The Altar Guild is an opportunity to serve God as preparers and caretakers of the worship space. As preparers, the paraments and candles are changed in accordance with the liturgical calendar, and hymn numbers are appropriately displayed on the hymnal board. As caretakers, paraments, linens and vessels are carefully cleaned and stored; altar and pulpit flowers are wrapped for pick-up by donors or delivery to shut-ins.
The communications committee meets monthly to discuss communication opportunities for reaching our church family and community to share news about our church. Members of the committee volunteer their time and talents to improve the church website, create banners to advertise events, develop marketing postcards, newspaper ads, and much more.
Through Matthew’s Gospel, we have received something called “The Great Commissioning.” It goes like this:
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ (Matthew 28: 16-20)
And so we understand that we have an assignment to go into the world and invite others to join us in the Body of Christ. Baptism is the mark of our participation in Jesus’ kingdom of grace. Further, the call is to ‘make disciples,’ and so that is part of our commitment to worship, education, and service as a community.
Whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey you are welcome here at St. John’s (Hain’s) United Church of Christ.
Festival Of Harvest Home
The Festival of Harvest Home has been a long-standing tradition here at St. John’s (Hain’s). The second Sunday in September our congregation gathers fruits, vegetables and flowers and displays them in the sanctuary. The celebration of Harvest Home is a time to give thanks to almighty God for all the fruits of the earth. After the service the produce is shared with the New Journey Soup Kitchen in Reading. Several local farmers bring their farm equipment to the Harvest Home celebration and display them on the church grounds for the congregation to enjoy. The farmers form a parade around the grounds and the children ride miniature tractors or participate in the hayride. Following the parade there is a covered dish social for all to enjoy.
At St. John’s (Hain’s), mission is to our life together as a flame is to fire. We have served others, and grown our own faith, through Ecclesia in Boston and the Conrad Weiser Food Pantry. We partner with Family Promise and Little Acts of Love here in Berks County. We support several missionaries around the world. Our Called to Care group continually reaches out to our members; many are drivers for Western Berks Shepherding Ministries.
We are working at strengthening our ministry for, and with, our Youth by carving out places for them to grow together and serve God in activities that make sense to them. Our youth were part of a mission trip to The Pittsburgh Project; they collect items for Opportunity House, Bethany Children’s Home, and The Salvation Army through the Angel Tree project. Here at St. John’s (Hain’s) there are opportunities for everyone to use their gifts to learn, worship, and serve. Giving thanks for the past, and building upon it, we serve God in the present.
Worship & Music
Visitors who worship with us find Sunday morning familiar enough that participation is easy. We do our best to clothe trusted ancient forms with current fabric. We are a liturgical church using contemporary language and forms. We hope you will find an old favorite hymn a comfort and that there may be a new prayer or tune that speaks to you afresh. This summer we sang together “Unending Light” for our Saturday evening ‘informal’ Eucharist. St. John’s (Hain’s) is blessed to have an extensive music program lead by Dr. Jane Hagness: Choirs for all ages, a World Percussion Ensemble, and a Handbell Choir.
The Social Committee meets twice per year to plan and host social events for our church family and local community. Some of our annual events include Easter Egg Hunt, Game Nights, Harvest Home Covered Dish meal, Advent Workshop and the Gingerbread House Luncheon. We are always looking for new ideas and help to plan social events. Join us for fellowship and fun!
Our Stewardship Team strives to remind the congregation that we serve God through our time, talent, and treasure. It is a response of gratitude for all that God gives us that moves us to generosity. Recently, the Stewardship Committee conducted a year long effort at raising awareness of the many ways our congregation serves God here on ‘Hain’s Hill’ and out in the world.
The giving of time is as important as the giving of money. Disciples serve God. We do that in our daily jobs, within our family, and in our community.
Much is said about time management. Usually, we talk about how little time we have. Rarely do we discuss how much time we have to spend serving God. The ministry of St. John’s (Hain’s) is guided by our staff, to be sure. But the real work is accomplished by our members. One goal for any church is to increase participation, and the Stewardship Team works at doing this with our time, talent, and treasure.
Sunday School Business Committee
Our committee has served St. John’s since 1912. Our goal is to provide funds and support to the Sunday School and Youth of St. John’s (Hain’s). We meet the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. Our committee sponsors the picnics in the Church grove on the second Saturday in July and August. These events provide food and musical entertainment. The Boy Scouts and many of our church members and friends help in the success of the evening festivities. The picnics are a time for the congregation and community to enjoy a summer evening of fellowship, music and food.
The Ecumenical Association of Wernersville is an ecumenical gathering of some of the churches in our area. It is composed of First Reformed of Wernersville, St. Francis De Salles Roman Catholic Parish of Robesonia, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, St. John’s (Hain’s) United Church of Christ, and St. Issac’s Roman Catholic Parish at the Jesuit Center. Leadership is shared by this group across the participating churches, clergy and laypeople.
We gather to worship together at significant times and events. Recently we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Wernersville together. We host a Memorial Day service in the grove at St. John’s (Hain’s), and share leadership in a Thanksgiving Eve Service. Together, we share the hope expressed in chapter 17 in John’s Gospel: “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”