A Note from Fr. Humphrey 

Friday, 28 August 2015

Dear People, Neighbors, and Friends of St. John's,
For all of you who are expecting the witty and erudite prose of Fr. Humphrey, you are about to be very disappointed. Our vicar is on vacation this week so you are about to be subjected to the more mundane scribblings of the second string clergy - namely me. So, many of you may want to stop reading here. You could demand a refund of your subscription cost but, alas, you aren't paying for it. So the only way to express your righteous indignation will be to complain to Fr. Humphrey on his return from vacation. Please feel free to do so. I have a very thick skin.

Now, let's get on with it. Since I am reliably informed that a good number of readers are not regular attendees of St. John's but are neighbors and friends, I thought it appropriate to do two things. First, this week, I will briefly tell you just a little about me and why I am here. And, then in a later edition of the Evangelist, I try to answer this question: "what in the world is a vocational (or permanent) deacon?" You may have to wait a while for this second tour de force since Fr. Humphrey may banish me from the editorial board of the Evangelist after this one totally narcissistic journalistic foray.

My name is Buck Close but my legal name is Leroy Close. The reason I was called Buck from infancy is too long a story to recount here. I grew up in Fort Mill, SC and had 8 brothers and sisters, seven of whom are still alive. I went off to school in 1964 and have actually not lived full time in SC since then. My wife, Lucy, and I were married just over 44 years ago. We have three children and one grandchild who is almost 2. All our kids live far away in Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

Lucy and I lived in New Orleans, Nicaragua, Miami, Long Island, and North Salem, NY before moving to Rhode Island in 2004. We started out our marriage living in Nicaragua for a year working for Church World Service after the earthquake of December 1972. We moved to NY in 1974 and lived in that area for 30 years. I worked for our family textile company for 12 years and then, in a brief period of absolute insanity, left to start my own company. That lasted 18 years until I had the good sense to return to the church vocationally. Do you know the old saying about "whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger"? Well, it is totally false. Being in the textile business in the US for 30 years didn't kill me but it weakened me greatly!

In the mid 90's I began the process leading to ordination in the Diocese of NY where I was ordained in May of 2000. I have served two parishes in NY and 4 in Rhode Island. My bishops have seen fit to move me around a lot. So St. John's is my sixth parish and, I pray, my last. My wife and I also run a job creation nonprofit organization in Haiti called 1000 Jobs Haiti. If you come to the Summer Fair on September 19th, you will be able to see the products that our women's cooperative makes. And we will let you buy them so that our women can keep working. Aren't you lucky?

So now you know all there is to know about me but you are still wondering why Fr. Humphrey would let me bore you with my bio and a naked plug for our 1000 Jobs Haiti booth at the Summer Fair. It's because he has no idea what I am writing and won't find out before it is too late. That should teach him not to take vacation.
Deacon Buck Close

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.


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, 30 August 2015
The Fourteenth Sunday of Pentecost
Proper 17

Click each reading to preview.