A Note from Fr. Humphrey 

Friday, 21 August 2015

Dear People, Neighbors, and Friends of St. John's,
 
On Tuesday morning I had the pleasure of stopping by the Point Association Newcomer's Group, which meets at Belle's Café at the Newport Shipyard. From the outdoor dining area one can look across the water and see the tower of St. John's above the tree line.
 
"What a wonderful view," I thought, as I stood there sweating, my suit jacket draped nonchalantly over my arm. Even though it was only ten o'clock in the morning, it was really hot, and as usual, I was decked out from head to foot in black (except, of course, for a little white around the collar). A neighbor asked me whether I ever wore shorts with my clericals, to which I replied with a laugh and a no. I was asked whether I thought that doing so was inappropriate, and I replied that I just didn't think I could carry it off, fashion-wise. My neighbor then accused me of being vain!
 
Now it's true, I do favor black because it's such a slimming color. But upon reflection, I think I prefer wearing clericals mainly out of sloth: it's so much easier not to think about what one has to put on in the morning.
 
But this exchange did make me wonder on a deeper level: why the clericals? The real answer, I suppose, is because I need a reminder of who I have been called to be for this church and the community in which it is located, so that people can readily identify me and know that if they need a priest, well, here I am.
 
Of course, the uniform thing cuts both ways. For very good reasons, seeing a clerical collar can evoke either the warm fuzzies or the cold pricklies (and sometimes both). Most of us have experiences with religious authority figures that are both negative and positive.
 
But wait. Does that phrase, "religious authority figure" apply to me? If you find yourself nodding your head and saying, "Yes, Father," as you read this, then I suppose so. If not, I'm OK with that, too. And of course, people have both negative and positive experiences with me. But that's not the point.
 
The point is that while I'd love it if my collar were always an invitation to deeper engagement and meaningful interaction, it's no guarantor of it, and it can just as easily stand in the way. But my job is to show up in my collar and be myself, anyway. And so I will, even if I'm sweating in it.
 
As a man of the cloth, I'd like to think that clothes make the man, but that's one cliché that isn't also a truism. What "makes" any man or woman is the love and concern we show for each other. Becoming more loving human beings is what life, ultimately, is all about. I try to do that in my clerical collar just as much as anyone else does in their own attire. It's just that my own fashion statement declares that I have committed to becoming a more loving person out of my conviction that the love of God in Christ is at the heart of that endeavor.
 
And so, the collar sends the unmistakable message that if you need a priest, well, here I am.
 
Yours in Christ's service,
N.J.A. Humphrey+
Vicar

Peter Quire Challenge Update
Over $6500 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!

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. 

 

Friday, September 4 from 6-8 p.m. Music on the Lawn: Special "Back to School" Kids' Night with The Toe Jam Puppet Band and Choir School singers!

 

 


 

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.

 

 


 

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 3 weeks 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.


Announcements
A Low Mass for the Feast of St. Bartholomew  will be celebrated on  Monday, August 24th immediately following Evening Prayer at 5:30 p.m.  Our celebrant will be Fr. Ogburn.

The Few, the Humble, the Brave: The Acolyte Corps

 

Fr. Humphrey is looking for fresh recruits for the Acolyte Corps at St. John's. Acolytes assist the clergy at the altar-at High Mass on Sundays, and especially during Holy Week and on feast days. Acolytes set up the chancel before Mass and make sure all is in good order after Mass. During Mass they carry out various duties, including subdeacon, thurifer, master of ceremonies, crucifer, server, and torchbearer.

 

The corps is healthiest when it is comprised of young children, teenagers, and adults. The oldest serving acolyte is well over sixty-five. 

 

Acolytes can sign up on a regular, seasonal, or special event basis, so participation need not be an every week commitment. We have acolytes who only serve in Holy Week or at Christmas, or when they are home from school.

 

If you have children or grandchildren who need something useful to do on a Sunday morning to keep out of trouble, especially in the summer, now is a wonderful time to join. 

 

Interested in exploring what it means to be an acolyte? Whether you are an adult or a young person, please speak with the Vicar today--or have your child or grandchild email him this week! He is always available at vicar@saintjohns-newport.org


Bach and Friends at Quarter Till continues through September 6: Saturdays at 11:45 am and 2:45 pm; Sundays at 2:45 pm, 5:45 pm, and 8:45 pm. 

Fifteen-minute concerts/mini-demonstrations with organ music of J. S. Bach and another composer at 

each program. Admission 25 cents (put a quarter in the "Quarter Till"), or any amount you wish. With new video technology made possible by a grant received from the New York City American Guild of Organists Centennial Millennium Fund. Last summer, 110 of these mini-concerts raised over $11,000 to begin restoration of our historic 1894 Hook and Hastings instrument.

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, 23 August 2015
The Thirteenth Sunday of Pentecost
Proper 16


Click each reading to preview.