Ministries at St. John's


Youth entering 1st - 12th grades.  They assist with a variety of duties during services and serve at the altar.

Altar Guild

Members are responsible for maintaining the altar linens and vessels, setting up for services, clean-up following services and are responsible for seeing that altar flowers go to shut-ins.

Backpack Program

Parishioners donate non-perishable food items which are given to the Community Services Clearinghouse.  These snacks are put in backpacks and sent home on Fridays with school aged children to be sure that they have something to eat through the weekend time.

Bookstore & Gift Shop

Located in the Skinner Building.  Stocks books, religious articles, cards and gifts to sell to members as well as the public. Click here to learn more about the St. John's Bookstore.

Cards for Others

Collection of unused cards (Christmas & general) to go to nursing home residents who have little or no family support in the area. Collection baskets are in the Welcome Center & the Skinner Building.

Children's Chapel

Children's worship that is held during the 10:30 Sunday worship service for children ages 3 years to 5th grade and led by trained volunteers.  Children exit during the opening song and return to share in the Holy Communion.

Choir & Music Ministry

These are volunteers who sing the glory of God.  It is open to all persons who love music.  There are regular Wednesday night rehearsals.

Worship Through the Music of St. John’s Episcopal Church

Worship is the greatest and grandest  privilege of our Christian lives. In worship we magnify God in the beauty of holiness.  At St. John’s we have a bold, exuberant, and participatory style of worship which is carefully blended with dignity and freedom.  Our worship has a “high” and majestic, yet warm and personal feel. We strive  to praise the beautiful character of God through the music offered atSt. John’s.

Who’s Singing in the Choir?

Do you love to sing? Do you wish you could sing? The Bible has one other important thing to teach about singing together. It does not matter how well you sing. What is of greater importance is who sings with you. You are welcome to become a part of this Church Ministry. The choir sings at the 10:30 AM Eucharist and rehearses every Wednesday at 6:30 PM. You are invited to be a part of this great Traditional Worship experience.


I sat too far away this morning, but still, this is beautiful. I love St. John's! #stjohnsfortsmith #episcopal

Posted by Kandice Poirier on Sunday, August 23, 2015


Church Periodical Club (cpc/ECW group)

CPC distributes Bibles, prayer books and other religious materials to missions and institutions that could not otherwise afford them. It also provides seminarians scholarships to buy books.



A movement within the church that supports the mission of individual Episcopalians to exercise a ministry of witness and service in their own environments in the world.  The model is presented in a 3 day weekend community experience at Camp Mitchell beginning on Thursday evening and ending on Sunday afternoon. Click here to visit the Cursillo website.

Episcopal Church Women (ECW)

All women in this church are members of this outreach ministry.  The group meets several times a year for pastoral care, outreach projects, field trips, and study.


Community of 3rd-5th grade sdudents. Program in formation stages as part of SEAshells (S-mall E-nthusiatic A-postles).


Community of 6th-12th grade students that gather in a number of ways and programs in the life of the church.

Education for Ministry (EFm)

EFM is the theological extension program of the School of Theology of the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. Completion of the program takes four years during which participants study the Bible, church history and twentieth century theology. Requires a one-year (at a time) commitment and annual tuition. Scholarships are available. Click here to learn more about the program.

Episcopal Church women (ECW)

All women in the church are members of this outreach ministry.  Daytime and nighttime interest groups meet several times a year for pastoral care, outreach projects, field trips, and study.

Episcopal Relief and Development

ERD is an international relief and development agency and a compassionate response to human suffering on behalf of The Episcopal Church of the United States. Their work to heal a hurting world is guided by the principles of compassion, dignity and generosity. Click here to visit the ERD website.

Eucharistic Ministers

Lay people who administer the chalice at worship services.

Eucharistic Visitors

Lay members of St. John's who take the gospel reading, prayers and communion to those who cannot come to church. They are licensed by the Diocese of Arkansas after a period of training and preparation.


Girls Night Out

A group of women of diverse ages who meet once a month at different restaurants for socialization.

Good Samaritan Clinic

Provides medical treatment for those have no health insurance.  It is located at 615 N. "B" St.  This property was purchased by St. John's and rents to the clinic for one dollar a year.  Many parishioners are volunteers.  Click here to learn more about the Good Samaritan Clinic.


Greeters welcome those coming to worship at St. John's. They identify visitors and connect them with someone to host them through their visit.

Habitat for Humanity

Assist with building help or food for the people doing the construction work. Click here to learn more about St. John's involvement in community outreach programs, or visit the Habitat for Humanity website.


These are volunteers, ages 6th grade-adult, who play bells to the glory of God. Ability to read music is helpful but not required. Rehearsals are Sunday mornings at 9:30 in the Skinner Building.

Handicapped Access

There is a ramp located at the parking lot entrance to the education wing of the church. There is a new handicapped paddle on the left side of the entrance so that persons may enter.  You may reach the church by going through the Parish Hall to the chapel and down the ramp to the nave of the church. There also is a handicapped accessible restroom in the hallway to the left as one comes in from the parking lot entrance.

A new handicapped access has been added to the Skinner Building by the sidewalk with a paddle to open the door.  Enter your code and press the paddle for entrance.

Healing Service

Held Tuesdays at 12:15 In the Skinner Building Chapel. Prayers, communion and anointing of oil are offered.

Hearing Impaired

The church is equipped with private, portable earphones which amplify the public address system for those with hearing difficulties.  Please ask one of the ushers about using a hearing device.

Heifer Project International

Donations are collected for this project and animals are purchased to help fight hunger around the globe.  There is a peace pipe in the church which collects quarters each Sunday.  Click here to visit the Heifer Project website.


This is a position established in the Canons of the church and responsible for compiling and maintaining archival history of St. John's.

Hospitality Time Hosts

Helps with snacks that are served after the 10:30 services. Rotated group every 2 months.

Kairos Prison Ministry International

Kairos Prison Ministry International is a Christian, ecumenical, volunteer, lay-led, continuing ministry to prisoners incarcerated in maximum or medium prisons. Kairos sprang from the Cursillo movement and is supported by Christian volunteers including those from Cursillo and those other movements that consider Cursillo as their root.

Kitchen Guild

Monthly scheduled "Kitchen Helpers" are assigned to help keep the kitchens in order.


Click here to learn more about labyrinths in the Greater Fort Smith region.  

Laymen's League

Open to all men of the parish who meet on the last Thursday of the month except during November and December. The primary activity of the group is social, but the "Roadkill Group" cooks for the St. Patrick's Day event and one of the Lenten Wednesday night suppers.  


Lay people who read lessons and prayers at the worship services.


The library is stocked with a wide variety of reading materials from novels to major reference works. Click here to learn more about the library at St. John's.

Love Quilts (ECW)

This group meets the 4th Saturday of the month at 1:00 p.m. to sew and put together bed rolls which are then donated to the homeless. Over until the fall.

Memorials Committee

Parishioners who oversee how the memorial funds are being designated and spent.


Mentoring K-6th grade students of Howard Elementary School: (1) during school hours OR (2)  Homework Helps program offered after school, 3:05-4:00 on Tuesdays.

Miles of Pennies (ECW)

Miles of Pennies (MOP) provides books, workbooks, training manuals, audio-visual materials, and computer software for children from Kindergarten through high school.  A mile of pennies ($844.80) is the maximum amount that may be allocated for a grant each year.

Mission Trips (Youth & Adult)

Annual trips as an outreach and spiritual nurturing opportunity for all participants and recipients. Group joins different churches and/or dioceses on occasion for collaborative efforts.

Monthly Sunday Breakfasts

Breakfast is served from 9-9:30 at a nominal cost to anyone wanting to attend.  A fine group of men and women cook for us each month.

Neighbor to Neighbor

Groups within the parish with coordinators who keep in touch with their people to see if they are in need of any pastoral care.

Newcomers' Class

A class offered annually to acquaint those new to the Episcopal Church or new to St. John's with helpful integrating information. Class culminates with a special "Welcoming Liturgy" offered in the Sunday morning worship service.

Newsletter Preparation

Volunteers help compile the articles for the church newsletter (The Holy Babble) and others help with preparing for mass mailing.

The Next Step Homeless services

(Formerly the Next Step Day Room)

An independent 501C3 ministry that works with the homeless to help them find jobs and to aid them with personal needs.  It is housed in the second floor of the St. John's Secrest Building. Learn more about The Next Step.


The safe, engaging space provided for childcare by employee(s) and volunteers for Sunday worship and at other times when needed.

Pastoral Care Team

Seeks ways to nurture our Parish family.  Provides food in times of crisis, makes phone calls, and sends cards to those who are in nursing homes and homebound.

Permanent Deaconate

Ordained ministry available to anyone called to serve as a "bridge" between the resources within the community of believers and the needs of the surrounding community. A deacon also has some liturgical responsibilities.


Takes pictures for our photo directory in the hallway, life of the parish, and any special events for purpose of keeping a pictorial record sharing life of the church.

Parish Discretionary Fund

Many crisis, emergencies and opportunities for charity come to the attention of the Rector.  The Discretionary Fund is a means for the church to respond to such needs. Anyone may contribute by making a check payable to St. John's designated for the Discretionary Fund.

Reception Committee

Arrange receptions and work together for all the special occasions that take place in the parish.


Click here to learn more about different retreats and retreat centers.

Sack Lunch Program

Sack Lunch Program is a program to feed the hungry in Fort Smith.  Hundreds of volunteers from throughout the community including 11 different faith communities provide thousands of sack lunches annually to anyone who comes to our door. Click here to learn more about the Sack Lunch Program in Fort Smith.

Saints Alive

This group meets strictly for fun and fellowship. Once a month, the congregation is invited to a member's home for a potluck dinner. This is an adults only event.

SEAshells: (Small Episcopal Apostles)

Christian Education program for children 3 years to 5th grade.


6th -12th grade youth weekly program of activities and service through the Episcopal Youth Community (EYC).  The group also participates in diocesan events and an annual mission trip.  To join, simply come to any gathering (open to non-St. John’s youth, too).

Stay At Home Moms (SAHMs)

Mother's bring their children, meet twice a month, and eat together and socialize with each other.  Planned outings also take place once a month for the children and just the moms.  

Sunday School

Learn more about available Sunday School classes for different age groups:

Telephone Committee

(Neighbor to Neighbor Phone Tree)

Part of the Neighbor to Neighbor Coordinators. Several members of the parish phone members when there is something out of the ordinary going on or to let them know of special needs in the congregation.

United Thank Offering

UTO is the outreach arm of the women of the Episcopal Church throughout the world. Members of St. John's use a UTO collection box as a place for offerings and prayers given at any time of thanksgiving. That money is then sent to the diocese which in turn sends it to the National Church to be combined with money from dioceses from all over the country. It is then held until the General Conference and given out as grants worldwide to groups who need help. Click here to learn more about the UTO.


Ushers help with our ministry of greeting and order. They also bring the gifts of bread and wine forward for the Eucharist.

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School for children from Pre-K (4 yrs) through fifth grade is scheduled for evenings one week during the summer. Volunteer youth and adults staff the program. It is held with Trinity Episcopal Church and St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church rotating sites each year.  Program begins each evening with dinner followed in theme by Bible stories, songs, crafts, and other activities.


It is the governing body of St. John's and is made up of fifteen communicants in good standing. Each member serves a term of three years. They are elected by the members at the Annual Meeting each January to provide core leadership and financial oversight of the ministries of St. John's.

Visually Impaired Assistance

Large print versions of the Eucharist are available for those with vision challenges. Copies may also be purchased from the Bookstore.

Worship Leaders

Licensed lay people who conduct services of worship. 

Youth Ministries Advisory Team (YMAT)

This group of adult leaders provides leadership for designing and executing the programs for the children and youth of the parish of St. John's.  Team recruits additional volunteers willing to share gifts and expertise within the different programs.

Contact us for more information about any of these ministry programs