Loving Neighbor

Mark 12:31 Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.
The second part of Jesus’ response to the question of which is the greatest commandment calls us to love our neighbor. How do we do this at St. John’s Episcopal?

As our St. John’s bulletin reminds us every Sunday, all members are ministers. We are called to minister to others with our God-given gifts. Our gifts are as varied as the needs in our community and world. When we share our gifts with others, we are loving neighbors. Amazing things happen with amazing acts of love; lines of giving and receiving blur as all involved in ministry benefit. St. John’s invites you to link your lives with others in the love of Christ and explore our Loving Neighbor ministries.


We are called to minister to others with our God-given gifts. Our gifts are as varied as the needs in our community and world. When we help support, lead or participate in outreach ministries, we are loving neighbors.

As our bulletin reminds us every Sunday, all St. John’s members are ministers. We invite you to join our outreach efforts – through participation, providing counsel or leadership. Whether it’s a one-time event, ongoing ministry work, or a special initiative, you can help make the difference we are all called to make. Please explore the links below to learn how you can make a difference and answer Jesus’ call to love our neighbors.

If you need help and live in the Midland area, please contact us or visit our Local Outreach and SAMS Food Pantry pages. The Midland, MI area is blessed with an abundance of faith-based support and social welfare agencies. If you feel any of your specific needs might also be helped by these organizations, click the links below.


Midland Area Homes
Housing, Shelter Needs
Domestic Violence Protection
Episcopal Relief Development

Answering God’s call to be ministers, we can be His hands and feet in the world. We can be Christ caring for people through people. We can get out to give care. Many at St. John’s care for their church friends and family in informal ways as diverse as the people themselves. The ministries below are St. John’s formal pastoral care efforts. Orientation/training is provided to volunteers as needed.

In addition to clergy visits, pastoral care at St. John’s is a ‘member to member’ ministry. Volunteers provide care to our congregation members as we experience all kinds of life needs and circumstances. Welcoming newcomers, visiting the sick, comforting those in need, sharing the Eucharist with those unable to come to church – these are acts of loving neighbors.

This committee receives professional assistance from clergy regarding preparation for pastoral counseling and educational events. Recently, those parishioners visited regularly by members of this committee have numbered about 20 and those visits have taken place in 15 different institutions and homes.

Clergy and lay members of the congregation work together to carry the Eucharist from our altar to those of the congregation who are unable to be physically present with us for any period of time. *Participation as a Eucharistic Visiting Minister is limited to those who are baptized.

Volunteer your donations of prepared or purchased food or your time to serve the day of the service. Leadership of this ministry rotates every 3 months.

This group of women are committed to a life-long program of daily prayer, service and evangelism and are dedicated to the spread of Christ’s kingdom and the strengthening of spiritual life of our congregation. Our DOK chapter meets monthly to maintain a confidential prayer list; pray for the church, the clergy and others in need; make prayer beads to share with those in need of prayer; and to prepare approximately 500 stamped Christmas cards for the clients of SAMS Pantry to use. They also coordinate an emergency prayer chain for any members of St. John’s who are in need. Last year, the Daughters sponsored a workshop on Centering Prayer which led to the formation of a Centering Prayer group that continues to meet monthly.

In each Sunday’s bulletin and announcements, there are names of those we’ve been asked to remember in prayer. During the week, some of our members keep these and other intentions in their daily prayers. To ask for someone to be remembered in our prayers, or to share in the daily prayer needs of our congregation, please contact us.

If you wish to speak with someone at St. John’s about pastoral care, please call our office at 989-631-2260 or email us.

If you have an interest in loving your neighbors through pastoral care, please let us know by indicating your desired service role on our volunteer form.

Fellowship… This ministry is open to anyone with a heart for greeting, entertaining and bringing people into the full life of our parish. We always seek ways to warmly invite people of all ages and interests into our midst and to further link their lives with ours in the love of Christ.

Fellowship at St. John’s comes through a variety of social events for parishioners as well as through the warmth of all who help newcomers become part of our congregation. Celebrating in the community keeps our church vibrant and our members meaningfully connected to each other. Loving neighbors can begin close to home.

St. John’s holds a number of stand-alone events for the entire parish throughout the year. Members are always invited to participate in, lend support to or help lead events. In recent years, our community has enjoyed events including musical and dramatic presentations, a euchre/ games night, summer barbeques, pancake suppers, Loons baseball games, and a pool party at the Midland Country Club.

Loaves & Fishes is a fellowship opportunity for St. John’s members to get to know one another in smaller groups, over a good meal. Groups of about 6-8 fellow parishioners are formed with an eye to shuffling participants as much as possible year to year, so you get to meet new folks. In a given year, each member or couple hosts a pot-luck dinner once for their group at their home or organizes a group dinner at a local restaurant. If you prefer eating out to hosting, simply indicate your ‘restaurant’ preference when you sign up. The sign-up period is typically early fall; look for bulletin announcements or on the bulletin boards just outside Williams Hall.

Regularly following our 10 am worship, our time for coffee and doughnut holes nourishes fellowship among members and allows newcomers to learn more about St. John’s in a casual atmosphere.

This women’s group meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month Sept-May. In its usual activity, the guild served up a strawberry shortcake social for the congregation, sent holiday cards and treats to St. John’s college students, and donated to several other ministries associated with the church like King’s Daughters’ Christmas Closet and SAMS Pantry.

St. John’s is open to new fellowship groups… get-togethers that may serve different interests, age sets, or different family dynamics (i.e. empty nesters)… please let us know if there is an interest!

Fellowship is weaved into the fabric of much of what we do in and out of church, so it’s common for it to be part of an event that may also include worship, stewardship, formation, outreach, or pastoral care. At all these events/ gatherings, we need…pictures! Whether we are celebrating with each other or helping others, we need pictures that tell the stories of our church and experiences. In an increasingly visual communications world, St. John’s needs to be able to share what we do in illustrative images. So please, when appropriate, aim your camera to capture St. John’s – who we are and what we do – and get them to our office however you can or share them on our Facebook page. Help us complete the ‘picture’ of St. John’s!

We’ve got likes and followers, but how ‘bout posts, pictures & comments from you? Visit our Facebook page if you haven’t already. If you’re thinking about testing the Facebook waters, but are still a bit hesitant, contact St. John’s Ministry Coordinator Carol Sullivan about it. It can be a great tool to spread awareness about and engage others in support of St. John’s ministries.


Worship is a vital part of our sacred journey of hope and transformation. We invite all to join us in worship and aim for it to be a genuinely welcoming and inclusive experience.


Our early worship is a quiet and contemplative spoken service, without music. Though it has traditionally followed Rite I, we began using the pattern of the Book of Common Prayer, Rite II in the fall of 2014.


Our later service offers music and nursery care and Christian education or formation for youth (nursery care begins at 9 am; youth classes at 10 am). Our 10:00 am worship follows the pattern of the Book of Common Prayer, Rite II, with elements drawn from Enriching Our Worship 1. Our youth formation Sunday schedule differs in summer; please see youth formation below for more information.


The Wednesday noon worship also offers the Holy Eucharist in a spoken service. Seating is arranged in the chancel for a more intimate setting.

Throughout the year, St. John’s offers additional opportunities to gather in prayer. Please click on “Announcements” or “Newsletter” in the menu at the bottom of this page to see if such an opportunity is coming up soon. If you have questions about schedule changes due to holy days, inclement weather, etc., please visit our home page, email us or call St. John’s Episcopal Church at 989-631-2260.

Episcopal Worship

The center of life in the Episcopal Church is the Eucharist, sometimes called Holy Communion, Lord’s Supper or the Mass. Our preaching seeks to communicate the “good news” of Jesus Christ as it is revealed in Scripture and continually discovered anew in the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and world. We draw from ancient traditions of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, and we also look to the creative possibilities of culture and technology in our world today.

We believe the Eucharist is the family meal for Christians and a foretaste of the heavenly banquet. All persons who have been baptized, and are therefore part of the extended family that is the Church, are welcome to receive the bread and wine and to be in communion with God and each other.