July, 2021

by Fr. Kevin Warner


Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. [Romans 12:15]

Someone once said the first half of the above verse was the hardest commandment in the Bible to honor. I can honestly say that I find that to be true with Fr. David’s announcement that he has accepted a new call and will be leaving us in August. That said, I do add my congratulations and wish him, and his family, Godspeed on the next leg in their journey.

David has been such a blessing to me and this parish. I knew when I met him four years ago he was the person God wanted for our parish. We met at DaySpring for lunch. He was a seminarian at Virginia Theological Seminary, about to enter his senior year. I knew he was a rare find and the competition for his services would be fierce. I left lunch and immediately went to the Diocesan offices located on the grounds. Once there, I called “dibs” to anyone who would listen, though my pronouncement was devoid of any guarantees. We would have to fight for him and, I was pleased, after their visit to the parish, he and Nadine felt God’s call to join us.

Over the last two years we have lived into Proverb 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” My experience, combined with his youthful enthusiasm and scholastic prowess often resulted in something better than either of us could accomplish on our own. It has been a joy to have a “kid” around to mentor, and someone who can also teach an old dog a few new tricks.

Likewise, his family have been a blessing to this parish. Prior to Covid Nadine and the kids brightened all our Sundays and became magnets, drawing more young families. Our plan to expand the ministry of SJD was working, thanks to this terrific family, and it took a global pandemic to slow our roll.

Change is always difficult, but I truly rejoice with the Wyly family. Fr. David is more than ready to take on his own parish and I remember my excitement when that opportunity presented itself early in my career. David’s last Sunday with us will be August 8 and I hope you will join us that Sunday as we pray for the Wyly family as they venture forth. David, Nadine, Ethan, James, Samantha, Reagan, Jillian and Jackson, we love you and we will miss you!

Fr. Kevin+
II Timothy 1:11
Sometimes quite ordinary things take on a special meaning. 
I love strawberries. Strawberry shortcake. Strawberries on my morning cereal. Strawberries and creamed cheese on a bagel. Strawberries in a smoothie. Just strawberries. But, since a July Sunday in Osford, England, strawberries have taken on a special significance. 
That morning Yoniece and I worshiped at Littlemore Parish Church and that afternoon we attended a performance of the Royal Fireworks music by Handel taking place at Nuneham, outside Oxford, It was held at a stately home on a hill overlooking the Thames and the countryside. The tradition was to bring strawberries and champagne and lounge on the grass listening to Handel’s Water Music.
As evening fell, we enjoyed a concert played by the London Oboe Band of the Royal Fireworks Music, coordinated with a spectacular fireworks display. Something about this made me look at strawberries in a completely different way. 
The same can be true of coffee and dessert.
The two together have so much been associated with “coffee hour” at church that I immediately make the association and, with that association, comes that sense of spiritual community which we have missed for so long.
Now, SJD is “fully open” and we can once again see familiar faces, exchange handshakes, hugs and laughter as “coffee hour” becomes an extension of our worship experience.   
And maybe, with the coffee, some strawberry shortcake! 

The SJD Thrift Shop continues to be extremely successful. It is open every Wednesday 10:30 to 2:00 and in conjunction with the Divine Marketplace on the 3rd Saturday of each month. Please remember donations are by appointment only as space is limited. Call Barbara Gentry 633-3363 if you want to donate.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

One of the passages of scripture that was chosen for a funeral I officiated here, at St. John Divine, came from the Book of Ecclesiastes. I preached the homily based on this passage and I want to share it with you now:

1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

This passage, I think sums up what we experience in our temporal existence. We plant and we pluck, we break down and we build up, we weep, and we laugh, and life goes on. One of the points I made in that funeral homily was that, except for the changeless love of God, everything in this world changes. Even at SJD over the past two years I have served here we have had a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, we have had times to weep and times to laugh, and life has gone on. It is with this backdrop of an ever-changing world and with profound sadness and great excitement that I write to inform you that I have accepted a call to serve as the next Rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Goldsboro, NC.

Nadine and I are sad that we must leave SJD, a place that has welcomed us as part of the family since before we arrived. At the same time, we are all excited for the next chapter of our ministry in North Carolina. Because of our love for all of you and this place, this was not an easy call to accept, but the entire process was led by God and the Holy Spirit with much prayer, conversation, and contemplation.

I would be remiss if I did not thank all of you for helping me grow into my priestly ministry. I could not have asked for a better parish to begin my ministry in God’s Church!

My last Sunday will be August 8th and we will be moving to Goldsboro immediately thereafter so our children can register for school. Please know that all of you remain in my prayers and I look forward to saying a proper good-bye to all of you.

God's Peace and Blessings,
Fr. David+
Wine Tasting Fundraiser

Have you been missing fellowship? Want to have some fun and support SJD at the same time?
SJD will be hosting a Fundraiser in conjunction with OneHope Winery. All proceeds will go to SJD as we bounce back from our Covid-related budget shortfall. Cost is $10/person. Sign-up sheet available in church or by emailing Vivian Smalls at smallsvivian86@gmail.com.
The date of the event is Thursday, July 8, with two seatings at 4 and 7 p.m. If you cannot attend but like wine and still want to support this effort, you may go to https://www.onehopewine.com/event/106187. Ten percent of all sales will go directly to SJD.

Hello, St. John Divine family,

I am Brenda Roshaven and I am the Outreach contact for the months of June and July.

I have been in contact with Wimauma Elementary School. They are very excited to be the school that we will be blessing with school supplies for our “Back to School” outreach this year.

Wimauma Elementary is a neighborhood school for pre-k through fifth grade, located just south of route 674. They are a Title 1 school because of the number of students receiving lunch assistance. For many of these wonderful kids, the gift of a new backpack and other school supplies will be a significant blessing.

We will have a video in June to help you get acquainted with this school. There will be a table in the parish hall where you can leave donations. The school is asking for any school supplies including bookbags, pencils, crayons and other items. A detailed list will be provided.

Gift cards and donations of money can be given also. Some of you may enjoy shopping for the children. I know I do, while for some of you, a financial donation is more feasible. Indicate on the donation that it is for Wimauma Elementary. You may make a check out to SJD, write Wimauma Elementary on the memo line, and put it in the offering plate.

Jesus said what we do for the least of these we do for Him.

Be blessed,

Welcome back! It is so good to see smiling faces instead of masks isn’t it?

Coffee hour has been reinstated with a few modifications due to Covid. Coffee, tea, and water are served to you from behind the counter to avoid multiple people touching the same handles. Pre-wrapped cookies are self-serve. At this time, please do NOT bring in any food items.

We are using disposable items, so please remember to throw them away when finished.

Since serving you requires more manpower, I am asking that you volunteer for 1 hour once a month. The refreshments are ready to go so you will just be serving drinks. Sign up sheets are on the counter. Please be willing to do your part to have coffee hour be a pleasant experience for everyone.

MANY THANKS to those of you who helped during Jackie Benter’s reception. The parish hall looked lovely with the decorations, the food and beverage line moved smoothly, and the white tablecloths were taken home and washed! Having so many of you volunteer to help was truly a blessing. 

Sharon Bakay
The Rev. Lee Miller's 40th Anniversary

On Sunday, June 13, The Rev. Lee Miller, Associate Rector of St John Divine, Sun City Center, celebrated his 40th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. Fr. Lee became a licensed Baptist minister at age twenty-two. Prior to ordination in the Episcopal Church, Fr. Lee had a career in broadcasting (radio and television news, sports and syndication) and also included writing books, a newspaper column and working with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Fr. Lee has worked with the Episcopal Church nationally in developing media outreach and has served churches in Kentucky, Ohio and Florida.
The Triple T Ministry

In the June issue of Revelations, I introduced our SJD parishioners to our new ministry—The Triple T Ministry (Time, Talent and Treasury). My comments last month were focused primarily on 2 aspects of the ministry—Time and Talent. This month I’d like to present some of the many steps we are establishing under the 3rd T—Treasury.
Some actions have already been put into place under Treasury last year and the feeling is the rewards support their continuation.
For example, in the 2021 Budget cycle a narrative budget was developed to better inform SJD Parishioners how funds support the various aspects of the SJD mission. The narrative budget is based on the standard financial budget, but the former budget would provide a better picture of how a particular line item on the financial budget cuts across the different missions of SJD; i.e. salary or property expenses. Additionally, Father Kevin started a comparison of pledge giving during last fall’s annual pledge campaign drive. This perspective on financial giving provides a great visual to each parishioner on where their pledge relates to all other parishioners; it may even encourage a parishioner to maybe move up a level. Most importantly it shows how the SJD mission depends on the financial resources of a smaller percent of parishioners. Remember there are many that just don’t have the financial resources to give more; that is the beauty of the Triple T Ministry to be able to give in other ways through their Time and Talent. No matter how one gives their gifts, they all support the SJD mission in some way or another.
Previously held programs are being revamped, such as financial planning and planned giving presentations, and will be held around exciting and fun events. The first will be held on July 8 and is described more in a different section on this issue. The focus of my next article will discuss will expand on this area and cover more aspects of Triple T.
In closing I’m reminded of the words of Job (Job 1:21): “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” All that we have is given to us by God, and what we give to our church is are our thanks and praise for God’s love.
Doug Roderick
Vestry Member
Happenings and Bulletins

We hope the new Happenings is to everyone's liking! In case you missed it, the Bulletins are now at the bottom of Happenings and accessible through one of two buttons, one labeled 9:15 Bulletin and the other 11:00 Bulletin. Select the button for your preferred service's Bulletin. Please call the office if you are not receiving the Happening emails so we can try to rectify it for you.
God Spa is back!

Way back before Covid some of you were registered to attend God Spa with me. Recently we received an email saying that the camp is bringing it back on their schedule for October, 2021. I am going, and I would like you to all go with me. (Sorry, gentlemen, ladies only this time.) This again will be a joint venture with Redeemer Ladies. One of the rules we are going to enforce is that you must have your Covid vaccine(s) to attend. More information will follow as I am still waiting on my email from the camp for all the information. Keep watching this newsletter for more information. If you have any questions please email me at candyallman@gmail.com.

Thank you and I miss you all so very much,
Thank you from Choices!

So far, $547.00 has been donated for our Choices Women’s Center Baby Shower, along with a gift card and an Outreach Table full of baby items. Many thanks to the parishioners of SJD for your generosity!

Sheila Turpin - 07/01
Marianne Izzo - 07/03
Michelle Garis - 07/04
Spike Speicher - 07/05
Marcia Schwarm - 07/05
Bailey Risner - 07/06
Elmer Joerg - 07/09
Mike Fitzgerald - 07/12
Wendy Fitzgerald - 07/12
Shirley Luxana - 07/14
Cher Cerebe - 07/15
Bette Mannon - 07/16
Kay Justin - 07/16
Jennifer Bronson - 07/17
Lindsay Pratt 07/18
Levi Warner - 07/18
Reba Goewey - 07/19
Denise Smalls - 07/19
Vivian Smalls - 07/20
Ed Patrick - 07/21/
Dick Callaghan - 07/21
Ken Worachek - 07/22
Nancy Phillips - 07/24
Paula Engle - 07/26
June Lohren - 07/27
Mary Merrill - 07/27
Rebecca Carlisle - 07/28
Aubrey Thompson - 07/29
Brant Myrick - 07/31
Nevius Joseph-Watt - 07/31


Vince & Maria Martucci - 07/13
Spike & Kaki Speicher - 07/25
Ryan & Michelle Garis - 07/31

Greg Diehl, Linda Floyd, Allie Maiocchi, Linda Cardillo, Debbie Carlisle
Linda Duhn, Chuck Lieble, Anthony Primiano, Doug Roderick

Vestry Officers

 Howard Roshaven - Sr. Warden, Annie Hunter - Jr. Warden
Valerie Bryant - Clerk, Lisa Galbraith - Treasurer

Clergy and Staff

The Rt. Rev. Dabney T. Smith
Bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida
The Rev. Kevin Warner - Rector
The Rev. Lee Miller - Associate Rector
The Rev. David Wyly - Assistant Rector
Scott Gardner - Praise Leader, Joan Frankel - Organist & Choir Director
Tristan Warner - Media and Tech Specialist, Tommy Blair - A/V Assistant
Connie Minnoe - Accounting Administrator, Denise Smalls - Nursery Attendant

St. John Divine Episcopal Church
1015 E. Del Webb Blvd. Sun City Center, FL 33573
813-633-3970       office@stjohndivine.com   www.stjohndivine.com