January 22: Religious Life Sunday
Standing for election on January 29, 2023:
Warden 2-Year Term: Leah Siuta
Vestryperson 3-Year Term: Kathy Burdick
People Rolling Off Vestry:
Lynn Dennison finishes 2 consecutive 2-year terms as Warden (plus a 3- year term on Vestry prior to that).
Sheena MacGregor-Pilz finishes her year, completing a 3-year term.
People Continuing on Vestry:
Warden: Claudette Ford (current term ends 2024)
Vestry members serving until 2024: Liz Moeller and Nilsa Rodriguez-Jaca
Vestry members serving until 2025: Paula Wisneski and Sara Hutton
While masking remains optional at St. John’s, you are encouraged to consider wearing a mask during worship to help keep down the transmission of covid, flu, and other illnesses. Masks are available at both entrances.
I have spoken about how I came to the Episcopal Church several times in my sermons. I have also spoken about my “conversion” experience of truly coming to terms with what God’s Love means for me. But I honestly haven’t spoken all that much about the decision I made to follow Jesus.
The reason I bring this up is because that was the Gospel message last week and that is the Gospel message this week too – following Jesus. Last week it was John’s version of Jesus calling the fishermen and this week it’s the same story, just Matthew’s version of it. And for both Matthew and John, it seems that there is a definitive moment when these fishermen clearly make the decision to drop everything and follow Jesus.
I have to say that I find myself jealous of that kind of clarity… where one moment, I’m living one reality and the next moment, it’s something completely different. That’s not my experience.
Rather, my experience of following Jesus has been one of gradual discernment over time – moments in which I make small, subtle decisions that reflect more and more a deeper desire that seems to be centered in something/someone other than me and my immediate concerns/needs. Decisions I make about the use of resources… about how to spend my time and energy… about what it means to love others. I am a very different person now than I was when I started going to Trinity Episcopal Church in Bend, OR about 20 years ago. And I honestly don’t think I was a bad or selfish person then. I didn’t need to overhaul my life. But I also didn’t realize just how much more to life there was and how much more expanded my heart and mind could become. I wonder then, what is coming? How will my life be different? Who am I being called to become?
And I wonder if you’ve experienced something similar – where following Jesus has been a gradual discernment process. Or is your experience more like Simon/Peter or Andrew… where suddenly you knew Jesus was calling you, and things changed quite dramatically in your life? From my perspective, I think Jesus is ok with either of the above and anything in between. At least I hope so.
In God’s love and mine,
Announcements for January 22
The Third Sunday After the Epiphany
Mondays from 11:00-4:00 pm and Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 pm
Phone: 845-331-2252 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
THIS SUNDAY! Join the Companions of Mary the Apostle for a coffee chat after worship. Learn more about vowed religious life and about the ministry of CMA from Shane Phelan and E. Broyles.
NEXT WEEK: Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 29 – The Annual Meeting is a time for the congregation to learn more about the business (budgets, buildings, etc.) and ministry plans for the past year and the coming year. Everyone’s presence is requested. We will have childcare for this special meeting.
Now Forming! Adult Inquirer’s Class: Beginning in mid-February, Rev. Michelle will start an Adult Inquirer’s Class (6-8 sessions). All members of St. John’s are welcome to attend. We will cover topics like: How do Episcopalians read the Bible? How did the Episcopal Church get started? What do Episcopalians believe? Please reach out to Rev. Michelle via email if you are interested and we will determine the best class times based on the availability of those interested. Childcare will be made available for in-person sessions.
House Blessings – one of the traditions of this season is to bless our homes for the new year. During our Epiphany Celebration on Friday this past week, we marked our own doors of St. John’s to acknowledge and remind ourselves of God’s blessing of Light and Love. So that you can do this at home, there are take-home kits available with everything you need. Questions? Ask Rev. Michelle
Pledge Envelopes Are Here: If you made a pledge to St. John’s for 2023, your pledge envelopes are available. You can find a set with your last name on the box where you pick up your bulletins near the lectern. If you’re new to using them or have any other questions, speak with Lynn Dennison.
Acolytes, Ushers, and Lectors… Oh, my! Attention all people of St. John’s! Rev. Michelle will offer a forum after worship on February 26. During this forum, you will learn more about different liturgical duties and be invited to register for training. We’ll talk about Lectors, Sacristans, Acolytes, and Ushers – all of whom are important to our common worship at St. John’s. People from age 6 to adult are welcome to consider these ministries.
Page Turners Book Club Meetings are on the first Thursday of the month at 2 p.m., in the parish hall. Here’s what we selected for the next few months: February 2: The Plot, by Jean Hanff Korelitz; March 2: Inside the O’Briens, by Lisa Genova. If we have bad weather during the winter, we will switch to a Zoom meeting. Interested? Talk with Lynn Dennison.
Angel Food is in need of drivers! Drivers deliver meals on Thursdays. Meals are ready by 11 a.m., and most routes take about an hour. Substitute drivers are also needed so if you can help out as an on call driver, you are needed! Speak with either Rev. Michelle or Lynn Dennison if you can help.
Have an announcement for the bulletin?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to email@example.com.