St. John's Church
this little light of mine , hsieh for npr
Next Evening Contemplative Service This Saturday, February 8

St. John's offers an evening service the second Saturday of each month at 5:30 p.m. Each service includes Holy Eucharist, contemplative music, a quiet, candlelit atmosphere, and the rite of healing.

We hope you will find this service to be a relaxing supplement to your Sunday morning worship. Invite friends who prefer a more contemplative form of worship.
 This Sunday, February 9, 2020
The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany
                                                8:15 a.m.             Holy Eucharist (no music)
                                                9:15 a.m.             Adult Forum, Parish Hall
                                               10:30 a.m.          Holy Eucharist
                                                                              Children’s Chapel, Keeper’s Cottage
                                               11:45 a.m.          Fifth Annual Chili Cook-off, Parish Hall
                                               12:30 p.m.          Altar Guild Meeting, Parish Hall
                  Nursery is available in the Parish Hall from 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

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From Amelie, with Love

Dear Friends:

In this Sunday’s gospel reading, we will read one of Jesus’ great teachings from his Sermon on the Mount, “ You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.”

This passage from scripture was also used for reflections during last weekend’s vestry retreat, so I have spent some time thinking about salt.  What are its properties? What does it mean for us to be the “salt of the earth” and how can our salt lose its “saltiness?”

In my research, I was surprised to discover how much there is to know about salt. In fact, you can write a whole history of the world just by tracing what has happened with salt. One author has done so, and if you have time, check it out! ( Salt: A World History by Mark Kulansky). Wars have been won and lost on the basis of who has control of the stores of salt. Governments have found salt to be a lucrative means of raising money—by controlling and taxing it. At different points in history, salt has been the currency of commerce. The word “salary” has its Latin roots in the sense that the worker was paid in order to be able to 'buy salt.'

Evidently, until a hundred years ago, salt was scarce. And in the time of Jesus, and long before and after,  salt was necessary for the preservation of food. Having it or not having it was the difference between life and death. Besides preserving and flavoring our food, I am told salt has thousands of other purposes, still important today.  It softens our water, melts the ice on sidewalks, and when gargled with can soothe a sore throat, to name just a few.

Of course today, salt is cheap. Except when you can't get your hands on it. If you live in the Midwest or Northeast during winter snowstorms there are times when entire cities run out of the salt necessary to clear roads and thoroughfares. There may still be an abundance of salt—only what is still out there is stuck on barges which are frozen in the Mississippi River. 

The metaphor that Jesus offers in our gospel reading now means much more to me than it did last week, when I didn’t question the availability or value of salt. When he said to his followers ages ago, “You are the Salt of the earth,” he meant, “You are of great value.” 

As I ponder this, I invite each one of us to consider one way that you are of great value, one way that the gift you are and the gifts you offer impact the people around you. Because so far, from everything I have read, in spite of Jesus' warnings about “losing its taste,” salt  never actually loses its taste. Salt is only 'useless' when it is not used. And by getting the salt out of the shaker, out of the bag, off the barge, salt simply does what salt does. It preserves and brings healing and provides safety and offers just enough flavor.

"You are the salt of the earth." Already. You don’t have to earn it or deserve it or take it from someone else. All you have to do is get out of the shaker, out of the bag, off the barge and be and do what you were made to be and do.

Who Will Win
This Year’s Chili Cook-off?
Find out Sunday!

Will Andy Pillsbury remain the King of St. John’s Chili for three years running, or is a new ruler waiting in the wings? Could the new champion be you? Bring your concoction to vie for the title, or just show up to taste and weigh-in on the decision. The challenge is on.

Sunday, February 9
11:45 a.m.
Parish Hall
Altar Guild Ministry Team Meeting
This Sunday

This Sunday, after everyone has had a chance to grab some Chili, members of the Altar Guild with gather in the Parish Hall to discuss plans for new leadership of this important ministry. If you are interested in becoming a part of altar guild or learning more about it, we welcome your presence! 

For questions, please contact Amelie.

Sunday, February 9
Parish Hall
12:15 p.m.
Adult Forum Advent Series,
“Seeing God in a New Light”
Returns This Week

This Sunday, the Laundry Love team will present an overview of the relaunch of their ministry.

Next week, the Rev. Dr. Dorothy White will share experiences of and insights from her pilgrimage to Ghana with the Diocese of Virginia last summer as part of the Triangle of Hope, a partnership with our diocese, the Diocese of Liverpool, and the Diocese of Ghana that seeks to reconcile and overcome the legacy of the slave trade.

9:15 a.m.
Parish Hall
Nursery care is available.
Wednesday Evening Programming

Wednesday evening formation continues next week at 7:00 p.m. in the Parish House Library. During the season of Epiphany, we are reading  Evolution of the Word by Marcus Borg, which presents a chronological reading of the New Testament, beginning with the earliest letters of Paul. Next week,  we will discuss Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, including the introductory material on page 57.

Books are available for all participants, and copies of weekly assignments are available in the Parish House on Sundays and via email upon request. Please know that it is not necessary to have read the material in advance in order to attend!  Light snacks are provided, and you are welcome to bring some to share.  For questions and assignments, please contact Amelie.

Wednesdays through February 19
7:00 p.m. Discussion Group
New Inquirer’s Class
being Formed

This spring, we will begin a new formation series for those who are interested in learning more about the Episcopal Church or in becoming a member of St. John's through Confirmation or Reception. 

This is also a great refresher for those who were confirmed years ago and would like to reaffirm their Baptismal Vows.  

Our meetings will be tailored to accommodate the schedules of all the participants, who will gather for six sessions throughout the late spring and summer. This will serve as preparation for our Bishop's visitation in November.   Please email Amelie directly with your interest or questions, or speak to her after church today.
You're Invited to Be
a Part of the Property Committee

Plan to attend their next meeting on Tuesday, February 18, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Parish House Library. Contact Marc Dixon for more information.
Start Building Your Appetite for Pancakes

Our annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper will be on Tuesday, February 25, 5:30 -7:00 p.m., in the Parish Hall. This meal is free (we gratefully accept donations) and open to the public, so bring your friends and family. 

If Shrove Tuesday Comes,
Ash Wednesday Will Always Follow

Begin Lent by attending the Ash Wednesday Liturgy and Eucharist at either 12 noon or 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 26. 

“Ashes to Go” will also be offered in front of the church from 1:00-2:00 p.m.    
Lenten Supper Serie s

This Lent, the congregations of St. John's and St. Peter's will learn about our shared history and discover opportunities for creating Beloved Community in support of the Episcopal Church's ministry of racial reconciliation.

Wednesdays, March 4-April 1
6:00 p.m. Potluck Supper
7:00 p.m. Video and discussion
The Parish Hall
Spotlight on Outreach

St. John's is committed to living our Baptismal Covenant
to seek and serve Christ in all persons,
loving our neighbor as ourselves
and respecting the dignity of every human being.

Laundry Love Returns : Members of St. John’s have been hard at work, rethinking and redesigning the Laundry Love program. We plan to return to the Richmond Coin Laundry at the corner of Nine Mile Road and N. 25th Street February 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  Please note the new time.  Please contact David Curtis with any questions .

Join the $5 Club : Pledge to spend at least $5 a month on non-perishable foods to feed others. Bring your donations on the first Sunday of each month, or deposit them in the basket at the rear of the church at any time.
First Fruits Sundays : First Sunday of every month. Bring non-perishable food items to church for donation to the Christ Ascension Food Pantry. The Food Pantry is very low on tuna, spaghetti , Vienna sausages, canned chicken, and spaghetti sauce. 
Next First Fruits Sunday—Sunday, March 1
Gentle Yoga with Andrea Bleck-Smith

Join Andrea Bleck-Smith for a class meant for those who enjoy moving more slowly and who are looking to maintain or increase strength and flexibility.

We focus on moving joints and muscle groups, alignment, and breath awareness to maintain and restore balanced body function.

Each class ends with relaxation to balance the body.

$54 for the 6-week session or $10 drop-in per class.

Thursdays at 4:00 p.m.
The Parish Hall  
Annual Meeting Recap

If you weren't able to attend the annual meeting, or if you enjoyed it so much you want to relive it (because, let's be honest, there was a lot of good energy in that room), follow these links to the 2019 Annual Report and the Annual Meeting Powerpoint presentation.

Welcome and congratulations to Mike Broda, Mary Garner Devoe, and Joni McKeen, who were elected to the Vestry. Congratulations to August Butler, our new Senior Warden and to Paul Broughton, our new Junior Warden.

And thank you so much to Horace Dowdy, our most recent Senior Warden Emeritus , and to Jane Hunnicutt and Jamie Isaacs, who have rotated off the vestry. Your leadership and service have helped to take us to places we never dreamed of.
Our Fellowship leader, Susan White, reports that a sign-up sheet for 2020 Sunday coffee hours is now available in the Parish Hall. You and a group of your friends can commit to hosting a coffee-hour just once or on a recurring basis. Act fast; slots fill quickly.
Sign-up to Sponsor Altar Flowers

Sign up in the Parish Hall, or, to inquire about available dates, click here. Once you have reserved your date(s) please provide sponsorship details to Patty Duffy.  The suggested fee is $55, and you can pay via cash, check, or Paypal.

Many thanks to everyone who has made their pledge of time, talent, and treasure to support our ministries in 2020. So far, 83 families have pledged $195,777, bringing us over 100% of our goal. We are especially grateful for the 23 families who have pledged to St. John’s Church for the first time this year and for those families who pledged $9,150 in matching funds to help us meet our goal. For those who are still discerning your pledge, please consider how you are being called to create “wonder in all” of our shared life, then fill out and return your pledge card, either by mail or by placing it in the offering plate. Extra cards are available in the back of the church.
Register Now
for the First-ever LGBTQ+
Diocesan Retreat

Join us at Shrine Mont on August 21-23 and deepen your walk with Christ in a spiritual space designed by our community, for our community, sponsored by the Diocese of Virginia.

Come and share your whole self with God and the Church without pretenses: start new friendships with people across our Diocese, deepen existing relationships, be at peace in the presence of God and your fellow siblings. The theme is “Bringing Our Whole Selves: Exploring the Vital Gifts the Queer Community Offers to the Church.” Our keynote speaker will be the Rev. Elizabeth Edman, Episcopal priest and author of Queer Virtue: What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and How It Can Revitalize Christianity.

For more information and register, click here. Don’t wait; registration ends May 10, 2020, and space is limited!

For questions about the retreat and scholarships, click here 
A Note about Pastoral Appointments and Emergencies

To schedule an appointment with one of our clergy, please contact Amelie directly at her email or her voicemail at 649-7938; you will hear from her or another member of our clergy staff within 24 hours. 

If you have an emergency, please contact Patty Duffy at 649-7938, and she will ensure a more immediate response.
Volunteer at Re:Work Richmond

New volunteer opportunities are continually being identified at Re:Work Richmond, the East End employment initiative that St. Peter's Episcopal Church has launched through a collaboration of churches and community organizations. You are invited to complete one of the "Good Neighbor Network" cards available in the Parish Hall. Place your completed forms in the basket provided. For more information, contact Diana Vasquez .
The Market at 25th Street
Community Rewards Program

Please support the new Market at 25th Street, which provides a full array of nutritious foods and vital services to the East End neighborhood.

The market has recently initiated a rewards program for area churches, agreeing to contribute 3% of all purchases made by their members. Cards are available at the market’s service desk, or enroll by clicking here.

Simply write St. John’s in the organization line when you enroll, and all your purchases will count toward St. John’s monthly rewards.  

Children’s Chapel now has an Instagram account: @stjohnsrvacc
Sign-up at Kroger
 for the Good of St. John’s

St. John's participates in Kroger's Community Rewards program, receiving funds based on a percentage of total purchases made with Kroger cards linked to St. John's. To link your card, sign up here.

Use account code 81386 and click "Search.” Funds received support St. John’s ministries, and we are grateful.
Next Vestry Meeting,
Tuesday, February 11,
at 5:30 p.m.
in the Parish Hall

All members of St. John’s Church are welcome to attend vestry meetings as observers. Minutes of recent meetings are posted on the bulletin board in the Parish Hall foyer. Please share your ideas or questions about the life of our parish with a vestry member.   And keep the vestry in your prayers this weekend as they meet for their annual planning retreat this Saturday, February 1.
Prayer Group & Sunday Prayers
Bring your prayers to the Wednesday morning prayer group. Pray with us silently or aloud as the Spirit leads you, and let us surround you with love and prayers. Find sacred silence and hear the still, small voice of God. Simply stop by the Keeper's Cottage any Wednesday at 10:00.

Prayer ministers also offer individual prayers Sundays during communion at the 10:30 a.m. service.

10:00 a.m.
Keeper's Cottage (to the left of the church)
To learn more,   contact Carolyn Dallas
St. John's Church
2401 East Broad Street

Office: 2319 E. Broad Street RVA 23223

The deadline for submitting copy for the weekly bulletin insert and parish-wide email is Wednesday morning , but earlier is always appreciated. Please send your content to  Patty Duffy . Please note that content may be edited to accommodate space limitations and style guidelines.