This Week at St. John’s
Special Prayer for Mothering
Mother’s Day carries with it much emotional content because, by their nature, our relationships with mothers and childbearing are deeply emotional human experiences. At St. John’s, we offer a special prayer every year while the larger American culture celebrates this holiday. Through this prayer, we do our best to honor the multi-faceted reality of motherhood, in all of our lives.
Bible Study Survey
As Episcopalians, scripture has a central place in our worship and is foundational to our Christian faith. As such, we are called to take the reading of scripture seriously, to open it up and explore its meaning. A Weekly Bible Study is an opportunity to interrogate scripture alongside others while developing relationships and community. What can we learn from scripture for our lives today?
If you are interested, please take this survey to let Rev. Michelle know when you are able to attend. Fill out this electronic form OR use the paper form found in your Sunday worship bulletin. Make sure they are turned in by Sunday, May 21.
The St. John’s Memorials Account
Did you know we have a Memorials Account? And what does that even mean?
For many years, St. John’s has had a way for people to make memorial or thanksgiving gifts into an account to be used for undesignated, special needs of the parish that come up, often related to our worship services. Examples are new altar linens, vestments, and our recent purchase of a new Gospel Book cover. George Mine has managed this account for many years, and Wes Dangler is on the committee.
In recent years, this account has been spent down and is now in need of replenishment. This came to light because we need to replace our green chasuble (seen in the images below), the one we use most, which is more than 25 years old. A new one, which will match our altar set, will cost about $750.
We invite you to help with this purchase by making a gift in memory or in honor of someone. You can speak to Lynn Dennison, George, Wes, or Rev. Michelle for more information. Thank you!
If you look in the calendar of the Book of Common Prayer, you may note that there is something called Rogation Days, which are optional days of commemoration “traditionally observed on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Ascension Day.”
As with everything on the Christian calendar, these Rogation Days replaced a pagan Roman procession called Robigalia (this was an unfortunate tradition of walking in a procession, which the Romans loved to do, and then sacrificing a dog as a way of appeasing the god of agricultural disease in order to protect crops). I’d like to think that Rogation Days are an improvement on that particular ritual.
Warning: History Lesson ahead!
As Christianity settled into the British Isles, this tradition came with it. There, Rogations Days became a syncretistic mixture of Christian allegory, the pronouncement of God’s blessing on the crops, and the more practical practice of marking property boundaries. People paraded along the boundaries of the town’s crops carrying banners, one with a dragon representing Potius Pilate and one with a lion representing Christ while chanting Psalms over several days leading up to the celebration of the Day of Ascension (the celebration of Christ’s ascension that is held 39 days after Easter). Interestingly, this is where the word “gang” came from – the old English word “gan” which meant to go walking.
Over the centuries, the allegorical nature of this ritual waned and it became a more communal event that the priest was in charge of leading every year. And, as you might imagine, they also became rather raucous from time to time and from place to place, which was one of the issues the Puritans had with the Church of England. Eventually, due to the Industrial Revolution, this tradition also included prayers for industry and commerce. And today, in the United States, this ritual is performed more as a nostalgic tradition than anything else because we have become so deeply separated from the land and the growing cycle of our food.
Here endeth the Lesson.
Every morning in the spring, I find that I cannot wait to get out into the garden and see what has happened overnight. I think this is quite something, given that I am not a morning person. I just like to walk the grounds, with coffee in hand, and take notice of the slight changes, figure out what needs to be watered or cared for, spend a bit of time pulling a weed or two, and visualize what’s coming next. It also gives me time to tune into myself and think about my family.
Today, as I was doing this, I realized that it’s like my own little Rogation procession: A practice of paying attention to the blessing of creation and all that I’ve been given to care for; of noticing what is needed for growth and offering what I can, knowing that I’m not going to do it all perfectly.
So, I wonder what your “Rogation procession” looks like. What are the regular rituals you participate in that allow you to notice what is needed? What do you do that enables you to tune in to a different frequency so that you can offer what is needed in support of the growth and nourishment of others?
This is, after all, what Ascension is about for us humans – the maturation of our own journey. We know that Jesus himself is no longer here, but his teachings remain and the presence of Christ will always be with us through our desire to tend to God’s creation – not in our image and for our own purposes, but in God’s image and for God’s purpose. It is to this we have always been called as Christians.
In God’s love and mine,
Announcements for May 14
The Sixth Sunday of Easter
St. John’s Office Hours
Mondays from 12:00-4:00 pm and Wednesdays from 10:00-12:00 noon
Phone: 845-331-2252 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have an announcement for the bulletin? Please send by Wednesday at noon to email@example.com.
Join the thousands of Episcopalians who are committing themselves and their households to sustainable living. Go to: sustainislandhome.org
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 June 1: These Precious Days by Anne Patchett. Our next meeting after that will be September 7 when we will discuss Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. No meetings in July or August. All are welcome! Interested? Talk with Lynn Dennison.
St. John’s Outreach Project – People’s Place: When you go to the store, pick up a few extra non-perishable food items for People’s Place food pantry (tuna, soup, pasta, sauce, etc.). We are also taking donations of birthday napkins/plates, candles, and gift bags in various sizes. Bring them to church and place them in the appropriate baskets near the font.
NEXT WEEK: Our Final Inquirer’s Class! From 1:00-3:30 in the Rectory
What We Do: Ministry and the Baptismal Covenant As Christians, we believe in an incarnate God – the Christ – who came to teach us that all the law and the prophets point to Love. And that this love isn’t something we feel, it’s something we do. Jesus’ two commandments of: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself aren’t about warm fuzzies and “thoughts and prayers.” These commandments must guide our participation in this incarnate reality. As we deepen our journey with Christ and our faith matures, we learn how to become ministers in the world. Our Baptismal Covenant is the place we return to in order to remind ourselves of God’s dream for all of us.
Interested in Baptism? In the Episcopal Church, we offer the Sacrament of Baptism on the Feast of Pentecost (this year, on May 28). If you are interested in Baptism or interested in having your child baptized, talk to Rev. Michelle as soon as possible to set up a time to talk more about it. The next time set aside for Baptism will be All Saints Sunday on November 5.
St. John’s Upcoming Schedule
May 20: Consecration of Matthew Heyd as Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of New York, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in NYC.
May 21: Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday, Inquirer’s Class – What We Do: Ministry and the Baptismal Covenant, from 1:00-3:30 pm in the Rectory.
May 28: Feast of Pentecost and Renewal of Baptismal Vows
June 4: All Ages Worship – The Creation Story
June 11: Guest Preacher – The Rev. Richard Witt of Rural and Migrant Ministries, Special Forum after worship about Rural and Migrant Ministries
June 18: Godly Play for kids, Healing Sunday, Pastoral Care meeting after worship
June 25: Rector’s Forum: Celtic Christianity, after worship
July 2: Summer Worship begins in the Parish Hall