A Note from Fr. Humphrey 

Friday, 4 September 2015

Dear People, Neighbors, and Friends of St. John's,
 
The vital importance of our neighbors, friends, and parishioners hit home this past Tuesday, when just before dinner our daughter went missing. One moment she was playing outside, and the next moment she was nowhere to be found.
 
As it became clear that she was not in our house, nor in the yard, nor anywhere on the church campus, our friends and neighbors joined in an informal search. One neighbor, a parishioner, got on his bike to check out the parks on Washington Street. Others, including one of our choir families, fanned out to check beaches and the Villa Maria pool. The mother of this family got in her car and started driving the neighborhood. Several friends came over simply to stand with us in our worry and anxiety.
 
After forty minutes, we decided to call the police. We stopped strangers on the sidewalks and asked them to keep a lookout. I heard later that when neighbors I haven't even met heard about the situation, they dropped what they were doing and started looking. The whole neighborhood was suddenly mobilized as several police vehicles arrived and a more formal search began.
 
In all, an hour and fifteen minutes passed, each minute weighing more heavily on my heart as the sun sank lower over the horizon, before word finally came that our daughter had been found. When she arrived home a few minutes later in a police SUV, she informed us that she and a friend had simply decided to "take a little walk."
 
At that moment, I remembered a quote from a 2007 interview of the writer Peggy Orenstein on NPR's "Fresh Air," which I had used in a sermon once. The author described her surprise at "the absolute vulnerability that you feel as a parent," and went on to say, "I just was not at all prepared for this feeling that my heart is walking around outside my body now, and if anything happens to my heart, it's going to kill me."
 
For a terrifying hour on Tuesday, and yet thankfully only for an hour, our hearts went on walkabout. What a relief when our daughter was returned to us, even as we then began the hard work of applying the loving discipline that would turn this into a learning opportunity, the details of which are necessarily a private family matter.
 
But because of the public nature of the search and the many people involved, including Newport's Finest, I am using this letter to thank publicly those who participated last Tuesday, as well as to convey how incredibly blessed our family is to live in a neighborhood and a city where strangers do care about each other's children, and are ready to spring into action when called upon.
 
When our hearts are walking around outside of our bodies, we need other bodies to watch out for them. I thank God that this was the case last Tuesday. May it always be the case for each us, as we strive to live as caring members of one community. May we remember that we are all children of God, too often thinking we are only taking "a little walk," not realizing what sorrows our wanderings are causing others. And may we watch over one another as we pray that God will watch over us, and bring us all safely home at the last. 
 
Yours in Christ's service,
N.J.A. Humphrey+
Vicar

Peter Quire Challenge Update
Over $7800 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. 

 

Today 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 2 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
The final weekend for Bach and Friends at Quarter Till is upon us! Don't miss out this Saturday at 11:45 am and 2:45 pm and Sunday 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.
Have you visited www.saintjohns-newport.org lately? We are launching a redesigned website with new content. Stay tuned as more bells and whistles were added!
Fr. Humphrey is pleased to announce that the Bishop's Committee has engaged the services of Mattison Boyer as a freelance grant writer for St. John's. He will be working approximately 25 hours a month for us in researching and writing proposals for capital improvement, historic preservation, and program grants, which we hope to receive for 2016.

Mattison Boyer grew up at St. John's church, where he served as an acolyte. His parents, Pel and Ann Boyer, are active members of St. John's, and Ann currently serves as Clerk of the Bishop's Committee. Matt thus has a special fondness for St. John's and a passion for helping us further our mission as a church, a choir school, and a community center. Matt and his wife currently live in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he serves as the Director of Development for The Fishing School, an after school program in Washington, D.C. He has over a decade of experience managing, expanding, and strengthening direct service non-profit organizations in the underserved communities of the Washington D.C. region. He has managed educational and workforce development programs, afterschool and summer programs, park spaces, educational facilities, camps, and outreach programs, and has successfully led fundraising efforts in each area. Matt began his nonprofit career in 2003 serving students from Southwest D.C. foster homes in experiential summer programming. This led to a ten-year career with Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region (LC-NCR), culminating in the position of Managing Director. Since the fall of 2013, Mattison has worked as a fundraising and management consultant with groups in Washington D.C., New York, and New England to produce and implement organizational and fundraising plans and systems, submit funding proposals and solicitations, and strengthen organizational operations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University.

Fr. Humphrey has appointed Ann Boyer as his liaison to the Bishop's Committee, and is happy to have had the opportunity to facilitate more phone calls and emails between Matt and his mother. If you know of any potential foundation support that might be off the beaten path, please make this known to Fr. Humphrey. We are entering a new season of growth and renewal.

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, 6 September 2015
The Fifteenth Sunday of Pentecost
Proper 18


Click each reading to preview.