MARCH, 2021
by Fr. Kevin Warner
I always provide for My Church. Trust me. Trust me. Trust me. I did not create you for you, I created you for me. Focus on the harvest you have been commissioned to reap for my kingdom and I will meet your every need in abundance. I love you. Feb. 2021
The words above were a prophecy received at our vestry retreat in early February. They were much needed and the encouragement from our Lord reminds us of His unfailing love for us and His provision, even in times of great need.
If you remember at our Annual Meeting, I announced that our preliminary budget was significantly in the red, and that I would report back after the retreat with our plan on how to remedy the solution. For more information, please view my Annual Meeting Report available on the website.
Obviously, the first remedy is to increase revenue, and I am grateful to those of you who have increased your giving, begun fund-raising efforts, or have sent in your stimulus checks. It is a start, but not enough. Here is what was decided at the retreat:
  • The vestry trimmed as much of the budget as possible by:
  • Program staff had some of their benefits trimmed.
  • Some ongoing expenses will be funded through reserves.
  • The Parish Administrator will be laid off at the end of February.
  • Any shortfall this year will be covered by borrowing funds from the Endowment Ministry Fund. Any funds removed will be replaced through future unrestricted bequests. Fortunately, our endowment management team has done a marvelous job, resulting in gains well over $100,000 in the last 14 months.
It is still too early to tell if further staff reductions will be necessary. We are waiting to see the response from the congregation, fundraiser results, how quickly people return, and how those returning, and those new to the church gained through our livestreams, impact the overall giving. Suffice to say any gains must be permanent if we expect to maintain the remaining staff.
We ask that you refrain from speculating on the staff’s future. Obviously, we are all concerned, but following the received word of God at the start of the article, we are trusting Him for the next steps. We are excited by what has been accomplished despite Covid: a satellite service now running at Freedom Plaza, more people than ever “attending” worship at SJD, either in person or remotely, the more than doubling of the Youth Group thanks to Fr. David, and the more than a dozen new individuals/families who have joined since Covid began.
Finally, I want to say a word about our Parish Administrator, Candy Allman.
First, I want to clear up some confusion; confusion that I am, in part, responsible for creating. Candy is being laid off due to financial shortfall. This is not a retirement and the unemployment benefits that we thought would make it a soft-landing end this month. Please keep your ears open for available employment for her.
On a personal note, I want to say how hard this is for me. Candy is not only a wonderful, loyal employee, she is also my friend. Parts of her job will be absorbed by me and other members of the staff, but some parts cannot be replaced. In many ways, she has functioned in a diaconal role, bringing the concerns of the parish to the clergy, and vice versa. Her ear, ever to the ground, meant she was often able to let the clergy know of pastoral needs that might have been otherwise missed. I will miss her as an employee, but thankful for our continuing friendship. I am sure I speak for all of us when I say – Godspeed.

II Timothy 1:11

(Ezekiel 37: l-14)
You probably remember the song from childhood and find it most difficult to read that passage from Ezekiel,(missed this year in Lent), without recalling the old finger-snapping rhythm of James Weldon Johnson’s “Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones…I hear de word of the Lord…” There is, most certainly, a word for us today. 

While, in the early Church, catechesis might last for years, the season just before Easter was a time of preparation, not just for the catechumens, but for the entire Christian Community. The focus, lengthened from a triduum to six weeks and then to seven weeks, and finally stabilizing at forty days, was always upon baptism. 

What a great description in Ezekiel for baptism! The writer, of course, had no knowledge of the later belief in an eschatological resurrection of the dead and the passage should not be interpreted in that light; in fact, the only evidence we need is the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. But note what IS being said. As in baptism, where we die, are buried and raised again, we are given a new spirit. It’s not of our own doing – this giving of hope and a reason for existence – it is the very gift of God. “Only God can restore Israel,” shouts Ezekiel in his vision. 

The people of Israel felt helpless, encamped as refugees, separated from their temple, their relatives, and their friends. They were beginning to feel like a pile of dried up bones. Sound familiar?

God can restore us physiologically, to be sure. But, I believe, he also has a word for us in this seemingly unending Covid 19 epidemic. He can raise us from the grave of doubt, of weakness, of sorrow and hopelessness. “Ezekiel connected dem dry bones…I hear de word of de Lord!”
                                                                                       Father Lee 
Thank You!

Hello everyone, I feel that I missed an opportunity to do this earlier, either in my Annual Report or in my past two articles, but I wish to thank all my Volunteers. It has been a very crazy 2020 and start to 2021 and I wanted to take some time to properly thank all who have helped us transition from in person centric services, to Live Stream centric when the church was closed to the public, and then to our current hybrid format. 

I want to start with Gail Philip Charles who switched from serving the Rite I service to Rite II with praise and worship, a difficult transition for anyone, but was handled with grace by Gail. Anthony Primiano, Katy Arp, Gerry Gardner, Marianne Palmer, Dan Cardillo, Ethan & James Ruggles, and Bailey Risner, for coming in to work slides, cameras, and sound whenever we found ourselves shorthanded. Allie Maiocchi and Val Bryant for helping from home with Live Stream chats or Zoom meetings. Mark Hunter for helping us make physical changes to the AV Booth. We appreciate newcomers Scott “Gator” Galbraith and Tim Hudson who joined AV during 2020 and are amazing additions to the team. Howard Roshaven and the late Jim Smith who are the main reasons for the quality of sound we enjoy.

Lastly, I want to thank Tommy Blair, the other paid individual in the AV Booth every week. Tommy started here before I did as our Camera Operator, but you may have noticed in my last article I referred to him by his new title, Assistant Media Specialist. He earned that new title with his dedication and aptitude. Tommy has had to learn how to work sound and live streaming for our morning prayer services and is always ready to learn more. I am constantly thankful to have Tommy on our staff and appreciate all he does for us.

We have been Live Streaming since September 2019, but it is still a new offering for us, and we appreciate the patience the congregation has given us. This ministry’s importance has only grown during the pandemic and I am thankful for all who are part of it. I pray we continue to grow in 2021 and as always, we are looking for anyone interested in helping to join us. Everyone interested can email me at

Thank you all for your support,

Tristan M. Warner
Media & Tech Specialist 


The past 5 years have been amazing! I remember when I first started here, I asked, how am I ever going to remember everyone’s name. The response was, “well, if it is a female, just say Linda or Barbara, you will have a good chance that it is will be correct, we have lots of Lindas and Barbs here.” I don’t think I ever did that, but over time, not only have I learned lots of names, but I have made lots of very dear friends.

I was having lunch with one of those dear friends recently and he reminded me that I am grieving. I really hadn’t thought about it that way, but I guess I am grieving, grieving the loss of income, loss of a job that I enjoy, but mostly the loss of contact with you all. In one way, my heart is breaking that I am leaving, but I am excited that I will be able to have lunch with friends, spend more time with my great nephews, sitting by the pool, and doing some of the things I have been putting off for a while.
So, while this is goodbye for now, I will always remember my time here at SJD fondly. I will keep my information in Church Life if you would like to contact me.

Thank you all for your love, support, and friendship.

SJD is launching a new venture:

Proceeds from the shop will bolster the financial needs of our church created by Covid-19. At this time, the SHOP will be OPEN on the Saturdays we have the DIVINE MARKET PLACE here at SJD - the 3rd Saturday of each month from 9-1. The SHOP is located in the North Sunday School Room adjacent to the Parish Hall. Entrance will be from the outside only. We will have linens, clothing, jewelry, small furniture pieces, glassware, and knick-knacks.

Due to limited space, DO NOT BRING ITEMS TO THE CHURCH. If you have items to donate, please call either Barbara Gentry (633-3363) or Jackie Winder (633-3198). We will determine donation acceptability based on available space and quick sale potential. We are looking forward to making this a profitable and fun venture. Please stop by and take a look.

As always, masks and social distancing will be required.

Kathi Davis - 3/5
Mary Hilderbrand - 3/5
David Sample - 3/5
Katherine Lanoue - 3/6
Chase Garis - 3/11
Barbara Garside - 3/11
Rudy Ann Joseph - 3/11
Katie Arp - 3/14
Eugene Doyle - 3/15
Robert MacDonald - 3/15
Mary Soja - 3/21
George Miecyjak - 3/22
Anthony Primiano - 3/22
Tracy Fraser - 3/24
Judy Pieper - 3/24
Negla Mentus - 3/25
Nancy Lillie - 3/26
Alyson Barrett - 3/27
Al DeMellier - 3/28
Dawn Hennen - 3/28
Valerie Bryant - 3/29
Dorothy Pagnini - 3/30
Roger Mills - 3/31


Paulette & Greg Diehl 3/3
Clare & Aubrey Thompson 3/4
Sandy & Walt Powell 3/12
Brenda & Troy Coman 3/15
Linda & Bill Duhn 3/20
Brenda & Carl Wales 3/22

St John Divine Episcopal
Church 1015 E. Del Webb Blvd.
Sun City Center, FL 33573


Linda Floyd, Allie Maiocchi, Linda Cardillo, Debbie Carlisle
Linda Duh, 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, Connie Minnoe, Accounting Administrator
Sharon Bakay, Kitchen Manager