A Note from Fr. Humphrey 

Friday, 25 September 2015

Dear People, Neighbors, and Friends of St. John's,
 
The dedicated people, neighbors, and friends who came together this past Saturday to make the Summer Fair a success have been in the forefront of my mind this week. The attendance from our friends and neighbors was up from last year. Those who volunteered at the Fair worked so very hard, and I am happy to report that their hard work paid off. We had budgeted for $5000 from the event, and we brought in over $5100! But even more importantly, we had a lot of fun in the process. Though people were very tired at the end of the day, by Sunday Coffee Hour the next morning several people were already looking forward to next year. Thank you to all who came, and to all who made something worth coming to!
 
In the midst of planning for the Summer Fair last week, I was called by a woman who lives on Second Street. Her mother had died at the age of 93 and there was no one to take the funeral. Why did she call St. John's? Two reasons: Her mother's parents had been married at St. John's in 1910, and some neighbors on Washington Street for whom she works suggested she inquire whether I could take the one o'clock service at Memorial Funeral Home on Saturday. It so happened that the Summer Fair was scheduled to go until two o'clock, and I wondered whether I should try to line up a colleague to help her so I could stay at the Fair the entire time. But then I thought, "She's my neighbor. She lives in my parish. Of course I'll leave the Fair early." And so I did. I got back just in time to pitch in with cleaning up from the Fair, but I was glad that I could make myself available to her in her time of need, because that's what I'm here for, after all. It made me appreciate even more the privilege it is to serve the people of this community, whether at a fair or at a funeral. I'm especially grateful to the neighbors who suggested she be in touch with me. Thank you!
 
While I'm thanking people, I should let everyone know that there's a woman in Newport (whom many people know by name, though she wishes to remain officially nameless) who has come to St. John's to pray at the shrines practically every day for the past fifteen years. In that time, she tells me, she has attended Mass here twice---she's Roman Catholic, not Episcopalian, after all. But she loves the fact that this church is open, and that there are real wax candles at the shrines, and that there is something spiritual here that is not easily put into words. In short, she feels at home at St. John's.
 
Recently, she surprised the leadership of the parish by offering to renovate the Women's Room in the Guild Hall at her own expense, personally undertaking the manual labor involved. I was grateful for her offer, and at the same time a little wary---would we like the results?---but the Bishop's Committee decided to give her the green light. So I want to thank her for her work, the results of which will be on display soon, at least to the women who use the Guild Hall, and affirm the wisdom of the lay leadership of this church who recognized that St. John's is not just for "Members Only." Without the generous contributions of time, talent, and treasure by the people, friends, and neighbors of this place, St. John's would not be sustainable, and we would not be able to serve you as we have been called to do. To all of you who have given so generously, I cannot say or write these two words often enough: Thank you!
 
Yours in Christ's service,
N.J.A. Humphrey+
Vicar
 
P.S. Check out some great photos of the Summer Fair on our website, taken by parishioner Zach Allen, by clicking here.

Peter Quire Challenge Update
Over $11,100 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. Good News! 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!)

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

 

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 on Sunday, October 11th 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.

Announcements
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.
Readings for this Sunday

Sunday, 27 September 2015
The Feast of Michaelmas

Genesis 28:10-17
Psalm 103:19-22
 Revelation 12:7-12
 John 1:47-51