UPCOMING: The Feast of Pentecost
Sunday, June 5
This time of year is filled with so many opportunities – graduations, picnics, good weather, gardening, travel, etc. But don’t miss out on this year’s celebration of the Feast of Pentecost on June 5!
What is Pentecost?
The Feast of Pentecost is named for the Greek word that means 50 because it is 50 days after Easter. On this day, we celebrate the coming of God’s Holy Spirit in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2 where it says,
“1When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.”
In other words, we celebrate the gift of God’s Holy Spirit who comes down to inspire us and make Christ known in the world. As Episcopalians, we look to our Baptismal Vows for concrete ways to do just that.
This year, as we renew our Baptismal Vows, we will be baptizing Frances (Frankie) Flanagan into the Body of Christ and her parents, Angela and Christy are excited to be among us for this sacred act.
Holy Spirit Doves – Help decorate the Sanctuary
We started passing out paper doves last Sunday (which you can download here). Please decorate these doves however you’d like – color them, paint them, write prayers on them… whatever works for you. Then cut them out and bring them to St. John’s. It is ideal for you to bring them this coming Sunday (May 29) so we have time to get them up before June 5. But you can also drop them by the Rectory on or before Friday, June 3 (put them in the mailbox next to our door). Or you can just bring them on June 5, in which case, we’ll give you some tape so you can put your doves up in the Sanctuary yourself.
If you have a red St. John’s t-shirt, wear it! Or… wear anything that’s red because red is the color of the Holy Spirit and we’re hoping to be blessed with a lot of it that day.
A Story Sermon and Special Kids Packets
All the kids will be given special Pentecost packets put together especially for our celebration and, instead of a typical sermon, Rev. Michelle will be telling a story to help engage younger listeners.
Come and celebrate on June 5 and help us baptize Frankie!
God, help us!
At Centering Prayer last night, we were discussing our deep grief and anger over gun violence. And my wife Ana reminded us of a piece by Mendelssohn called Elijah. In Part 1, the entire chorus is, basically, screaming as loudly as they can while still holding some kind of musical pitch: “Help, Lord! Wilt Thou quite destroy us?”
Indeed, “Help, Lord!”
That is my plea. That is my prayer. That is what my whole being is shouting with a sound that is too loud for any ears.
Ever since the massacre in Columbine High School in 1999, when we were all shocked, we’ve been witnessing this violence over and over again, increasing in frequency, for more than 20 years. And yet, here we are. Still. And political leaders are appearing at the NRA convention in Houston, TX this weekend… as you read this… prepared to do whatever is necessary to hang on to their power through the influence and the money of the gun lobby. I’m sickened by this knowledge.
I want to find some way to return to hope. But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. Maybe my grief and my anger are exactly what I need right now. Not in order to take on a self-righteous stance and throw stones at others whom I find to be “unenlightened,” for that, in itself, is a violent response. But to channel my emotion into a strength so that I can find ways of acting.
The St. John’s Social Concerns Committee will be meeting next week on Wednesday, June 1 at 3:15 over Zoom. We will pray together and then we will discuss what action we can take as a congregation to bring about the necessary policy change toward ending gun violence. All are invited to this meeting.
Here is the Zoom link for the meeting that you can copy and paste into your browser: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/198694790
I’ll also be sending it out via email early next week.
I hope you’ll find the time to join us. And if you cannot come to the meeting and still wish to be involved, contact me via email.
In God’s love and mine,
Announcements for the
The Feast of Ascension, transferred: May 29, 2022
NEXT SUNDAY: Feast of Pentecost Be sure to come and worship on Sunday, June 5 to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, when we’ll all be renewing our Baptismal Vows as we baptize Frances (Frankie) Flanagan into the Body of Christ. Don’t forget to wear your red St. John’s t-shirts (if ya got ‘em) or any other red clothing. And bring your doves to decorate the sanctuary!
Social Concerns Zoom Meeting In response to the mass shootings that have taken place in Ulvade TX and Buffalo NY, the Social Concerns Committee is meeting over Zoom on Wednesday, June 1 at 3:15 to discuss our response of support and activism. See the parish email or the newsletter for the Zoom link to join. All are welcome!
Pastoral Care Team Meeting scheduled for June 12 immediately after worship. All are welcome to attend.
Calling all bakers! Do you like to make things in the kitchen? Our Communion Bread recipe is easy and quick. You bake one batch, deliver the bread to the church, and we keep it in the freezer until we use it. Sign up to bake for a month (or two) this year. The sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board in the Vestibule.
Deanery-wide Book Discussion: Are you ready to crack open the church? What might that mean? Come to a five week Zoom discussion group about Stephanie Spellers’ book, The Church Cracked Open. She reveals the connection of the Episcopal Church in domination and empire building, and shows ways for us to unravel those connections, enliven our faith, and serve our communities. Five Tuesdays, 10:30-11:30, June 14, 21, 28, July 5, and July 12 on Zoom. Please RSVP to Allison Moore, firstname.lastname@example.org, by Monday, June 13 (questions welcome ahead of time too). It would be best if most of us could make most of the sessions, but it is summer!
Flower Ministry: Every week, members of St. John’s honor their loved ones who have gone before or offer a memorial, listed in our bulletin, by supporting the Flower Ministry at St. John’s with a monetary donation. This ministry ensure we have lovely fresh flowers every week on our altar. Please consider signing up for a Sunday. Contact Elaine Lawrence at email@example.com
Page Turners Book Club: The next books are: June 7th: The Book of Hope, by Jane Goodall, July 5th (date might be changed): The Cold Millions, by Jess Walter. Currently the book club is considering the idea of meeting in person again but, as no decision has been reached. Please contact Lynn Dennison for more information if you’d like to join!
Collection Counters: As most of you know, each week, we collect pledges and donations during our Sunday service, along with other monies that come in during the week for rentals, etc. We need volunteers to count the monies immediately after the Sunday service and then make the deposit. You will be paired with one other person, scheduled once/month and will receive full training. Talk to Wes Dangler, Treasurer; Lynn Dennison or Claudette Ford, Wardens; or Rev. Michelle.
Benefit Concert for Ukraine: All are welcome to participate in the planning, just contact Rev. Michelle. The next planning meeting is via Zoom on Thursday, June 2 at 2pm. The Kingston Interfaith Council is hosting the concert at St. John’s on a date to be announced.
Have an announcement for the bulletin?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to firstname.lastname@example.org.