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January Newsletter
Dear Friends,

This Sunday is our Annual Meeting.  At Annual Meeting we reflect on our ministry in the past year and look to the year ahead.  Through our reports and budgets, our reflections, our voting and confirming leadership, we take time to pause and consider how God is calling us and working amongst us and through us as a community.  Please take time to also consider how God is working in your own personal life.  When you look at the year past, where is the spiritual growth that you see?  What has God been doing in your heart and home?  How has he been leading you?  How have you responded?  And how do you sense he is calling you to grow in the year ahead?  In our worship on Annual Meeting Sunday, you'll have the opportunity to offer to God your responses to these questions.  Small cards and envelopes will be in your pews.  I encourage you to offer your responses by sealing them in an envelope and placing the envelope in our offertory - offer them to God as you offer him your whole self- the year past and the year
ahead- to be blessed and used for his purposes.  If you put your address on the envelope, we'll save them and mail them to you next year - to help prepare your offering of yourself in the next year.  May God bless us all and our parish Church community to be used for his purposes - to be part of his Promise.

Yours faithfully, 
 
Mo. Rita+
Letter to the Episcopal Church

January 22, 2018

Dear People of God in the Episcopal Church:

In recent weeks, compelling testimony from women who have been sexually harassed and assaulted by powerful men has turned our minds to a particularly difficult passage of holy scripture:  the story of the rape of King David's daughter Tamar by her half-brother Amnon (2 Samuel 13: 1-22). It is a passage in which a conspiracy of men plots the exploitation and rape of a young woman. She is stripped of the power to speak or act, her father ignores the crime, and the fate of the rapist, not the victim, is mourned. It is a Bible story devoid of justice.
For more than two decades, African women from marginalized communities have studied this passage of scripture using a method called contextual Bible study to explore and speak about the trauma of sexual assault in their own lives. Using  a manual  published by  the Tamar Campaign they ask, "What can the Church do to break the silence against gender-based violence?"...

Vestry Nominations

We are grateful for all who have accepted nominations for leadership in our parish.  On Sunday we will elect Diocesan Convention Delegates.  Those in nomination are: Anne-Marie Miller, Cindy Lufkin, Annemarie Quigley, Pat Sprague, Alisa Wing, and Sarah Danser. Our candidates for Officers are: Sr. Warden - Sarah Danser, Jr. Warden - Tim Pearson, Treasurer - Ross Moczo, and Clerk - Tom Archambault. Our candidates for Vestry Members are : David Ulrich, Ralph Whedon, and Candice Schoth.

If you would like to look at everyone's full bios click here.

David Ulrich :

I have been a member of Saint John's for about 5 years and have attended regularly for 7 years. For the last 2 years I've served as a Leader for JR YES. I am also a Lector and Eucharistic Visitor. This year I will complete the 4th year of EfM, which has brought me much in the way of spiritual growth and fellowship. I am excited about the opportunities for our Saint John's community and I'm grateful to have a role to play.
 
I'm married to Phil Hickey, soon to be Phil Ulrich, as he changes his name in preparation for the adoption of our children, Dominic and Mark. We're all excited to become a family and sharing the same last name is an important part of our commitment to each other. We live in Orrington where Dominic attends Center Drive School and is a member of the St Nicholas Choir. Phil is a stay-at-home Dad for Mark and he works part-time in the Nursery, volunteers in the Church Office and helps out on Second Saturday and the Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen. I work as a Family Nurse Practitioner at PCHC's Hope House Clinic where I've been privileged to provide medical care for Bangor's homeless and underserved population for 7 years.

Ralph Whedon :

Baptized in 1949 (the first half of the last century) by Rev Dr. Wallace Suter, Custodian (of the 1928) Book of Common Prayer for whom my mother, Jane, was secretary.  I was confirmed at Christ Church, Elizabeth NJ.  
 
We summered in Southern Maine from the age of 5; my mother packed Sunday clothes and arranged for us to attend Christ Church, Norway ME, while on vacation. My parents, Jane and Ralph, moved to Stillwater in 1970 and were members of St. John's (Episcopal).  Lorna and I, graduated from college and 3 days later were,married at a Solemn High Mass at Christ Church.  The church building burned to the ground 4 years later due to a faulty boiler; the site is now a parking lot.
 
My education includes: CFI, A&I, SEL&S, BS, MBA,CPA, CISA, Certified K-8. We have lived in Savannah NY, Albany NY, Naperville IL, Mentor OH, Portland and Stillwater ME. Our Episcopal Churches  have supported our spiritual life, for Lorna, me and our two children, Debbie (44) and David (42) at  St Luke's, Roselle NJ , St. Mark's, Newark NY; St. Peter's, Albany NY; St. John's, Naperville IL; St. James, Painesville OH; St. Peter's, Portland ME and at  St. John's Episcopal Bangor where our daughter, Debbie, and Lucas, one of our five grandchildren, were baptized.
 
Lorna was Church Secretary for 10 years at St. John's, Naperville.  I have participated in  parish life  including set-up and taker down for many rummage sales and Bishops' luncheons, Sunday School Teacher, Vestry Member, Eucharistic Minister, Youth Choir Director, Finance Committee Chair, Capital Fund Campaign Chair, Treasurer, Head Acolyte, and Choir Member.  If elected, I look forward to serving the parish to support the mission of St. John's.

Candice Schoth:

Candice Schoth has been a member of St. John's since 2010, was confirmed in 2013, and had her civil union to her husband, Andre, blessed in the church in 2015. She serves the public as a state employee in the role of tax examiner, and will soon be transitioning to the job of human services enforcement officer. In her time at St. John's, Candice has served in Altar Guild. She lives in Bangor with Andre and their three cats. 
Music Events
Robert Ludwig

Choral Evensong on Sunday, March 4 at 4 pm featuring George - A Fable
Our Lenten Choral Evensong will include a large-scale work about St. George and the Dragon composed by English composer, Alan Ridout, to words by Don Kerr. Alan Ridout (1934-1996) was a friend of Robert and Nancy Ludwig and was a student of Herbert Howells, Gordon Jacob and Michael Tippett. He composed fifteen operas, eight symphonies, twenty-five concertos and over a thousand shorter works. He was Professor of Theory and Composition at the Royal College of Music from 1960-1984 and wrote much music for Canterbury Cathedral. George - A Fable was written for the 1992 Montreal Boys' Choir Course, an annual summer choir course attended by the Ludwigs' singers from Cathedral of the Incarnation, Garden City as well as a number of singers from St. John's, Bangor. The piece tells the story of a dragon terrorizing a village, the knight George arriving to save the day, and then moves into a transformation of the dragon into the demons of our own lives. It concludes with a triumphant hymn to George's sacrifice - 
 
If we, with George, set captives free
And heal the sick, put tyrants down,
Face martyr's end, when that must be,
We'll share the trophy-bearer's crown.
Great George, who stands with God on high
With all the saints in bright array,
Our dragon slain, pray then we'll fly
To Christ, our Life, our Truth, our Way.
 
The lyrics of George were written by Don Kerr, formerly a choirmaster at churches in New York and Vermont and now Organist and Choir Director at St. Mark's Church, Waterville, Maine.
Decisions : The Final Installment
Lisa Romero

6 Months. It has been 6 months since I left my Haiti home. Not a day goes by where I don't think of my time there and the people I left. I see the pictures every day on my computer... and my heart softens as I recall some of the moments I shared with the people of Haiti. I want to go back. I want to be there for a long time. I want to do more for this nation. I want to be a bigger part of the change that is taking place. How do I do that? How do I give more? 
 
I have to remind myself that no matter where I am I am called to be on a mission with Christ. God gives me the opportunity to live on mission every day. Matthew 28:18-20 says ... "therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you  always, to the end of age." How do I do this? Well, first I have to remain rooted in Christ. That seems pretty easy... Christ has been the center of my life for as long as I can remember... I am rooted...Now I need to provide nourishment. I have to discipline myself to grow spiritually in Christ. Paul talks about the importance of discipline in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. He asks us to "Run in a way that gets the prize" . I spend time learning more about God and discipleship every day. Think about it... I spent a mere week in Haiti and saw first hand the effects of what not eating (nourishing) has on a person. It stunts the growth of children and leaves adults frail and susceptible to illness and disease. Well, without nourishment to my soul my strength withers. If i don't eat for a day it impacts my physically, if I do not pray for a day it affects me spiritually. Gods word is the food I need. 
 
To cultivate your garden you need tools. You cannot turn the soil with a spoon or a straw... well, I suppose you could but imagine the work involved? In order for me to cultivate my spiritual garden I need tools. God has provided me with them! Gods word is powerful. It is the tool used to sharpen us so that God can use us to cultivate his garden. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that Gods word is sharper than any double edged sword and it can deeply penetrate strait to the heart. My son loves weapons and has studied them intensely for years... but there is not a single weapon he can tell me about that is more powerful that Gods word. 
 
Our beautiful church is over 100 years old. It is a place of comfort for many of us... a place of refuge for some and a place to connect with others. It is community. The word church comes form the greek word "ekklesia" which is defined as "an assembly" or "called out ones". The root meaning of church is not a building, it is people. Our beautiful stone church with the history and the stained glass, the alter and the baptismal font... the organ and the artful music which is generated from it each week by the talented musical leadership we are blessed to have... all of that does not make our church... is is us... the people of St Johns that make the church. The church is the body of Christ and He is the head. Christ body is made of believers...we are those believers. As such believers, we need the body of Christ to accomplish our goals. 
 
Remember the story of Peter walking on water? It didn't go to well for him did it? he began to sink as he stepped out of that boat. I have to give him credit though, at least he got out of the boat and tried. God requires us to trust Him. Sometimes trusting in God is realizing that His plans are not always my plans. I felt so much as though He was calling me to serve in Haiti for a long time... so I interviewed for a missionary position through Mission of Hope. I was saddened to learn that the timing s not right... So I have to shift my goals and desires... I need to be happy serving Him in smaller increments until He is ready to offer me more. Perhaps my work is to gather more people to come to Haiti and spread His word or perhaps it is to be a light for those in need. I am happy to be doing His work however He needs it to be done. 
 
I leave for Haiti again on June 7, 2018. I get to go back to my Haiti home. I plan to bring my son with me this time. I hope it will change him forever as well. In the fall I hope to take a medical mission. Perhaps one day I will lead a mission as well. It is up to Him ultimately. For the time being I am proud to be an ambassador of Christ. 
 
I am always open to talking about my travel to Haiti and I hope to be able to share some pictures and stories with you soon. 
Announcements & Looking Ahead
Upcoming
Join us on Friday February 2nd when we will anticipate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the chapel at 7:30 am. 

Extra help is needed for our monthly serving at Second Saturday, hosted here in the Undercroft.  We are scheduled to serve next on February 10th from 11:30 am -1:30 pm.  You don't need to sign up in advance, or even commit to coming monthly, just stop in to help out when you can.  For more information, please see Nancy Henry.

Save The Date: February 11 th we will celebrate the  100 th anniversary of our church building  with a festive service , featuring our new hymn, "Ardent in Spirit", and the visitation of our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane.  Please  sign up to bring food for the coffee hour.

Mardi Gras and Pancakes!  All are welcome at the Annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on Tuesday, Feb ruary 13 th in the Undercroft .  The evening begins at 5:30 pm  with games and crafts . Pancakes at 6 pm.  Hosted by our Youth Groups as a fund-raiser for their June mission trip.

St. John's will be offering 3 services on Ash Wednesday, February 14th. The 7:30  am service and will be held in the Bethlehem Chapel. The 12:15  pm service and the pm service will be held in the church. Begin Lent with prayer and repentance on one of the holiest days of our church year.

During the season of LentMo. Rita will be in the chapel on Saturdays from 4 pm to 5 pm available to hear confessions or for conversation.

SSJE in Lent -  Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John.   Beginning on Sunday February 11th, receive daily videos with reflections on passages from the Gospel of John and the First Letter of John .  Weekly group discussions with take place on Sundays at 11:45 am in the Bethlehem Chapel from February 18th - March 25th .  Enroll online at meetingjesusinjohn.org.

The women's book group will again have a 2 pm afternoon meeting on the third Tuesday of the month, February 20th.  The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henry Nouwen will be discussed.  New members are welcome.  If you would like to attend, please contact the hostess Cass Wright 866-1060 or via email at cass363@gmail.com .

The Sign and the Sacrifice: The Meaning of the Cross and Resurrection.  Rowan Williams discussed what the events of the Passion of Christ meant to Jesus' followers in the early years and what they can say to us today.  Join us on Wednesdays at 1 pm in the  Bethlehem Chapel from February 21st - March 21st .
St. John's Episcopal Church | office@stjohnsbangor.org | http://www.stjohnsbangor.org  | 207.947.0156