Feature of the Month: tnAchieves Mentoring Program
Each month, we will feature a particular servant ministry opportunity that you and/or your family can participate in during the whole month.
tnAchieves is a mentoring and scholarship program in partnership with the TN Promise scholarships, which offer 2 years of full tuition to TN high school students applying to attend a community college or college of applied technology. Gov. Bill Haslam says of the program, “The process of applying and attending college is really hard, especially if nobody in your family has ever been to college before. Our research has shown that students with a TN Promise mentor are much more likely to enter and complete college.” That’s where we come in. Several STJ parishioners are already serving as mentors and will return next year. Mentors are paired with a handful of seniors at a local high school and stay with them through the year. They remind students of important deadlines, encourage them, and serve as a trusted resource.
- New and returning mentors must apply at tnachieves.org before December 1, 2017. You will select preferred high schools and number of students you wish to mentor and consent to a background check prior to pairing.
- You will attend 2 mandatory meetings a year with students assigned to be mentored. Then you will maintain contact via text, email, or phone with assigned students and/or their parents for about one hour a month.
If you are interested in volunteering, you can go directly to www.tnachieves.org. You can also call one of our current mentors like Lain Whitaker at 685-1281. There is more information on the program on our “Children in Need” page.
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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.