A Note from Fr. Humphrey 
Dear Members and Friends of St. John's,

This is the first of what I hope will be weekly editions of an emailed "Evangelist," containing mainly announcements  but also occasional supplemental content of a newsworthy variety.

I have one newsworthy thing in particular to share, and that is that this coming Sunday, May 24th, a reporter and photographer from the Providence Journal will be with us at the 10 o'clock service. The 24th is the Day of Pentecost, so I invite everyone to wear red to Mass this Sunday.

While there are many reasons the press might be attracted to St. John's, it may come as something of a surprise to learn that it is in response to a letter that a devout Roman Catholic man from  Fall River  sent to several media outlets regarding the 12th station of the Cross hanging in our church, and  specifically, a mysterious red substance found on the wall below it .  Daryl Gonyon noticed that this streak of red seemed to flow directly from Jesus' bleeding feet on the Cross, and took it upon himself to share his discovery with the media. The Newport Daily News already ran an item on this phenomenon, and the Westport and Sakonnet Times is planning on running a story, as well. 

Now I want to be clear that w e are not advertising this as a miracle; nor are we making any claims. The mark has been there for years--washed off from time to time, as I understand it, yet reappearing . People have noticed it and remarked upon it before. Some find it deeply moving, located as it is directly beneath the bleeding feet of Jesus. I know I do. 

Because we are making no claims as to  what  it is, we have no plans to have it tested.   We do not know what it is. What it means, however,  is an entirely different matter, and whether one scoffs at the notion of miracles or not, one thing is  evident to those of us who love this place, and that is : Christ is present at St. John's. One doesn't need a red mark on the walls to see this, though for some people who look with the eyes of faith, such a mark may in fact serve as a sort of exclamation point!

I don't anticipate that any article in ProJo will set off a media circus. Some will find it amusing, others perplexing; some will be moved, some repulsed. Some will scoff, others will be entirely indifferent. What others make of it is of no concern. What does concern me is what  we  will make of  others  whom we encounter here as a result: Will we greet every stranger, whether saint or scoffer, as we would greet the crucified and risen Christ himself? Will we be as welcoming to those coming through our open doors as the fresh breezes that blow in off the bay? And will they see the Spirit at work in us?

"God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform." So wrote William Cowper in 1774. The Spirit moves, sometimes miraculously, sometimes mundanely  in our lives. We never know  what  will bring a person to St. John's -  or what will keep that person coming back. But we always know   Who  brings that person here. When we keep that in mind, w e will, I hope, be mindful of what we assume about or say to the people who come here, whether out of curiosity or devotion or any other motive.    

As for the media attention: If approached by a reporter and asked to comment, don't feel like you have to provide and answers or explanations,  or even give your opinion. If you don't want to  go on record, you don't have to. You  are free to express whatever is on your mind, of course, but bear in mind that whatever you say will be read as a reflection of St. John's and its people as a whole, even if you intend it merely as your own opinion. When in doubt, give glory to God and refer the reporter to a member of the clergy.

What is significant to me is not so much the attention we are getting over this phenomenon, but the fact that we would not  have gotten any attention all were we in the habit of keeping our doors closed and locked. But thanks be to God, we are an open church, and because of that, the Spirit of God blows through this place and bring people here who  are moved by its very walls. "For thy servants take p leasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof".  (Psalm 102:14)

I hope to see you on Pentecost Sunday at St. John's. And remember: wear red!

Yours in Christ's Service
N.J.A. Humphrey+
Vicar
Upcoming Events 
24 May (Sunday) at 4 p.m.: Organ Recital by Peter Berton: Hereford Variations   
This set of fifteen pieces takes listeners on a special Eastertide journey, narrated by the priest and poet Thomas Traherne (1636-1674) as revealed in modern stained glass windows of Hereford Cathedral, England. Video projection of the stained glass accompanies the concert. $10 suggested donation benefits the Organ Fund. The afternoon includes a reception at the Sanford-Covell Villa Marina across the street from the church. Come enjoy the first organ music of summer and the view from the wraparound porch!
29 May (Friday) at 12 p.m.: Stations of the Cross for the Octave of Pentecost   
Join Fr. Humphrey on this spiritual pilgrimage with the Lord through the events leading to Jesus' crucifixion, meditating in particular on how Christ's presence is mediated to us by the Holy Spirit in out own time and place. 
30 May (Saturday) at 2 p.m.: Deacons Service  
Please join the Diocese of Rhode Island at St. Martin's Episcopal Church (50 Orchard Street, Providence, RI) in celebrating 30 years of the diaconate. The Deacons will present a check to St. Mary's Home for Children for the funds raised by the parishes over the past six months. A festive Eucharist will be held to celebrate and honor this sacred order. 
1 June (Monday) at 6:30 p.m.: Sung Mass for the Feast of the Visitation of the BVM  
Come celebrate the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth at St. John's with the clergy and people of St. Stephen's, Providence in attendance. 
7 June (Sunday) at 4 p.m.: Solemn Evensong, Outdoor Procession, and Benediction of the 
Blessed Sacrament for the Feast of Corpus Christi
Celebrate the presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the holy Sacrament of the altar with a festive and fun procession and a solemn and serious service. This 
unique liturgy is not to be missed! 
13 June (Saturday) at 9 a.m.: Beautification Day
Want to help St. John's increase its "curb appeal" outside and its "soul appeal" inside? Members, neighbors, and firends are invited to join in a festive beautification day. We will be focusing on 9 key areas: Outside we will focus on the church grounds, scraping/painting the exterior of the buildings, and cleaning the garage. Inside we will be scraping/painting the interior, as well as cleaning the sacristy, choir room, church and parish office, and polishing the brass. Please join in the fellowship, service, and fun of this day by signing up on the sheet posted in the Guild Hall. A complementary box lunch will be served to all participants who sign up in advance and RSVP to the parish office. 
Announcements
Capital Campaign Committee:  The Bishop's Committee (BC) has confirmed the Vicar's appointment of Marvin Abney, Melissa Bostrom, Tom Hockaday, Scott Nicholson, Mary Jane Rodman, and Stephanie Shoemaker to a Capital Campaign Committee ("C3" for short), which will be meeting today with Father Humphrey and Deacon Close to begin their work. C3 is charged in this first phase with identifying and interviewing candidates for consultant on a contemplated capital campaign, which would be undertaken between the end of this year and November, 2019, which will be the 125th anniversary of the dedication of the Zabriskie Memorial Church. It has not yet been decided whether to undertake a campaign; the BC will take up that question based upon the recommendation of C3. If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please be in touch with a member of the clergy, BC, or C3. Please keep the leadership of St. John's in your prayers as we enter into this exciting stage in our discernment.

Bach and Friends at Quarter Till returns June 13 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.