From the Associate Rector

for March 2023

The number 40 has been, in the Bible, a time of preparation and often a time of testing:

• In 40 days, rain covered the earth.

• It was another 40 days before Noah sent the raven.

• Laws required 40 days for embalming and fasting.

• The giant taunted and tempted David for 40 days before the battle.

• Jonah warned Ninevah that the people had 40 days to shape up or be destroyed.

• Jesus was tempted by Satan for 40 days and his ministry following the resurrection was 40 days.

• The list goes on to also include 40 years.

The preceding little tidbit was taken from a booklet of devotions I wrote a few years ago that offered a daily meditation for each of the 40 days of Lent. Now, we are beginning our 40 day journey in Lent and I still have a few copies of the booklet available. One is yours for the asking.

Father Lee

From Your Health Ministry


We will resume doing blood pressures in the parish hall after the 10 AM service on the last Sunday of each month.

Junior Warden's Report


It is only January and there is a lot going on at St. John. Already we had our annual meeting, elected some new Vestry members and have been dealing with the retirement of our Rector, Kevin C. Warner. Something very pleasing to me is that Dennis Accardo has volunteered to be Assistant Junior Warden. He has been and will be very helpful. We will be very busy! 

One or our main air conditioning units in the parish hall has quit and must be replaced. This cost will be in the range of $30,000 as the present unit cannot be repaired anymore. Help from we parishioners is going to be needed as this is an expenditure we did not expect nor budget. Let me know if you can contribute or you can make a donation and designate “towards air conditioner” on your check. We have ordered the unit and it will take 12 weeks for delivery. There is still air conditioning: however, we may have to be patient if the temperature is not exactly what we prefer.

The lighting at the front SJD signage is being worked on. Some folks have noticed there is only one small bulb lit. New LED lighting will be installed soon. There have been minor repairs accomplished: lights were fixed in the ladies room and the sacristy. The paved walk-way to the Memorial Garden has been raised and that will prevent the flooding we were experiencing with hard rains. We need to give thanks to Kathy Boldec for making this a reality. Thank you, Kathy!

As has been reported we have our final release from the County for the Healing Center. We anticipate things will be moving quickly now. What can be seen from the outside is the new paved walkway from the driveway, the skirting has been put on and there will be work on the rear deck next.

It is probably a good idea to remind everyone that there is a procedure to get items repaired. Many parishioners come up to me at Sunday worship to tell me of needed repairs. Not only might I not recall and I do love you all but I would like to concentrate on the service. Please go to the office and fill out the form for needed repairs and Cheryl will put it in my box. This is the fastest way to get it done. Cheryl is always happy to help. Let’s make this a great year for SJD! 


Steve Van Loan

Jr. Warden

Do you know of someone who would like prayer
Would you like to be a part of our Prayer Team?

Barb Gingrich at 813-633-5649 or
Val Bryant at 813-352-1207 or

From the Gentrys

Here at SJD, we are at a crossroads, a new beginning, searching for a new rector to lead us all into the next chapter. Covid made a huge difference in the way many people worshipped. John and I found ourselves for about six months on the sofa on Sunday mornings still in our jammies sipping our coffee and watching services on TV. At some point we decided to mask up and go in-person to Church. I must admit the streaming was comfy but we were missing our Church family. Recently, I came across a poem written by a friend of a friend. It seems the perfect time to share it with everybody particularly those still worshipping at home. Lent is here and maybe this year for Lent, we might resolve to attend Church (in-person).   


If the walls of SJD could talk, I know what they would say

I have no doubt these walls would have much to share and convey

During Covid they felt abandoned and alone

Once is a while they’d hear the ringing of the phone

The walls took solace from the voices from that box

They listened to the ticking of all the many clocks


One day the walls awoke to footsteps coming through the door

And the very next thing they heard was the vacuuming of the floor

The feather duster tickled all the surfaces around

The walls started to smile with the happiness they found

Listening to the priest read from the Bible made them beam

Hearing the organ resonate, it was like a dream

The smell of fresh coffee wafting through the air

Cookies and cupcakes in the Parish Hall to share

We were seeing our Church Family and all our many friends

Sitting on the sofa was coming to an end

The walls now enjoy the energy it perceives

If these walls could talk today, they’d say my heart no longer grieves



A Committee has been formed to come up with 2023 Fundraising ideas. We already have 3 or 4 ideas in discussion BUT for our first fundraiser of 2023 we are currently putting together a shoppe which will carry lovely jewelry.


We’ve started collecting jewelry but need more. Please consider donating the jewelry you no longer wear. We are really excited to get this project off the ground so please check your jewelry box and donate what you can. We will be placing a basket in the Office during regular office hours (Mon thru Wed 9-1 and Thurs 9 -12). The basket will also be available on Sunday mornings in the Parish Hall. Once the shoppe is up and running, we will be reaching out to the community for their donations.

Our goal is to open as soon as possible in the room just off the Parish Hall where the SJD Thrift Shop used to be. Details will follow at a later date about opening day and shop hours.

Any questions, call:

Jackie Winder 813 633 3198; Barbara Gentry 813 633 3363; Carol Drummond 518 248 6988

(Carol is a snowbird. She is here December through March 30)

PS: If you have any suggestions for a Fundraiser that you would like us to consider, please share your ideas with us. Thank you for your help.

Divine Jewelry Shoppe

Our first 2023 Church Fundraiser opens March 8th. WOW! We have incredibly beautiful jewelry pieces.

We invite you to continue the jewelry donations and of course, please stop by the Shoppe any Wednesday from 9 to 1. We are located right off the Parish Hall in the room that used to house our Thrift Shop. Come on in, join us for a cup of coffee, take at look at our merchandise and PLEASE TELL YOUR NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS.

Ramblings of an Over-Caffeinated, Sleep Deprived, Child Rearing, Millennial:

Celebration Fun


Hello everyone! I am writing this the day after my father’s retirement dinner and wanted to thank the organizers and workers for an enjoyable evening. Food was great, company wonderful, and it was just a whole lot of fun. For anyone who was in attendance, you could see the love and affection SJD has for Fr. Kevin and us, his family. As the only person still writing for Revelations from the Warner clan, I wanted to share my family’s gratitude for the party. Though I do hold one complaint, which is that I felt Fr. Kevin wasn’t properly Roasted, more like Stewed. I must take that up with Greg Diehl!

Thank you all for your support,

Tristan M. Warner

Media & Tech Specialist 

Sponsoring Flowers

Sponsoring flowers for Sunday is a wonderful way to celebrate, honor, or remember a special person or an event, such as a birthday, anniversary, or achievement. Only $30 is the recommended donation for such an occasion. There is also opportunity to contribute to the purchase lilies for Easter.


Flowers used on Sunday are subsequently arranged in smaller bouquets, which are taken to people in hospitals or to those who are homebound. Although many recipients thoughtfully return vases to be used again, there is currently a shortage. The Flower Guild needs quart and pint size vases; however, they do not need bud vases. Anyone having some to donate, may bring them to church and leave them on the counter under the large bulletin board in the parish hall. They will be much appreciated.


The Flower Guild is looking for a few adventurous men and women, with talent they may not know they have, to arrange flowers for God's house. No experience is required. Guided training is provided. Anyone wishing to discover your hidden talent may email or call/text at 941-545-8132.

Grief Support March 2023

The Death of a Friend

A bunch of us at SJD are senior citizens. We’ve earned that term because we have lived a long time, have much experience, and frankly are old. And being we have made it this far; we face a whole new set of challenges not seen in our youth.

 The death of a friend is a loss that many of us will face more than once. Yet because we aren’t “related” to our friends, we often tell ourselves that our grief is not as deep or our loss is not as significant as their family. But for many, this could not be farther from the truth. Your friend may have been your life-long person. Someone you counted on and shared your deepest secrets. For many, a friend can be as strong of a relationship as if you were siblings. Remember, your grief is valid and should be recognized by both you and your support community – other friends, family, or partners. You need to recognize your right to grieve. The death of a friend can be complicated. The loss of a friend in adulthood can have many meanings. It is the loss of someone with whom you chose to share your life – your time, your thoughts and your activities. This person may have been an integral part of your life, regardless of how often you may have spoken or seen each other. We often have friends with whom we don’t speak for weeks or months; the daily tasks associated with work or family might preclude frequent communications. But when we speak, we pick up the conversation as if it had just ended a few hours before. When death takes your friend, it also takes away one of your connections to the past and a presence you had counted on in the future. Consequently, a constant is gone. Grief is often a life-long journey. Know that SJD support is there if you feel you might have the need to express yours with others who understand.

The Grief Support Group at Saint John Divine offers more than just discussions for those who have lost someone. Grief is a natural process. It isn't a disorder or an illness. You may be grieving about anything you've lost, whether it's a loved one or a job or something that had meaning for you.

We meet every month on the 2nd and 4th Mondays at 10:00 AM in the Wirick Room in the Banner building. When you feel the need, we can be there for you.


Join us Monday through Friday at 10:00 a.m. for in-person worship at SJD.

SJD offers Daily Morning Prayer every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. On Wednesday, a Healing Service with Eucharist is offered.

Morning Prayer is a beautiful service of praise, prayer, and readings of Scripture. When you pray Morning Prayer, you are sure to enrich your spiritual life and your journey with Christ.

South Sudan


First thought is to say THANK YOU for your generous giving in the past to South Sudan. It is greatly appreciated and wisely used. When I Facetimed with the Bishop and asked how we could help the people in Maridi (So Sudan) he said they were growing in number and the money will be used for children’s education and also the Mother’s Union. (The women from Church who make clothing, cook meals and support the Church in many ways).

I have been sending out updates with photos though messenger on Facebook. The Christian Faith is growing in South Sudan.

If you wish to give online, please scan or click the QR Code


Mary Hilderbrand - 3/5

David Sample - 3/5

Katherine Lanoue - 3/6

Cheryl Savini - 3/6

Boyce Stephen - 3/7

Chase Garis - 3/11

Rudy Ann Joseph - 3/11

Katie Arp - 3/14

Jutta Teichman - 3/15

Bob MacDonald - 3/15

Gene Doyle - 3/15

Stefanie Peterson - 3/16

Susan Morgan - 3/19

Mary Soja - 3/21

Jo Ann Beebee - 3/21

Anthony Primiano - 3/22

George Miecyjak - 3/22

Judy Pieper - 3/24

Tracy Fraser - 3/24

Negla Mentus - 3/25

Alyson Barrett - 3/27

Dawn Hennen - 3/28

Al DeMellier - 3/28

Valerie Bryant - 3/29

Betsy Pagnini - 3/30

Roger Mills - 3/31

Kathleen Nowak - 3/31


Greg & Paulette Diehl - 3/3

Aubrey & Clare Thompson - 3/4

Walter & Sandy Powell - 3/12

Allen & Brenda Coman - 3/15

Bill & Linda Duhn - 3/20

Carl & Brenda Wales - 3/22

Gary & Linda Gabler - 3/25


 Don Fisher -- Sr. Warden, Steve Van Loan -- Jr. Warden,

Val Bryant -- Clerk, Thomas Kramer -- Treasurer

Marianne Strehar, Linda Duhn, Mary Lane Kullmann,

Doug Roderick, Clare Thompson, Jackie Winder,

Dennis Accardo, Katie Arp, Tim Hudson

Clergy and Staff

The Rt. Rev. Douglas F. Scharf 

Bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida

The Rev. Lee Miller - Associate Rector

Scott Gardner - Praise Leader; Valerie Southwell - Music Director

Connie Minnoe - Accounting Administrator; Cheryl Savini - Receptionist

Tristan Warner - Media & Tech Specialist,

Vivian Smalls - Nursery Coordinator; Denise Smalls, Angel Fujiwara - Nursery Attendants

St. John Divine Episcopal Church

1015 E. Del Webb Blvd. Sun City Center, FL 33573


And join us on Realm