Connect to God 
Last week, St. John's Men's Group held a retreat at St. Dorothy's Rest near Occidental on the theme of "Love your neighbor." Jesus, quoting Leviticus 19:18, tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Who is my neighbor? Here is a helpful passage from a biblical scholar:
"The whole biblical tradition clearly indicates that the neighbor is not simply the one who dwells near us nor even the one who stands near us in the liturgical assembly. The neighbor is anyone to whom we can do good, especially the one most in need of our help. The help that is needed may not always, or even usually, be ministering to physical needs; more frequently it will have to do with welcoming the other into our love, with bringing the other into the community. Those in the same community become 'neighbors,' and the concept of community is multi-leveled, from parish to diocese to Church in the ecclesial sense, and from local to national to world in a the broader secular sense. The Bible teaches that the concept of 'neighbor' embraces all."

A challenging way to answer "who is my neighbor?" is to consider the person you think is least deserving of your love. During the Men's Group retreat we discussed loving our neighbor in a number of contexts including loving those we find difficult, forgiveness as an act of loving your neighbor and living the commandment within your physical neighborhood. 
How do you love your neighbor as yourself?

The Rev. Chris Rankin-Williams, Rector
email Rev. Chris

Connect to Community 
EcoJustice Service with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry Join others from St. John's and around the diocese for an EcoJustice worship service dedicated to celebrating and protecting God's creation. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church will lead the service. 
When: Friday, May 19. 7pm service. 5-6:30 pre-service reception.
Where: Grace Cathedral, San Francisco  
 
Interested in Baptism? Participation in a baptism class is required for those desiring to be baptized and for the parents of children preparing for baptism. This class is open to those who are curious about the sacrament's meaning. It focus's on the meaning of baptism and how to integrate faith into everyday life. We'll also talk through the logistics of the baptismal service. A short, 1 hour online course follows the session. The next class is TODAY in the Fireside Room, 11:30am-1pm.  

St. John's Womens Group: May Meeting
When: Monday 5/22 from 7-9 pm
Where: Jane Heath's house Two Skyview, Ross
What: Supper and Sharing 
Why: In response to  the Archbishop of Canterbury's call for people to pledge to pray together May 25th (Ascension Day) to June 4th (Pentecost) as part of  " Thy Kingdom Come"* a campaign for a  a global wave of prayer.
How: Bring a dish to share for the pot luck supper and an image of a special place where you like (or would like) to pray. We will discuss these special places and how they affect our prayer practices.
RSVP: email Jane Heath

Dinner Church Pizza Night Come to Pizza Night at Dinner Church on Tuesday, 5/23, from 6-8. All ages welcome and encouraged. Please RSVP to the office ( email or 415.456.1102, x102.) This will be the final weekly Dinner Church before going to a once-a-month picnic on the lawn for the summer. Weekly Dinner Church will resume in September.  
   
Women of Wisdom
 All women are welcome to join us on Thursday, 5/25 for coffee, tea, and spiritual discussion from 10-11:15am in the Fireside Room. We'll be discussing this article about the end of life.  

Worship Space Forum As part of our upcoming capital campaign and bell tower restoration we are looking at ways to enhance the worship space, especially the choir and altar area, while maintaining the existing furnishings and look of the church. On Sunday, 5/28 , join our Rector, Rev. Chris, in the church following the 10am service to learn more, explore some of the possibilities to make the space more flexible for different services, and ask questions.

Upcoming Parish BBQ
is Pentecost Sunday, 6/4 on the lawn after the 10am service. All are invited to enjoy a hot dog or hamburger grilled to perfection courtesy of the Men's Group.  

Fellowship Circles Join members of St. John's in small group fellowship that extends beyond Sunday worship. There will be activities of the group's choosing starting in the fall. Participants meet approximately once a month for four to six months. Picnics, lunches, potluck dinners . . . these gatherings are meant to be casual with the emphasis on deepening friendships and strengthening ties between all parishioners. There is no program, and no homework. Children are absolutely welcome and an effort will be made to assign those who want to bring their children to groups with other children. We will also try our best to put together multi-generational groups. Fun, casual fellowship - some lifelong friendships have started this way at St. John's, and we're excited to revive this program! To express your interest in participating in Fellowship Circles please complete the short online questionnaire here. Parishioners Anna Frost, Connie Granger, Hope Garbo, Kelli Fleitas, and Margaret Harter are available to answer questions.

Save the Date . . . Annual Parish Retreat: This year we gather from Friday, 9/8 to Sunday, 9/10 for two days and two nights of fellowship, fun, rest, and spiritual development at The Bishop's Ranch. This all-ages gathering includes program time to nourish your soul, sabbath time to deepen your connection to God, and free time to enrich your relationship to the community.   
Connect to Service
Community Service Opportunity with Canal Alliance Drivers are needed for a mother/child field trip to the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park on Wednesday, 5/24. Departing San Rafael around 8.15am to take advantage of free 4-hour street parking. Returning around 1.30pm The moms will bring a car seat or booster seat for their child, and also food for a snack and a small lunch. Drivers will try to be paired with a mom who speaks some English. For info or to signup to drive, please call Heidi Willitts, 415.456.3796.

Serve hot meals and share conversation
 with those in need of food and community at the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room. St. John's serves every second Saturday of the month and the last Saturday of the month from 10:30am-1pm. Volunteers are particularly needed for the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. To volunteer or learn more, contact Becky Hlebasko via   email or phone, 415.846.1589.
 
Monday Nights at Gilead House Looking for a place to volunteer as a family or with your teen? Read a book, do an art project, have a conversation with a child.  Gilead House is a transitional housing facility for families in need, where 100% of the children in residence are behind grade level and in need of extra care and attention Think you might be interested in serving on Monday evenings from 6:30-7:30 at least once per month? Contact Rev. Ginger via  email  or at 415.456.1102, x104.
Connect to Children & Youth
Summer Adventure Camp 2017 is just around the corner! Kids ages 3 through 12 years old are invited to a summer adventure of faith-building fun! The camp's theme is "Maker Fun Factory: Created by God. Built for a Purpose." It's a half-day program from 9am to noon where kids explore faith with art, music, and games. The dates are 7/31-8/4, and will be held at the St John's campus. Recruitment for adults and youth volunteers is ongoing. Information of voluntary services will be provide in the Fireside Room this coming Sunday 5/7 during coffee hour. For more inquiries, email Sandra Pathik, Director of Children's Ministry. Register now by clicking here.

Youth Group Corner:  Click here  for our Youth Group weekend info . If you are new, please see our clergy for free latte cards, or come by our coffee corner for a free latte. Have a great weekend! If you have any youth questions please  email  Tom Fregoso, Youth Minister.  
Connect to Music
RSCM registration coming soon! After Labor Day our branch of the Royal School of Church Music will begin for children and youth who are ready to learn to read music or who already can do so. On Pentecost Sunday, 6/4 St. John's people interested in the RSCM will meet for a few minutes after the 10AM service. Parents, it would be great if you could send me a preliminary e-mail with contact information and the names and ages of prospective participants. Also, we may still have some young folks who started in the program with our previous Music Director and who now would like to continue up the musical ladder. 
 
The RSCM establishes levels of musical competence (emphasis on singing, but general musical knowledge as well) that range from beginning competence through college-appropriate achievement. Four levels exist, and young people who achieve the highest level will find music courses in high school and college easily navigated. The levels are not subjective. They are articulated in workbooks and I will be available to answer all questions. 
 
St. John's will offer a special benefit to those who have attained any of the levels. Knowing how competitive it will be in coming years for our young people to be accepted into higher realms of education, I propose to offer (in addition to the RSCM certificate) a strong letter of recommendation appropriate to each level. After all, we want our young folks to enter the larger world and participate in it as Christians and (probably) as Episcopalians!  ... and I want them to do it with a musical voice!
 
Please make time to talk with me after a service, by email, or by phone 202. 836.0313.  Your Music Director, David Montgomery.
Worship:
Sundays
8a: Eucharist in the Church
9a: Family Eucharist in the Parish Hall
10a: Eucharist in the Church
Mondays
Tuesdays
7.15a: Meditation in the Chapel
6pm: Dinner Church in the Parish Hall
2nd Thursdays of the Month
Noon: Eucharist in the Chapel   
Contact 
St. John's Episcopal Church 
PO Box 217 
14 Lagunitas Road 
Ross, CA 94957

415.456.1102