St. John the Theologian Orthodox Church
Orthodox Church in America
Diocese of New York - New Jersey
Ministry Groups

Brotherhood of St. James

Meeting time and place: the Brothers meet in the parish hall during Coffee Hour on the first Sunday of the month from October through June.

The Brotherhood of St. James is the parish's fellowship for men. The Brotherhood plans many events that benefit both the parish and community with a focus on promoting fraternal Christian fellowship and philanthropic outreach.

The Brothers sponsor several social/fellowship and outreach events that take place throughout the year. These include:

  1. Palm Sunday Fish Dinner, co-sponsored with the Sisterhood.
  2. Mother's Day Mimosa Brunch.
  3. Late July's Parish-wide Family Picnic.
  4. Parish Christmas Party, co-sponsored with JOY and the Sisterhood.
  5. Planning for other events, such as Father-Son fishing trips Father-Daughter Dances, are now underway.

Choir and Readers

Rehearsal time and place: Rehearsals can either be held right after Liturgy on a Sunday or on a Wednesday night beginning around 7:30 pm. Consult the calendar for specific rehearsal dates and times.

Divine services in the Orthodox Church are sung a capella, without any instruments.  Singers and Readers compliment the beauty of the services with their singing of the divine hymns and chanting of the holy scriptures.


Church School "JOY" and JOYful Parents
With us everything should be secondary compared to our concern with children, and their upbringing in the instruction and teaching of the Lord." - Saint John Chrysostom

Meeting time and place: JOY takes place in the parish hall, downstairs, following the conclusion of Holy Communion, when the children are dismissed to attend class sessions. Classes are held from the beginning of October to the end of May with special summer projects.

St. John's church school program is known as JOY ("Jesus, Others, You") and is generally divided by age and grade.  We use material from the Orthodox Christian Education Commission (OCEC), the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the Orthodox Church in America's FOCUS website.  A parents auxiliary known as JOYful Parents provides support for the wonderful and fun social events we plan for the children throughout the year.

In addition to the Sunday educational program, JOY sponsors several events throughout the year for the social upbringing and edification of parish youth:

  1. JOY Prosfora Club: Girls only! Parish girls gather on one Saturday each month and make the prosfora bread that is offered on Sundays for the Divine Liturgies of that month. Start time is usually around 3 pm.
  2. St. Valentine's Day Belgian Waffle Brunch: Our JOY kids help setup, cook, serve and clean-up all in honor of their parents and parish friends.
  3. Great & Holy Friday Tomb Vigil: Tweens and Teens ages 11 and up, with parents' permission, stay at the church from the Matins of Lamentations throughout the night taking turns reading from the Holy Scriptures at the holy Tomb of our Lord.
  4. Prophet Elijah Summer Retreat & Sleepover: Held around the time of the feast day of the Prophet Elijah (July 20), this two-day event features lots of activities including a day beach trip and evening campfire.
  5. Christmas Play and Parish Christmas Party: Sunday after Christmas, this annual Christmas extravaganza is a delight to kids and parents alike.
  6. Other events such as talent shows, ice cream socials, and trips away from the parish to fun as well as interesting places.

Feed the Need

Parishioners collect and dontate to the parish food pantry canned goods, dry good, toiletries and other useful and needed items (like toys during Christmas) for distribution to either those who call the church directly or to those churches in the neighboring community who might be better able to distribute them.  Special emphasis is given to these collections during November, December and during the Great Fast (i.e., Great Lent).  Parishioners help and take turns in distributing the food baskets during these times. The picture show clothing and food collectedfor Emmaus House in Harlem.


At the frontline of a parish visit, Greeters play an important role in welcoming newcomers to the church for services and making sure their time with us is spiritually and socially fulfilling.  This includes inviting the guest to add their address and email to our parish mailing list, providing them with the bulletin and, if needed, prayer book, and facilitating their participation in Coffee Hour where they can meet parishioners and make important connections with new friends and neighbors.
Meeting time and place: Greeters, after completing training, do not meet per se.  Occasional meetings may be held prior to important or large events or services.  Consult the calendar for further information.


Meeting time and place: Meetings are held occasionally.  Consult the calendar for scheduled meetings.

The Outreach Ministry plans events that will spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and make our parish's role in the spreading of that gospel known to the wider community.  Ministry work centers around promoting both knowledge of the Orthodox Faith as well as of our parish community from both within the parish as well as from without, in the wider community.  This includes the website, advertising, outreach at parish, civic and community events, guest speakers, seekers and inquirers classes, seminars and workshops (such as our yearly icon workshop and Christmas concerts) promoting church growth, leadership and the Christian use of our God-given gifts and talents.  Also, we plan community-based events that bring our parish into the wider community.

Parish Council / Strategic Planning Committee

Meeting time and place: The Parish Council meets monthly usually on the first Wednesday after the first Sunday of the month, beginning at 7:30 pm, usually following evening prayer.

The Strategic Planning Committee, also known as the Church Health Team meets on Sunday during and after Coffee Hour and/or during the week as arranged by the CHT Director. The Church Health Team meets to discuss, plan and evaluate the parish's overall health and short- and long-term goals and objectives.

Regional Fellowship Groups

"This is the cause of all evils: the ignorance of the Scriptures. We go into battle without arms, and how ought we to come off safe?" -St. John Chrysostom, Homily IX on Colossians

Regional Fellowship Groups are adult fellowship, bible study, and prayer groups all rolled into an evening hosted by a parish family in a particular geographic location.  Such regional groups will make it conducive to short commutes and building community among a far-flung parish population.

Start times are usually around 7:00 p.m. Fellowship begins with evening prayer, including intercesory needs, and then moves to a time study and discussion, and conclude with a time for prayer requests.  Contact the priest for further information and details.

Sisterhood of St. Xenia

Meeting time and place: the Sisters meet in the parish hall during Coffee Hour on the second Sunday of the month from October through June.

The Sisterhood of St. Xenia of St. Petersburg is the parish's fellowship for women and the parish's main social outreach arm.  The Sisterhood meets monthly from October to June and plans many events that benefit both the parish and community.  The Sisters plan social, outreach and fundraising events that are of spiritual and material benefit to St. John's and the people we try to reach and serve.

The Sisterhood sponsors a majority of the major social/fellowship and outreach events that take place throughout the year. These included:

  1. Super Bowl party, 1st Sunday of February (in honor of the parish men)
  2. Forgiveness Sunday's Blini Luncheon
  3. Mid-Lent's (Third Sunday) Fasoulata Luncheon (a Greek/Balkan tradition)
  4. Palm Sunday Fish Dinner (joint venture with the Brotherhood of St. James)
  5. Great & Holy Thursday's tomb decorating and egg dying
  6. Strawberry Festival, early June
  7. September 25, reception following Vespers of St. John the Theologian
  8. Monthly (as scheduled) Ladies' Teas
  9. Plus numerous other socials and fundraisers during the year


Meeting time and place: Check the monthly schedule for times and locations.

The parish teen program begins with the seventh grade and a child's 12th birthday.  Teen ministry is geared to meet the spiritual and social needs of our adolescent members.  Teens have a number of yearly events that they look forward to, including the overnight vigil on Holy Friday and an annual weekend retreat in the Poconoes in October.  In past years their fundraising activities has brought in over $1,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.