E-Newsletter for Sunday, June 17, 2018

Mutual Renewal Workshop, Digital Team, Garden Bricks and more in the E-Newsletter for June 17, 2018 https://mailchi.mp/807ce86d95bf/ey7eu7o5mr-1374029

A Message from Cathryn Marshall, Senior Warden

Dear *|FNAME|*,

This is Father’s Day weekend. Always a little tough for me, since my father
 

died when I was just 12. For many years, I had time-travel fantasies where I somehow found my dad when he was just a kid and convinced him to not start smoking. The tricky part was always wondering how different my life would be if he hadn’t died…would I still have my children? Probably not.  Would my life be better? Maybe. I’m guessing at the very least, I would have finished college. Actually, if my little time-travel fantasy had come true, I probably wouldn’t recognize my life when I came back to the present.  During some stages of my life, perhaps I wouldn’t have minded that so much. Today, however, I am so very grateful for everything (and everyone!) I have in my life, that I wouldn’t trade anything, even though I will always regret not knowing my dad as an adult.  

So I salute all the fathers out there. I hope you know how lucky you are. I hope you cherish every moment with your babies, your toddlers, your little ones, your teenagers, and your young adults. I hope you find a way to make time for your grown children, and to let them know how much you love them, and how proud you are to be their dad. And to everyone, I hope you know how lucky you are to have your dad. Cherish the time you have with him, seek his wisdom and guidance while you can, enjoy his funny stories and bad jokes. Tell him how much you appreciate the sacrifices he made for you. Tell him how much you love him.

And if some of you didn’t have such a good relationship with your dad, or maybe didn’t even know him, I hope you had a teacher, a friend’s dad, or a clergy person in your life that you can remember or thank this Sunday. I had Jack, my friend’s dad. Hats off to you, Jack. Thanks for being my substitute dad.


 

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, June 17  https://mailchi.mp/807ce86d95bf/ey7eu7o5mr-1374029

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E-Newsletter for Sunday, June 10, 2018

A Message from Cathryn Marshall, Senior Warden

Dear *|FNAME|*,

A couple months ago, a handful of parishioners went to Kalamazoo to take part in training sessions for Safeguarding God’s Children and Safeguarding God’s People. The information shared was interspersed with videos and personal anecdotes from Fr. Randall’s experiences in a previous position in the Diocese of Chicago where he investigated clergy misconduct cases.  

A major take away for me as your Senior Warden was to look at policies and procedures at St. John’s to be sure we are fully protecting our precious young people. I would like to remind all of you about these policies and procedures, some of which are new.
 

  •  All clergy, Vestry members, Godly Play volunteers, J2A volunteers, and nursery volunteers are required to be certified in Safeguarding God’s Children at least once every three years. Training sessions are held in the area at various times, but an online session is also available here. If you take the online session, be sure to print out the certificate and turn it in to the parish office.
  • Young Children should not be left alone anywhere in our building. Our parish ethos is to be welcoming of children! If your child is having trouble occasionally sitting through the church service (no matter their age), they may move to the designated Soft-Space where they will find coloring books and quiet activities. We value their presence with us during worship and would like them to stay in the Nave if at all possible. The nursery downstairs is also available and staffed with our volunteers. However, our volunteers return to the Nave at 10:15am, If no children have arrived. If you find yourself in need of the nursery after 10:15am, you are welcome to stay in the nursery with your child and see the service on the TV live-stream. 
  • All activities for children shall be conducted with at least two unrelated adults, and will have an “open-door” policy, allowing parents to drop in at any time.
We are committed to protecting our children and want to provide safe spaces so they may be part of the church at all times. Over the next few weeks, we will be creating safe spaces throughout the building. That way whenever adults are gathered for meetings or fellowship, children can be nearby. If you have gently used child size tables and chairs, or if you would like to make a monetary donation for this project, please contact the parish office.

These policies not only protect our children, they also protect St. John’s from any liability or allegation. 
 

Thank you all for doing your part in creating a loving safe environment for all people at St. John’s.

 

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, June 10  https://mailchi.mp/2222b32edc6f/ey7eu7o5mr-1371821

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E-Newsletter for Sunday, June 3, 2018

Chancel Service Tonight, Meet St. John, Columbarium News and more in the E-Newsletter for June 3, 2018 https://mailchi.mp/bfb4bdcdae72/ey7eu7o5mr-1369593

A Message from Chuck & Betty Wibert

Dear *|FNAME|*,

We have no way of knowing precisely why the founders of our church chose St. John as our patron saint. Whatever the reasons, they were good ones. 

Tradition tells us that St. John, the youngest disciple, was also the disciple Christ loved. He was with Jesus at the raising of Jairus’ daughter and was present at the Transfiguration. We can only think he was in the boat when the sea was calmed and when Jesus walked on it. 

But he also stood in the shadow of the cross when Jesus said to Mary, “behold your son”. 

St. John was persecuted and exiled yet still proclaimed clearly the message of Jesus and His love for all people. He wrote five books of the New Testament and clearly declared, “In the beginning was the Word (Christ) and the Word was with God”. 

That’s a powerful mantra for our parish. In spite of challenges we proclaim Christ and His love for all people. After several years of searching, we finally found a statue to gift to the parish which we felt would offer a visual reminder of St. John’s message and the unfailing love of Christ every time we come to worship. 

Our statue is historic. It was made in Paris in 1875, spent time both there and Belgium and was finally purchased by a company in the Netherlands. Welcome to St. John’s St. John!

A committee is being formed to arrange a permanent and safe display. Suggestions are welcome—after all, he’s one of us!
 

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, June 3  https://mailchi.mp/bfb4bdcdae72/ey7eu7o5mr-1369593

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E-Newsletter for Sunday, May 27, 2018

Trinity Sunday, Youth Group Workshop, The Visitation and more in the E-Newsletter for May 27, 2018 https://mailchi.mp/f111dbba336f/ey7eu7o5mr-1366977

A Message from Cathryn Marshall, Senior Warden

Dear *|FNAME|*,

After an extra-long and lingering winter, we are finally coming up to Memorial Day, the unofficial start to summer.  According to the calendar, summer doesn’t actually begin until mid-June, but many look at Memorial Day as the real marker.
 
It’s too easy to think of this as just a nice 3-day weekend. A chance to get out the camping gear for the first time this year.  An extra day to sleep in. The day we christen our grills for the season, inviting friends over to enjoy some barbeque, and to relive our childhoods with a messy, delicious S’More.
 
But let’s not ignore the true purpose of this day. 
 
The custom of honoring ancestors by cleaning cemeteries and decorating graves is an ancient and worldwide tradition, and in early rural America, this duty was usually performed in late summer and was an occasion for family reunions and picnics. After the Civil War, America’s need for a secular, patriotic ceremony to honor its military dead became prominent, as monuments to fallen soldiers were erected and dedicated, and ceremonies centering on the decoration of soldiers’ graves were held in towns and cities throughout the nation.
 
After World War I, the day expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars, and states observed the holiday on different dates. In 1971, Memorial Day became a national holiday by an act of Congress; it is now celebrated on the last Monday in May.
 
So enjoy your day off, your family gatherings, your picnics, and your camping. But let us never forget the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms.

In God’s Grace,

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, May 27  https://mailchi.mp/f111dbba336f/ey7eu7o5mr-1366977

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E-Newsletter for Sunday, May 20, 2018

Movie Group, Pentecost, Newcomer’s Brunch and more in the E-Newsletter for May 20, 2018 https://mailchi.mp/8ff1f67f961d/ey7eu7o5mr-1361285

A Message from Cathryn Marshall, Senior Warden

Dear *|FNAME|*,

Over the past year and a half, I have been immersed in the Diocesan Church Development Institute, or DCDI. This is a fancy name for a series of workshops conducted at a beautiful retreat center about three hours north of Grand Haven. During the workshops, Debbie Wakerley, Joanne Lemieux, Brent Zimmerman, and I have learned about trust development, adaptive leadership, conflict resolution, and much more. Beginning in 2019, the program will be restructured so that the workshops will take place on Saturdays, instead of eight two-day sessions over two years. The new structure will be twelve one-day sessions.  The 2019-2020 course will take place at a church in Midland. Please prayerfully consider taking part in this valuable series.  If you are curious, ask one of us to share our experience with you.
 
This Saturday is our first Mutual Renewal Workshop. We still have plenty of room to welcome you, so please do come even if you didn’t sign up!  We will gather in the Guild Room beginning at 9:30am for refreshments and fellowship, then Dr. Daniel Snyder will lead us in a discussion about Spirituality and Prayer, and how they enrich and refresh us. We will end this workshop with a powerful interactive Stations of the Cross. Don’t miss it!
 
Now that Spring has at last graced us with her presence, I am off to get some gardening done!  May God bless each of you with a beautiful restorative Spring!

In God’s Grace,

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, May 20  https://mailchi.mp/8ff1f67f961d/ey7eu7o5mr-1361285

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