St. John’s in the Larger Community
St. John’s reaches out to the Lodi community and beyond through various ministries and programs.
Caring for the Unsheltered
The congregation has a longstanding relationship with the Salvation Army (TSA). Volunteers regularly serve meals at their Hope Harbor Shelter. We also collect canned goods and dried foodstuffs for the TSA and support their annual Christmas drive. We are represented on TSA’s Missions committee in Lodi. That committee is comprised of 16 local churches who discern the needs of children and the marginalized population in town. Through the Mission’s group, St. John’s has participated in the City’s annual coat drive for those in need. Additionally, we have helped with “Back to School Shopping Spree”, where 100 children are taken shopping for $100 worth of school clothes.
More recently, St. John’s has supported the work of the newly-opened Lodi Access Center, adjacent to Hope Harbor, run by Inner City Action. Presently, we are collecting toilet paper and socks for the Center. Members of the congregation also volunteer at the Center.
Members of the parish have also been very active on the Lodi Committee on the Homeless where information from the State, County, and Lodi civic leaders on homelessness is shared and local initiatives developed (like the low barrier Lodi Access Center). In collaboration with the Lodi Committee on the Homeless and the Lodi Improvement Committee, St. John’s hosted at three-session public education event in the fall of 2021, “Understanding the Homeless Crisis: What is it? What to do about it?” that brought together city and county leaders along direct service providers to give participants a thorough overview of the issues and the creative initiatives underway to address the challenges faced by the unsheltered.
St. John’s members also volunteer during the San Joaquin County Point in Time count of the unsheltered homeless. All these efforts are coordinated by our Outreach Committee.
Caring for Creation
The Creation Care Team at St. John’s lifts up environmental concerns to the congregation through education events (e.g. how to make earth-friendly cleaning products), films, themed worship events, educational displays and making recommendations to the congregation on how St. John’s might practice better earth stewardship. They also coordinate our recycling programs of cans and plastic bags. They have collaborated with local organizations like Tree Lodi in educational events. They also promote the efforts of the Diocesan Creation Care Commission to the parish.
Building the Beloved Community
The Beyond Bias Team (BBT) arose out of a Sacred Ground study group that met in 2020-2021. Their focus has been on making St. John’s and our larger community a just and welcoming place for all God’s children. They spearhead St. John’s sponsorship of the annual Lodi Pride Day and sponsor a variety of film/educational events. They partner with other local organizations like The Breakthrough Project for Social Justice in Lodi, A New Lodi, and Faith in the Valley to promote racial justice in our community. They also promote programs sponsored by the Diocesan Anti-Racism Commission.
Assistance to Immigrants and Farm workers
St. John’s has worked to provide support to the immigrant and farmworker community in various ways:
Hosting COVID testing and vaccination clinics in collaboration with the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation and A New Lodi.
Hosting A New Lodi’s Families Helping Families Christmas gift program for farmworker families
Bringing the “Uncaged Art” exhibit to Lodi that features art created by teenagers held in detention sponsored by the Diocesan Immigration Commission, SJRAISE.
Collaborated with the Diocesan Latino Ministries Program in sponsoring a Las Posadas celebration together with a local Latino congregation.
Other Engagement Activities
Soul Kitchen is a ministry providing a free dinner once a month to the community of
Lodi. A nutritious home cooked meal is offered free to any one in town; it attracts older people on fixed incomes.