St. John's Enews
January 1, 2020
Golden Anniversary
St. John's is celebrating 50 years of ministry in Naples during 2020! Many lives have been transformed by the love of Jesus and one another over 50 years! This new life, empowered by the Holy Spirit, is full of excitement, struggle and joy as people receive mercy, healing and hope in every dimension of life!

Our Golden 50th Anniversary is incredibly special with the Biblical theme of gold highlighting this!

  •        7 Hebrew words are used for gold symbolizing perfection!
  •        It is from a root word which means shimmer or shine!
  •       Gold sometimes refers to spiritual purity and glory!
  •      Revelation uses gold 22 times!

As we remember our past, embrace the present and look in hope to our future, may we be encouraged by the inspiring examples of St. John's saints who have gone before us. Their faith remained strong thru heartache and triumph, tears and laughter, struggle and success. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" (Hb. 12:1)

May St. John's 50th Anniversary be a Golden Celebration that shines to the glory of God and blesses many!


Fr. Joseph
Don't Pass This Up!
You are about to miss the event of 2020! That's if you've not yet made your reservations for the free catered Golden Anniversary Celebratory Luncheon of St. John’s founding. It will follow the 10 AM Anniversary Service on Sunday, March 22, 2020 with Bishop Dabney Smith, celebrating. The organizing committee needs to know NOW that you will be there with how many of your immediate family. Don't procrastinate and miss this historic event! Make your reservation by E-mailing ; or phone 239/261-2355, Extension 4. It will be the highlight of the Jubilee Year!
"That Little Church on Park Shore Drive"
The mission that became St John's parish held its first worship service on Sunday, April 26, 1970 in the community room of a North Trail bank, led by the Rev. Tom Moss, Vicar, with ten persons present.

Naples' Trinity-by-the-Cove was our “mother parish,” birthing the idea of a Park Shore area church in 1966 and assisting the organizers in many ways including giving property at 605 Parkview Lane on which the Vicarage was built. Trinity's rector and others of the parish worked with Raymond Lutgert, developer of Park Shore, who agreed to donate the 3.5 acres of property which became our campus.

The organizing group soon grew to 32 and, in October 1970, St. John’s was granted official mission status by the Diocese of Southwest Florida. Groundbreaking for the sanctuary building took place on February 21, 1971, and the completed building was dedicated in November 1972. Full parish status was achieved in October 1980.

Spurred by a challenge gift of $100,000 in February 1977, ground was broken for Sugden Hall completed in November 1980. From 1981 to 1987, stained glass windows and a pipe organ were installed in the sanctuary and the Garden of the Resurrection (for internment of cremated remains) was completed. St John's Thrift Shoppe, committed to community outreach, opened its doors in April 1982. In 1987, Brewster Hall construction began with completion in 1988. 

Dave Pfaff
From the Treasurer's Office
Our Monday morning money counters shared with us that many members and guests diligently complete the white offering envelopes in the pews each Sunday with their names and addresses. If you give regularly, we can make this much easier for you!
Simply pick up a box of offering envelopes in the Narthex, and write your name and the box number on the sign up sheet.
Use these envelopes during the course of the year, and we will mark our records to associate the envelope number with your name.
This will make identifying your gift much easier for you, for our money counters, and for our accountant.
The use of the envelopes does not require a pledge, but please consider this opportunity to become a pledging member of the congregation.

Bob Matthews
Youth Ministry
The children of our Sunday School classes have been very busy this past month! 

We have been learning about the meaning of Christmas and how Jesus is the best gift we have ever received! We have made our own Advent wreath and learned the meaning of the wreath and candles. Each Sunday we celebrate and talk about the meaning of the candle and to make sure we fulfilling that meaning throughout the week. We also continue to read the story of Christmas and Jesus’ Birth.  We even put a special candle in the middle of our wreaths for Jesus. We also talk about being followers of Jesus and how it is important to give back this season. 
During Advent this year, the following is a small glimpse of what we talk about during class.

We are hopeful for Jesus’ birth! It represents the expectation felt in anticipation of Jesus’ birth! This candle is inspiring and uplifting Hope that Christ among us represents. 
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.  
We are joyful for the birth of Jesus! Also, celebrate joy that the shepherds received the news of Jesus’ birth. We also light it because of the joy that God brings into our lives. 
We light this candle to celebrate Peace, for Jesus and the promise of peace of Earth. 
This candle symbolized Jesus and his birth. Jesus is the best gift we have ever received. 
Along with learning about Christmas and celebrating Jesus’ birthday, the Sunday School children have been very busy giving back this season. They had the privilege to sing in church for everyone along with hosting their first coffee hour. They spent time with their families baking delicious cookies to give out at coffee hour. They had so much fun participating in coffee hour!  
Lastly, we have worked together with a local organization to adopt a family in need this Christmas Season. All the items on the family’s wish list were purchased by our amazing families here at St. John’s to make sure the family has a wonderful Christmas! Thank you, Sunday School families for helping this family enjoy their Christmas!
Dayna Sottosanti
St. John's Shoppe An Upscale Thrift
St. John’s Upscale Thrift Shoppe Welcomes a New Manager.

St. John’s Shoppe is excited to have James Meehan as our new manager. James has been with the shop for many years as an assistant manager.  The board for St. John’s Shoppe looks forward to increasing growth for the shop with James as our new Manger. Please make an effort to stop by the Shoppe and meet James and do some shopping.

Have a blessed New Year from the Board at
St. John’s Thrift Shoppe 
Centering Prayer
Our Lord requests your presence. “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10) He asks us to let go and surrender our outer and inner conversations. As we quiet our minds, we let Him in through our silences. What a beautiful and stress free way to have the Spirit of the Lord calm and refresh us. "The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent" (Ex.14:14)

Centering is another way in which we can gather with no agenda, no preparation, nothing anyone needs to do or say. It’s as simple as coming. ‘COME LET US ADORE HIM’ and feel how powerfully he adores us. Peace be with you as you become still for the Lord.

As we move into 2020, you are invited to join St. John’s Centering Prayer group in the Prayer Room on Wednesday mornings at 9:00. We attempt to start a couple of minutes after 9:00 by listening to a short meditation. We then breathe deeply, uncross our hands and feet, and quiet our minds as we are led into the welcoming silence we share together. After around 20 minutes we are led back to the group as we say the Lord’s Prayer. After a short quiet transition, we have an opportunity to share about our experience (only if we want to). There is no expectation for anyone to share. Some may need to leave for other engagements while the rest take time to share, which is part of the peace and freedom we experience together when we center on our Lord. 

Katy Esterline
Spirit Alive Announces 2020 Events
FROM 9:30 – 11:30 AM
Come a little early and check out how awesome
and enriching our library has become,
thanks to the professional touch of
Colleen Spangler
MONDAY FEBRUARY 10, 2020 – NOON – 2:30 ish
St. John’s partners with St. Matthew’s House
in so many wonderful ways.
If you are already a volunteer,
please encourage your friends to attend
this informative lunch and tour. 
 Each year St. Matthew’s continues to grow
and make modifications to enhance
their environment, programs and effectiveness. 
We look forward to meeting you at noon at
2001 Airport Rd. S,
and sharing a St. John’s lunch
and tour together February 10 th .

Katy Esterline
Order of St. Luke
The Order of St. Luke held a training class for all those who wished for a deeper knowledge of prayer and healing November 16-18th.

Fr. Joe led this class with emphasis on the Word and divine intervention. There were 13 people from seven different churches and denominations that attended the three days. The classes covered 26 miracles of Jesus from the Bible. Each of these healings were read through and discussed because each time there was something different in the way Jesus performed His miracles. The miracles included healing blindness, deaf-mute, leprosy and raising of the dead! These miracles continue to happen today!

The St. John’s OSL chapter was there each day in support of Fr. Joe. When it came time for the practicum part of the training the OSL went to each of the four groups in prayer teams to help them with any questions or concerns they may have had as they prayed for the first time for someone. It was an experience that you cannot describe in words. To watch the faces of these new members as they realized that our Lord, Jesus Christ, will be there with them when they pray was something I will never forget.

The installation ceremony took place immediately after finishing the 26th miracle. This included each person being prayed for and receiving their OSL pin and healing balm. They are all ready "to go out into this tired and hurting world with strength and gladness, for there are deeds of courage and compassion that will not be done unless YOU do them and there are words of hope and healing that will not be done unless YOU do them."

The Order of St. Luke continues to be a strong presence in our church and city. If anyone is in need of prayer or would like to know more about the OSL, please contact the church office or Vickie Bauch or Katy Esterline.

Peace and Blessings,

Vickie Bauch
Outreach Grant Celebration
We would like to offer a special thank you for all those who made our annual Outreach Grant Celebration such a joyful event, beginning with our Thrift Shoppe who contributed $49,500, St. John's parishioner gifts of $40,500 and the Vestry's gift of $60,000. With the blessing of the Vestry, we were able to give $150,000 to 14 Collier County charities who are among the smaller, less known ones. Know that St. John's makes a real difference for those less fortunate living here in Naples. Below is the list of agencies we supported for this year.

Outreach Committee.
Imani Milele Children's Choir
Imani Milele Children's Choir is comprised of children and teenagers who are under the care of the Imani Milele Children's Program. Their performances include native dress and inspiring music and dance. The Choir's US tours are aimed at bringing awareness to the plight of Uganda's orphans and vulnerable children. 
This wonderful choir will be performing at St. John's Episcopal Church on Sunday (2/16) at 4 pm. We are in need of host families for the 22 children and 16 chaperones who comprise this group. If interested in hosting, please click on the following link, complete the application form and return to the office.

Please register for the concert by clicking on the following link:
ParishLife & Enews Deadlines
A Look Back at our First Newsletter
The “St. John’s Newsletter”, as it was entitled and first issued in September 1976, was a hand typed, two-page bulletin notice mailed out to all parishioners of St. John’s. The contents at that time generally contained a letter from Vicar Charles Day on the front, and up-to-date important notices on the back (such as a Vestry updates and brief notifications.) It appears the Vestry was setting the pace back in 1976!

We were curious as to what a Vicar may have to say to his parishioners so many years ago, and especially in the very first newsletter, to help celebrate our 50 th Anniversary. My curiosity was getting the best of me. I couldn’t wait to dig into to archives. I slowly opened the file drawer where all the archived, smell of old paper, ParishLifes and newsletters would be. Aha! I found them. A stack of 1976 newsletters from The Vicar Charles Day. What would he say? What was going on at St. John’s in September 1976? I was so anxious! What kind of spiritual word would we get from this man of God? As I began reading the newsletter, like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story”, as he awaited his message from his Little Orphaned Annie decoder pin, I licked my lips, held my breath and read on.

As I continued digging through the paperwork, I noticed that in January 1978, June M. Lott became the Editor of the newsletter. As the church began to grow, so did the newsletter with many wonderful words from Vicar Charles Day, as well as articles from ever-growing ministries. A few years passed, then the Vicar received another appointment. There was a 1-month lapse in the newsletter and parishioners were not receiving their normal monthly issue of news. Well, the Geroys were just not going to have that! Kay Geroy stepped up and created the “ParishLife” in May 1981 with news for all (and the clip-art to boot!) She was the editor of ParishLife until her death in 2016 (last issue – Nov 2016) when she and Bob asked me to become the editor. Now, she and Jesus direct my path from heaven. The ParishLife (now also available electronically and in full-color) is printed six times a year and we have now evolved into E-news (electronic news) which as you can see, also contains video, music, slideshows. My how the times have changed! Happy reading and we are always pleased to keep you informed of the church's happenings.

Ann Witmer
Parish Secretary
A Blast from the Past!
Every month during our 50 th Anniversary, we would like to take you back in history…a Blast from the Past, per se of St. John’s. This month, I thought it would be interesting to see how some of our past priests were shepherding the flock. We have already heard from Vicar Charles Day (article above.) I found this little jewel in the February 1990 issue (30 years ago) of the ParishLife from Fr. James Schulthess. It gives us a good idea of what was going on in that era; and although this article was meant for a Lenten reflection; I thought it would be wonderful for a New Year reflection as well. Enjoy.

Ann Witmer
Parish Secretary
Needed! Readers and Ushers
Ushers are needed for the 5pm and 11:15am service. Please prayerfully consider if you are being called to this welcoming ministry. Training is as easy as ‘helping assist’ another usher team for one service!
Contact Lauralee Uihlein at or call 262-302-0604.
Noteworthy News
Healing Mission (1/18/20): Emotional Barriers to Healing
(Craig Miller)

Franklin Graham Crusade (1/19/20): Hertz Arena from 4-6 pm.

Imani Children’s Choir (2/16/20): St. John’s at 4 pm.

50 th Anniversary Celebration & Luncheon (3/21&/22/20): St. John’s Saturday & Sunday!

Holy Week & Easter (4/5-12/20)

First Communion (5/3/20)
Parish People
New Members:  Phyllis Mueller; John & Jen Matts.

Parishioner Death: Deanna Elizabeth Lawatsch (12/4/19).

Transfers Out:  Patrick & Brenda Walsh.

Baptism:  Shea Oliver Gagnon (Age 1); Thomas Frederick Ransom (Age 1).
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 Ann at

Please Pray For

Lois, Carter, Ruth, Dallas, Pamela

Carol, George, Betty, Cindy, Dean,

Mahlia, Ralph, Becky, Jackie, Peter

St. John’s Parishioners and Families
Praise Report
"God Has a Plan"
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’
declares the LORD,
‘plans to prosper you
and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.’”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
            My presence on this earth was an oops! My sister was thirteen years older than me. Need I say more? When she left for boarding school, then college, my parents no longer had a built-in babysitter, so they hired me a nanny.
            My Miss Horn loved her Jesus and she said so. She taught me prayers and songs I still say and sing. I attended our town’s Episcopal Church and was confirmed. I sang in the choir and was Mary in the Christmas play, so I guess you could say I was “churched.”
         Miss Horn went to another church. I never understood why until I got older, for in my heart she was my mom. She was always there. We talked, fished, went on walks, watched TV, played cards, and ate meals together for twelve years.
           My seventh summer, I was sent to camp for two months—a camp I would attend two months every summer for nine years. When I was old enough to go to boarding school, I was sent away and my wonderful Miss Horn, my nanny, was fired.
         I was heartbroken.
           I stopped going to church. We had chapel at boarding school, but there was no teaching of the Bible. With all the traveling from our summer and winter homes, boarding school and summer camp, I never made true friends. Everyone was an acquaintance. There were times I felt very alone and pretty much an outsider everywhere I went. That changed when I went to college.
           It was there I met my guy. He and his family became my family. His mom called me “her daughter she never had.” We were like two peas in a pod. I learned so much from her and was honored to take care of her before she passed to be with the Lord.
            Miss Horn left her love of the Lord within me. What a gift! My guy’s mom became mine and helped nurture that love. Writing this brings tears, but even as I yearn to see these two godly women again in heaven, I realize that God did not leave me comfortless.
           Six years ago, I received a call out of the blue from an aunt I’d never met, and we hit the ground running. She tracked me down through my nephew—thank God. Her husband is a pastor, and their vibrancy and love of God is so apparent, it is contagious!
           Today, I know that nothing about me is or ever was even remotely an oops. God planned every minute detail. He graciously brought these and so many other extraordinary people into my life. I pray that I can show to others the love He’s given me.
A Grateful Believer
New Year's Jokes for the Kids
1. Why do birds fly south for New Year’s Eve?
It’s too far to walk.

2. What do snowmen like to do on New Year’s Eve?
Chill out.

3. Why should you put your new calendar in the freezer?
To start of the new year in a cool way.

4. What’s a cow’s favorite holiday?
Moo Year’s Eve.

5. What do you say to your friends on New Year’s Day?
I haven’t seen you since last year.
St. John's Episcopal Church| 500 Park Shore Drive Naples, FL 34103 | 239.261.2355|  |