Volume 5, Number 42 | December 23, 2018
December 2018 Newsletter
OUR UPCOMING EVENTS!
Walkabouts
A series of events – also known as Walkabouts – will be held to introduce the nominees for the Tenth Bishop of Maine to the clergy and lay members of the Diocese . Please save the dates: January 18th in Augusta, January 19th in Bangor, and January 20th in Portland. For those of us in Bangor, we will gather at Husson University (exact time to be announced). Please note: anyone interested is most welcome to attend more than one Walkabout session. Each of these three sessions will also be video-streamed live, videotaped, and posted on the Diocesan YouTube channel, Facebook page, and website. Be sure to check the  bishopquest.org  website for the latest updates and snow dates.
For more information on the candidates, please go to episcopalmaine.org
Tenth Bishop
Join us at coffee hour following the 10 am service on Sunday January 20th to discuss the nominees for the Tenth Bishop of Maine.  Our Delegates and Vestry members will be there to hear your thoughts following the January 19th Walkabout.
M.L.K. Jr. Celebration
Please plan to join us for our annual special service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 20th , 4 pm. This year’s celebration will take place at All Souls Congregational Church at 10 Broadway in Bangor. Enjoy music performed by St. John’s Choir, All Souls Congregational Choir, and Bangor Area Children’s Choir.
Soup Kitchen
Extra help is needed for our monthly serving at the soup kitchen.  We are scheduled to serve the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Salvation Army, from 10 am to 1:30 pm. Our next scheduled date is Tuesday, January 22nd. For more information, please see Nancy Henry or Phil Ulrich.
Women's Book Group
The St. John’s Women’s Book Group will meet Tuesday, January 22nd, 2 pm at the home of Nancy Stine, Apt. 122 Penobscot, Dirigo Pines Inn , Orono, ME. New members are welcome and need not commit to all the meetings. Please let Nancy know if you can come by phone at  866-2737  or send an email to Nanfred13@hotmail.com The book for January is:  Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World.
Prayer Shawl Knitting
Attention all knitters, the Prayer Shawl Knitting Group is meeting on Wednesday January 23rd at 1 pm in the Parish House Oratory.  All are welcome to join, both experienced and those who are looking to learn how to knit. 
Annual Meeting
Time to Nominate!  The Annual Meeting will be January 27th, 2019. We will be electing Vestry members and delegates to Convention. Forms describing Vestry service are in the Narthex and Undercroft. To nominate, please speak to a current Vestry Member or Clergy. Convention delegates elected in January will serve on October 26th (location to be announced).
Mission More than Money
Part II: Where There Is A Mission
Eric Boberg, Stewardship Committee
 
Even when our church has a financially healthy year, it is difficult to pray about stewardship and make pledging decisions. Add a looming building repair that is five times our total annual pledge amount, and it becomes even more difficult. Questions like ‘ what is the best use of my resources , ‘ can we afford it ’, and ‘ what am I supporting ’ can quickly become complicated to answer.
 
Have you asked yourself why it is difficult? I have, and it comes down to one underlying issue: money. Money can indeed complicate, which is why it is so important to remember our mission at St. John’s. Be guided by mission more than money .
 
Where there is a will (mission), there is a way (resources/money) . I hope it is easy to see that fulfilling the mission of the church takes faith. Faith in each other and faith in our Lord. And the good news is the church’s mission continues with over 2,000 years of history. We are all here at St. John’s because of this history. Through this larger body of Christians here today, and those who have come before, we will continue our mission. It is our duty and responsibility. Who are we serving? The Lord, of course. We serve our Lord. How do we serve our Lord? At St. John’s, in more ways than I can count. Our ministries are strong and faithful, and I feel are well balanced to serve each other within the parish, within the community, and beyond. This is our continuing mission. We serve the believers and nonbelievers, the content and hurting, the friended and isolated, the forgiven and unforgiven, the poor and rich, the outspoken and silent.
 
In my personal 2017 Lenten reflection, I wrote about Mo. Rita’s sermon, and her message that even Lazarus, when Jesus had raised from the tomb, needs his hands unbound. Not by Jesus, but by those around him who love him. Why? Because, as Mo. Rita reminds, Jesus gives us love and forgiveness, but we still need each other to be set free to receive Christ’s love. This, in turn, teaches us to love one another and to forgive. An excellent reminder that, through love, we can continue our mission.
 
No one has that crystal ball to know how we will continue our mission at St. John’s in the future, but I believe we don’t need to know the future how’s. We only need to ask ourselves if we are committed to continuing our mission at St. John’s. Are you committed to acts of love and forgiveness, as shown through unbinding Lazarus’ hands? I pray that you let your answer guide you in your own personal decisions.
Sunday School/Youth Update
CHILDREN And FAMILIES

Our children have been observing Advent together. We've continued to learn about how the church tells time, and have made Advent wreaths for families to use at home. We also put together some bags with faith formation activities in them-- if you haven't gotten one, it's not too late! Just let me know and I will make one for you. Last week we acted out the Annunciation, and we continue to use legos to explore some of our stories. We will be focusing on the birth of Jesus in the coming weeks, especially as we prepare for our Epiphany Pageant on January 6. It's also not too late to join in if you are interested-- there is room for all and our goal is to make the pageant a low stress opportunity for the children to tell a story to the whole parish.Grinch Night will be held on Friday, Dec. 21 at 6:30 in the Bangor Room-- please join us for a showing of the classic and some simple crafts and snacks. As always, if you have questions about faith formation at St. John's, please be in touch. 

YOUTH

Our Senior YES group has been working hard in their confirmation class. We have been exploring our own beliefs and values, and have started getting to know mentors. Many thanks to all the many people of our parish who are helping to support our youth! They have been helping at Second Saturday, and working hard as acolytes, nursery assistants, and helpers in the Wigglers. 

Our Junior YES has visited the Humane Society to volunteer, and colored a beautiful poster of Psalm 25 together last week. 
Sabbatical Souvenir Collection

During this Sabbatical time, the Sabbatical Task Force invites you to contribute to our Sabbatical Souvenir Collection. Our goal is to collect memories, thanksgivings, revelations and events through handwritten notes, photos, and small tokens, to present to Mother Rita in a scrapbook so that she may know what we have accomplished and experienced during our Sabbatical period. We hope to encompass all walks of spiritual life at St. John’s to let Mother Rita know we are thinking of her while she is away. This will also help to welcome Mother Rita back by sharing with her our experiences, joys, revelations and even challenges as we have grown together during this time, and to bridge our time apart so that we may continue on together during Lent.

We invite you to share your thoughts, photos, and ponderings to be collected until Mother Rita returns on March 3. We encourage you to look for opportunities within your time at St. John’s and through your service to others. A collection box has been placed in the Narthex to collect souvenirs and mementos. You may also give your offerings to Alisa Wing or leave them in the Parish Office. Please share this invitation with others in your ministry groups and encourage everyone to collect thoughts and small objects during this time. 
Armistice Centenary

November 11, 2018

At 4 o’clock on November 11, a group of about 70 gathered in the candlelit nave to observe the centenary of the Armistice that ended World War I. The intervening 100 years fell away as we heard the words of soldier-poets—elegant and resonant words that spoke of fear, loss, lingering nightmares, and blistering anger. Judy Jones spoke of her pain-filled service in Naval Intelligence during the Vietnam War. Rabbi Bill Siemers and The Rev. Canon Anne Mallonee addressed the conflict and pain of World War I and of all wars, offering no slogans of solace but leading us into deepest confrontation with our sorrows, our needs, our limitations, and our place in God’s world and God’s time.

Jeff Sychterz provided brief biographies of all the poets. Joe Bearor read the poems with depth and directness. Jerry Lyden read the names of all of Bangor’s residents who died during the war. John Patterson played Taps from the Nuns’ Gallery. Kevin Birch gave us time and room for contemplation with a quiet work for organ by Bach, then led us in Abide With Me before we adjourned to the undercroft. The program was deeply moving to all of us in attendance.

The committee thanks all of the participants. As chair of the committee, I thank all of the members for their efforts and support.

Bruce Mallonee
St. John's Episcopal Church | 207-947-0156 | stjohnsbangor.org