April, 2021
KEVIN’S KERYGMA
by Fr. Kevin Warner

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!
The Great 50 Days

Is it just coincidence that we finally begin to see a light at the end of the Covid tunnel as we celebrate the Resurrection and Great Fifty Days of Easter? It seems like we have been in Lent for more than a year so this Easter feels a little better than last year’s, but with the resurrection come questions that are more important than: “When can we take off our masks?”
 
How are you receiving the new life offered by Christ? How has the empty tomb changed you, your habits, and will you continue to celebrate and share the Good News of the resurrected Christ? For Christians, Easter is the most important moment in history. It is when the angel of death “passes over” us – not just for one night – but forever. This is the GOOD NEWS that the world needs to hear, and we are the ones called to carry it to them.
 
Ironically, Covid has helped with this, as more people than ever are worshipping with us on Sunday when you combine the in-person numbers with those viewing at home. Further, Covid has forced us to begin a “satellite” service at Freedom Plaza, part of the plan that included expanding our outreach to families and growing our attendance. Sadly, Covid has put a crimp in that part of the plan, and we have not realized the gains we had counted on. This led to us having to lay off our Parish Administrator at the end of February and we are still uncertain about future staff reductions.

That said, we are extremely grateful for the continuing support of our existing membership. Bless you all for everything you have done, and are continuing to do. The ingenuity of those who are working hard to promote our Divine Marketplace, the Thrift Shop, and SJD Masks is greatly appreciated and to all those who are volunteering their time and talent thank you, thank you, thank you.

The Good News of Easter are that there are better times ahead. We know that God has us in His hands, and that He will bless us in spite of what the world sends our way. May these Great Fifty Days fill you with his love, joy, peace and power.

Happy Easter!
Blessings!
Kevin+
II Timothy 1:11
Home Again

We have heard of it happening with dogs and cats and now you can add cows to the list. When I was a youngster, my dog was taken away from our home and a couple of days later, overcoming, who knows what kind of obstacles, he arrived back on our front porch.  

Yes, cows. It happened in Geneva, Florida. A cow, most unhappy that she had been sold to a cattle rancher 35 miles from the farm where she was raised, headed home. This was a 700 pound cow, soon to have a calf, that jumped out of her pen and, in a driving rain, crossed highways, forged a river, and leaped over two barbed wire fences to make it home—covered with scratches and 100 pounds lighter. Her determined trip had taken 20 hours.

Since the covid pandemic, I think we understand what would make an animal overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles just to be, once again, in familiar surroundings – to be home. We are reminded, too, a home is more than a house. “Home is where the heart is,” and, in the process of being somewhat confined to a house, our soul is disquieted, our spirits and we long for home.

As we have become depersonalized, there is a longing for and a fear of “the new normal.” Here is where the Church can come to the rescue. Through extended programs of the Church, people can, once again, begin to understand the source of their being, find fellowship, and more fully understand a responsibility to the needs of others.  
Yes, you can go home again.
                                                                                       FatherLee
DIVINE MARKETPLACE & THRIFT SHOP

Proceeds from these ventures will bolster the financial needs of our church created by Covid-19. The THRIFT SHOP will be OPEN on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3rd Saturdays with the DIVINE MARKETPLACE from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. The THRIT SHOP is located in the North Sunday School Room. Outside entry only. DIVINE MARKETPLACE takes place outside in front of the Banner Building.

Due to limited space, DO NOT BRING ITEMS TO THE CHURCH. If you have items to donate, please call either Barbara Gentry (813-633-3363) or Jackie Winder (813-633-3198). They will determine donation acceptability based on available space and quick sale potential. Please stop by and take a look.

As always, masks and social distancing will be required.

The Good News

Over the past year we, as a community and individually, have faced many challenges. Even in the midst of pandemic however God has looked with favor upon us. One of the graces, over this past year, has been the growth in the youth ministry, here at SJD. When the youth group met at the end of the pandemic shortened school year last year, we had 6 active members of our youth group. This dedicated core group was faithful in attending weekly youth group gatherings, participated in local mission work, and diocesan level events. Since we restarted regular youth gathering at the beginning of this school year, we currently have 15 young people listed on our youth group roster! Several of them bring friends occasionally that do not yet appear on the roster (but God willing, they will soon be regulars). It is because of SJD’s commitment to growing the Kingdom of God through providing ministry opportunities to youth and young families that these young people are learning about God and His Son, our savior, Jesus Christ.

If you would like to help support this ministry, the youth are scheduled to travel to Copperhill, TN this summer to do a week of mission work and need your financial support to make that a reality. We have designed and printed short and long-sleeve shirts and are selling them to raise funds to defray the cost of the trip. The shirts have the SJD logo on the front pocket and Jesus’ Great Commission to “go therefore and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” on the back. We will be selling them after all 3 services on Sunday 4/11. Or you can see Fr. David anytime to purchase. Short sleeve shirts cost $20, and the long-sleeve shirts cost $25. Thank you in advance for your support and prayers for our newest and youngest members of the Body of Christ at St. John Divine!
Easter Blessings,
Fr. David+
Revelations and Happenings Moving Forward 

Hello everyone! With Candy’s departure, I have taken over on Revelations and Happenings. Currently, I plan to make no changes to eithers’ formats or scheduling, so they should look the same for you all. For our past and future contributors please feel free to message me at media@stjohndivine.com. These additional tasks will add more to my workload, so I cannot promise to be as attentive as Candy was, but I will do my best to provide for you our readers. I ask for patience and understanding while I adjust to these new tasks.

Thank you all for your support,

Tristan M. Warner
Media & Tech Specialist 
God Spa is back!

Way back before Covid some of you were registered to attend God Spa with me. Recently we received an email saying that the camp is bringing it back on their schedule for October, 2021. I am going, and I would like you to all go with me. (Sorry, gentlemen, ladies only this time.) This again will be a joint venture with Redeemer Ladies. One of the rules we are going to enforce is that you must have your Covid vaccine(s) to attend. More information will follow as I am still waiting on my email from the camp for all the information. Keep watching this newsletter for more information. If you have any questions please email me at candyallman@gmail.com.

Thank you and I miss you all so very much,
Candy

Evangelism Opportunities
I have exciting news for you!

St. John Divine Church is offering two different opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in our community. We invite you to participate in one or the other. Have you experienced how fulfilling and exciting it is when someone comes to a saving relationship with the Lord, and you had a hand in making that happen?
That is a feeling not to miss.

Here are the two opportunities:

  One: Put on sandals, find a long, floor-length burlap hoodie, put it on and then wrap an old rope around your waist. Then grab a soapbox and a Bible. Make sure you get a Bible with a soft, floppy leather cover so it flops when you shake it and pound your fist on it. Go to a busy street corner, get on your soapbox, and start preaching.

  Two: Tell your family, friends and neighbors to go to the stjohndivine.com website on Sunday morning and watch our livestream at 9:15 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. That way, you can let our amazing clergy do the preaching, and you won’t have to wear uncomfortable burlap when the weather starts to get hot. We have reports of people being blessed by watching our services, and of quite a number of families connecting with St. John Divine as a result.

If you hear the voice of God calling you to preach on a street corner, obey without hesitation. Otherwise, may I encourage you to choose the second option.

Living the life of a citizen of the kingdom of God is Good News indeed. Let’s share the Good News.

by, Howard Roshaven
Beginning in May – First Fridays!

Happily, Covid restrictions are being relaxed as more and more people receive vaccinations, yet some of us are still not quite ready to mingle in person. With that in mind, a new opportunity will be available to the SJD community in early May to help bridge the “togetherness” gap until we can gather comfortably in person. Beginning on the first Friday in May, we will host monthly First Fridays, which are “no agenda” Happy Hours via Zoom, so you can chat with fellow churchgoers while you enjoy the beverage of your choice. This gathering will help newcomers meet other members and learn more about our church; help members of groups/committees who have not met in person during the past year to catch up; and help all attendees learn how their church friends have been spending their time during Covid. More specific information will be available in May’s Revelations. Please stay tuned – we are looking forward to seeing you online!

-Vestry members Valerie Bryant, Linda Duhn, Chuck Lieble, and Anthony Primiano
APRIL BIRTHDAYS

Baarbara Gingrich - 4/1
Mary Minor - 4/1
Dennis Pinckard - 4/2
Elaine Dow - 4/3
Mary Lou Jones - 4/3
Scott Gardner - 4/3
Berni Hass - 4/5
Paulette Stoddard - 4/5
Annie Hunter - 4/7
Carol Drummond - 4/9
John DeTringo - 4/10
Sharon Rose - 4/10
James Bradin - 4/11
Steve Van Loan - 4/11
Brenda Wales - 4/11
Gary Gabler - 4/12
Vince Martucci - 4/15
Jervy Bradin - 4/17
Tracy Wilder - 4/17
Gail Philip Charles - 4/18
Allie Maiocchi - 4/20
Eric Graham - 4/21
Allen Coman - 4/22
Bob Pieper - 4/23
Sharon Van Loan - 4/28
Deb Croll - 4/28
Kim Freeman - 4/29
Glenn Bradley - 4/29



APRIL ANNIVERSARIES

John & Liz Hood - 4/1
Wayne & Nancy Lillie - 4/6
Bill & Janice James - 4/16
Dennis & Jacqueline Accardo - 4/22
George & Marcia Miecyjak - 4/24
Larry & Peggy Kleven - 4/26


St John Divine Episcopal
Church 1015 E. Del Webb Blvd.
Sun City Center, FL 33573

Vestry

Linda Floyd, Allie Maiocchi, Linda Cardillo, Debbie Carlisle
Linda Duh, Chuck Lieble, Anthony Primiano, Doug Roderick

Vestry Officers

 Howard Roshaven - Sr. Warden, Annie Hunter - Jr. Warden
Valerie Bryant - Clerk, Lisa Galbraith - Treasurer

Clergy and Staff

The Rt. Rev. Dabney T. Smith
Bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida
The Rev. Kevin Warner - Rector
The Rev. Lee Miller - Associate Rector
The Rev. David Wyly - Assistant Rector
Scott Gardner - Praise Leader, Joan Frankel - Organist & Choir Director
Tristan Warner - Media and Tech Specialist, Connie Minnoe - Accounting Administrator
Sharon Bakay - Kitchen Manager

813-633-3970       office@stjohndivine.com   www.stjohndivine.com