Volume 3, Issue 25
June 24, 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:

Well, the summer weather pattern certainly seems to have settled in over this part of God's kingdom. Hot, muggy and afternoon showers... repeat... hot, muggy and afternoon showers... etc. Let's make the best of it with our harvest of fresh produce to fill our table and the abundance of summer flowers to brighten our tables.

In the midst of a world that seems so far out of our control, we need to pause and take stock of the blessings we enjoy. In a world where the daily news highlights the enormous gap between those who "have" and those who "have not," we need to pay attention and examine our hearts about what we can do to bridge that gap... listening, learning and then taking appropriate action. That is something that God, through Jesus, calls each and every one of us to do.

And in this season when we are forced to "fast" from our regular religious routines, I invite you to reflect on the true meaning of "church." Your Vestry and I are wrestling with all the details related to a "re-opening" of our public space for in-person worship. At this point, I am not comfortable that any immediate change toward that direction is safe for the community of St. John's but I am relying on the input of your Vestry and other parish leaders, plus your comments, to recommend a final decision. Our discussions are influenced by some of the questions posed in the Bishop's guidelines, released last week. Three of them caught my attention and I ask you to pray about them.

Here at St. John's:

(1) What is our purpose? What are our core values?

(2) How does the activity we are contemplating (re-opening or continuing on-line) express our purpose and core values? How might it undercut that purpose and those values?

(3) What are we longing for? What are different ways in which we might respond to such longing?

Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts and feelings on this critical subject, even by replying to this email or calling me in the office or contacting a Vestry person. Those comments will be taken into consideration by your Vestry as we make decisions about the best way going forward for the people of St. John's and this community.

Peace and blessings,
Rev. Terri +
This Week's Services:
Compline
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 28, 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
10:00am

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
6:45pm

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

DOLLARS AND SENSE: The (preliminary) May financials show that our revenue for the month was $24,401.64 and our expenses were $18,988.30. That means we were not in the "red" for the first time in many months. Pledges were below our budgeted amount by $818.67 but open plate offerings (non-pledged income) exceed the budgeted amount by $1,508, so a good offset. The rental income from the school and their share of the utilities certainly helps as well! In an effort to get the school settled in, we are having to do some extra "repair and maintenance" work on the space but those efforts should be completed this month and next. Please know that everyone is trying to do their best to "hold the ship steady" during this time. I am grateful for your continued generous and faithful support of St. John's - thank you!

BIBLE STUDY: We have moved our study to Zoom each Wednesday evening 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 are studying the Gospel of Matthew and this evening look at the "Sermon on the Mount" - chapters 5-7. Over the course of the next two 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.
Food Donations for our Friends in Need

Our doorbell rings regularly each day here at the office by those friends in the community that are having a rough time.

We have a supply of 'To-Go' bags which we give out along with a bottle of water to any who ask. These bags contain easy to eat foods that require no cooking, refrigeration, or special preparation, as many of our friends do not have access to kitchens.

We always appreciate and use the donations we receive, but please keep in mind to choose easy to open items, that are non-perishable and require no cooking. Items high in protein are always a good idea. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us.

Thank You!

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 +

NEW TRAINING DATES IN JULY!

Saturday, July 11 | ZOOM
10:am to noon

Friday, July 17 | ZOOM
10:am to noon
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 21:

First Lesson - Sylvia Pace
Psalmists: Phyllis Smith & Michael Spring
Second Lesson - Jane Graham
Prayers of the People - Sherran Davis
Musicians: Tom Elston (Music Director) with Michael & Martha Spring
Communications Director: Jorge Darr
A few notes about our Zoom worship:

As we continue to use this technology to conduct our worship experience here at St. John’s, we would like to clarify a few of the protocols that are in place for the service.

·         Due to privacy concerns, Zoom has changed the host’s ability to ‘un-mute’ participants during the service. This has been done in the past during the Prayers of the People, and the Lord’s Prayer. Although this has added a richness to the worship experience in hearing all of your wonderful voices, privacy concerns in the world have prevented this from happening automatically. To continue our newly found ‘tradition’ of on-line communal response, please note the following:
o   If you would like to add a petition or prayer at the appropriate time in the service, please ‘un-mute’ yourself when asked during the Prayers of the People. Please ‘mute’ yourself when finished.
o   Likewise, if you would like to add your voice to the ‘Lord’s Prayer’, please ‘un-mute’ yourself when prompted with “And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say”
o   At the end of the service, when the ‘peace’ is exchanged, please feel free to ‘un-mute’ yourself, exchanging the peace and greeting one another. We will keep the Zoom channel open as people meet and greet one another. The Facebook Live streaming will stop at the peace, so that any conversations and dialog amongst yourselves and other participants WILL NOT be broadcast to the general public.
·         During ‘in-person’ worship, we all find ourselves facing the front of the church, seeing the backs of the heads in front of us. However, with Zoom we see a ‘sea of faces’ looking back at us, and often we tend to forget we are on camera. Please be aware of your surroundings, actions, and things that might distract. In the lower left corner of your Zoom screen, there is an icon with a video camera. By ‘stopping video’ you replace your camera’s view with either an image you supply, or simply your name. Please feel free to use it as you see fit!

·        If you have an active role in the service, such as reader, psalmist, or prayer leader, please follow these cues:          
(please maintain silence until your part comes up)

1 st Reader:  Un-mute yourself during the ‘Collect of the Day’

Psalmist(s) Un-mute yourself during the last portion of the 1 st reading.

2 nd Reader:       Un-mute yourself during the last verse of the Psalm

Prayer Leader:  Un-mute yourself during the Nicene Creed

Thank you so much for helping us make this a rich and meaningful experience for us all!
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.