Volume 3, Issue 20
May 21st, 2020

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:

Happy Ascension Day! Forty days ago we celebrated the Sunday of the Resurrection: Easter Day. Today is the observance of the ascension of our risen Lord into heaven. The disciples were witnesses to this event and stood gazing at the sky. Paraphrasing Luke and Acts, the angel said, "What are you doing - just standing there? Get back to work!" And so we shall...

Yesterday, in our bi-weekly Zoom call with the Bishop and his staff, there was no "new news" about when we will be re-opening for in-person worship. Reports about churches and other businesses opening and then having to close again are being taken seriously at all levels. While I miss all of you and our experience of being inside our lovely building for worship, I care about you all too much to put your health at risk with an invitation to come back into the building at this time.

The Bishop's staff has begun to put together guidelines for a "phased re-opening" of parishes ( sound familiar? ) drawing on the expertise of several individuals in different professions across the Diocese. As those guidelines are developed and released, we will review them for our own circumstances and take action accordingly. While there are no "dates" advertised, I would be very surprised if we were given the go-ahead to gather anytime prior to early/mid-July.

So let's stand together as the church (not the building), stay strong and stay connected through the ways we are offering (and those being planned). Limit your exposure and stay safe, stay well, wash your hands, cover your cough... you know the drill by now. If you need anything - even just someone to talk to - please do not hesitate to reach out to me or a member of the Vestry. We are here for you and for each other.

Rev. Terri +
This Week's Services:
Night Prayers
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
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Join us via Zoom
May 24th, 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
New Time!! 10:00am

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

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Staff change: This past Sunday, the Vestry voted to enhance the responsibilities for our Administrative Assistant, Jorge Darr, and increase his hours so that Jorge can grow and more effectively support our online presence - now and into the future. We've all seen what Jorge can do in the area of video and audio recording. He's running our Zoom services on Sunday and uploading them to Facebook for live (and later) viewing by a larger audience in the community. With these additional hours, Jorge will begin to manage our website and other social media presences, develop new offerings for our online audience (both audio and video) and help us with our investment in the technology and equipment to make it happen.

All of this is intended to present a unified and robust presence to promote our worship, educational and ministry opportunities for the parish now - as we are separated by the virus - and when we can resume in-person worship as well as the larger community of which we are a part. We are reaching a much larger audience that our previous average Sunday attendance and, for the first time, are able to connect many of our home-bound parishioners into our live worship. We envision that this type of "hybrid ministry" will only grow in the months to come.

The monies to enable the increased hours and equipment purchases will be drawn from the leftover funds in the Youth Minister accounts (with the unanimous approval of all the original donors). Most of what Jorge does now in the administrative area is "facilitating communication" between staff, parishioners and the community. With these additional responsibilities, his new title will be "Director of Communications" effective June 1. Thank you Vestry! Thank you donors! Thank you Jorge!

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While we are mostly staying at home, our friends and colleagues in ministry are available by phone and Zoom call. I will be asking our various ministry team leaders to begin to arrange "virtual" meetings for worship, outreach, in-reach, hospitality and education planning. It's what we generally do over the summer anyway... so we'll just be doing it a different way. Watch for an email or phone call inviting you to join one of these efforts. I predict that at least some of these activities will be coming back with the fall season.

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The annual audit of our finances (now for the year 2019) is currently underway. Our auditor, Kerry Wilkerson, from Burge and Associates, CPA, was on-site for a day reviewing some paper records. Other data were scanned and uploaded to their secure client portal for review. As soon as the audit is completed and we have the report from Burge, we will share that with all of you.
Celebrate Pentecost With Sound!
At our celebration of Pentecost on May 31st, our bell ringers will start the service by ringing a special melody derived from  Spiritus Domini,  the Latin phrase for  Spirit Of The Lord.  To help you celebrate Pentecost, we've made a free MP3 file of  Spritus Domini  you can download and use as a ringtone on your cell phone. For more information and the links for listening to and downloading the MP3 file, visit the Music Department website homepage:


Tom Elston
Celebrate Pentecost With Style!

On Sunday, May 31st, remember to wear red - it's the color of the day in honor of the coming of the Holy Spirit. And find a bell to ring at the exchange of the Peace at the end of the service. Let's look sharp and make a joyful noise!

Rev. Terri +

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 June 15; however, we will re-evaluate the situation at that time. 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.
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.