A Note from Fr. Humphrey 

Friday, 11 September 2015

Dear People, Neighbors, and Friends of St. John's,
Every generation of Americans has a defining moment. For my grandparents' generation, it was Pearl Harbor. For my parents', it was the assassination of President Kennedy. And for mine, it was undoubtedly the tragic events of September 11th. What makes them defining moments is that anyone who was alive and aware of world events at the time remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. There is a distinct sense of how different life was before the event and how different it is after. Most tellingly, the "after" is always bleaker: our involvement in World War II followed Pearl Harbor, even more assassinations and riots followed President Kennedy's death, and a "War on Terror" was inaugurated in the wake of the terrorist attacks.
On days such as this, the 14th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, I wonder whether there is anything that can save us from the very moments that collectively define us. Are we destined to be defined by violent acts, or do we have any ability, by grace, to choose to define ourselves on different terms?
This is not an easy question to answer. As a person of faith, I believe that we are called to reflect and respond to violence in ways that defy easy answers. For Christians, Jesus' violent manner of death and nonviolent victory over it in the resurrection demands that we approach this question with humility.
Today, it is important to remember this particular defining moment, and to stand in grief and solidarity with all who were affected that day and have been affected since. At the same time, we are also, I believe, given an opportunity. We can choose other defining moments that reflect better who we want to be as individuals and as a nation. We can choose to be defined by our relationships with each other rather than by those who have worked to destroy them. In my own life, my defining moments are personal ones: my ordination, my marriage, the days on which I became a father. Our true defining moments must be rooted in faith, hope, and love rather than fear, terror, and hatred. Only then will we be defined by who we want to be rather than by who others want to make us.
Yours in Christ's service,
N.J.A. Humphrey+
Peter Quire Challenge Update
Over $8000 has been received thus far for the Peter Quire Challenge, putting us more than a third of the way 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 mid-to-late Summer is packed with special chorister events intended to raise our profile in Newport, Rhode Island, and New England. All of these events are potential recruitment opportunities. We hope you will mark your calendars and come to as many as possible. 


Saturday, September 12 from 7-9 p.m. WaterFire in Providence will have a stage on Steeple Street sponsored by the Ep iscopal Diocese of Rhode Island to celebrate the diocese's 225th anniversary. The Choir School of Newport County is a headliner in the performances, so plan to come to Providence for this fantastic public event.


Click Here to watch the WaterFire segment on the Rhode Show featuring members of the St. John's Choir and the Choir School of Newport County!


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.



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

Summer Fair News
The Summer Fair is less than 1 week away! Mark your calendars for September 19th! We will need all the help and volunteers available to make this fair a fun, safe, successful, and profitable event. To volunteer, please contact John Garagliano at john.garagliano@cox.net. Thank You. 
Gourmet Table
We all know of the legendary goodies that Teddi Shaw makes for the gourmet table. Well, she's been busy as an elf making her treats and is quickly filling up jar upon jar of jams, chutneys, salsas, etc.  Teddi would like any empty jars you want to get rid of. Leave them in the kitchen, please!
Thank You

White Elephant & Good Used Clothes

It's time to start thinking of donations to our annual White Elephant & Good Used Clothes sale. We will start accepting "stuff" on the 12th of September in the Guild Hall-but not before then!


Examples of things we love to receive: Fine Collectibles, candles, nice working lamps, antique items, children's (gently used) toys and games, gardening tools and items, sets of glassware & plates, accessories & jewelry, lawn furniture, small appliances in working order, furniture in good shape. For larger items, it's a good idea to contact Tony at 849-3369 before bringing them to St. John's.


Things we will not accept:  Dirty items, major appliances, air conditioners, used coffee makers or mugs, outdated electronics, TVs, stereos, exercise machines & equipment, food items, broken items or JUNK of any sort.


And remember:

1.)     If you think it's trash, it mostly likely IS trash. Throw it away, please do          not dump it at St. John's!

2.)     We do not have a truck or other vehicle to pick things up, so                          everything must be dropped off..

Soda & Water

We are accepting donations of soda and water for the Men's Club food booth. Please drop off in the Guild Hall parlor starting the week of Sept 12th-but not before then!

Summer Fair Bake Table

Trish Dresser is asking for help stocking our always popular bake table with homemade cookies, muffins, cakes, pies and breads. Please label your donations and include any ingredients that people might be allergic to (nuts or peanut butter). Any and all contributions would be greatly appreciated.

Any questions, feel free to call Trish at 846-3247.   


Used Book Sale

Everyone has books just hanging around taking much needed space! Well, now is the opportunity to make the most use out of them...If you're not going to read them again, but they're good books, donate them to the St. John's Summer Fair book booth.

Contact Mary Lou Chase at 683-0588 or email: mcldiet@cox.net

Silent Auction

The Summer Fair Silent Auction is welcoming donations of new goods and services. Do you frequent a store or restaurant that you can asks for a donation? Or know a merchant to approach? Or offer to provide something yourself, for example "a ride to/from the airport?" or "a few hours of gardening or snow shoveling?" Or offer to fill a theme basket? Please contact Amy Acampora at a2_newyork@hotmail.com.

On Sunday at 10 a.m., we will baptize Olivia Rose Sims into Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Olivia is the daughter of Stephen and Elizabeth Sims, who were married here in 2008. Their other daughter, Madeline, was baptized here in 2012. While they now live in Plymouth, Massachusetts, I am delighted that they have chosen to maintain their connection to St. John's by having Olivia baptized here. Please give them a warm "Welcome home!" at coffee hour.
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.
Mark You 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.

Reading for this Sunday

Sunday, 13 September 2015
The Sixteenth Sunday of Pentecost
Holy Cross Day

 Isaiah 45:21-25
Psalm 98:1-4
 Galatians 6:14-18
 John 12:31-36a