St. John's Enews
April 1, 2020
For the Resurrection is our guarantee
that justice will triumph over treason,
light will overcome darkness,
and love will conquer death.
We praise you in this Easter season. 
Change our lives, change our hearts
to be messengers of Easter joy and hope.
We make our prayer through Jesus Christ,
our risen Lord forever.
Easter Wuhan Style
The following is an excerpt from a Christian family currently living in Wuhan, China, day 48 in quarantine as of 3/14/20: “God is providing so many opportunities for good while we are here and he is showing his goodness every single moment. We are at peace in the epicenter of the virus. We are at peace in the epicenter of his will. Fear is a faithless coward and has no place in the lives of believers. Fear and worry have no seat at our table. We’re here because he wants us here, right now, for his purpose. Coronavirus wants you to stock up and take care of your own first. Instead, look to him first while you take care of others. In community, we can do so much more than we can do on our own. God is caring for us so richly and showering us with SO MUCH GOOD each and every moment. The song that just plays nonstop in my head is “Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God. I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still, you give yourself away; Oh, the overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God.” 

‘The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’ (Ps. 118:6)

As I type these words, it’s mid March and I don’t know whether we’ll have Holy Week or Easter 2020, given the Wuhan virus. I’ve surrendered into the Lord’s hands what is beyond my control, as I know many of you have while you face cancer, paralyzing diseases, financial concerns, deaths of loved ones and wondering what tomorrow may bring.

By the time you read this, the Christian family in Wuhan will have been quarantined for 66 days. Their words inspire me and are living reminders of brothers and sisters living out the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ during this Holy season. I’m grateful for each one of you who are pressing into the death and life this moment has personally meant for you.

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed Alleluia!
From the Grave and Within You!


God's Grace to You!

Fr. Joseph
Treasurer's Message
The United States finished the 4 th quarter and the year, 2019, with the strongest economy in the world, the strongest economy in modern history…this based on generally accepted leading indicators for economic growth, employment, consumer demand and consumer confidence, and investment market indices like the Dow, S&P, and Nasdaq. That all changed, beginning in February, with the fears regarding the impact of the Corona virus, worldwide, and in the United States. It is not for me to predict the short-term or long-term effects of this virus upon our local, state, or national economy.

That said, I want to reassure everyone that the financial condition of St John’s Church is on strong, solid footing. We are not immune to the effects of sharp declines in investment values as we have all observed in the market indices. However, we have employed a sound investment policy that provides for asset diversification between marketable equities and investment-grade bonds. Equally important, all of our investment assets are managed by Northern Trust Company, one of the larger and most highly respected asset managers in the country. Finally, our investment strategy is managed for long term growth and income. We have substantial cash for our daily and cyclical operating needs, and we are not dependent on the liquidation of investment assets in times like these when asset values are depressed.

We would ask that our families and members continue their generous stewardship contributions to cover our monthly operating expenses. This is particularly important as we approach the end of “season,” and our operating expenses generally exceed our pledge and non-pledge income during the Summer and early Fall months.

At times like these, I am again reminded of Franklin Roosevelt’s strong words in the face of a potential national crisis of confidence… “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” I also remember the words from a poem by Rudyard Kipling…it is important to “keep your head when all those around you are losing theirs.”


You can mail your gift to the church at
St. John's Episcopal Church
500 Park Shore Drive
Naples, FL 34103

Blessings,

Bob Matthews
Holy Week Schedule

April 5-Palm Sunday
10:00am – Sunday Service
Live Stream
Drive Thru Communion to 11:30am


HOLY WEEK 2020

April 9-Maundy Thursday
Living Lord's Supper Drama

April 10-Good Friday
12:00pm - Stations of the Cross
Live Stream

April 12-Easter Sunday
10:00am - Festive Holy Eucharist
Live Stream

Youth Ministry
With the church closing for now due to the CoronaVirus, there will be no in person Sunday School classes until further notice. I will do my best to keep everyone up to date on when in person Sunday School classes will resume. With that said, I wanted to let everyone know that First Communion Classes are postponed for now. At this time, I do not have a date on when they will resume. I will send out more information about Communion classes resuming in the near future.
 
In the meantime, I want to make sure all the children are continuing their faith journeys. I will be sending weekly emails with a short lesson you can do with your family at home. It will include the Lord’s Prayer, a song, a message and activity. If you would like to receive the weekly email, please email me at youth@stjohnsnaples.com to be added to our email list.
 
I will also be available via email or phone to support you and your families. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, need extra support or even need additional prayers. I am happy to help! 
 
IF church is reopened by Easter, please do not forget we have our annual Easter Egg Hunt in between services. IF church opens in time for Easter, I will send more information out about our Easter Egg Hunt.

Dayna Sottosanti

Outreach Committee Awards Grants!
Twice a year the Outreach Committee recommends to the Vestry grants to charities. In November we gifted grants to charities that reside in Collier County. In March, the committee gifts grants to National or International charities. The Vestry has approved the following grants for this year’s national and international giving that represents a double portion blessing of $111,514:

CCO – Coalition for Christian Outreach. This is a nationwide organization working through local churches in making witnesses out of college students to create disciples who follow Jesus Christ in every area of their lives.

Emmanuel Community Aleppo – We provide seed money for new business ventures in Aleppo to aid rebuilding this Christian community along with ongoing donations for the sustenance of the poor in this community.

Michael and Kristen Maiocco – located in Israel, we assist with living costs as well as educational programs.

Ned and Sky – located in Turkey, we assist with living costs as they work with Missionaries through Community Vision International.

Gary Fusco is a Christian counselor and missionary in India. He is creating opportunities to reach and teach the Christian faith to Muslims through various resources.

Samaritan Health Center located in Cape Coral, Florida – This is an integrated primary care behavioral health clinic with pastoral counseling on site. The professionals working at Samaritan serve the uninsured and under insured in Southwest Florida in a Christ centered environment.

Grace Center, located in Ethiopia, provides a safe and nurturing place for children and families while sharing the Love of Christ.

Dominican Republic Orphanage provides food and education for needy children.

Ruth Conklin
The Healing Community of OSL
The healing community of the Order of St. Luke (OSL) at St. Johns is thriving! The past couple of years Fr. Joe has been holding classes for people to become members of OSL. They have come from 11 different churches around the Naples area, and many have decided to remain with us as part of our group.

We meet every Wednesday from 10:00 to noon. This year we have been studying "When Heaven Invades Earth", by Bill Johnson, led by Skip. We were only going to do three weeks, but there is so much good information, we are on week six, learning more about the Holy Spirit, our Christian identity in this world, and how to achieve heaven on earth. We have also set aside time for prayer for each other and individuals who are in need.

If anyone is interested in joining the OSL or is in need of prayer, please contact the office at St. Johns or Vickie Bauch. We are here for you!

Peace be within you.

Vickie Bauch
An Update from the Derricksons (2/25/20)
Dear St. John’s friends, Greetings in Jesus’ name!

Since we last met our children have enjoyed many visitors who have been seeking the truth through the scriptures, coming to Jesus, and having fun. Godwin (15) was able to ride a go kart with Am, lower left, and Ned and Anna (9) just got over a cold from Sky after the latest visit of both locals and American young people. The last of many such visits have taken place over the past year. Both our children are home schooled and love playing with all these young people. All the hospitality in our small apartment was worth it, and excitement is building as more locals join our little, but growing band of believers. Other missionaries have either received or are interested in receiving our gospel training for outreach to Muslims, and they bring their children too. 

The first picture below is a joyful night of Christian fellowship spent in four languages: Korean, English, Persian, and Turkish. Those who knew translated for those who didn’t! The picture below it represents work we still have to do, as there is much darkness and injustice here, with lots of children in rags, begging or recycling garbage. There are still many poor refugee families. 

God is working through your prayers and the work of a growing number of former Muslims with a passion for reaching their own people with the good news. We are so grateful for your gifts, care and prayers toward the salvation of Muslims who otherwise would never hear the gospel in their own language. 

Huge blessings to you, and if you wish us to pray for you or just drop us a line, our e-mail is: answerme@sent.com . We would love to hear from you, and share with you more details of how God is working among Muslims!
A Joyful spaghetti feast in Christian fellowship...ummmm!!!
In front of ours: A child struggles with this load instead of going to school. Heartbreaking, but our God is the solution.
A Glorious Sound
The pipe organ in St Johns sanctuary was proposed in 1984 by Vestry which launched a parish-wide subscription drive to fund it. Nineteen months later in December 1985, $130,000 had been raised, a maker selected who then manufactured, installed and it was dedicated. The Gress-Miles Organ Co. of Princeton, NJ is a two manual, sixteen rank, 30 stop design with 1,024 pipes. Our first organist on our original electronic organ, Mary Watkins, was “lent” to us from our mother church, Trinity-By-The-Cove, where she has served for generations and also returned to us for a brief period two years after her initial interim term. Our longest serving organist is the incumbent, Glenn Saffran, who first came to St Johns in 2001.
St. John's Gress-Miles Organ
Ever wonder what was behind all those pipes?
St. John's Shoppe An Upscale Thrift
ParishLife & Enews Deadlines
Stitches of Love
The lovely ladies of Stitches are not presently meeting at church, but have kept a lively and loving connection with one another through E-Mail. One of our members, Barbra Amadori drove with her husband 24 hours non-stop to their home in Toronto. They crossed the border without delay but with the request they self-isolate for 14 days. Fellow Stitchers responded to Barbra's account with E-mail cheers, accolades, and encouragement.

It is a time to hold one another up in prayer and encouragement.

In an unrelated issue, I learned a new word the other day: HESED. It is a Hebrew word which translates: the consistent, merciful, kind, ever faithful, relentless, constantly pursuing, lavish, extravagant, unrestrained, furious LOVE OF GOD.  

My response: Wow..... thank you Lord!

Bonnie Schlichting 
A Blast from the Past!
Every month during our 50 th Anniversary, we would like to take you back in history…a Blast from the Past, per se of St. John’s. 

This month we are giving a throwback shout out to the Altar Guild. If you aren’t already aware, the Altar Guild’s ministry is responsible for caring for the altar, vestments, vessels, and altar linens of the parish.
 
This report was written in April 1990 (yes, 30 years ago!) by Directress Mary Justice.

“The Altar Guild met on Saturday, March 24 th to discuss plans and scheduling for Holy Week and Easter. Several members attended the Annual Diocesan Altar Guild meeting on March 30 th at the Church of the Epiphany, Cape Coral.
 
A specially designed Saint John’s banner and staff has been ordered and will be received before Easter. The beautiful banner is given in memory of Barbara Emery by her family and friends. Other gifts from family and friends are: green vestments and hangings in memory of John Turanchik, large crystal cruets with silver stoppers in memory of Everett Hurlburt, brass censor and boat in memory of Jane Horsfall Laskey, wooden Christus Rex for the Sacristy in memory of Carroll Justice. These gifts are greatly appreciated and will enhance the beauty of our worship.”

Ann Witmer
Parish Secretary
Noteworthy News
Join 40DAYS4HIM and Lou Engle in a season of prayer and fasting for revival from Ash Wednesday (2/26)-Monday (4/6).

St. John's Campus is open for prayer weekdays from 9am-5pm and church groups of 10 or less, practicing a social distance of 6 feet, can reserve a church meeting.
Parish People
New Members:  Dan & Carla Perry; Ross, Evan, Carlo.

Baptism: Brielle Virginia Dixon

Marriage: Susan Payne and Ron Holder (3/14/20)

Deaths: Betty Kirtley (03/28/20)
Instant Church Directory
Click on the "Click Here" button below to see log in instructions.


If you need a refresher course on how to upload the Instant Church Directory, simply click on the Download Document button below and you will see three different pages on how to load the directory. One is for iPhone, iPad and any iOS device. The second is for Android & Kindle devices. The third is for logging in from a computer. 
If you have any questions, please contact Ann at parishsecretary@stjohnsnaples.com

Please Pray For
Maida, Katie, Ella, Peter, Sean,

Jean, Iris, Walter, Annabeth, Darren, Laura,

St. John’s Parishioners and Families
Praise Report
"Open the Door"
“Then turning to His disciples, He said privately,
‘The eyes that see the things you see are blessed!
For I tell you that many prophets and kings
wanted to see the things you see yet didn’t see them;
to hear the things you hear yet didn’t hear them.’”

Luke 10:23-24 (Holman Christian Standard Version)
        
 
         The Lord has always known me, and I believe I have always known the Lord. The Episcopal Church has been the church of my family for centuries. God is in my blood. But, I have not always walked with the Lord. 
            I was in a pretty bad spot about four years ago. Resigned, cynical, and willing to give in to what amounted to depression, brothers in Christ (all members of St. John’s) cared enough to get me help. I took a road trip with Fr. Joe and Leo Velasquez. Leo’s wife Iris and son Ruben came, too. We went to the Voice of the Apostles in Nashville.
            God had an encounter waiting there for me. One that has changed me and my life forever. I was physically healed. I was spiritually reborn, and I was baptized in Love. I was loved like never before. The fragrance of Jesus was on me and stayed with me for weeks. I said, “Yes. Yes, Jesus, I love you.”
            Recently, my wife Barbara and I made a Sunday afternoon ride back to St. John’s to deliver altar linens and then to go to the grocery. We had been at church in the morning and into the afternoon. It was after 3 pm, and frankly I did not want to go, but Barbara’s invitation had a sweet spirit about it that I could not resist.
            Barbara asked to go to a grocery we never use and when we finished she chose the checkout line. The cashier was serving a lady in front of us. Something was not right, though. The cashier kept the conveyor running so if we placed our items on it they would crash into the other customer’s groceries. As I watched her, I could see the cashier was quite out of sorts. 
            When she handed the lady in front of us her receipt, the cashier turned to me. She eyed the case of water I’d set on the edge of the conveyor.
            “I wasn’t sure if you knew the code for the water, and didn’t think you wanted to lift it,” I explained.
            “Well, you could have asked me before you lifted it,” she said sternly. “I could have saved you the effort because I know the code!”
            I noticed her hand pressing on her hip and her face compressing in a tight grimace. “You’re in pain, aren’t you?” I asked. She said yes. Without thinking or pausing I looked into her eyes and said: “In Jesus’s name, I command all pain to leave you now.” Her eyes widened and her face showed surprise. She asked if I was a pastor and I said no, “I am a believer – a follower of Jesus Christ.” She said she was also. I asked her if she knew the cause of her pain, and she said the sciatic nerve. Then I said, “the Blood of Jesus is going to that place now to heal the sciatic nerve and all cells in your body are returning to normal.” 
            She exclaimed that she felt heat in the area where the pain had been. She began smiling. Then she lifted her hand over her head in praise and said loudly, “It’s a miracle! Jesus has healed me! Alleluia!” She repeated these words two or three times. The pain was gone and she had full mobility! Tears ran down her face. It was a moment of awe for the Love of Jesus was upon us in a mighty way. Barbara ministered to her and invited her to St. John’s when she said she did not have a church. 
            I went back to the store about ten days later to buy an item and in hopes I would see the cashier again. I did. Her countenance was powerful and her smile was full of joy. Thank you, Jesus!
            God blesses me moment to moment. He calls me closer to Him for intimate embraces and conversation. I ask for more and He delights in my asking. With great joy, Holy Spirit helps me see and hear things I didn’t see or hear before I experienced how much He loves us and wants us to love Jesus and each other. His Love keeps hope alive. His faith in us is trustworthy and leads to life filled with joy.

Mike Johnson              
The Easter Flower donations are given to the Glory of God by

  •     Wercheck in memory of Bertha Stephan and Margaret’s Mom.
  •     In honor of Baby Sandeman.
  •     Ruth & Dallas Adams in memory of Richard & Elizabeth Clegg; Hazel R. Rose; Harold R. & Mary C. Kent; Robert D. & Carolyn Adams; Marjorie J. Rose; Mary K. Scullion; Robert Gaines, USN; Helen D. Adams.
St. John's Episcopal Church| 500 Park Shore Drive Naples, FL 34103 | 239.261.2355|  parishsecretary@stjohnsnaples.com  | http://www.stjohnsnaples.com