St. John's Enews
December 1, 2020
Christmas 2020
The beautiful picture on the right is from my Children's sermon on Christmas Eve 2019. Hundreds of people joined us as we celebrated the birth of our Lord Jesus. We will give thanks for the gift of Jesus again this year, albeit with fewer people. St. John's has been blessed to worship in our Sanctuary every weekend this year but one, and this special season will be no different. I have already sent out the St. John's Worship Link since you'll need to register for Christmas Eve ( 5 or 9 pm) as well as Christmas Day (10 am-Masks). I hope you'll join us at one of our services.

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of death, a light has dawned. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace, there will be no end" (Is. 9:2, 6). Be blessed by...

Christmas Blessings!

Fr. Joseph
Parish Secretary

The “St. John’s Online Instant Church Directory” is readily available at your fingertips . Member and login instructions are provided below as you click on the link. In order to keep the directory up to date, we suggest that you please forward updated contact information, address changes and pictures if not seen in the online directory to: A few members have received an email request for pictures that can also be uploaded into Instant Church Directory directly from your computer or phone.

St. John's has purchased a permanent name tag for new members. If you received an email from me, your name tag may be picked up in the Narthex before or after worship service.

I would like to take a moment to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas as we celebrate hope, peace, joy and love. It is a blessing to be a part of St. John's Family.

Claudia Trejos
Sr. Warden
I am a firm believer that there are no coincidences in life. I think it is amazing the calm I am sensing in so many of us now that the election rhetoric is slowing down. We have a ways to go, but I feel that God has answered our prayers to help us and for our nation to find our way for all of God’s people to return to a calmer way of life. It is time for us to follow His will, not ours.

It is good to see so many of our Northern parishioners returning to our community and to our services. As we get closer to the Holidays we will see many more returning. Let’s be sure to give them a warm St. Johns welcome back to their winter homes, and back to our loving congregation. It is time for us all to begin to work together to end 2020 the same as it began. Let’s find a way to put the middle of 2020 behind us.

Last month I suggested that we all consider wearing a mask in church and to continue to follow the CDC and Florida Department of Health guidelines. That is the best way to slow the spread of this awful disease. That coupled with the hope that a vaccine will be available soon can help to lead us back to some sense of reality.

Blessings to you all and please stay safe during the Thanksgiving Holiday period. We can still enjoy the season without congregating in large groups and staying closer to our families.

Jack Wert
Music Director
God With Us

Words spoken by the prophet Isaiah so many years ago and so crucial in our lives today. The Advent and Christmas seasons are particularly rich in musical traditions. Christmas Carols are sung the world over by choirs and families in eager anticipation of the coming of Our Savior Jesus Christ. For many of us it simply would not be Christmas without these beloved songs. But we know in our hearts that the songs are only a representation of the true beauty and majesty of Christmas. So let us sing in our hearts once again the Angel’s songs of jubilation at the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas!

Glenn Saffran
Youth Sunday School
The Sunday School is excited the Christmas season is upon us! Sunday School will continue their classes virtually. During December, we will be learning the true meaning of Christmas. We will be talking about how exciting Christmas is but it’s not just about receiving gifts. It’s about thinking of others, giving back, making memories and celebrating Jesus’ birth!  Jesus is the best gift we have ever received! We will also be learning about Advent and adding a candle to our wreath each week.  

Here is a small glimpse about what we will be learning and talking about during advent.

We are hopeful for Jesus’ birth! It represents the expectation felt in anticipation of Jesus’ birth! This candle is an inspiring and uplifting Hope that Christ is among us. 
We light this candle to celebrate Peace, for Jesus and the promise of peace on Earth. 
We are joyful for the birth of Jesus! We celebrate joy with the shepherds when they receive the news of Jesus’ birth. We light this candle because of the joy that God brings into our lives. 
We love Jesus and are excited for his birth! We also light the candle of Love for both God’s boundless love for us and our love for one another.  
This candle symbolizes Jesus and his birth. Jesus is the best gift we have ever received. 
Sunday School children will be receiving packets full of fun activities to go along with each lesson. If you are interested in joining our virtual Sunday School lessons or need a packet to participate in lessons, please contact me at
Lastly, the Nursery Classroom will be open during Sunday church service.

Dayna Sottosanti  
Stewardship Update
Our Stewardship Campaign for the 2021 Budget is going fine. We have received 104 pledge cards which is very consistent with prior year results. The pledge gift total so far is also consistent with prior year giving. Your pledge cards are an important part of our budgeting process for 2021. We are so grateful for the generosity of our congregation, especially during the continuing uncertainties associated with the current Covid and economic environment.

You can mail your gift to the church at
St. John's Episcopal Church
500 Park Shore Drive
Naples, FL 34103
Vestry Nominates Three for 2021 Vestry
We have three Vestry members whose three year terms will be expiring soon. The Nominating Committee has met to consider several candidates for those three positions on the Vestry.

The Nominating Committee is pleased to unanimously recommend the following slate for consideration by the congregation at the Annual Meeting in January:

Donna Beecher

Rick Walker

Frank Lawatsch

I am pleased to report that each of the candidates has agreed to have their names offered for consideration to serve on the Vestry for a three year term. We will compile a short biography on each of the candidates and provide that information in this Enews.

I thank our Nominating Committee members Arlene Austin, Richard Uihlein, Peter Zimmermann and Sue Boujoukos for their assistance in this important process.


Jack Wert
Nominating Committee Chairman
The Committee is pleased to put forward the following slate of candidates for a 3-year term beginning in January: Donna Beecher, Rick Walker, and Frank Lawatsch. Election will occur at the annual meeting on Sunday (1/31/21)
Donna Beecher
The first Sunday I came to Naples, I visited St. John’s and immediately knew that I had found my church home. St. John’s mission is lived out by its parishioners. For me it’s been singing in the choir, facilitating co-ed Bible studies, dining with FOYER friends, supporting children’s ministries and teaming over the steam tables at St. Matthew’s House. St. John’s offers multiple ways for me to embrace God, love my neighbors, and serve the world. I am grateful and blessed.

I last served on St. John’s Vestry 2017-2019 --- 2 years as Senior Warden. It was a privilege to support our Rector, to encourage engagement in our various ministries, to help shape the Vestry’s annual goals, to experience the good work of the Thrift Shoppe, and to learn more than I probably wanted to know about the church’s finances. 

I congratulate Fr. Joe and the current Vestry for keeping us on course through the pandemic. I look forward to our future as, together, we grow in our love of the Lord Jesus, deepen our bonds of fellowship and extend our reach of mission. 
Frank Lawatsch
I am a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church. I served on the altar as a teenager and moved on to serve as a member of the Vestry of St James Church in Upper Montclair, NJ as Junior and Senior Warden, as well as Treasurer and Trustee of Endowment Funds. I also led the Annual Canvass as Treasurer.  Professionally, I am a retired lawyer where my career included partnerships in two law firms and general counsel of three public financial services companies and managing director of a large international bank. I have also served as a board member of other charitable organizations. I was married for over 50 years to Deanna Lawatsch who passed away last year.  I have been a member of St John’s since 2010.
Rick Walker
I was born in Park Ridge, Illinois just outside of Chicago in 1962. My youth was spent in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. I attended University of Illinois for my bachelor’s degree and DePaul University for my Masters in Accountancy.
I started my career as a CPA, working for Price Waterhouse in Chicago and then Premark International (now part of Illinois Tool Works). In late 1994, I said goodbye to the cold weather, moved to Naples, and began to broaden my business career operating my office as a CPA/Financial Planner. I got married after moving to Naples and had two sons, Jacob & Nicholas. When my first son was born in 2000, I closed my CPA office and joined Raymond James Financial and am still with the firm over 20 year later. I opened my own branch of Raymond James Financial Services in 2007 and have two other advisors in my office.

Jacob and Nicholas are now both in college. I had divorced when my boys were in elementary school in early 2007. I met Heidi in 2012, and we got married in January 2015 and will be coming up on our six-year anniversary. We now have three boys with Heidi’s son, Taylor.

When Heidi and I got married in 2015, we moved into our current home in Golden Gate Estates. We enjoy the nature that surrounds us. I enjoy outdoor activities, occasional hockey, my old convertible, and good times with friends.

St. John’s is a catholic, charismatic, evangelical church led by the Holy Spirit. We lead ecumenically in healing ministries, Biblical teaching, community outreach and Christian partnerships. Our charitable donations greatly exceed expectations for a church our size.

GOAL: Personally, invite more parishioners to give time and talent to lay ministries, and specifically develop a larger pool of trained ushers, lay readers, acolytes.

GOAL: Re-awaken in our retired parishioners the desire to grow spiritually and to continue to engage with others in ministries so as to improve their quality of life.
GOAL: Formally prepare our youth for their first communion, for engaging in a wide range of ministries, and for bonding with other Christian teens. 

GOAL: Deepen relationships with affiliated partners locally and internationally: Thrift Shoppe Partners, Life Relaunch, Christian Healing Center, Matthew 25 Ministries and missionaries in the Middle East and India. 
Once again, St. John's will be having our Outreach Grant Celebration on Sunday (12/13) at the 10 AM service. This has been a challenging year for both St. John's and our Thrift Shoppe, yet St. John's has committed to a double portion blessing for the 10 charities we'll recognize in 2020. Any financial gifts parishioners can offer to increase this financial blessing are welcome and can be mailed to St. John's at 500 Park Shore Dr. Naples, FL 34103.

Bless You,

Outreach Committee
Pastoral Care
St. John's has robust pastoral care ministries that have been in place for years with numerous people involved.

Benevolence Fund is available for those in financial need via consultation with Fr. Joe. We also have numerous community contacts that can be of great assistance!

Caring Callers have contacted parishioners during the lock down and recently to provide encouragement. Thanks Katy!

Caring Cards are sent by Spirit Alive members to parishioners in need or for joyful encouragement. Fr. Joe also sends out birthday and anniversary cards monthly.

Pastoral Visitation can be arranged by emailing Fr. Joe at

Prayer Concerns can be emailed to Claudia at with the name and concern. She'll share this with intercessors and they may be placed on our worship service prayer list.

Order of St. Luke offers healing prayer during worship services and Wednesdays. Please contact Vickie Bauch at to schedule healing prayer.

Lay Eucharistic Visitors are available upon request by contacting the church office at 239.261.2355.
Stitches of Love
The Stitches of Love group is in full swing meeting Friday mornings 10:00 to Noon in Brewster Hall. 

Presently, we are working on a National Campaign-“Ryan’s Case for Smiles” which is fun pillowcases for children needing to stay overnight or longer in hospitals. Sewing or knitting experience is not necessary. Also, we are looking for our next project(s). Please share any ideas or needs that you might know about. Father Joe blessed many of our projects from last year at the Saturday (10/31) service. These included handmade quilts, prayer shawls, fingerless knit infusion sleeves, fidget quilts for memory care patients and newborn knit/crochet baby hats.

Lastly, if you have any remnant fabrics and/or acrylic yarns, we will gladly accept them.

Jane Kindorf
Altar Guild

After years of faithful altar guild service, as well as being a great Directress, Barbara Johnson will be retiring this month. I want to express my sincere appreciation for the wonderful leadership she has given to those who serve around the altar and the sanctity with which she did her tasks. From Advent to Epiphany, Lent to Easter, Pentecost to Christmas, Barbara and Mike blessed St. John's with inspirational Sanctuary settings that moved us to worship our Lord. We are grateful for all you've done.

New leaders are emerging for Altar Guild and we welcome those interested in joining to be in touch with the Church office.

Fr. Joseph
Noteworthy News
Women's Bible Study meets Mondays at 10 AM in Sugden Hall. Questions? Please contact Jan Eveleigh at

Sisters for Life gather Mondays at 5:30 PM in Brewster Hall. Please contact Dee Hayes at 239.784.8759.

Coed Bible Study continues Tuesdays at 10 AM in Brewster Hall. Please contact Joan McCarthy at 331.625.2196

Men's Bible Study fellowships on Wednesdays at 7:30 AM in Brewster Hall. Bring your own coffee. Plenty of room to distance. We continue our study of Matthew. Please contact Skip at

Order of St. Luke gathers Wednesdays at 10 AM in Brewster Hall.

OSL will begin healing prayer on Sunday during the service. For healing prayer at any other time, please contact Vickie Bauch at 239.249.0957 or

Stitches of Love meets Fridays at 10 AM in Brewster Hall. Please contact Jane Kindorf at 630.542.1243 or Mary Frances Aiken at 239.450.3199.

St. John's worship services are Saturday 5 PM and
Sunday 10 AM. Join us in person or via live stream!

Mask Service will begin Sunday (1/3) at 8:30 am thru April. This said service will be 45 minutes with Holy Communion at the end. Please bring a sterile glove to pick up your communion packet.

Enews deadline is Friday (December 11th)

St. John's Outreach Grant Celebration will be Sunday (12/13) at the 10 AM service. Plan to join us as we celebrate the gift of giving $210,000 to 10 wonderful Collier charities. A special thanks to St. John’s Thrift Shoppe, our Outreach Committee and St. John’s family members who make all this possible.

Christmas Eve services will be Thursday (12/24) 5 PM and 9 PM. Christmas Day service is Friday (12/25 - Mask) at 10 AM.

Christmas Day: The office is closed Friday (12/25) Merry Christmas!

New Year's Day: The office is closed Friday (1/1) Happy New Year!

  The Annual Meeting for St. John’s will be held on Sunday (1/31) at 11:15 am.

Avow Presents Virtual Memorial Services

Virtual Memorial Services are held Second Tuesday of the month at 4:00 PM. For any questions please contact Mark Beland 239.285.9300,

CHC Naples is open for in person prayer appointments with safety in mind for healing.

Appointments can also be on skype or facetime, or telephonically. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, Christian Healing Center of Naples or
Any questions, please contact:

Mike Johnson
3435 10th Street North, Suite 301
Naples, FL 34103
239.315.4630 office 239.272.5580 mobile
What do the 4 weeks of Advent represent?

The four Sundays preceding Christmas, which is when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, are recognized for four virtues. ... The candles on the Advent wreath
 symbolize hope, peace, joy and love. The candles are lit in that order.

Archives of the audio and video sermon are available at Sermons.

St. John’s WiFi system is present in all buildings.
Parish People
New Members: Patricia Kipp

Transfer: N/A

Deaths: N/A

Instant Church Directory
Click on the "Click Here" button below to see log in instructions.

If you need a refresher course on how to upload the Instant Church Directory, simply click on the Download Document button below and you will see three different pages on how to load the directory. One is for iPhone, iPad and any iOS device. The second is for Android & Kindle devices. The third is for logging in from a computer. 
If you have any questions, please contact Claudia at

Please Pray For
Roger, Betsy, Linda, Howard, Darren, Ella, Jean,
Peter, Terry, Melissa, Michael, small businesses,
St. John’s Parishioners and Families
Names are kept on the prayer list for 4 weeks unless the office is notified.
FIVE ways to remember a loved one at Christmas

  • Create a new charitable Christmas tradition in their name. Get the whole family involved in creating a new Christmas tradition to commemorate those who have passed.
  • Plant a tree in their honor.
  • Make a remembrance wreath or ornaments for your tree.
  • Celebrate their rituals
  • A time for storytelling.
"The Cross on the Hillside"

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
1 Corinthians 15:55 (NIV)

           Weary, I picked up my daughter and headed home as my work week drew to an end.
           With a nagging head cold, I wanted nothing more than to put my feet up and have a nice hot cup of tea, but I didn’t have time to relax. I was throwing a surprise fiftieth birthday party for my friend Jeanette. All our friends would be there.
           My husband, Bill, as always, pitched in. Though only seven, our daughter, Mary Elizabeth, did as well. She was already seasoned in event planning, for we made a point of celebrating every season and holiday, birthday and landmark in the lives of our family and friends.
           Celebrating Jeanette’s birthday was especially important, for she was deep in the trenches of a hard, long-standing war with cancer. We wanted her party to be something special, so we worked hard. Everything was ready when our guests began to arrive.
           The festivities were just getting under way when the phone rang. My mother was calling to tell me that my father had a blood clot and was being admitted to the hospital. Explaining about Jeanette’s party, I promised I’d be there early the next day.
           Still a bit bleary eyed the following morning, I was driving through the streets of Atlanta toward I-20 when a cross on the hillside of a cemetery seemed to leap out toward me, and I distinctly heard the words of 1 Corinthians 15:55: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” Instinctively, I knew it was a say.
           My father was the child of first-generation Scottish Americans, and I grew up in a borough in Birmingham thick with Brodies, Gaelic customs and Scottish burrs. For Scotts, a say is a telling of what is to come, a premonition with a purpose.
           God knew I wasn’t prepared for my father to die. He wanted to prepare me by reminding me that death is not the end, but the beginning. I spent that day with my father. He died the next, but thanks be to God, I am more than certain that I will see him again.  

Diane Brodie Terry

St. John's Episcopal Church| 500 Park Shore Drive Naples, FL 34103 | 239.261.2355| |