Scripture from the Letter to the Hebrews (Heb. 13:2), painted on the wall at Manna House, a place for radical hospitality to the homeless in Memphis.

Feature of the Month: Emmanuel Center

The Emmanuel Center is a Christian ministry that seeks to ransom the captive by educating and empowering at-risk youth and adults so that they are elevated out of poverty and become productive citizens. They have been active in Memphis for 25 years, and we have a long history of cooperation between EC and Saint John's. Currently 5 Saint John's members serve on the Center's board.

The Center’s clients are residents of the 38126 ZIP Code in South Memphis – one of the poorest communities in the nation. Almost two-thirds live at or below the poverty line – including a third who scrape by at 50% of the poverty level (less than $12,000 a year for a family of four). More than half are unemployed. Less than half have graduated high school. 

Emmanuel Center is very proud of their high school participants, who reached 100% high school graduation rate for the 10th year in a row. Their after school programs target kids from early childhood to high school graduation. They run sports programs, homework assistance, a Christmas gift program (Operation Joy), and more. Fr. Calenzo Hubbard has been leading Emmanuel Center since its inception over 25 years ago.

Immediate needs:

  • Tutors: sight reading for K - 2nd grade and homework tutors  for 3rd - 5th
  • Gardeners: Help with the middle school garden 
  • Party Planners: Assist with the Birthday Club (monthly party). 
  • Clothes Donations: Collared men's and women's shirts for Emmanuel adult employees

If you are interested in volunteering, please email Clair Bradley, clairbradley96 [at] gmail [dot] com or call 210-9232.

Mission and Vision of Servant Ministry

"Yes, we go out to do the work of Christ, but we can only do that because we are centered and energized." - The Rev. John W. Sewell

Servant Ministry grows from our baptismal promise to "seek and serve Christ in all persons" and to "respect the dignity of every human being." We must answer God’s call to action and work to spread his joy and love with gratitude, becoming the hands and feet of Christ in the world.

Our vision for Servant Ministry is driven by eight core ideals that guide where we commend our volunteers' time and energy. These ideals also guide our financial support, so that we create harmony and focus in our work. In other words, we wholeheartedly support a targeted investment of ongoing Christian service in both volunteers and financial support to promote the greatest impact.

On the left side of this page, you can navigate to each of our subpages, where we provide details on the ministries we currently support, opportunities to serve, and a point person for each one. They are grouped into larger categories: Children in Need, Food for the Hungry, and Hospitality & Shelter. Continue reading below to review our core ideals.

Core Ideals

Direct Interaction

  • Prioritize organizations that offer direct service, rather than funding middle-men.

Parishioner Hands-on Involvement

  • When we say we want to serve as the hands and feet of Christ in the world, we mean it! We choose to commit time and money to organizations that place our parishioners directly into the work.

Opportunities to Work Together

  • Prioritize two-way relationships and working together to promote the dignity of "Christ in all persons," rather than "drop-off" or "give and receive" relationships which foster dependency and separation.

Movement of the Holy Spirit

  • Does the organization or ministry have clear signs of the Holy One moving through it? We prioritize such ministries to help maximize our impact and team-up with God.

Neighborhood Ministry

  • Focus first on local ministries, especially those near Saint John's, both in time given and money granted. Then branch out into city-wide partnerships and beyond.

Impact of Contribution

  • What effect will a gift of time and money from STJ have on the organization? Will it be a small donation for a well-established fundraising machine or a difference maker that enables an important ministry to blossom?

Verified Transparency

  • Organizations we support need to have an established accountability structure and transparent use of funds. This is not exclusive to large-scale, corporate non-profits, but we seek to avoid those groups which do not demonstrate good stewardship of their resources.

Emergency Need

  • Some needs we encounter are truly emergencies and merit direct intervention on a short term basis. This includes individual emergencies and disaster relief. However, such assistance is given careful consideration and not available to walk-in requests.
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Saint John’s Episcopal Church
3245 Central Avenue | Memphis, Tennessee 38111
Phone (901) 323-8597 | Fax (901) 327-9032