Volume 3, Issue 47
November 18, 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:

'Twas the week before Thanksgiving and preparations for VERY SMALL family gatherings and/or Zoom/GoogleMeet sessions were underway. In this time of COVID, with rising case numbers across the United States, this is the reality of this year's classic American holiday. As much as we can, let's take it in stride, keep each other safe by limiting our interactions and keeping safe distances. It will surely be a day to reflect on the things we are thankful for!

This year, my thoughts are centered on this parish family and the ways we have "hung together" throughout these last nine months:

  • new ways to worship on Sundays via Zoom and Facebook, including pre-recorded music to enliven our time together and getting used to "preaching" to the Zoom squares on my computer screen (and you actually paying attention!)

  • Morning Prayer and evening Compline via Zoom - who knew praying together this way could still be so profound

  • Bible Study online - where we are still reading to each other and asking questions and exploring what the sacred texts still have to say to us

  • Twice-weekly "to go snack bag" distribution - 10/12 people each Tuesday and Thursday thankful for something to eat and a bottle of clean water to drink

  • Pastoral care and keeping in touch mostly by telephone, email or text

At this time last year, who could have imagined that this is where we'd be? Even more surprising, who would have believed that the congregation of St. John's would have adapted to these monumental changes with such ease and grace? As your Priest in charge, I am immensely grateful for everything you all have done - from helping to get things online, to singing into a smartphone or tablet, to leading prayers, to calling your fellow parishioners and to simply clicking on the Zoom link to join others as we offer our prayers and praise to the One who is always with us and will lead us through this time into a brighter (however new) future. Thanks be to God!

Peace,
Terri +
Follow us on Facebook!
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 Last Sunday after Pentecost
Christ the King
Join us via Zoom
November 22, 2020 at 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
6:00pm - New time!

For Bible Study:
You may be prompted to enter the following:
Meeting ID: 291 729 9738
Password: 30337
(see Zoom instructions below)
BIBLE STUDY

Another New Time! With the approach of the winter months, we have decided to move our study time once again back to 6:00pm on Wednesday afternoons. Please update the new time on your calendars.

This afternoon, we finish our study of parts of the Book of Isaiah, one of the three "major prophets" of the Old Testament literature. In particular, we will be focusing on those parts of the book that have most strongly influenced the Christian writings of the New Testament. This evening, we examine chapters/verses that have been quoted or used in Paul's letters to the Christian churches in Thessalonica, Galatia, Philippi and Colossae - all part of the collection of Pauline literature.

November 25: Thanksgiving Break

Beginning in December, during the Advent season, we will enjoy learning more about the stunning artwork of John August Swanson that depicts the Advent and Christmas stories. Each week, our group will watch two short DVD videos that discuss the pieces in depth, relating them to the relevant scriptural passages. Discussion guides will be available for all participants.

After Christmas and the New Year's holiday, we will begin a study of the Book of Numbers, the fourth book in the Old Testament collection known as the Torah. This six-week exploration will take us up to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.

All studies will start at 6:00 PM using Zoom as our platform. (See the link above for log-in information as well as a link to the study notes for each week.) Here's hoping that everyone will join us for this journey! All are welcome and no advance preparation is required.
Bell Ringers!
In the upcoming Advent and Christmas Seasons, we have several wonderful opportunities to add our hand bells to the sounds of the season. If you are a ringer, or would like to learn how, please let Jorge know as soon as possible. We will begin arranging some bell parts to some of our favorite hymns once we know how large our ensemble will be!

We have three ringers thus far!
CORONAVIRUS UPDATES: Updated guidelines for small group gatherings, pilgrimage and some pastoral occasions are now posted on the Diocesan website (www.episcopalatlanta.org) if you want to review or download. If either of those options are unavailable to you, please contact the parish office and we will be glad to mail you a hard copy.
COMMUNITY MINISTRY OPPORTUNITY:

Our partners in helping care for this community, Family Life Ministries in Hapeville, are collecting funds to buy food and turkeys in order to serve a hot Thanksgiving meal at the extended stay hotel in Hapeville near the I-85 intersection. If you would like to make a donation to this effort, please mail a check to:

Family Life Ministries
P.O.Box 91472,
East Point, Georgia 30364.

Executive Director Jane Gunter has her volunteers lined up. She just needs some help with funds to purchase the food. If you have any questions, please call her office at 404-761-6302. St. John's Discretionary Account will be making a donation on behalf of this church in thanksgiving for many years of working with this important group.
Put This on Your Calendar
Parish Notes... at least for now

PLEDGE CARDS should have been received by now. Please pray about how and to what extent you can support St. John's ministries in the year ahead. If possible, return your cards to the office by Thanksgiving so that we can continue to make plans for our common work in the new year.

VESTRY NOMINATIONS Current Vestry members are now accepting nominations for new vestry members for terms beginning in January 2021. We already have several names but are open to others. If you are interested in serving, please get in touch with one of the Vestry members or Rev. Terri. You must be a confirmed member in good standing with the parish, having been regular in attendance (even on Zoom!) and having made and kept a financial commitment to the church.

HOLIDAY SERVICES Due to the coronavirus and the shutting down of most church services, we will not be hosting a Thanksgiving service as in past years. Hopefully, things will be brighter in 2021. We do plan on having services for Christmas, utilizing Zoom and Facebook as we have been doing. On Thursday, Christmas Eve, we are planning for one service at 4:30pm with a 30-minute Musical and Choral Prelude beginning at 4:00pm. On Friday, Christmas Day, we are planning for one service at 10:00am. If virus conditions and the Bishop's guidelines change between now and then, we will of course let you know. For now, however, please note your calendars and make plans to join us with family and friends as appropriate.

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING is being planned for Sunday, January 24, 2021, following our regular worship service. Format is still to be determined based on local conditions and guidance and methods for distributing information and voting for Vestry candidates is also under consideration. For now, please just mark your calendar. Annual Meetings are always important in the life of a parish and we need each one of you to participate.

GET YOUR FLU SHOT! With the coronavirus still very much a part of our life experience, please get this extra level of protection. Doesn't take long, most insurance plans cover the cost and it doesn't hurt.

THE BARGAIN SHOP will be closing by the end of the year and the property will be sold with proceeds being used to fund Community Outreach through the parish. We need to clear the existing inventory in preparation for this closing. The shop is no longer accepting any new donations. During this pandemic, the shop hours are 10:00am until 2:00pm, Monday through Friday.
Ministers of Worship for this coming Sunday, November 22, 2020:

First Lesson - Michael Isham
Psalmists - Lisa Norton-Rotella & Michael Proscia
Second Lesson - Andrew Hales
Prayers of the People - David Gibbs
Musicians - The St. John's Singers with Cameron Carey on piano
Communications Director - Jorge Darr

** if you have a 'speaking' role in this Sunday's service, please log-in to Zoom by 9:45 for a microphone check and any updated instructions. Thank you!
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.

Love Song
Majestic Sovereign, Timeless Wisdom,
Your kindness melts my hard, cold soul.
Beautiful Lover, Selfless giver,
Your beauty fills my dull, sad eyes.
I am yours, you made me.
I am yours, you called me.
I am yours, you saved me.
I am yours, you loved me.
Let me never leave your presence.
Give me death, give me life.
Give me sickness, give me health.
Give me honour, give me shame.
Give me weakness, give me strength.
I will have whatever you give.
Amen
– Teresa Of Avila (1515-1582AD)