The Reverend Johnine V. Byrer
On June 16, 2006, Johnine retired from full-time teaching as a Special
Education teacher, at North Hunterdon High School in Annandale after
38 years of a variety of teaching experiences in Michigan, Texas,
Connecticut, and New Jersey. In May of 2011, she retired from teaching
English as a Second Language to adults in Somerville. Johnine
continues to concentrate her full attention to the church’s ministries
and her other duties as a Deacon.
Johnine is the wife of Donald, retired from Becton Dickinson in Franklin Lakes and now composing music and playing upright base in a bluegrass band. The Byrers live in Whitehouse Station,
NJ. They are the parents of four adult children, Karin in Connecticut,
Michael in Arizona, Jonathan in Maine, and Anne in Oregon. They also are the proud grandparents to Elora, an exceptional teenager who lives in Maine. They have a wonderful son-in-law, Eric Frodel who is married to their daughter, Karin. They also have a wonderful daughter-in-law, Kristen who is married to their son, Jonathan..
After completing a three-year program of study with a 300 hour
pastoral care component as part of the School of Deacons in the
Diocese of New Jersey, Johnine was assigned to the Church of the Holy
Spirit on June 23, 2002. There have been numerous opportunities for
her to serve in this community of faith. She especially enjoys
ministering to the women in prison, visiting parishioners in their
homes and the hospital, preaching, interacting and teaching the Confirmation class, attending the Tuesday morning breakfast Bible
study at the Spinning Wheel Diner, crocheting shawls, and being
presence to all the committed individuals at Holy Spirit.
Johnine loves to quilt, crochet, travel, and read mysteries.
What is a Deacon?
The Church has set apart persons for specific ministries. The four orders:Lay, Deacon, Priest, and Bishop have different and important functions within the Church. Deacons lead by example in an established servant ministry and remind us of our call to serve others. Liturgically, they have a distinct role in worship: reading the Gospel, preaching, assisting Prayers of the People, preparing the elements at the Table, distributing Holy Communion, and dismissing the people. Deacons do not bless, absolve, or consecrate, which are roles set aside for priests and bishops.
Johnine tells us, "Being a deacon was an unknown entity in my life growing up in Ann Arbor,Michigan. I have always been a faithful communicant in both the Roman Catholic and Episcopal Churches throughout my life. Soon after our fourth child left for college and we had moved to New Jersey from Connecticut, I decided to start a three-year journey to be a deacon in the Episcopal Church. My years of study included subjects such as the Old Testament, the New Testament, Liturgy, Theology, Spirituality, Preaching, and Ethics. The Deacon Formation Program also included a Clinical Pastoral Care unit of 300 volunteer hours at Community Medical Center in Toms River, which was such an invaluable experience. During my second year in the program, I was sent to St. John's Episcopal Church in Somerville. In addition to my time at St. John's, I found a great love or it found me and that is prison ministry.