Social Ministry has been a vital part of St. John Neumann since the founding of the parish. The Social Ministry Board celebrates more than 30 years of service to persons in need. Through their efforts, the parish community attempts to live out the commandment to love one another.
As you can see by the activities listed below, we are very active in our Social Ministry and none of this would be possible, though, without the generosity of our parishioners. Please take the time to consider helping us in any way that you can.
Our programs serve all those in need regardless of race, color or creed!
Receiving a card during a crisis lets those who are suffering know that the church community is thinking about them. Sympathy cards and get-well wishes are sent regularly to parishioners. Cards are also sent to families who have had a child baptized and to those newly married at St. John's. To contact this ministry see the leadership page. Or, if you know of someone who could use some “cheering up”, contact the office center.
Food Pantry and Distribution Ministry
A food pantry is maintained in the Church Center, through the generous donations of our parishioners. This pantry is used for emergencies and also four times during the year when we distribute groceries to approximately 30 individuals and families in the area. The families of the parish keep the pantry organized and keep us apprised of our needs. This is an area where we need volunteers to shop, pack, and deliver the food. If you can help or if you know of someone in need see the leadership page. We also support local food-banks with donations of food and money.
Four times a year our tree in the Narthex blooms with gift tags requesting items needed by people in difficult situations. Over the years parishioners have purchased items or gift certificates for homeless persons, hospitalized and institutionalized adults and children; baby items for pregnancy centers; and items for families in our neighborhoods who cannot afford basic needs.
This ministry reaches out to meet the needs of persons in the Califon area unable to cope with serious illness, old age or disabilities. Eucharist Ministers bring Jesus on a regular basis to these individuals as well as to the residents of the Little Brook Nursing Home and a local group home for adults with disabilities. Contact the church office if you or someone you know would benefit from this ministry.
Soup Kitchen Meals-SHIP and Elijah's Promise
St. John's provides meals and volunteers to serve them at the Samaritan Homeless Interim Program (SHIP) SHIP's Galley Soup Kitchen in Somerville, NJ. We serve the noon meal at SHIP twice a month on the second Monday and fourth Thursday. Volunteers are needed to help prepare casseroles and serve the meal. Our yearly 'Souper Bowl of Caring' collection and food harvested from the Project Earth Garden benefit both SHIP and the Elijah's Promise Soup Kitchen in New Brunswick. To learn more or to volunteer, see the contact on our leadership page.
Interfaith Hospitality network / family promise
St. John's supports this program that provides temporary shelter for local homeless families. We are a support parish for the host church, Spruce Run Lutheran providing food and parishioners to be hosts to the visiting clients. See
here for detailed information.
Nursing Home Visits
Once a month a group of parishioners visits the Little Brook Nursing Home here in Califon. They provide entertainment and refreshments for the residents. Children are always a welcome part of these visits. In June, residents of Little Brook are transported to the church center for a picnic in their honor. During the Christmas season, volunteers visit to sing carols and share Christmas cookies. See the leadership page for contact information to volunteer.
This Ministry supports the Pregnancy Aid Center and residences for expectant mothers. The Parish Pro-Life ministry also participates in diocesan activities in support of all life including the unborn, the infirm, the elderly, the terminally ill and the incarcerated.
project earth garden/Gift of Good Land Community Garden
Located in the rear of our property, our Earth Garden coordinated by Anne Germino truly serves many purposes. As stewards of God’s earth we help create an environment of nurturing by utilizing nature to provide food-banks and soup kitchens with nourishing foods. Lessons of protecting the earth are also used to educate our youth. Photos of the garden are
Thanks we have received:
"... Once again we are truly blessed here at Anderson House. Thanks to you, our residents celebrated a Magical Christmas. What a sight to behold seeing the women around the tree with your thoughtful, generous gifts. You put love, time and energy into selecting the perfect present and it is truly appreciated...."
"I just wanted to thank you for the Boost drink and Ensure for Thanksgiving. It helps me out. It was very thoughtful to think of me."
Some of the local agencies that we support