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St. John the Evangelist

280 St. James Street
London, ON  N6A 1X3
Phone: 519-432-3743

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    What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

    James 2:14-17 (NRSV)
    Artwork: The Good Samaritan, Vincent van Gogh


    The average number of guests each week is over 100. What began as a soup and sandwich meal some 23 years ago continues as a regular weekly hot meal every Saturday night. Some things have not changed. We still rely upon partnerships - currently 14 – with other churches and organizations to serve the meal. And we benefit hugely on donations from Angelo’s, Valumart, Lambeth ‘Tim Hortons’, and the “Milk Chicks”. The weekly shopping is done by committed Individuals.There are four cooking teams that prepare the weekly food on Fridays. A weekly clothing cupboard provides for some basic cloting needs.

    John Thompson has been volunteering with the community meals program for 14 years now. He says it takes a lot of people and work to get the meals together every week but says they now have it down to a science. "It's a pattern that we've developed long before I came along," he said. "There's a different menu each week that usually rotates every four weeks."

    Thompson says he's come to know some of the regular clients very well throughout the years. "I'm thinking of Jim and Marie, when I asked them how they met, they said they met in the back of a police cruiser," he said. "But they're a lovely couple."

    Funding Community Meal Program

    In order to keep the church's community meals up and running, funds are raised to cover the cost of putting the weekly event together. Thompson said there's a 5K walk every October to raise money for the program. "We invite members of the teams who serve the meals to join in and we have no more than about 60 people who participate," said Thompson. "Of those 60 people, we usually raise between $12,000 and $15,000."

    Cooking community meals for the last 20 years has allowed the church to forge relationships with local businesses. St. John works closely with Valu-Mart and Angelo's for dessert and bread that is donated to their weekly community meal. "Last weekend, the dessert was pie and ice cream," says Thompson. "We had about 160 guests last week and all of them got pie and ice cream from Valu-Mart."

    Thompson said he knows the meals address a deep need in the community. "Borderline poverty is really common, there are people that if they have one major setback, they'll be homeless," he said.

    CBC News

    My Image

    The Gleaners (Des glaneuses) is an oil painting by Jean-François Millet completed in 1857. It depicts three peasant women gleaning a field of stray stalks of wheat after the harvest. The painting illustrated a realistic view of poverty and the working class. One critic commented that "his three gleaners have gigantic pretensions, they pose as the Three Fates of Poverty...their ugliness and their grossness unrelieved." While the act of gleaning was not a new topic—representations of Ruth had existed in art—this new work was a statement on rural poverty and not biblical piety: there is no touch of the biblical sense of community and compassion in the contrasting embodiments of grinding poverty in the foreground and the rich harvest in the sunlit distance beyond. The implicit irony was unsettling.

    5K Fun Run/Walk – Usually the third Sunday of October

    Each year we raise between $16,000 and $24,000 form various sponsors and around 60 participants from 7 to 85 years (and several dogs). We walk or run through Gibbons Park wending our way to Wellington Street and back to the church.

    Other Projects

    In addition to the hospitality meal program, Outreach funds provided financial support
    for the following in the range of $500 to $3000.

    - Clergy Outreach Discretionary Fund
    - Family Services Thames Valley
    - Huron Church Camp—campers bursaries
    - St. Paul’s Social Services
    - St. Paul’s Food Bank
    - Indwell London, which provides housing to London’s most vulnerable
    - Financial help to London new Canadians

    EMDC Book Club

    For several years now some faithful volunteers have led a book club at the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC). The club meets weekly at the jail, with two of the leaders and from two to six inmates. There is a new book each month (funded by the proceeds from St. John’s annual book sale), usually exhausted after three weeks, followed by a week when a short story is discussed. There is a poem each week which, perhaps surprisingly, is very well received.

    We’ve read short stories - by Stephen King, David Graan, Thomas King, Thomas McGuane, and Roal Dahl.
    We’ve read non-fiction – “Seven Fallen Feathers,” “The Glass Castle,” “Finding Gobi,” “The Tiger,” “Forgiveness,” “All The Way,” “Born A Crime,” and “Writing My Wrongs.”
    We’ve read fiction – “Dune”, “IQ,” “Legacy of Spies,” “Moonglow,” “The Dry,” “A Man Called Ove” and “1984.”

    We are encouraged by unexpected insights and by improving reading skills and by the development, however difficult, of real relationships with the detainees. And we have the full support of Ellen McKegney, the EMDC volunteer coordinator, which helps enormously.

    The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund

    The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) is “the Anglican Church of Canada’s agency for sustainable development and relief.” Through our contributions to this agency, we can help make a difference in the lives of vulnerable people here at home and around the world.

    Food Drives

    A couple of times a year we collect food to send to St. Paul’s Food Bank or collect other items for places like the local women’s shelter.

    Christmas Baskets

    For over 20 years we have had a Christmas Outreach to the community providing London families with goodwill baskets. The families are nominated by St. Johns personnel, Family Services Thames Valley, and Rotholme Family Shelter.

    Panels on Poverty and homelessness in London

    In 2019 we began to offer learning opportunities for people in the community to learn more about the causes of poverty in our city, and to have an opportunity to talk to experts and politicians about how to address poverty in our city.

    Groups using St. John’s Parish Hall

    One of our biggest outreach initiatives is the lending of our space to many service groups such as Al-Anon, AA groups, OA groups, Voice Disorder Group, Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.

    At St. John’s we strongly believe in serving and supporting the community. As a result, in addition to weekly worship, a major part of our Christian ministry includes volunteerism and outreach activities. In the past we have supported causes in London and around the world touching on issues including poverty, social justice, children’s issues and community health.

    © 2020

    At St. John’s we strongly believe in serving and supporting the community. As a result, in addition to weekly worship, a major part of our Christian ministry includes volunteerism and outreach activities. In the past we have supported causes in London and around the world touching on issues including poverty, social justice, children’s issues and community health.

    © 2020

    The Communion of the Apostles (La communion des apôtres): James Tissot, French, 1836-1902, From the portfolio/series, The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ (La Vie de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ) Opaque watercolour over graphite on gray wove paper. Painted in France 1886-1894/ Image: 9 7/16 x 13 1/2 in. (24 x 34.3 cm) Sheet: 9 7/16 x 13 1/2 in. (24 x 34.3 cm) Rom the European Art Collections. ACCESSION NUMBER 00.159.223

    Establishing the sacrament of Communion—in which the bread and wine of the Passover feast come to symbolize the body and blood of Christ—Jesus himself distributes the bread to each disciple, suggesting the intimacy each of them shared with him at this solemn moment. For the artist, this event marked not only the apostles’ liturgical initiation but also the beginning of Christ’s church on earth and the establishment of its most important tenets and rituals.

    Outreach | ST JOHN'S