All Ages Christian Formation
Have you ever been reading one of our Biblical stories and wondered, “What if… ?” Or “Why?” All of us are invited to join in wondering together as we inhabit one of our most treasured Bible stories – Noah’s Ark. The Rev. Suzanne Guthrie (Amma Suzanne) will be joining us for an afternoon of all-ages fun in a program called Building the Lent Ark on Sunday, February 27 from 2-4 pm. We begin by exploring the story of Noah’s Ark together. Then, the adults and the younger people will have time apart to reflect and pray. Finally, we will come back together for singing and a snack.
All are invited – people at St. John’s, people from other churches, people who don’t go to church at all. All, we ask is that you register so we know how many are planning to come. It’s easy to do, just fill out the form here: Building the Lent Ark – Registration
There are more events like this coming throughout the year so be on the lookout and register for them too!
Christian Formation at Home
During the pandemic, we have also been sending kits home so that families can engage in Christian formation. For Epiphany, a season in which we are invited to bring the light of Christ with us so that it may be shared with others, our take-home kit is the Epiphanytide Home Blessing Kit. Each kit contains a set of prayers plus a small jar of Holy Water and some chalk, elements used in the blessing of a home. Plus, there are directions for Making Prayer Stars which can be shared with others or can be used as reminders throughout the year of the call to carry Christ’s light through our intentions and prayers.
We will bless the kits this Sunday when we bless the water in the font together so that everyone may take them home. We’ll have the kits on hand throughout the Season After the Epiphany, which ends on March 2, Shrove Tuesday.
Look for more take-home Christian Formation activities for all ages! Later this month, we will hand out kits to make St. Brigid’s Crosses at home at the beginning of February.
Ministry and Recommitment
Our Pledge Campaign last year focused on 3 themes – Recommitment, Renewal, and Reconciliation. When we developed these 3 themes, the Stewardship Team wanted to use them to frame our entire year of 2022 – in liturgy, in formation, in stewardship, in prayer… in everything. For the Season After the Epiphany (January and February) we will focus on the theme of Recommitment. In Lent and Easter (March 2-June 4), we will focus on Renewal. And during the Season After Pentecost (June 5- Nov 20), we will focus on Reconciliation.
It’s not unusual that the theme of Recommitment comes in January, at the beginning of the year. It’s a traditional time of recommitment – we make plans, we make resolutions, we go on diets, so on and so on. But the question out there is, what are we recommitting ourselves to? For that matter, WHO are we recommitting ourselves to?
Believing that the God we worship is the God of Life who is Love is an important place to begin, I think. Because everything else can flow from that belief. If God is Love, and I am committing myself to Love and to truly living into that, then what does that mean for me?
If we start with Love, what flows from us becomes ministry, regardless of where that takes place. When we come from Love, we are using our gifts to co-create God’s Reign on earth because we desire to make love, in all its forms, a reality. For ministry isn’t something that only feeds others, it feeds us too. The more we offer love, the more we experience love. This is a truth that’s hard to believe until we begin to experience it for ourselves.
And… we are not a bottomless source of anything. We need to take stock of what we are able to offer – in time, talent, and treasure. I hope that, this year, you will spend some time during this month of January, to consider your ministry at St. John’s… and beyond. What are you committing to in this coming year? Are you ready to learn something new? Do you want to do more of what you already love to do? Are you willing to help out in other ways to support the larger community of St. John’s?
We’re handing out a blue Ministry Survey during worship over the next several weeks. Please take it home with you and pray about the ministries listed on the sheet. See what God says in your prayer time. At the end of the month, on Jan 30 at our Annual Meeting, I’ll collect them from you and make sure that ministry team leaders are aware of your commitments for the coming year. And if you’d like to talk it through me with, please reach out to me. I’d love to help you discern.
In God’s love and mine,
January 16, 2022
Page Turners Book Club: The books for the next several months have been announced: February 1- Oh, William, by Elizabeth Strout; March 1-The Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman; April 5- Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr; May 3- The Murmur of Bees, by Sofia Segova. Speak with Lynn Dennison for more information.
Standing for Election to Vestry on January 30
Every year we vote for people to be on the Vestry. Each vestryperson serves a term of 3 years and each warden serves a term of 2 years. Here is the 2022 slate: Claudette Ford, running for a second term as warden; Paula Wisneski, running for a second term as vestryperson (having completed Jeanne Ruddy’s term); Sara Hutton, running for a first full term as vestryperson (having completed a one-year term).
Questions? Ask one of our wardens, Lynn Dennison or Claudette Ford or Rev. Michelle
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St. John’s Upcoming Schedule
Jan 30: St. John’s Annual Meeting and Ministry Fair
Feb 27: Building the Lent Ark, from 2-4 pm at St. John’s
Mar 1: Shrove Tuesday
Mar 2: Ash Wednesday
Mar 5: Vestry Retreat at Huntington House
Apr 10: Palm Sunday
Apr 14: Maundy Thursday
Apr 15: Good Friday
Apr 16: Holy Saturday and Easter Vigil
Apr 17: Easter Sunday