E-Newsletter for Sunday, November 19

Movie Group Tonight, Pledge Drive, Advent Quiet Day and More in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, November 19    http://mailchi.mp/1b49371b8da8/ey7eu7o5mr-1305085

From the Stewardship Commission
Mr. John Harberts, Chair

Dear *|FNAME|*,

Our annual pledge drive is underway.  Since our start at the In-Gathering on Sunday, November 5, we have received pledges from two-thirds of those who pledged last year. Our average pledge has increased 14% to a current average of just over over $3,000! This is a terrific start and is encouraging to all of us on the Stewardship Commission.  Of course, we have a way to go to reach our budget needs for 2018, but we are encouraged with everyone’s response so far.  

Parishioners tell us that in the hustle and bustle of their lives, they sometimes just forget that the pledge drive is going on.  They want to pledge but they get busy.  “Please call me and remind me!” we often hear from parishioners.  So, we have begun calling this week.  If you have forgotten to pledge, you will most likely hear from your personal Stewardship contact person this week with a friendly reminder.  Please give them a warm and friendly greeting as sometimes this is a difficult task to call and ask for a pledge.  We so much appreciate your understanding.  We simply want to help you with a friendly reminder.  There are several ways to pledge – turn in your pledge card at church or mail it, call Cindi at 842-6260, or pledge on-line.  Just let your contact person know how you want to turn in your pledge. 

Please remember that the Stewardship drive is also about more than just pledging – important as it is.  In the packet we sent out last month, we wanted to be sure you knew we want to connect with everyone.  We want to see if there is something we can help with regarding your worship needs or spiritual life.  Please let us know how we can help or if you have an idea about something.  Perhaps you would enjoy volunteering in some capacity or maybe you want one of the ministries or Father Jared to contact you.  We will help make that happen.  We plan to connect occasionally during the year – just to say, “Hello,” and see how things are.  There is no other reason.  This is a start.

We also want you to be well informed about your church. We've shared with you what we did together last year in the Forward in Mission booklet, and now we are looking ahead. You should know that this year’s pledge drive is particularly important. Every year costs beyond our control go up—just like they do in your household.  We already run a very tight budget at St. John’s so there is very little if any “excess fat” for us to cut from the budget to meet increased costs when they come.  

So, we are turning to you.  We rely on your pledge to plan the budget and the canons of our diocese require each year's budget job be balanced. To get to that balanced budget continuing this year's ministry, we'll need total pledges of $318,000—just thirty-five more, if we keep our increased average of $3,000. We had 113 pledges last year, so we think a goal of at least 107 at this average is within reach… with your help. 

Parishioners have also told us they want us to do more with our ministries—both within the church and in the larger community.  Therefore, after we hit the goal for maintaining our budget, we are hoping to do more in these areas in the year ahead. You can read more about those goals for increased ministry in the Parish Council 2018 Vision.

I continue to be so impressed with the people of St. John’s.  Not only have we recently completed a successful Capital Campaign, our annual pledge drive is off to a good start as I mentioned above.  If we all work together, turning in a pledge to our community and getting 2018 off to a strong start, not only can we meet the needs of the current budget, but we can achieve the Vision for 2018—a total pledge goal of $362,600. If 120 of the 172 families at St. John's pledge at that $3,000 average, our goal for growth will be met.

This would be a stronger budget than we have built before, but it is possible with your help as you turn in your pledge—or even increase your pledge, if you feel called to go beyond what you initially wrote down. 

Again, I thank you so much.  Mary and I want to wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We look forward to experiencing Advent and the Christmas season with all of you.  You have made Stewardship a joy for all of us on the Commission.

Sincerely,

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, November 19  http://mailchi.mp/1b49371b8da8/ey7eu7o5mr-1305085

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E-Newsletter for Sunday, October 29

Ordination this Saturday, Next Week All Saints’ & All Souls’and More in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, October 29    http://mailchi.mp/97be2b70dc43/ey7eu7o5mr-1296297

From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP

Dear *|FNAME|*,

The ordination of John Infante to the priesthood, this Saturday at 11:00am, has been years in the making.

It was two and a half years ago that John Infante sat on the couch in my room at the seminary in Santo Domingo, listening with great interest to our parish's plans for Latino ministry.

I was down there working on my Spanish, so my conversations were broken at times. However, another new friend, Luis Hernández was sitting with us. He helped translate for me at times when I couldn't figure out how to say something in Spanish. I remember how surprised I was when John asked about coming to visit, offering to help us start this ministry. He had just met me and yet he was willing to uproot himself for several months and come be with us, to help us figure out how to start this thing.

Little did we know the love he would develop for you, the people of St. John's—both Latino and Anglo members. Little did we know that he would decide to move here, to leave everything behind in Colombia with a deep desire to be your priest.

Of course, the seeds of this weekend's event stretch even farther back than that time in the Dominican Republic. John's sense of calling to the priesthood has been developing for over a decade. He has consistently sought to offer himself up in service to Christ's work in the church. He has gone through training—a Licentiate in Theological Studies in Colombia along with Anglican Studies training at the seminary in Santo Domingo. He has worked through countless meetings exploring his sense of call to the priesthood.

For years, as a transitional deacon, he has stood to the right of the priest who is celebrating Eucharist, patiently waiting until it is time for him to occupy that position. 

And this Saturday, he will lie face down on the floor of St. John's while we pray for him, in both English and in Spanish. He will feel the crush of hands as priests from all around the diocese lay their hands on him along with the bishop's. And he will hear the bishop say, in John's own language, "Por tanto, Padre, por medio de Jesucristo tu Hijo, derrama sobre John tu Espíritu Santo; cólmale de gracia y poder, y hazle un sacerdote en tu Iglesia."

"Therefore, Father, through Jesus Christ your Son, give your Holy Spirit to John; fill him with grace and power, and make him a priest in your Church."

Yes, the events of this Saturday have been a long time in the making. Our beloved Luis Hernández, who sat with us in Santo Domingo so long ago and who sojourned briefly with us as we sought to reimagine children and youth ministry, he will also be there this weekend. He is flying in just to be with us all on this important day. 

I hope you'll be able to join us for this wonderful day, not only in the life of John Infante, but also in the life of our church. As he becomes a priest, he will now fully live into his role as our Associate Rector. No longer will he be "Deacon John." He will now be "Father John."

There is a custom in the church, at the ordination of a priest, that those attending greet the new priest by kneeling and asking the new priest to pronounce God's blessing—an authority newly given to the priest at ordination. I know I'm looking forward to kneeling in front of John and asking for him to pronounce God's blessing over me. He has already blessed my own life in countless ways—to hear that blessing pronounced formally will be a culmination of many things. 

And whether or not you can make it this Saturday, I'd invite you to the Spanish Eucharist this Sunday at 12:45pm. At that Eucharist, John will celebrate his very first time as a priest in the church. Your first celebration of Holy Eucharist is a powerful experience. If you're able, I'd invite you to join our Latino members Sunday, to stand with John as he finally prays a prayer he has longed to lead for all of us. 

Yes, these events have been long in the making. It will be a profound experience of grace to share them with you all.

Through Grace,

PS~ Click here for information on being a part of the parish gift to John for his ordination and the fundraiser for Latino ministry in his honor! We're already over 75% to our goal, with over $3,000 raised to help with costs of food, music, a special ordination gift for John, and a blessing of extra resources for ministry in the El Corazón Latino Ministry Fund! 

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, October 29  http://mailchi.mp/97be2b70dc43/ey7eu7o5mr-1296297

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E-Newsletter for Sunday, October 22

Forward in Mission, Pledge Campaign, New FAQ about Worship and Parish Customary and More in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, October 22    http://mailchi.mp/4192c42f8bcb/ey7eu7o5mr-1292685

From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP

Dear *|FNAME|*,

The 2017 Forward in Mission Report has been published!!

By now you should have received one from your Stewardship Commission Liaison or in the mail. You can also read the report online here. It is full of great information about the 2016–2017 Program Year, interviews with our new staff, and a look ahead at the year to come.

This means we are also in the midst of our 2018 Pledge Drive. The Ingathering of Pledges will be All Saints' Sunday, November 5, at all three services. In between, at 11:30am, we will have our Annual Harvest Festival. If you have not yet signed up, please click here and the Parish Office will do it for you! Slow's BBQ of Grand Rapids will be catering again and you can even click here to give your suggested donation for the meal in advance, thereby speeding things up as we get to the great food and celebration!

The Parish Council met in retreat on Monday, October 18, and spent time in prayer considering their sense of God's call to our parish in 2018 and what sort of budgeted resources would be needed to answer that call. They've published their 2018 Vision & Budget Priorities online here and invite you to consider it as you prayerfully discern God's calling in your household's giving.

Every single one of the seven priorities identified could be reached through a variety of ways:

  • If we saw seventeen new pledges at the current average pledge level in our parish (last year, we had ten new pledges).
  • If existing pledges increased their giving so that the average of all current pledging households moved from $2,674 to $3,208 (an increase of $10 per week). Given the median household income in our area, that would require households to move from pledging, on average, 5.6% of their blessings to the ministry at St. John’s to an average of 6.8%.
  • If we had a combination of the two realities—if our average pledge increased only $5 per week to $2,934 and we saw six new households as well pledging to contribute to that average. 

The Parish Council knows this might seem like a tremendous goal for our parish, but if there is one thing we have learned this past year it is that our community  is one that can rally around the importance of mission and ministry. The Stewardship Commission invites you, the members of St. John's, to join them in supporting the important work our congregation is doing.

Thank you for your prayerful and careful consideration of this opportunity to be a part of a great moment in the life of St. John's. With a soon-to-be newly ordained Latino Associate Rector, a thriving music program, a revitalized children & youth ministry, and a growing faith formation and pastoral care ministry, you are the ones who enable this ministry to happen through your faithful giving.

Through Grace,

PS~ Don't forget to mark your calendars for John's Ordination to the Priesthood here at St. John's on Saturday, October 28, at 11am. Click here for information on being a part of the parish gift to John for his ordination and the fundraiser for Latino ministry in his honor! We're already over 75% to our goal, with over $3,000 raised to help with costs of food, music, a special ordination gift for John, and a blessing of extra resources for ministry in the El Corazón Latino Ministry Fund! 

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, October 22  http://mailchi.mp/4192c42f8bcb/ey7eu7o5mr-1292685

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E-Newsletter for Sunday, October 15

Friday Fall Follies, Godly Play for Everyone, Harvest Festival Signup and More in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, October 15    http://mailchi.mp/80b56f83bf06/ey7eu7o5mr-1290125

From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP

Dear *|FNAME|*,

I distinctly remember the first time I experienced a Godly Play story.

I was a relatively new member of the Church of the Heavenly Rest in Abilene, TX. It was the first Sunday of Advent and we began the season with a faith formation hour that would be led by a Godly Play Storyteller. The adults all sat on their chairs in a circle around the room and the kids sat in the middle with the Story Teller

As she began telling the story, the most amazing thing happened. Adults who were lounging and watching this kids event put both feet on the floor. They sat back in their chair and then leaned forward, drawn into the story being told. As the Story Teller began the "I wonder…" section, inviting the kids to wonder and explore the meanings of Advent, I saw some adults wiping tears from their eyes.

It was profound.

It has been a lot of work to bring Godly Play to St. John's. Our Children & Youth Coordinator, Reyna Mako, went through an intensive training in Traverse City, along with our Parish Intern, Jessica Robinson. Resources from the Hill Family Christian Education Fund at the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation were put to work purchasing the curriculum and supplies needed to do this ministry well.

Most importantly, a half dozen people have stepped up to serve as Godly Play Story Tellers, most of whom 
had not previously been active as Sunday School Teachers. 

I'm thrilled that this Sunday you will get to experience Godly Play for yourself. The children and Reyna will come upstairs to join the adults in the Guild Room. You'll be able to see first-hand what this new curriculum for our children is like, what your support for children and youth is resulting in at St. John's.

Trust me, you won't want to miss it. 

Through Grace,

PS~ Don't forget to mark your calendars for John's Ordination to the Priesthood here at St. John's on Saturday, October 28, at 11am. Click here for information on being a part of the parish gift to John for his ordination and the fundraiser for Latino ministry in his honor! We're already over 75% to our goal, with over $3,000 raised to help with costs of food, music, a special ordination gift for John, and a blessing of extra resources for ministry in the El Corazón Latino Ministry Fund! 

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, October 15  http://mailchi.mp/80b56f83bf06/ey7eu7o5mr-1290125

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E-Newsletter for Sunday, October 8

SAVVY is Back, Centering Prayer, Loving Spoonfuls Help and More in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, October 8    http://mailchi.mp/2c1a7cf8e933/ey7eu7o5mr-1287693

From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP

Dear *|FNAME|*,

The month of September certainly flew by here at St. John's! In particular, we never really got a strong start in adult Faith Formation Hour at 11:30am in the Guild Room with all the other activities happening.

That all changes this Sunday.

We will be blessed to have Daniel Snyder leading our Faith Formation Hour this Sunday, introducing and exploring the concept of "Centering Prayer."

If you haven't yet gotten to know Daniel, you'll quickly see why you want to this Sunday at Faith Formation. A former Carmelite and Roman Catholic priest with nearly ten years in active ministry, Daniel has spent the past several decades as a clinical psychologist. The contemplative life, however, has always nourished him, and he is a member of the Community of Charity, an ecumenical religious community. 

This Sunday, Daniel will teach some of the basics and background of the centering prayer tradition, exploring how it can be experienced and practiced by the average Christian… and why the average Christian would want to engage in this spiritual practice. 

Daniel is teaching this class in advance of a new Centering Prayer opportunity that will be offered alongside adult Faith Formation. Starting on October 22. in the lower level chapel,  Lisa Bayne will begin leading regular centering prayer each Sunday at 11:30am for those who are not attending Faith Formation in the Guild Room but are, instead, looking for a place quietly to connect with God. 

I hope you'll take advantage of the opportunity this Sunday. And, starting on the 22nd, I hope you'll appreciate the addition of Centering Prayer to the 11:30am Faith Formation offerings at St. John's Episcopal Church. 

Through Grace,

PS~ Don't forget to mark your calendars for John's Ordination to the Priesthood here at St. John's on Saturday, October 28, at 11am. Click here for information on being a part of the parish gift to John for his ordination and the fundraiser for Latino ministry in his honor! We're already over 25% to our goal, with over $1,000 raised to help with costs of food, music, and a special ordination gift for John. 

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, October 8  http://mailchi.mp/2c1a7cf8e933/ey7eu7o5mr-1287693

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E-Newsletter for Sunday, September 24

Movie Group Tonight, Ordination News, Capital Campaign Celebration and More in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, September 24    http://mailchi.mp/133421b81210/ey7eu7o5mr-1279253

From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP

Dear *|FNAME|*,

We have tremendously exciting news to announce.

There are just a couple more forms to be turned in, but the date has now been set and, pending those final approvals, we can now let you know that…
 

By the Grace of God
and with the Consent of the People of God

 
The Right Reverend Whayne M. Hougland, Jr.
Bishop of Western Michigan
 
will ordain
 
the Rev. John Edwin Infante Pinzon
 
to the Sacred Order of Priests
in
Christ's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
 
Saturday, the twenty-eighth of October
in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen
at eleven o'clock in the morning
 
St. John's Episcopal Church
524 Washington Ave   Grand Haven, MI
 
Your prayers and presence are requested.

Luncheon reception to follow.

This will be a truly wonderful day, both for Deacon John and also for our congregation and diocese. I hope you will help us celebrate. If you want to help organize the luncheon, please contact the Parish Office this week. Next Tuesday we will e-mail everyone who has said they want to help and the group will come up with a plan of action.

As a gift to John on his ordination to the priesthood, the parish of St. John's will be giving him a custom cassock, made by House of Hansen in Chicago. House of Hansen is the nearest clerical tailor to us and they make excellent vestments at quite affordable prices. If you would like to make a donation towards this ordination gift, please send a check to the Parish Office with "John's Ordination Gift" in the memo line (or click here to make a gift online). Any funds raised in excess of the cost of the cassock will go to the El Corazón Latino Ministry Initiative in John's honor.

Mark your calendars. This will be a powerful and beautiful event!

Through Grace,

PS~ Bethany and I are looking forward to welcoming you to our house for our annual Rector's Open House this Saturday, September 23, from Noon-3:00pm. It will be at our new home, 11571 Oak Grove Rd in Grand Haven and will be a pot-luck style luncheon, so bring a snack/side/beverage to share. We'll be grilling out, so you can also bring meat and buns. Come and stay for the whole time, or just pop by for a visit. We look forward to welcoming you!
 

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, September 24  http://mailchi.mp/133421b81210/ey7eu7o5mr-1279253

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E-Newsletter for Sunday, September 17

Holy Cross Service Tonight, Mustard Seed Sunday, Capital Campaign News and More in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, September 17    http://mailchi.mp/dcc9081beea4/ey7eu7o5mr-1276233

From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP

Dear *|FNAME|*,

One of the favorite comments I get on Sundays are after a Mustard Seed Sunday experience.

For those who may not know, "Mustard Seed Sundays" are a tradition at St. John's where on a Sunday near the beginning of each liturgical season we place the children at the center of our community's worship. At all three services, the children are invited to join in the Gospel Procession. They sit at the chancel steps with me for the sermon. Then, they join the Offertory Procession and instead of simply remaining at the rail, they come right up into the altar area and stand there with the other worship ministers. 

More than a few adults have told me how much they like the sermons on Mustard Seed Sundays because they are not your typical "children's sermon." Rather, I often say that I try to preach in the style of "Shrek." That is, while talking to the children I try to communicate a more complex message to the adults who are overhearing. Together, hopefully, we have a lived experience of the Gospel.

I'm sure I don't hit it every Mustard Seed Sunday, but I always look forward to these opportunities—particularly for the wisdom our children often bring when they are invited to offer their own responses and experiences.

The next Mustard Seed Sunday is this Sunday, September 17, the beginning of the church school year. We will also be doing our annual Blessing of the Backpacks. So all kids are invited to bring their backpacks to worship for a special blessing. Teachers will also be invited to come forward and receive a special blessing as they embark on a new school year.

Through Grace,

PS~ Plans are being laid by our Children & Youth Coordinator, Reyna Masko, to organize a short mission-trip down to Houston, TX, to assist with Hurricane relief efforts. She is looking at options in late September or sometime in October and is currently in conversations with Episcopal parishes in the Houston area about how a group from St. John's might be of help. If you are interested (or think your teen may be interested) in finding out more, click here to e-mail Reyna. She can then keep you up to date as conversations progress. Father Christian Baron, from St. Philip's Beulah, also has a trip lined up from September 19—26, flying round trip out of Chicago for only $150. You can click here to e-mail him for more information. 

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, September 17  http://mailchi.mp/dcc9081beea4/ey7eu7o5mr-1276233

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E-Newsletter for Sunday, September 10

Ministry Fair this Sunday, Men’s Open Table, Capital Campaign Update and More in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, September 10    http://mailchi.mp/3918a3eff632/ey7eu7o5mr-1273097

From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP

Dear *|FNAME|*,

It's that time of the year again.

The loud shout you maybe heard echoing around the Tri'Cities earlier this week was the collective exclamation of relief and excitement of parents as their kids head back to school! 

(Or, it could have been our Capital Campaign Team, when we passed the $300,000 threshold—more on that in their announcement below).

Either way, back to school also means back to church school. This Sunday we return to our regular worship schedule, as the Spanish Eucharist returns to its normal time of 12:45pm and Faith Formation for all ages resumes at 11:30am.  

Our first offering is this Sunday's Fall Ministry Fair. Organized by the Stewardship Commission, every ministry at St. John's has been invited to decorate a table in the Parish Hall with information about their ministry. You are invited to spend some time at 11:30am walking the fair, seeing some of the several opportunities for ministry here at St. John's. 

We have some new ministries that will be out there (Digital Evangelism, Shepherding, etc.) and we have some long-time ministries that are particularly eager for some extra help (Altar Guild, Children & Youth Ministries, Loving Spoonfuls, etc.). As you begin a new year, the Fall Ministry Fair is a great way to begin to get a  sense of how you can be a part of the work of Christ we share at St. John's. 

Then, next Sunday, September 17, our adult Faith Formation Hour resumes in the Guild Room. Spanish-language Bible Study resumes in the Associate Rector's Study, and Sunday School and Youth Group resume downstairs. 

Welcome back to a new program year—I think we have great things in store!

Through Grace,

PS~ Plans are being laid by our Children & Youth Coordinator, Reyna Masko, to organize a short mission-trip down to Houston, TX, to assist with Hurricane relief efforts. She is looking at options in late September or sometime in October and is currently in conversations with Episcopal parishes in the Houston area about how a group from St. John's might be of help. If you are interested (or think your teen may be interested) in finding out more, click here to e-mail Reyna. She can then keep you up to date as conversations progress. Father Christian Baron, from St. Philip's Beulah, also has a trip lined up from September 19—26, flying round trip out of Chicago for only $150. You can click here to e-mail him for more information. 

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, September 10  http://mailchi.mp/3918a3eff632/ey7eu7o5mr-1273097

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E-Newsletter for Sunday, September 3

Hurricane Harvey: How We Can Help and More in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, September 3    http://mailchi.mp/5cdcd53e9732/ey7eu7o5mr-1270189

From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP

Dear *|FNAME|*,

Like many of you, my heart has ached at the images of destruction coming out of Texas and Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Streets and homes filled with water, daring rescues by boat and helicopters, families leaving behind everything they have as they flee to safety… the need is truly immense. 

It is in times like this that our calling to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world becomes particularly essential. The Holy Spirit moves, calling us to action on behalf of those who are suffering. I'm grateful, in particular, to the leadership of the Diocese of Texas in responding to this crisis (you can read more about their response online here). 

There are at least two ways, in particular, I would encourage you to be involved with in supporting and bringing relief to those suffering from this disaster. 

First, our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, has issued an online video, calling on us to support our sisters and brothers through the work of Episcopal Relief & Development and their Hurricane Harvey Response Fund. He also provides information on how you can sign up for more information on providing hands on assistance in the Gulf area as a volunteer. You can watch that video by clicking the image below.
 

Secondly, a very specific way you can help those in need is through the work of the Texas Diaper Bank. This is the sort of need to which I've certainly become more accustomed as a father, but is one that is often overlooked in the depths of crises and natural disasters. 

Whether it is through one of these avenues, or some other aid agency with which you are already engaged, I do hope you will find a way to reach out and respond to this disaster.

As the Bishop of Texas, Andy Doyle, said in the prayer our Presiding Bishop quoted in his video:

Heavenly Father, in your Word you have given us a vision of that holy City where the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea: Behold and visit, we pray, the cities of the earth devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Sustain those displaced by the storm with food, drink, and all other bodily necessities of life. We especially remember before you all poor and neglected persons it would be easy for us to forget: the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick, and all who have none to care for them; that, among all the changes and chances of this mortal life, we may ever be defended by your gracious and ready help; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.

May God guide you in your own faithful response.

Through Grace,
>

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, September 3  http://mailchi.mp/5cdcd53e9732/ey7eu7o5mr-1270189

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E-Newsletter for Sunday, August 20

Capital Campaign Update, Summer Worship Gathering, Celebrate our Latino Ministry, and More in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, August 20    http://mailchi.mp/7c791235a32e/ey7eu7o5mr-1265137

From the Parish Administrator
Ms. Cindi Sanders

Dear *|FNAME|*,

Since September 1999, St. John's has provided a meal to those who are hungry in our community. No questions asked. We also provide to our guests takeaway bags of five food items on Sundays. 

Recently we have had kitchen managers who have felt called to other ministries or to other projects. Do you feel a certain sense of fulfillment when you feed people? Does it make you happy to see family and friends gathered around the table eating food that you prepared? You may be called to be a Loving Spoonful kitchen manager.

The job of a kitchen manager is to coordinate with me what meal will be served on the day that the kitchen manager is in charge. The kitchen manager prepares the meal, along with volunteers who have signed up for that day, and then serves our guests. The kitchen manager makes sure all volunteers are wearing plastic gloves, hats, are following health department procedures, and supervises kitchen cleanup.

Right now we are looking for kitchen managers! The expectation would be serving as kitchen manager on Wednesdays and/or Sundays. Your start time would depend on the meal being served on your assigned date. Wednesdays we serve from 5:30 – 6:30pm and Sundays we serve from 1:00 – 2:00pm. Kitchen Managers would be scheduled once every 6 or 7 weeks.

This is a ministry that our guests have come to depend on and love. They have formed their own community inside of ours, our church is their church, our space is their space, too, even if only for a few hours, even though it's in a different way than we experience community and church.

One of our kitchen managers, Alicia Hager, wrote once about the different kind of communion that is offered in the Loving Spoonful kitchen. She wrote about how we are all finding grace, how we are all coming to the table and being fed. This is an important ministry and if you feel called to it I would ask you to get in touch with me so we can talk more.

If you don't feel called to be a kitchen manager, or don't feel that you can make the time commitment, there are other ways you can help! We have a whiteboard outside of the kitchen that lists our most common supplies and ingredients. Take a look, maybe you could donate some of those items. We have someone that has volunteered to go and pick up food from LOVE in Action every week or so. It would be great to have another volunteer, too. With another volunteer, you would only have to visit Love in Action once a month. 

There's an old saying about how it takes a village, and it does take a village to continue feeding 25 – 35 hungry people twice per week at St. John's. This is not something that I or the other kitchen managers can do on our own, we need your help.

Please prayerfully consider offering your assistance so that we can keep this ministry moving. Feeding people who are hungry, offering community to those who don't have any other, while we change lives. 
   
With Joy,
Cindi

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, August 20  http://mailchi.mp/7c791235a32e/ey7eu7o5mr-1265137

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