ABOUT ST. JOHN'S CHURCH
The mission statement of St. John’s describes who we are and what we do. This being and doing is summed up succinctly in the first sentence: We are a welcoming summer chapel, living out Christ’s love. But, of course, there is a little more detail and our mission helps to explain what this means and how it is lived in the St. John’s community.
We are a welcoming summer chapel, living out Christ's love. A beacon to all, the foundation and traditions of St. John's inform our spiritual journey. We seek to provide an inclusive, open, and dynamic ministry to impact the Fishers Island community across seasons, dedicated to nurturing spiritual growth through reflection, hospitality, and engagement.
WHO WE ARE
We are a welcoming summer chapel, living out Christ’s love. A beacon to all, the foundation and traditions of St. John’s inform our spiritual journey. We practice gospel hospitality and seek to live out Christ’s love. For many, St. John’s Church is a place of refreshment and inspiration; a place to stop and to be. First and foremost, this is a place of welcome and worship to fellow pilgrims. Whoever you are, wherever you are in life’s journey, whether your family has attended this church for generations or you are visiting this island for the first time, please know that you are always welcome at St. John’s.
Founded in 1883, St. John's has stood on Fishers Island for almost 140 years. Its parishioners come from cities and states along the Eastern seaboard, across this country, and from around the world. With a small year-round population, Fishers Island is also the seasonal home for generations of people and St. John’s is an important part of that experience and tradition for many. St. John's opens its doors every summer, but continues to serve the island population through all seasons.
WHAT WE DO
We seek to provide an inclusive, open and dynamic ministry to impact the Fishers Island community across seasons, dedicated to nurturing spiritual growth through worship, reflection, hospitality, and engagement. Through open and inclusive worship grounded in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition, St. John’s Church extends a ministry of hospitality and outreach not just to the community gathered under the roof of the church during the summer season, but to the community of the island who live here through all the seasons. Outreach is the principle expression of our faith in action. St. John’s is the single largest charitable organization on the island, managing multiple vehicles of outreach to support the community. These include the Sanger Fund, our support of visiting speakers and artists, the maintenance of the Island Cemeteries, partnership with Union Chapel to support the Islanders for Islanders initiative, support through the Rector’s Discretionary Fund, and most significantly, through our incredible scholarship program that supports students residing on the island and graduates of Fishers Island High School through up to six years of education. Through all of these ministries of outreach, we seek to live out the love of Christ in this world and on this island. For more information on outreach at St. John's, click here.
Reverend Michael Spencer
The Reverend Michael Spencer became Rector in 2009. He earned his A.B. in philosophy/classics, magna cum laude, from the College of the Holy Cross. After completing coursework in Yale’s Teacher Education Program, he received his master of divinity, summa cum laude, graduating from Yale Divinity School as the ranking scholar. He subsequently earned a certificate in Anglican studies from Berkley Divinity School at Yale completing coursework for the master of sacred theology degree. He is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program in Educational Leadership and Virginia Theological Seminary.
Ordained in the Diocese of Connecticut, Rev. Spencer served as assistant priest at St. John’s Church in Waterbury while working as school chaplain and director of the philosophy, religion, and ethics curriculum at The Taft School. In 2007, he joined the faculty of St. Paul’s School as dean of chapel and member of the Humanities Department. As dean of chapel he developed a dynamic ministry: expanding chaplaincy initiatives, establishing distinctive interfaith and Episcopal programs, developing new local and global outreach partnerships, and deepening the integration of social justice, diversity, environmental stewardship, and arts into school ministry.
In his current role, as Vice Rector for Faculty, Reverend Spencer’s work has included revising the hiring process to incorporate data driven assessment, strengthening the diversity of the faculty and equity and inclusion initiatives, reviewing school policies and procedures to strengthen healthy culture and deepen faculty training, developing a comprehensive instrument to assess workload and track professional learning, engaging in strategic planning for the School, and serving as co-chair of the community conduct board, school accreditation, and on many other committees.
During his time as rector of St. John’s, Rev. Spencer has helped to develop the mission for St. John’s, strengthen the outreach initiatives of the church, develop additional services and programming for the church and the island community, and deepen partnerships with other church and community leaders. While resident on the island in the summer, during the school year, he lives on the St. Paul’s School campus with his wife, Amy, their two children, and two energetic dogs.
Rev. Michael Spencer, Rector
Rev. Buddy Stallings, Visting Minister
Dan Moriarty, Organist
Ace Ahrens, Sexton
Donna Abbott, Accountant
Thomas B. Parker, Senior Warden
Molly O'Neil Frank, Junior Warden
John Trevor, Treasurer
Phyllis Hansell, Clerk
Tom (TJ) Johnson
Molly duPont Shaffer