A Note from Fr. Humphrey 

Friday, 9 October 2015

Dear People, Neighbors, and Friends of St. John's,
I'll admit it: I'm the kind of priest who looks at pledge numbers the way a politician looks at poll numbers. Why? Because pledging is one of the few concrete "metrics" indicative of whether my own understanding of the mission and ministry of St. John's is aligned with the people whom I have been called to serve and to lead. Not that this is all it measures, but it is true that the annual stewardship campaign provides a much-needed reality check.
So far, I'm pleased to report that the reality is even better than I had dared hope. More than $96,000 has been pledged to St. John's in less than a week! To those who have already pledged: Thank you. I thank God every day for your support in this and so many ways. Your leadership inspires me to serve this community with ever-increasing commitment and determination. I am honored by the trust you have placed in me and in the lay leadership of St. John's, and hope that we continue to deserve it. I also know that for many of you, beyond putting any trust in human leadership, your pledge is a token of trust in God and a sign of hope for a future together that is greater than we can either ask or imagine. Your hope gives me hope, and your faith gives me faith.
$96,000 within the first week of the stewardship campaign is incredibly encouraging news. But does that figure include your pledge? Part of me hopes it does not! Because if it doesn't, that means you have an opportunity today to add to the abundance we are experiencing. If you haven't yet pledged, just imagine for a moment what we could do together if you joined those who have already stepped out in faith. Every pledge, no matter the amount, is a sign of commitment and support, so even if you don't feel you can pledge much, your pledge matters, and your pledge makes a difference.
Last year we received a record-breaking $120,000 in pledges. This year, with your help, we could easily reach $135,000 or even $150,000 -- or more! The more pledges we receive, the freer we are to dream big and act boldly, not for our own sake alone, but for all our friends and neighbors as we grow together in faith, hope, and love.
We are a growing church, a growing choir school, and a growing community center. No matter who you are, when you feed that growth, you feed your own growth, as well. It is such an exciting time to be a part of St. John's, whether you attend services here regularly, come to our events, or support us from afar. We could not exist and do the things we do without you. Without you, there is no "we." There is no "us." There is no St. John's without all its people, neighbors, and friends.
If you have not yet made a pledge for 2016, the easiest way to do so is to go to http://saintjohns-newport.org/online-pledge-card/ or to fill out a paper pledge card available in the church. If everyone who cares about St. John's were to pledge this year, I am convinced that 2016 would be the best year since our church building was dedicated in 1894. So let's make history together!
Yours in Christ's service,
N.J.A. Humphrey+
The Choir School News

The Choir School is back in full swing with rehearsals at St. John's on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mark your calendars now for these upcoming events!



Sunday, October 18 at 4 p.m. Choral Evensong for Treble Voices at St. John's, sung by the Professional Choristers of The Choir School of Newport county joined by the choristers from the Calvary Music School, Calvary Episcopal Church, Stonington, CT. 





Sunday, November 1 at 4 p.m. Choral Evensong for All Saints' Day, at Trinity Church , Newport, combining the Trinity and St. John's choirs and the Professional Choristers of The Choir School of Newport County. 






Sunday, November 15 
at 4 p.m. Choral Evensong for the Feast of Dedication of the Church of St. John the Evangelist (our 122nd birthday!). Sung by the St. John's adult choir and the Professional Choristers of The Choir School of Newport County.





The Choir School of Newport County is recruiting new choristers. Do you know a boy or girl who likes to sing? The choir school offers a first rate musical education right here in Newport. To arrange an informal audition, email the director, Peter Stoltzfus Berton, at director@thechoirschoolri.org. More information on the choir school may be found atwww.thechoirschoolri.org


Mark Your Calendars Now!
Join us at St. John's on Sunday, October 11 at 4 p.m. for  Hereford Variations, a 40-minute organ meditation composed by Peter Berton based on stained glass windows and poetry, along with a brief prelude of works by Edward Elgar. A suggested donation of $5 would be graciously accepted. 

The following feasts will be kept as Low Masses in October, all at 5:45 p.m., immediately following Evening Prayer at 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 15th - Translation of the Image of Our Lady of Walsingham

Monday, October 19th - St. Luke 

Friday, October 23rd - St. James of Jerusalem

Wednesday, October 28th - Sts. Simon & Jude

Please plan on joining us in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament on these holy days.
Saturday, October 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. PipeScreams on the  Point!  The Phantom of the Opera with live organ accompaniment improvised by the spooktacular silent film specialist Peter Krasinski. $5 suggested do nation benefits Episcopal Charities, supporter of the Newport's MLK Jr.   Community Center.  More wacky pre-Halloween fun for all ages, costumes are welcome! This year's highlight is a screening of the orginal 1925 silent horror film.
Monday, November 2 at 6:30 p.m. Solemn Requiem for All Souls Day with the St. John's Adult Choir and special guest instrumentalists, in a candlelit service of remembrance with Fauré's  Requiem. 

Saturday, November 21 at 7 p.m. in the Guild Hall  of St. John the Evangelist, a special acoustic guitar and vocal concert by the phenomenal band Aztec Two-Step. $25 admission benefits ministries of St. John the Evangelist. Limited ticketed seating with refreshments available...sure to sell out! For more information, please contact Scott Nicholson at gramer890@gmail.com.

Christian Formation Opportunities 
for Adults
Bible Study
Join Stephanie Shoemaker and fiends on Wednesdays at noon in the Guild Hall Lounge for a lively Bible Study. For more information, email her at   revshoe@aol.com
Group Spiritual Direction
Parishioner Melissa Bostrom is a certified lay Spiritual Director and Fr. Humphrey has served in this capacity for numerous individuals over the past several years. We are now considering offering Group Spiritual Direction, in two sections: one for men, led by Fr. Humphrey, and one for women, led by Melissa Bostrom. The two groups might also choose to meet together occasionally to discuss a common reading or for mutual prayer.
The term "Group Spiritual Direction" is not self-explanatory. Rose Mary Dougherty of the Shalem Institute defines it as "a process in which people gather together on a regular basis to assist one another in an ongoing awareness of God in all of life." It is not therapy or counseling, nor is it merely a support group, since the goal is to assist each other in discerning God's will for us and then praying for God's grace as we strive, with God's help, to put our discernment into action in our lives and in the world around us. Spiritual Direction helps us answer the question, "How, then, shall we live?" When undertaken as a group process, Spiritual Direction strengthens the bonds of the gathered community and focuses us individually and corporately as disciples of Jesus.
If you are interested in being a part of either the women's or the men's group, please email Fr. Humphrey at  vicar@saintjohns-newpor.org, and we will schedule an introductory meeting that will delve deeper into the group process.
Is the Samaritan Ministry for you? Are you called to be a friend to someone who needs one? Do you like to do things that make you feel good after you've done them? If the answer you gave to those two questions was "yes," then we would like you to consider becoming a member or associate of the Samaritan Ministry of St. John's. Our mission is to be a neighbor to those in need, either within the parish or without. So we want to be ready to respond to need whenever it arises, be it material need (a hot meal, a ride, etc.)  or simply the need for companionship during a difficult time. We are especially interested in exploring ministry to nursing homes and assisted living facilities in our immediate area. As we develop our ministry, we will need more people on the team. We meet on the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. If you'd prefer not to attend meetings but want to be called on to help when needed, you can simply join us as an associate. Please ask yourself those questions above and see where it leads you. You may contact any of those named below for more information or to join us in our important and rewarding work.
Trish Dresser
Mary Jane Rodman
Letty Champion
Melissa Bostrom
Deacon Buck Close
Teddi Shaw

Realm is the name of the new cloud-based database program St. John's uses to keep track of people. The more people who register, the more useful it becomes. Since we are now in stewardship season, the best introduction to it is to register for an account by going to   https://onrealm.org/StJohnEvangelis/Register. 
  Once you have registered for an account, you can sign in via 

Realm allows you to view and edit the information we have in our database and to set up online giving, either one-time or recurring. It also allows you to make a pledge that is entered directly into our system, skipping the "middle man" of the pledge card process. To find out more about these features, click on the links below to watch a brief video about how it works.

You can also access Realm via our website at  http://saintjohns-newport.org/support/.

Register today!

Have you visited www.saintjohns-newport.org lately? We have launched a redesigned website with new content. Over the next several weeks more bells and whistles will be added, so check back frequently! For instance, did you miss last week's sermon? Find the manuscript online here

Want to get more involved at St. John's? There's plenty to do outside and inside St. John's. If you'd like to become more active than you already are, please reach out to Fr. Humphrey at vicar@saintjohns-newport.org.
Need a visit? Please be in touch with Deacon Close at deacon@saintjohns-newport.org and he or Fr. Humphrey will be in touch.
Peter Quire Challenge Update
Over $13,000 has been received thus far for the Peter Quire Challenge, pushing us ever closer to our $18,000 fundraising goal, which thanks to the challenge grant will be worth $36,000 if we meet this goal by December 1st. We are now on the home stretch. Help us raise the final $5,000 this week! If we received one $1000 donation, two $500 donations, four $250 donations, ten $100 donations, and the rest in $50 and $25 donations, we could easily reach our goal. You can now make a secure contribution online by clicking here. If you haven't made a commitment or donation now, please do so.  Pledges toward this challenge may also be emailed to the office at parishoffice@saintjohns-newport.org, and checks with "Peter Quire Challenge" in the memo line may be mailed to the church at 61 Poplar Street Newport, RI 02840 or placed in the collection plate on Sunday. Small weekly donations in addition to your regular pledge are gratefully received, since these will make all the difference in meeting this challenge!

Did you see the article in Newport This Week on the legacy of Peter Quire? Click here for the online version of the story. (For the record, Fr. Humphrey's use of the word "Godless" in describing the neighborhood of the 1870s is a quote from a 1925 sermon marking the church's 50th anniversary and should be understood as such!)

Readings for this Sunday

Sunday, 11 October 2015
The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

Amos 5:6-7, 10-15
Psalm 90:12-17
 Hebrews 4:12-16
Mark 10:17-31