St. John’s Men’s Ministry
Across the world and right here in Vernon, the pandemic affected so many of our normal activities, but despite that overwhelming problem the men’s group here at St. John’s grew in a spiritually important way.
The St. John’s church community can be proud of its men’s group because of its willingness to adapt to change, in keeping with God’s will. Change for us this year was significant. With much discussion and discernment, we, as a group, decided to disengage from the national Brotherhood of St. Andrew and continue God’s work in a different form.
Essentially, we disagreed with the St. Andrew’s national board members’ position on the subject of the Black Lives Matter movement, its position and lack of action on race relations in general, and its unwillingness to alter these positions in support of our Black brothers. Part of our discernment was to consider the resignations of three prominent national members (who are black) because of their respective disagreements with the national board on the general subject of race relations in this country, and how to react to current issues. One of those black brothers, John Robinson, leads the men’s group at Trinity Episcopal Church in Hartford; many of us call John a friend and counselor. We discussed the issue(s) among ourselves, prayed together, consulted with Virginia, and decided to break away from the national organization.
We now call ourselves the St. John’s Men’s Ministry.
Looking to the future we sought a focus, and decided to dedicate ourselves to the service of the people in our church community by volunteering to do a variety of tasks for members that they might not be able to accomplish on their own. Examples of these tasks include: help with transportation, small chores, moving furniture, and help with computer operations. During 2020, we did not host our annual Steak and Chicken dinner, and we hoped the greater church community would survive without it. It did.
During 2020, despite the pandemic, many of our members contributed their time and energy to many other organizations, both in and out of St. John’s, including the Vestry, the St. John’s food pantry, the Special Olympics, the Cornerstone Soup Kitchen, the choir, Outreach, maintenance of the organic garden and church campus, managing the acolyte program, youth mentoring, and other groups. These efforts will continue in the best Christian spirit. During our monthly meetings during 2020, in addition to our regular study of scripture, we studied the history of the Anglican and Episcopal Churches, “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and two podcasts that dealt with keeping our faith strong by Bishop Rob Wright of Atlanta.
We continue to believe in the power of prayer, the reading and study of scripture, and our Christian duty to carry out the absolute necessity of service to others.
We look forward to continued spiritual growth and service to the St. John’s community in 2021, and we thank St. John’s for all its support of our efforts. All men of St. John’s are welcome to join us.
As of December, 2020, our members (and associates) are listed below:
|Ben Brockman||Dwight Feenstra||Jim Morrow (Storrs)||Virginia Army (Assoc. Member)|
|Paul Brown - Assistant Director||Steve Filipek||Art Plante||Mary Wells (Assoc. Member
|Bill Byers||Bill Gutzmer - Treasurer||Dave Smith - Secretary|
|Richard Clark||John Horan||Tom Sessions|
|Ron Cronsell||Jim Hutton - Director||Jim Simon|
|Al Dreher||Paul (PJ) Janovicz||Don Wills|
We welcome all men of St. John’s to join us. Just ask one of our members about our group or drop by one of our monthly meetings this year.