A Note from Fr. Humphrey 

Friday, 18 September 2015

Dear People, Neighbors, and Friends of St. John's,
I am excited! Tomorrow, September 19th, St. John's will be holding our annual Summer Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is the primary fundraiser of the year for us, from which we hope to net upwards of $5,000. But we don't need the funds from the fair as much as we need the fun from the fair. The Summer Fair at its best is a fun-raiser even more than it is a fund-raiser, because it gives all of us an opportunity to gather together on the lawn and in the Guild Hall to enjoy each other's company. It's really more of an excuse to see each other on what is shaping up to be a lovely late summer day (and yes, it is still summer, until the Autumnal Equinox on Wednesday, September 23rd).
So I hope to see you at the Fair. I'll be mingling and trying to keep my kids from buying too much from the White Elephant sale (though like a good religious hypocrite, I encourage you to do precisely the opposite). By special request, I'll be near the Bouncy House from 11:00-11:30 to read a story or two for any kids who might be around then-in fact, for whomever would like to gather to hear me make even more of a fool of myself than I usually do in the pulpit. I might even tell one of my very own "Fluffy Bunny" stories, featuring the slapstick antics of Mr. Fluffy Bunny and his best friend, Chocolate Squirrel. This half hour is designed for all of you parents and grandparents who don't want your little ones to see what you're buying them for Christmas and their birthdays; otherwise, you're going to have to count on the aforementioned Bouncy House to distract them.
And be sure to come hungry. The Men's Club sets up a grill and makes some great grub. The prices can't be beat.
All this week, I've seen firsthand our tireless volunteers organizing the White Elephant sale, the clothing sale donations, and the book booth donations. Others, I know, have brought in supplies or have been working late hours at home on projects such as our Silent Auction-new this year. Our organist, Peter Berton, will give special organ demonstrations at 11:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. tomorrow. I want to thank in advance everyone who has donated high-quality items and services to the Fair, and all those who have worked so hard over the past year to make this event a reality. I won't even try to name names, because it's such a large undertaking and I don't want to run the risk of leaving anyone out. But know that you have my great gratitude for doing something concrete that brings not just funds for St. John's, but much-needed fun.
If you can't make it to the Summer Fair for any reason this year, please do me a favor and pass along this email to people who might not know about it. It's happening pretty late in the season, and we don't want anyone to miss out on either the White Elephant or the Chocolate Squirrel.
Yours in Christ's service,
N.J.A. Humphrey+
Peter Quire Challenge Update
Over $8200 has been received thus far for the Peter Quire Challenge, pushing us ever closer to the half-way mark toward our $18,000 fundraising goal, which thanks to the challenge grant will be worth $36,000 if we meet this goal by December 1st. If you haven't made a commitment or donation now, please do so. Pledges toward this challenge may 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!)

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, September 20 at 4 p.m. The choristers will be the guest choir at Calvary Episcopal Church in Stonington, Connecticut for a special Evensong. If you are near Stonington that day or want to make a special trip to our Nutmeg State neighbor, please join us.


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


Christian Formation Opportunities 
for Adults
Bible Study
Stephanie Shoemaker has offered to lead a Bible Study on a book of the group's choosing, perhaps beginning with St. Paul's epistle to the Ephesians. The day and time that the group will meet will be determined by the schedules of the participants, and Stephanie is open to either mornings or evenings. If you are interested in forming a Bible Study, please email Stephanie 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.
Mark Your Calendars Now!

Peter Stoltzfus Berton will perform a full recital of organ works by J.S. Bach on Sunday, September 27th at 4:00 p.m. 
A Blessing of the Animals in commemoration of the feast of St. Francis will be held on the steps of the church immediately following the 10 o'clock High Mass on Sunday morning, October 4th. Humans and their animal companions are welcome at the service itself, as well. 
We are very pleased that this year a representative from the Potter League will be with us for the blessing and at Coffee Hour afterwards to provide information on the wonderful work they do caring for God's animals.
Join us at St. John's 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. 

Saturday, October 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. PipeScreams on the  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.  Point! 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!

The Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island has awarded a Mudrak Fund grant of just under $10,000 to install a hearing loop system in the church as a part of a sound system installation and upgrade that will be taking place within the next couple of months, just in time for Christmas. A loop system transmits sound directly to a person's specially-equipped hearing aid, and to receivers that can be borrowed for a service. Stay tuned for updates as this project is undertaken.
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.
Reading for this Sunday

Sunday, 20 September 2015
The Feast of St. Matthew

Proverbs 3:1-6
Psalm 119:33-40
 2 Timothy 3:14-17
 Matthew 9:9-13