Volume 3, Issue 23
June 10, 2020

A note to our readers : We are moving the release of the Eagle Notes to Wednesdays so that those who receive a hard-copy regular mail version get it in plenty of time for the weekend worship activity.

Thanks for reading our weekly email newsletter! We hope that it gives you useful and relevant updates for all the events and activities here at St. John's. Feel free to forward this email to your family and friends so they can be included in the "wider circle" that we're drawing here in College Park.

A Message from the Priest in charge...

Dear Members and Friends of St. John's:

Yesterday morning, our regular SW Atlanta Convocation Clericus meeting was held via Zoom (isn't that the 'norm' these days!) and Bishop Robert Wright was our guest. Of course, the main question on everyone's mind was "When can we re-open the churches?" Well, in short, not that quickly!

Next week, June 17, during our regular call with the Bishop and his staff, we (clergy) will be given the guidelines for a Phase One re-opening. That document has been circulated and vetted by the Bishop's own task force on COVID-19 as well as all the Deans of the convocations. The Bishop anticipates a lot of discussion around that document, both on the call and then within each parish community. There will be certain requirements to be met by each community and decisions to be made. The decision how/when to re-open will be a choice for each parish - not a mandate. As we learn more, we will share those details with you.

Several things everyone has recognized is this: "hybrid" services and group gatherings will most likely be the norm going forward (some in-person and some on-line) and worship/fellowship/ministry as we have always known it will not be the same. Bishop Wright urged us all to "stop dithering with the details around the edges" and start thinking about how to start things anew, re-imagining why and how we do things, often letting go of practices that are just still hanging around and continuing to do new things in the ways we have found work just fine in this pandemic world. He urged us to think about a "parish" in a new way - what should it be in terms of worship and fellowship and ministry - in terms of geography and connections?

There is so much work to do - so much to think about - so much to consider. But it all gets back to the fundamental question: Who are we as St. John's and what is our role in the life of our parishioners and in this community? From that understanding, we can figure out where we need to be going, what we need to be doing and how to get there. Much to ponder... and pray about.

Rev. Terri +
This Week's Services:
Night Prayer
Join us via Zoom
Thursday 7:00pm

For the Compline Service :
You may be prompted to enter the following:
Meeting ID: 843 7684 4017
Password: 848486
(see Zoom instructions below)
Sunday Worship
The Second Sunday after Pentecost
Join us via Zoom
June 14, 10:00am

For the Sunday Worship Service :
You may be prompted to enter the following:
Meeting ID: 890 4465 2335
Password: 704817
(see Zoom instructions below)
Morning Prayer
Every Tuesday and Thursday Morning
Join us via Zoom

For Morning Prayer :
You may be prompted to enter the following:
Meeting ID: 291 729 9738
Password: 30337
(see Zoom instructions below)
Bible Study
Every Wednesday
Join us via Zoom

For Bible Study :
You may be prompted to enter the following:
Meeting ID: 291 729 9738
Password: 30337
(see Zoom instructions below)
Notes from Rev. Terri

BIBLE STUDY: We begin our new study this evening via Zoom at 6:45pm. Please check the above links for access to the study notes for this week and also for the link to the Zoom session itself. We will be studying the Gospel of Matthew. Over the course of the next two and a half months, we will be doing a close reading of the text and discussing the implications of how the evangelist presented his picture of Jesus as an "agent of God" sent to teach people about the Kingdom of God and their role in it. This gospel text is a valuable tool for anyone who wishes to be a faithful disciple. We hope you will join us - please invite family, friends and neighbors to participate as well.

* * * * * * * * *

COMPLINE: We meet on Zoom each Thursday evening at 7:00pm to say together the "goodnight prayers" of the church, using the beautiful texts from the New Zealand Prayer Book . The service itself is brief - about 15 minutes or so - and a bulletin has already been prepared. Join us this week and check it out. Then let me know if you would like to try your hand (and voice) at leading the service one week. "Training" and support are offered freely and gladly!

* * * * * * * * *

DISCUSSIONS AROUND RACISM: Several parishioners have expressed an interest in starting a group discussion around issues of race and justice. They are looking at different resources we have heard about or have been recommended to us. If you are interested in being a part of this effort, please contact Michael Isham (michael.isham1@gmail.com) or Sylvia Pace (space6057@gmail.com). As I said on Sunday, any discussions we have will be difficult, especially in today's highly charged environment, but they are discussions we must have in order to move forward.

Safeguarding God's Children / People Training

This required training for all staff, Vestry and ministry leaders is now being offered online, via Zoom. During this time when we are mostly in front of our PCs or similar devices, it's a great opportunity to take this training (two sessions) and become more familiar with the issues surrounding the sexual abuse of children and adults, what we can do to prevent it and what the Diocesan polices are related to this. See the chart above for dates/times.

I urge you to sign up! The training certification is good for three years. Having a large number of our parish members trained in this area is one way to prevent any instance of something like this happening at St. John's. As I always say when I lead a training session, it helps us to "grow antennae" that detect trouble before it even has a chance to start.

Rev. Terri +
Put This on Your Calendar
Parish Calendar Notes... at least for now

  • The Bargain Shop in East Point is closed for business at least until the "shelter in place" order for the elderly is lifted. Our tentative target date is now July 1; however, we will re-evaluate the situation as we learn more from the Diocese. If you have donations for the shop, please call us ahead of time and bring them to the church so that we can arrange for our sexton, Mohamed Ndakpawa, to take them to the shop.
Ministers of Worship for this coming Sunday, June 14:

First Lesson - Celeste Hall
Psalmists: Michael Isham & Lisa Norton-Rotella
Second Lesson - Michael Proscia
Prayers of the People - Sherran Davis
Musicians: Tom Elston (Music Director) with David Gibbs & Betsy Daniell
Communications Director: Jorge Darr
To join any of our worship services via Zoom, here's what you need to do:

(1) If you have not already downloaded the Zoom application and if you have a laptop, tablet or cellphone that has a camera, then you can download the Zoom app at no charge. Just go to www.zoom.com to do this, following the prompts to set up your own 'account.' I would suggest doing this in advance of Sunday's service since the app can take a while to download to your device.

(2) Download a copy of the bulletin for the service by clicking the appropriate button above. You can then print and follow along with the service.

(3) Then, at the specified meeting time (or a few minutes before), click on the appropriate button to access the link to enter the Zoom service.

You will then be connected into the video meeting. All participants will be 'muted' upon entry so that we can begin the service in quiet; however, everyone participating via video can see the faces of other participants and will be able to hear the readers/speakers. At various times during and at the end of the service, everyone will be 'unmuted' and all the channels will be left open for a 'virtual' exchange of the Peace (most likely a noisy time!).

If you do not have a 'camera-enabled' device and/or would prefer to join the meeting by simply calling in with your phone, use 1-929-205-6099 as the toll-free number to do so, using the same meeting ID and password as listed above. You will be connected for audio only.