@example.com), parishioner.
Join the enthusiastic team of volunteers who conceptualize and implement parish-wide and neighborhood-wide activities to build connections among St. John’s parishioners who live near one another!
Contact Denis Galbo or Barbara Ordway, parishioners.
The New Parents Ministry supports new parents by delivering soup and flowers, visiting if desired, and inviting the family to take part in a welcoming ceremony during a Sunday worship service.
Contact Carol May or Lizzie Glidden-Boyle, parishioners.
St. John’s outstanding Parish Life volunteers provide warm hospitality for community events throughout the year with wonderful food, table fellowship, the opportunity to connect with fellow parishioners in fun and relaxed settings. If you have taste for hosting, organizing, cooking, baking, or just generally helping out with an enthusiastic and congenial team, be part of this dynamic group that is vital to St. John’s community. Plan, publicize, cook, serve, decorate, and more with the Parish Life team. Time commitments and activities are flexible; sign up as your schedule allows.
Contact Amy Beaupre, parishioner.
St. John’s is blessed to have a wealth of life experience, knowledge, and commitment to community in its senior members. The Serving Seniors Ministry seeks to tap that great resource by building intergenerational connections and supporting our seniors’ engagement in service and the life of the church. Parishioners of all ages are invited to join!
Contact Dr. Joanne Allen, parishioner.
Have you ever acted in or directed a play, or been involved in backstage activities such as designing or creating sets, costumes, lighting, or sound? How about in front office activities like selling tickets, designing posters, programs, or advertising materials? St. John’s Drama Troupe is for you! The Troupe plans readings and productions of adult dramas that deal with the human condition.
Contact Rob Hartmann or Emily Morrison, parishioners.
Join St. John’s women in stimulating conversation and fellowship over great literature!
Contact Maire Hewitt or Pat Cascio, parishioners.
St. John’s Women’s Ministry offers fun, friendship, and spiritual growth through the annual Women’s Retreat and craft and other activities.
Contact Jane Houlihan, parishioner.
St. John’s Youth Group offers middle and high-school age students a place to meet regularly, hang out, enjoy food and fellowship, and participate in outings. We also offer opportunities for our youth to make a difference, including the annual Camp Joy mission trip to repair houses in Appalachia. We are currently meeting online, please join us!
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
St. John’s embraces service in our church community, in our broader neighborhood and in the world as a key component of our commitment to love our neighbor as ourselves. All are invited to get involved in the diverse opportunities outlined below. Come help us make a difference. Your energy and individual gifts are welcome and valued!
Parishioners at St. John’s are invited to support DC Books to Prisons, a project of the Washington Peace Center, which helps prisoners by sending gently used paperback books to them. There is often a mismatch between the books prisoners request and those donated by the public, so parishioners are asked to limit donations to the categories listed on the DC Books to Prisons website. There is a collection basket outside the parish library for donated paperbacks and we can arrange pick-up of books from your home.
Contact Peg Sanders, parishioner.
The Development for Community Committee oversees St. John’s engagement with the County on zoning and other regulations impacting its property.
Contact AJ Jackson, parishioner.
The Eco-Action team promotes consciousness of our charge to steward God’s creation and offers opportunities to explore and enjoy its beauty. Join in spiritual nature hikes and other activities to promote environmental responsibility.
Contact Jane Houlihan or Tom Kerr, parishioners.
Our Faith in Action (FIA) team promotes consciousness of and opportunities for engagement on a broad range of social justice issues, including fighting hate and racism and promoting gender equality and immigrant rights. The group meets the first Sunday of every month after the 10:00 am service.
Contact Penny Winder, parishioner.
Join fellow parishioners in efforts to prevent and reduce gun violence through prayer, education, and action. The Gun Violence Prevention (GVP) group meets on the third Sunday of the month following the 10:00 am service and all are welcome.
Contact Margaret Hilton, parishioner.
The Holy Land Committee (HLC) builds knowledge of the Holy Land and engagement with its issues and people. Join in working to promote education, support humanitarian projects related to the Holy Land, and engage in activities which deepen connections among Christians, Muslims, and Jews.
Contact Nancy Adams or Kirk Campbell, parishioners.
You can also look at the Holy Land Committee’s activities on their website.
St. John’s has a long tradition of supporting refugee families, including two from Vietnam in the early 1980s, and in recent years, a family of ten from the Democratic Republic of Congo and a family of 4 from Gaza. Volunteers help find and furnish housing, raise funds, tutor, organize medical care and employment, and help in financial planning. Join in this wonderful ministry to support our newest neighbors! Volunteers very welcome!
Contact Nancy Adams, parishioner.
St. John’s seeks to build strong connections with other faith traditions through our engagement in the Interfaith Council of Greater Washington, the Montgomery County Interfaith Community Advisory Group and relationships with diverse local faith communities, including Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh partners. Please join us in outreach to brothers and sisters of other faiths!
Contact Rob Hartmann, parishioner, or the Rev. Anne Derse (firstname.lastname@example.org), Deacon.
Nourishing Bethesda is a church-led coalition of many local community partners and the County that seeks to meet important needs in our broader community, create discipleship opportunities, and build a stronger community. In response to pandemic-related food insecurity, Nourishing Bethesda’s first initiative—the Family Food Distribution—provides free, healthy food to more than 300 families every Friday from 1-3 pm at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad. There are many ways you can help!
Contact John Ross, parishioner.
The Olive Oil Ministry is a subset of the Holy Land Committee. As part of a larger inter-congregational effort, the Olive Oil Ministry raises awareness of the Middle Eastern conflict, promotes peace by selling olive oil on select Sundays, and donates the proceeds to Tent of Nations, an organic farm near Bethlehem owned by the Palestinian Christian Nassar. Tent of Nations seeks to build bridges between people, including neighboring Jewish and Muslim communities, and between people and the land.
Contact Liz Everhart, parishioner.
St. John’s Opportunity Shop, a non-profit consignment and thrift store just two blocks from the church (4504 Walsh Street), supports our community and many outreach efforts of the parish through the sale of donated and consigned items. If you have a talent for retail or management, join the Op Shop team. Volunteer as your schedule permits. Shop assistants and cashiers are especially welcome, and the time commitment is only a couple hours a week.
Contact Maire Hewitt, parishioner.
Love and serve others through community projects and activities supported by St. John’s Outreach Committee. In addition to organizing and overseeing outreach efforts, every two years, the Outreach Committee holds a fundraising dinner and auction to help fund these projects. We welcome your support to plan and conduct the event! Contact Peter Plocki, parishioner.
Projects and activities supported by Outreach include:
- American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem – St. John’s supports a nurse’s salary at St. Luke’s Hospital, Nablus, West Bank through AFEDJ and has also taken on special fundraising projects such as raising money for a new ambulance for St. Luke’s and contributing to the operating budget of Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza. Contact the Rev. Anne Derse (email@example.com), Deacon & Community Life Coordinator.
- Bethesda Cares – St. John’s provides breakfast daily, helps fill other food needs, and conducts periodic toiletries drives for those experiencing homelessness in Bethesda. Sign up to drop off cereal, milk, and fruit as your schedule permits! Contact Ellen Miles, parishioner.
- Bishop Walker School – Bishop Walker School is a tuition-free school of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington for boys from traditionally underserved communities. Contact Liz Everhart, parishioner.
- Giant Grocery Cards – Sale of cards every Sunday morning supports our Outreach activities. Volunteers to sell cards are welcome! Contact Margaret Hilton, parishioner.
- Housing Up – Help furnish apartments for families moving from homeless shelters into their own homes. Contact Earle O’Donnell, parishioner.
- Interfaith Works Women’s Community-Based Shelter – Join a team to prepare a meal for homeless women in transition at the Women’s Community-Based Shelter in Rockville, Maryland. St. John’s provides meals for one week twice a year, usually in February and August. Contact Rick McUmber, parishioner.
- Literacy Council of Montgomery County – The Literacy Council provides educational programs to strengthen language proficiency, life skills, and community involvement. Become a tutor! Contact Liz Everhart, parishioner.
- Lutheran Social Services – St. John’s works with LSS on a range of activities, including our Refugee Ministry (see below). Contact Nancy Adams, parishioner.
- Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington – Serve those experiencing homelessness and unemployment through administrative support, resume writing, computer mentoring, and more. Contact Alex Schmandt, parishioner.
- Shepherd’s Table – Join St. John’s Shepherd’s Table team by shopping and delivering ingredients, cooking chili, and serving dinner to those experiencing homelessness at Shepherd’s Table in Silver Spring, Maryland. We cook and serve dinner on the 4th Sunday of every month. Contact Julia Andrews, parishioner.
- A Wider Circle – AA Wider Circle offers a range of volunteer opportunities to help fight poverty through educational programs and furnishing homes. Contact the Rev. Anne Derse (firstname.lastname@example.org) Deacon & Community Life Coordinator.
Our advocacy team was founded to amplify St. John’s efforts to fight for social justice in our community. To this end, we seek to develop relationships with those who govern our county, state, and country and to lend our voices to the marginalized.
Contact Lisa Raisner or Annelise Hafer, parishioners.
Stephen Ministers are trained Christian caregivers who provide confidential, supportive listening to parishioners who seek spiritual support while facing personal challenges or making difficult life choices. The 50 hours of training required to be commissioned is offered periodically. Stephen Ministers typically meet once a week for one hour with their care receivers as long as needed and meet monthly with Stephen Leaders for supervision and continuing education once trained and commissioned.
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Stephen Minister or if you or someone you know would like to have a Stephen Minister, please contact John Mertens, Rob Hartmann, or Penny Winder (email@example.com), Stephen Leaders and parishioners. You can also learn more on the Stephen Ministers website.
LEADERSHIP AND SUPPORT
St. John’s is an active, growing parish and we rely on our strong lay leaders to provide the oversight and management needed to keep it thriving. There’s a place for you!
If you have public relations, communications, marketing or technology skills, consider helping the Communications Team get the word out at St. John’s! We work through our website, Facebook page, Crossroads E-Newsletter, Sunday service bulletin and the West Avenue Lobby Monitor to keep parishioners apprised of the many activities at St. John’s.
Contact Jane Houlihan, parishioner.
St. John’s Finance Committee works with the vestry, clergy, and treasurer to oversee the church budget and finances. The committee meets one evening each month and participates in 1-2 budget planning sessions early in the year.
Contact Lane Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org), parishioner and Treasurer, or David Hilton, parishioner and Finance Committee Chair.
The Justice and Outreach Coordinating Committee, a standing committee of the vestry, oversees, facilitates and coordinates the justice and outreach work of St. John’s.
Contact Nancy Adams, parishioner, or Rev. Anne Derse (email@example.com) Deacon.
Our Memorial Garden team assists with arrangements for interment in St. John’s Memorial Garden. The vestry-appointed custodians carry out vestry policy regarding the Memorial Garden, meet with parishioners interested in interring ashes in the columbarium and assist with other duties.
Contact Kathryn Suarez, parishioner.
Help with memorial gifts made to St. John’s in memory of loved ones. Oversee the acknowledgment of contributions and use of memorial funds. Help maintain “The Book of Remembrance.”
Contact Richard Saltsman, parishioner.
The Norwood Parish Fund (NPF) helps make new ministries, programs, and special projects at St. John’s possible. The NPF makes grants for outreach activities, new ministry start-ups, and one-time projects to improve St. John’s facilities and serve its mission. If you have a generous heart and a commitment to thoughtful, fair stewardship of resources donated to the fund through planned giving, please consider joining the NPF Board. Board members are appointed.
Contact Johnna Story, parishioner.
Work with the clergy and vestry to manage personnel matters at St. John’s as our Parish grows.
Contact John Welch, parishioner.
Help keep St. John’s building and grounds beautiful and in good working order. The Property Committee is open to all and meets one evening a month to plan and execute projects. All parishioners are also invited to join in fun Saturday Beautification Days 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, connect with others and have fun while making St. John’s beautiful!
Contact Suzanne Welch, parishioner.
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 Kevin Kehus, parishioner.
Tellers account for pledge payments and other income received during Sunday morning services. Each team of three tellers serves about once every five weeks for an hour after Sunday services to count money received. New volunteers are welcome and will be trained by experienced tellers.
Contact Penny Winder, parishioner.
Join the “Board” of the Church – run for the Vestry! Elections are held every April at the Annual Parish Meeting. Vestry members serve one, two, or three year terms. The Vestry meets the second Tuesday of each month.