E-Newsletter for Sunday, March 17, 2019

Socks & Underwear for Needy Kids, MESSIAH Concert Patrons, Byzantine Iconography, and more in the E-Newsletter for March 17, 2019  https://mailchi.mp/2701ad0594d6/ey7eu7o5mr-1454117

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

Dear *|FNAME|*,

The Season of Lent is a season of forty days of penitence, prayer, and preparation for the feast of Easter. These days are traditionally observed with three core practices: fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. 

Fasting is what most of us think of when we think of Lent. It can take many forms. For some people it is giving up some food or drink that is a normal part of your routine. For others, it is abstaining from meat on Fridays. If you choose to practice a traditional fast, you would eat one normal meal each day as well as two smaller meals that, together, are not as much as a full meal. However you practice fasting, the discipline reminds us of our Lord's words that we do not live by bread alone, but that we are actually sustained by our loving God.

There are many ways to incorporate prayer more deeply into your life. Our Lenten Series on Sundays at 11:30am and Tuesdays at 6:30pm uses various prayer practices to explore several of the Followers of Jesus. On Wednesdays at 6:00pm, the St. Cecilia Choir is offering a contemplative service of Evening Prayers in the style of Taizé. And the most traditional prayer practice in our tradition is that of the Daily Office—prayers said in the morning and in the evening. (There is a website that will put all the proper prayers and readings in for you—and there's even an app for your smartphone!)

Almsgiving can be as simple as being more intentional about giving to the poor. However, at St. John's this year, we have a special opportunity for alms giving. As our parish Nominee to the Sacred Order of Priests, Alicia Hager, tells us…

A new friend of mine at work also volunteers in a clothing pantry run by her church, Grace Reformed, in Muskegon. Margo shared with me how children's clothes, particularly new underwear and socks, are incredibly difficult to come by. She shared a story about a little girl telling her that she has three pairs of underpants, because she just has to turn them inside out to get another day of wear from them. I think most of us would agree that clean under clothes are a very basic necessity. Beginning on Sunday, March 3 parishioners are invited to bring in packages of underwear and socks in varying sizes for boys and girls.  A collection basket will be available in the coat room for donations until Sunday, March 24, at which time I will deliver our donations to Margo for the clothing pantry. Margo let me know that they never charge for the clothes they supply, and that every week brings the new challenge of immigrants who have nothing (no coat, no suitable pants or sweaters) coming to her for aid. Your donations are so appreciated. You can supply a child the dignity of clean underwear and the warmth of socks as our Michigan winter drags toward Spring. Thank you for your generosity.

As you continue to walk these forty days of Lent, I'd invite you to consider helping with this children's underwear and socks drive by bringing some to donate and placing them in the designated bin in the coat room. If you would prefer, you can also make an online gift to my discretionary account. All gifts made to that account between now and Sunday, March 24, will be used to purchase children's underwear and socks for this drive. 

Through Grace,


Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, March 17, 2019   https://mailchi.mp/2701ad0594d6/ey7eu7o5mr-1454117

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