SOMERVILLE, NJ - St. John’s Episcopal Church has installed an audio system that makes it easier to hear for those who suffer from hearing impairments.

The church and the meeting room were recently equipped with the new Looping system, according to the Rev. Canon Ronald Pollock, rector of the chruch at 158 West High St.

St. John’s is the first Episcopal church in the Diocese of New Jersey and only the third house of worship of any denomination in New Jersey that has installed this system.

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“World Hearing Day is March 3, and the St. John’s community is dedicated to providing assistance to spread the Word of the Gospel,” Pollock said.  “The World Health Organization sponsors World Hearing Day and we are announcing our new Looping system to correspond with worldwide efforts.”

Looping works like this: tiny wire t-coils which are built into most modern hearing aids pick up the magnetic signal transmitted through the looping system. This provides a means for the sound to be customized for the individual listeners’ pattern of hearing. 

“St. John’s is now part of a larger program of assistance that reaches to the state and throughout the world and allows us to minister to more people,” Pollock said.  “And we are doing it for our community, our congregation, and our neighbors.”

Church member Catherine O’Shea, who is hearing impaired, noted, “For people like me to be fully productive members of a church community, we must be able to hear prayers, participate in worship, and support the mission of the church in all ways.  Looping allows this to happen.”

Looping has been up and running in various public places, including Hunterdon Medical Center, Princeton Borough Library, the NY Subway System, 9-11 Memorial, and the Holocaust Museum in Washington.  A distinctive blue/white sign heralds the use of the looping system in a facility. 

Among the many great benefits of the Looping system:

·       There is no designated seating area, as the system can be accessed anywhere in the church.

·       There are no visible wires, which also avoids the possibility of tripping.

·       Looping is easily accessed without the need of additional equipment or a  handheld device.

·       Many people will benefit from this new ministry.

·       For those who do not have a t-coil in hearing aids, headsets are available to access the system.

·       The Looping system will have no impact on pacemakers.

Ushers have been trained to assist those with questions and to explain the looping system.

The looping system was installed by looping experts Audio Directions, through the generous donations of St John’s members and friends.

For more information contact St. John’s at 908-722-1250. 

Weekly Sunday services are conducted at 8 a,m, , and at 10:15 a.m.with music. St. John’s offers Sunday School every Sunday at 10:15 a.m. preceded by “Children’s Chapel” at 10 a.m. which features the rector offering a brief children’s message. Among its many programs, St. John’s hosts the SHIP's Galley Soup Kitchen three days a week; a monthly Laundry Love, assisting those who are unable or cannot afford to clean their laundry; and the monthly Clothes Closet.