We have two local missions -- ReNew and Food Shelf -- one national mission -- the Ashmont Boy Choir Camp -- and one international -- Libros Para Los Ninos. We continue to increase the amount we contribute to mission each year. In 2013, we spent a little over $40,000 on missions.
ReNew provides aid for individuals and families in three contiguous towns. The maximum grant for an individual is $1000 annually, and a maximum grant of $2500 annually for families. Grants may be awarded for rent, utilities, medical expenses, car repairs, insurance, etc. ReNew also provides clothing and household items to needy families at no cost. ReNew is a legal entity of St. John's and enjoys a close relationship and much support from the Essex Community Church, The Willsboro Methodist Church, The Congregational Church of Willsboro, Foot Hills Baptist Church and St. Philip of Jesus Catholic Church, as well as the support of the community at large. With an all volunteer staff, ReNew is a respected member of the local social services provider community.
St John’s is a key supporter of the Community Food Shelf, located in the parish hall of Church of the Good Shepherd in Elizabethtown. We are also represented on the board. About 5 years ago, the Food Shelf decided to purchase a vegetable share in the “CSA” (Community Support Agriculture) at Full and By Farm in Essex. Every Thursday, volunteers from St. John’s pick up the share from the farm and deliver the produce to the Food Shelf to be distributed to the clientele. This has been an important supplement of fresh local food to a needy population. The Community Food Shelf provides emergency or supplemental food assistance to serve families primarily in Elizabethtown, Lewis, New Russia, Wadhams, Westport, Willsboro and Essex. They also respond to food request referrals from Social Services, Families First and ACAP.
The Ashmont Boy Choir Camp provides a four day summer camp experience for the members of the Ashmont Boy Choir of the Parish of All Saints in Dorchester, MA - a neighborhood of Boston. The Choir is notable for its racial and ethnic diversity and is one of fewer than twenty such choirs left in the United States today. Each morning the boys and teens work on music skills and rehearse service music at St. John's. In the afternoon they take part in healthy activities in the Adirondacks such as hiking, boating and swimming. Parishoners host the singers in their homes and chaperone the various activities. Each evening a different parishoner hosts a dinner, after which the Choir leads those present in singing Compline. The choir camp ends with the Choir singing on Sunday at both the Eucharist and Evensong services. Many of the Ashmont singers come from economically challenged families and the choir camp at St. John's represents their only summer camp experience.
Libros Para Los Ninos works with Episcopal schools in the Domincan Republic to establish and fund education projects. Each year, members of St. John’s travel to the Dominican Republic to work with the priests and their schools to evaluate and implement the projects that they determine to be most worthwhile. Libros has provided science laboratories, computers, printers, copy machines, desks and chairs, chalk boards, audio-visual equipment, scholarships and field trips, and breakfast and lunch programs. Libros believes that education is the most important gift that can be given a child and the one gift that cannot be taken away.
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