August, 2021

by Fr. Kevin Warner

Update? I Hate Updates!

Every now and then my computer decides to automatically update itself and, no matter what I am doing, I must wait until it is finished before I can resume my task. It seems it was just a little while ago that I installed Church Life on my phone, learned how to do online giving, and could find my way around the database on my computer supplied by ACS Technologies. Now ACS wants us to update!

Every church I have served has used ACS for its database and accounting needs, so I was surprised to hear they were phasing out the software that I have been using for three decades. I grew with the software as it added the app for the smart phone, and other improvements over the years. But like DOS, all good things must come to an end. I was nervous when Windows became the standard operating system but, once I tried it, I was impressed with how easy it was to use and how much more intuitive it was for the user.

So, it will be as we switch from ACS to Realm. It isn’t a switch as ACS is still the company providing the software, but the name, look and ease of use have all changed. You should have received an email already explaining how to update your apps, but if not, here is the info:

Realm will allow you to work from your computer, or your phone/tablet; the new app, “Realm Connect” will replace “Church Life.” What we are asking you to do is, on your phone/tablet go to your app store and install “Realm Connect – For Our Church”. When opening the app for the first time at the logon screen click on “Forgot Password” and follow the instructions.

If you prefer, on your desktop, open your browser and enter:, then follow the instructions above.

Those of you who have scheduled online giving, no worries, it has already been moved over. Once you are logged on you may make new contributions or modify existing giving. If you have questions, please contact:

For Logon Help:             Don Fisher           727-560-8876
For Contributions:          Liz Hood                    813-624-5906

The Church Life directory will be available for a couple more weeks before being deactivated. Contributions are only possible through Realm.

Those of us who have already started using it have found it to be as promised – easier to use and more features. Feel free to play around with it and do not hesitate to reach out if you need help.

Fr. Kevin+
II Timothy 1:11
“The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27)
Those words from our Lord are so very important and yet, if wrongly interpreted, can be misused. Every connection with God, including this one is to give us strength and communion with him. 
There are those who claim to experience spiritual renewal along a sandy seashore, in a silent forest, or on a lonely mountain peak. Some claim they can worship God while doing all the fun things that are a part of a summer vacation. After all, didn’t Jesus say our Sabbath was made for us? We will just worship God on the creek bank.
There is some truth to that – some truth and a great deal of danger. There is the temptation to ask God’s blessing on wonderful vacation plans while forgetting to invoke His blessing on our spiritual health. There is the temptation to skip Church on Sunday – especially if we are out of town and don’t know the location of the nearest Episcopal church. And, sleeping late is so inviting.
Yes, the Sabbath was made for us. And that is the best reason for not trying to create Him in our image. Trying to use God for our own purposes produces only frustration. 
Streaming church services has been a blessing for us during the Covid crisis but now let us share our Sabbath with other believers (and non- believers) and receive strength, faith and courage for the days ahead. 

The Thrift Shop continues to be extremely successful. It is open every Wednesday 10:30 to 2:00 and in conjunction with the Divine Marketplace on the 3rd Saturday of each month. Come in and check out our summer sales.  Please remember donations are by appointment only as space is limited. Call Barbara Gentry 633-3363 BEFORE you come in to donate.
Farewell Dinner for the Wylys

Join SJD and the Wylys August 6th at 6 pm in the Parish Hall
for a farewell dinner as we say goodbye to the Wylys!
RSVP is required and closed on August 1st!


Vitality is a cool concept. It is defined as a state of being strong and active, full of energy, full of life. For someone my age I like to be like that, as long as I can get my afternoon nap.

What does vitality look like in a church? A vital church is strong and active, full of energy, full of life. Friendships are strong, and we encourage each other in our Christian lives. There are active small groups and gatherings of people who serve selflessly for the good of all. The altar guild, choir and coffee-hour kitchen volunteers come to mind. Bible studies and other faith-building gatherings abound as well as ministries that serve our community well beyond our property lines. I love being involved in this church. It has vitality.

There are seasons in the life of a congregation when its vitality fades a bit. For us, one such season was caused by Covid-19. But now we are regaining our vitality.

The process of a church regaining its vitality is called revival. Revival is a word that is often misunderstood in Christian circles. To some, it is called, “a revival,” and consists of a week-long series of services put on by some energetic preacher. That may sometimes help, but that is not revival. Revival is the restoration of life.

A congregation experiences vitality when it is full of life. St. John Divine gives many indications of being full of life. Are we all the way into the fullness of vitality? Not quite.

You see, the most basic indicator of life is this: Reproduction. Uh-oh…before you think I’m going to talk about the birds and the bees, I want to clarify what I mean. Every living thing, from single cell amoebas that live in the water, to plants and animals, reproduce themselves to avoid extinction. Reproduction in the church happens when people in the surrounding community are converted to faith in Jesus Christ. When we figure out how to do that well, we will be in the fulness of vitality. Revival is the answer.
I hope to write more about that next month…unless I am taking a nap.

By Howard Roshaven, Senior Warden
Flower Guild

As a result of our Covid experience, during total streaming and as church has become fully open, Sharon Bakay and I have shared the responsibility of arranging and maintaining flowers for the altar stands. While pastoral visitation has been limited or non-existent, we have used the same arrangements more than once.
Now that many visitation restrictions have been lifted or modified, with flowers from altar bouquets, we can once again cheer those who are unable to physically attend church. This means that new arrangements will be made each week, and, each Sunday, after the 11:00 service, they will be broken into small bouquets for people confined to homes or hospitals.
I will be sending notes to all Flower Guild Members to invite you to become active again. We will need to reorganize teams, since we no longer have Anna and Lena (moved away) or Mary Ann (deceased), who were experienced, passionate workers. We also need new members to step into the positions of those we've lost.
Men and women, who think you would like to learn flower arranging and become members of a very rewarding ministry, please email me: or call/text: 941-545-8132.
Years ago, at my former church, I headed up the Pastoral Care Committee. One of the disciplines we adopted was to read and discuss books dealing with Pastoral Care, Sickness and Death. The first book we selected was The Wounded Healer by Henri Nouwen. It was a challenging book, but nevertheless at the end we all enjoyed the reading of the book and the discussion that ensued.
What I have discovered over the years is that people who are charged with the care of others have great difficulty accepting care for themselves. We tend to feel that we are not allowed to be weak.
In late June I had to go for routine surgery. At the staff meeting I made the announcement. Fr. Kevin asked me if I needed prayers. My reflex response was no, I do not. It was not me being rude, but rather that feeling of being unable to be weak. My sincerest apologies to the clergy and all the staff members present at the meeting. I have thought about this so many times since. It has bothered me greatly. Here it was, I was wounded and unable to surrender. Hence today’s title.
Why do we not allow ourselves to be vulnerable? We see ourselves as invincible to a certain extent. Any other way exposes our weakness.
To you my sisters and brothers who are in a similar situation, Let go and let God. Accept the prayers and help from others.
Remember, IT IS OK TO BE NOT OK.

Aubrey V. Thompson
Head Verger
The Triple T Ministry

In our continued awareness of the new exciting “Triple T Ministry”, this month I would like to concentrate on one very important aspect of the 3rd T—Treasury. Now, I’m not talking about the annual pledge drive in the fall of each year when the church budget is developed for the following year. Instead, I’m talking about estate planning.
My own younger brother and sister are married, have no children, and have been married to their spouses for close to 50 years. Despite my frequent suggestions, they have no will, living will, durable power of attorney, or health care power of attorney. If you are like them and have put off making plans for your estate, you’re not alone. Estate planning is not a chore. It is an opportunity to create your legacy.
Estate planning is for everyone, regardless of your age or your assets. It allows you to protect the people and causes you care about most, no matter what twists and turns happen in life.
Don’t wait to take the first step-you may actually feel relieved as you get things in order. Plus, you can rest easy knowing that you are setting your legacy in a manner you can be proud of.
 When creating or updating your estate plans, the Triple T Ministry is establishing several actions to assist you in making your decisions. We will be establishing financial or estate planning sessions throughout the year at SJD. It is our hope to provide information on trusts, wills, stocks, annuities, IRA’s, etc. to the SJD Parishioners through scheduled presentations, special brochures, and various SJD notices.
How will you be remembered? We hope you will consider SJD as a part of estate planning. By leaving a percentage of your estate to SJD, it is possible to make a big difference while still retaining your assets for life.
We will be partnering with Thrivent Financial for the administrative aspects of establishing your estate planning, but you are welcome to informally talk with one of our priests or members of our Endowment Commission (Doug Roderick, Steve Van Loan, or Carl Lingertot).
I close with a reminder that everything that we have was given to us by God, and it is our gifts we give to our church now or in the future that is a way of thanking him for what we have on this earth.
Doug Roderick
Vestry Member
Candy Allman announces:
 GOD SPA is BACK!!!!!
October 1-3, 2021

Join other women of faith at Luther Springs’ God Spa for Women. Soak in the beautiful scenery and solitude of Luther Springs, relaxing your mind, body, and spirit. Activities may include faith-filled conversation, devotions, music, journaling, guided meditation, relaxing and spa-type activities such as facials, manicures, pedicures and foot treatments. Massages available at an additional cost (therapist and client will both remain masked).

Cost: Double room - $185 or Single room - $235
For more information contact Candy at 813.777.7803

I’m happy to report that the Sunday morning coffee time is doing well with prepackaged cookies and coffee. We have added new people to our workers at 9:15: Stefanie Peterson, Joan Cumberland, and Isabel DeTringo. At 11:00 we’ve added Maureen and Justin Hill. Many many thanks to our other volunteers who have served for a long time: Linda Barnum, Barbara and John Gentry, Linda and Bill Duhn, and Karen Stapleton. We do have places for more who want to help especially at 9:15.

A HUGE shout out to Vivian Smalls who was the other half of the team in shopping for and setting out food for the Wine Tasting. It is wonderful volunteers like all of the above who make serving at St. John a delightful experience.

**We still are not accepting homemade goodies or food from the bakeries at this time and your cooperation is greatly appreciated. 

Sharon Bakay

Nancy MacDonald - 8/1
CJ Cox, Jr. - 8/3
Cheryl Clary - 8/3
Barbara Gentry - 8/4
Kathy Bolduc - 8/5
Bea MacDonald - 8/6
Joanna Boley-Lee - 8/7
Connie Spillan - 8/7
Bob Mills - 8/10
Bill Schwolow - 8/10
Carol Collins - 8/10
Don Houck - 8/11
Joe Bradley - 8/12
Dorothy Rich - 8/14
Tobias Ayers - 8/14
Mary Whitman - 8/15
Sally Sutton - 8/16
Bob Cox, Jr. - 8/18
Ronald Davis - 8/21
Tom Pagnini - 8/22
Maureen Hill - 8/22
Janice Robinson - 8/22
Mike Gaudet - 8/24
Jamia Gordon - 8/27
John Hood - 8/28


Gene & Frances Doyle - 8/8
Kevin & Sue Warner - 8/9
Dick & Barbara Gingrich - 8/10
Berne & Cheryl Clary - 8/10
Elmer & Merry Joerg - 8/14
George & Diane Wiggins - 8/15
Joe & Jarrath Bradley - 8/19
Bob & CJ Cox - 8/23
Lew & Mary Merrill - 8/24
John & Isabel DeTringo - 8/28

Greg Diehl, Linda Floyd, Allie Maiocchi, Linda Cardillo, Debbie Carlisle
Linda Duhn, 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, Tommy Blair - A/V Assistant
Connie Minnoe - Accounting Administrator, Denise Smalls - Nursery Attendant

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