A word cloud made from parishioners' written responses to the question asked during services on Annual Meeting Sunday, "What are my hopes and dreams for St. John’s in the year ahead?"
Connect to God 
Last weekend your vestry met on retreat at the Bishop’s Ranch to develop our vision and goals for St. John’s. We began with hearing reports from each staff member about their work, what was going well and their challenges. We spent time reviewing the written responses from the congregation to the two questions asked during the sermon on our Annual Meeting Sunday: 1) “What are you thankful for at St. John’s?”, and 2) “What are your hopes and dreams for St. John’s in the coming year?” We looked at themes that emerged in the responses and incorporated them into creating our vision and goals. The word cloud above is based on the frequency of words in the responses to parishioners hopes and dreams for St. John’s.

The vestry theme for the year is Engaged Community. Our goals for the year fall under this umbrella theme. The vestry goals for 2019 and beyond are:
  1. Achieve Financial Security
  2. Deepen and Expand Outreach and Service
  3. Strengthen Children, Youth and Family Ministry

The vestry and staff are developing specific initiatives and actions for each goal with an emphasis on creating the infrastructure to accomplish each goal. The vestry voted to restructure the Outreach Committee as a committee of the vestry with at least two vestry liaisons. We are also creating a Children, Youth and Family Ministry Committee as a vestry committee with vestry liaisons to support our Youth Minister, Director of Sunday School and the children, youth and family ministry programs.

Growth was a recurring theme in the responses from parishioners and in our discussions at the retreat. While we certainly want St. John’s to grow, we affirmed that growth is an outcome, not a goal in itself. Growth, both spiritually and numerically, will come as a result of faithful work to achieve our goals as a community of faith.

All our work at the vestry retreat, and hopefully as a church, was grounded in Jesus Christ as the center of all we do. Ultimately, the mission of any church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. Our mission at St. John’s is to do that in our community, empowering each other to proclaim and serve the God of love. 

Please pray for the vestry and for our church as we work towards our goals under the theme of Engaged Community. If you have any questions or comments about the work of the vestry please reach out to us. 

God’s peace,
Doug Van Gessel, Senior Warden
email Doug
Mary Beth Baker, Junior Warden
email Mary Beth
Rev. Chris Rankin-Williams, Rector
email Rev. Chris
Connect to Community
St. John’s Stepping UP St. John’s youth and music programs are rapidly growing. We have added mini-retreats and other faith formation opportunities, and more St. John’s volunteers are in the community helping those in need. We have all stepped up to ensure St. John’s is a vibrant and thriving church. In order to continue our upward movement we are asking everyone to consider stepping up their giving for the 2019 Annual Fund. Over the next several months you will be contacted and we hope you can be as generous as possible. Overall St. John's needs to raise an additional 20% from what was raised in the 2018 annual fund to ensure the church continues to flourish.

The Way of Love: BLESS  While on earth, Jesus showed us a way of living characterized by radically open, self-giving love. Each month between now and Easter, St. John’s will explore one faith practice that supports our living out this Way of Love. This month, we are exploring the practice of BLESSING, the practice of sharing faith and unselfishly giving and serving. Please join us for any of the activities below.
-This Sunday, February 10: Second Sunday Gathering for deeper discussion of how we can bless the world. 11:30am-12:30pm, Youth Room.
-Saturday, March 2: “Bless” mini-retreat for all ages. Breakfast, choice of faith formation discussions for adults, program for kids. 9:30am breakfast, 10am-12pm program.

St. John’s Men’s Group meets this Saturday for breakfast and discussion. We meet in the church for a Eucharist service at 7am with the Rev Chris Rankin-Williams, followed by breakfast and discussion in the Fireside room. If you are interested in joining us please RSVP here . The Men’s Group Annual Retreat will be held May 9-11 at St. Dorothy’s Rest in Occidental, CA. More information about the retreat will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.

Monday Bible Study is open to all - whether you’re new to reading scripture or a regular participant. Our next meeting is this Monday, February 11 in the Youth Room from 1-2:30 pm. The reading can be found here.

Second Thursday Lunch Join us on next Thursday, February 14 at noon for eucharist in the chapel and then lunch together in the Fireside Room. Rev. Ginger will present on the bloody history of Valentine’s Day.

Mardi Gras Dinner 2019 . . . laissez les bons temps rouler! Join us for an evening of celebration before the beginning of Lent. Great food and drink, good conversation, and good company on Tuesday, March 5 from 6-8pm in the Parish Hall. Tickets are available online here . Early bird pricing good through February 24.

Make Dessert for Mardi Gras! Five volunteers are needed to make dessert Sunday, March 3 after the 10am service. One hour. We're making a delicious chocolate mousse cake, a reprise of last year's Mardi Gras dessert. Join the fun and learn how to make this amazing dessert for your next party! To signup, click here .

Cooks Needed for Fat Tuesday! 15 volunteers are needed to make dinner for our annual Mardi Gras party! We start at 4 p.m. sharp and cook until 6pm when the party starts. Actually, the party starts IN THE KITCHEN! Bring a chef's knife and a cutting board and your good cheer. We'll make savory jambalaya, a wonderful salad and a veggie side. Join us to slice and dice! To signup, click here .

St. John's Women's Group is meeting on Wednesday, March 27 from 11am to 1pm in the Parish Hall Fireside Room.

A Murder is Announced The crime scene: the home of Roger and LaRae Quy. The suspect: possibly you! The date and time: Sunday April 14th from 3 to 6pm. Appetizers and drinks provided in order to keep the detectives quenched and nourished while they struggle to solve who donnit. By popular demand another murder mystery fundraiser is available - $100 per person, to sign up email Emily McFarland, Director of Stewardship.
Connect to Service
San Quentin Kairos 52 Retreat Kairos, a long established prison ministry is preparing for a four day program over Presidents Day weekend with a team of 50 men joining 42 inmates in the State Prison. You are invited to take a prayer slot anytime over the four day’s by clicking here. Parishioner and retreat participant Martin Coyne writes, " Kairos can have a powerful impact on these men who are attempting to find a path to reconciliation through the love of God and the community of men in the Kairos team. With the prayer list posted on a wall, I point out for example Joan from Madison or John from St. John’s, etc. who are praying for the inmate(s.) It strongly resonates to the men behind those walls. This is one of several affirmations of hope delivered to the men inside. I would be delighted to share more about this program. Please contact me via email with any questions or concerns."

New Opportunities at Gilead House Please email Rev. Ginger at to volunteer. In addition to childcare and mentoring opportunities Gilead is also seeking:
-Administrative Volunteers: Have a couple of hours once a week during business hours? Help with simple admin tasks, answer phone calls, and get to know Gilead House families.
-Saturday Activity Leaders: Have a hobby or activity to share? A great opportunity for individuals or groups. Lead an enrichment activity for moms or kids on a Saturday morning.
-Transport Team: can you help change a tire, fix a flat, or make minor repairs? Or are you an extra savvy car buyer or deal negotiator? Many folks coming out of homelessness can be derailed by a car breakdown or get taken advantage of by a car dealer. If you’d be willing to offer help and advice to a family from time to time, please reach out.

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. To volunteer or learn more, contact Becky Hlebasko via email  or 415.846.1589.
Connect to Children
Sunday School celebrates a Love Feast this Sunday at 10am. Bring your children to experience fellowship meals like the ones Jesus shared with his disciples.

Teachers/Volunteers Meeting on this Sunday at 11:30am in the Fireside Room. Volunteers involved in any of the programs for children are invited to attend.

Save the Date for Summer Adventure Camp at St. John’s on July 28-August 2. Parents and youth who are interested to volunteer can email Sandra Pathik, Director of Children's Ministry.

Click here for Children’s Ministry Newsletter 

The Children’s Choir rehearses directly after the 10am service during coffee hour. Music folders for this choir are kept in the choir room (bottom shelves on the left). Any interested child in grade school may join. Reading skills (including music reading) are not necessary for the younger members. Parents will receive the texts of the songs by email from David Montgomery. WELCOME, ALL KIDS IN THIS AGE GROUP!
Connect to Youth
Hi All,
First, a big thank you to Rev. Jan West who just came in to help me do a mid-week confirmation class make up. Several had a make up today and it went well. One of those great moments where adults took a break in their week to help some youth learn more deeply about church. You all Rock!I'm trying an experiment this Sunday to highlight our once a month movie night. I'm offering a Jr. High focused movie from 3-5pm, with a to go dinner at 5pm, and a Senior High Movie at 5-7pm. Please RSVP to help me with food, thanks!

Summary of Sunday 2/10/19
  Service Opportunity
  • Martin's / 7-10AM meet in parking lot. We'll head out to Martin De Porres for our monthly service opportunity. Please RSVP by Friday at 5pm if you plan to go, so I have enough seats. I'll give 3 hours for attendance.
Church School at 10 AM
  • We'll be discussing the topic of faith, especially when things seem to not be working out and in spite of thinking we might not be worthy (Luke reading). (Our readings for Sunday).
  Espresso Hour after church
  • Youth Group members run an Espresso Cart in the Parish Hall.
  Afternoon Youth Group
  • TBD, we'll see what people are up for.
  Evening Youth Group
  • Movie Afternoon / Evening
  • 3-5pm Movie for Junior High
  • Dinner at 5pm
  • 5-7pm Movie for Senior High
VOLUNTEER HOURS - Jr/Sr High Youth are invited to help me with pizza club (2nd & 4th Tuesdays) for volunteer hours.
  • I'm starting Pizza Club! A twice a month, pre-youth group (3rd-5th Grade) gathering on the Tuesday night’s of Dinner Church. We’ll make our own pizza’s (I have two pizza grills) then have a mini youth group activity. If your youth is interested in attending, please email Tom@stjohnsross.org - your youth’s name, age, school info & to help me prepare food numbers. Think: church, prayer, pizza, and running around screaming in the dark!
  Upcoming dates:
  • February Tuesday Nights - 2/12 & 2/26 (2nd & 4th of the month) - Pizza, Games, & Compline / Time: 5:30 - 7pm / Parish Hall & Youth Rm
Nostalgic Videos of the Past Year(s):
Here's a few video retrospectives of the last year:
Pilgrimage to North Carolina
  • Dates: Saturday, July 20 - Friday, July 26
  • I'm working with the Diocese of North Carolina and will have more details soon.
  • Grades: 9-12th graders
Connect to Music
This Sunday's Music  To learn what Music Director David Montgomery has to say regarding the music selected for this Sunday's service, click  here
8am: Eucharist in the Church
9am: Family Eucharist in the Parish Hall
10am: Eucharist in the Church
& Sunday School
7.15am: Meditation in the Chapel
2nd & 4th Tuesdays 
6pm: Dinner Church in the Parish Hall 
2nd Thursdays
Noon: Eucharist in the Chapel  
St. John's Church 
PO Box 217 
14 Lagunitas Road 
Ross, CA 94957