May, 2022

by Fr. Kevin Warner
Lots of exciting events have happened, are happening, and about to happen. 
First, we elected a new Bishop! The Rev. Doug Scharf was elected on the third ballot at the special electing convention, held on April 2 at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter in St. Petersburg. The SJD delegation consisted of Frs. Kevin & Lee, Katie Arp, Aubrey Thompson, and Sharon Van Loan.
Doug is a cradle Episcopalian, son of a priest, and grew up in this Diocese. It was at a Happening Weekend at DaySpring that he sensed a clear call to the ordained ministry. He has served churches in Osprey and Valrico before accepting a call in the Diocese of Southeast Florida in Tequesta. As rector of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church and School, he oversaw a church of over 300 and a school of 140 students.
Doug and his wife Shannon have been married 22 years and have three sons. He will be ordained and consecrated Bishop on September 24, 2022 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236, becoming the sixth bishop of the diocese.
Happening now is Agents of Acts, in the 9:15 Kid’s Church. Based on the Acts of the Apostles, the kids are on a Mission for God for G.O.D. (Global Operations Director) as they explore the lives of those who acted as God’s “Agents” while spreading the Gospel and increasing followers of Jesus. Led by Agent 01 (Jesus) they will follow clues, learning more about their faith and, most importantly, they will uncover the double agent planted in the 9:15 service. Sadly, this means we say goodbye to Professor Grubenbauer of P.E.A.C.E. (Polytechnic Educational Academic Center of Central Europe) who taught the kids how science and religion work together.
Coming up soon will be our Ascension Day Service and potluck. Please mark your calendars for May 26th and start thinking about what you might bring if you are able…appetizer, entrée, side dish, dessert. It will be a Mexican-theme dinner, but all food is welcome. Dinner will be served at 5:30. You can bring in your food donation Thursday May 26th any time after 3:00. The service is at 7:00 pm so join us for food, fellowship, and service.

Fr. Kevin+
II Timothy 1:11
From the Associate Rector

As “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace”, the Holy Eucharist has blended in one great spiritual act every essential of individual and corporate worship.  Whether celebrated as a principal service of the church or as a “communion under special circumstances” with one or two others, it gives me great joy. It doesn’t matter when or where. Usually.

I added “usually” because I believe there is something special in receiving this Communion in the Holy Land. In each of my several trips to the Holy Land, I would not allow any schedule to be so tight as to not allow me to connect with God through the Sacrament.

Recently, I ran across a picture of our group (seen above) and a bulletin prepared for a trip in 1994. It was the season of Advent and we worshiped at the Mount of Beatitudes, renewed Baptismal Vows at the River Jordan and walked the Stations of the Cross at the Via Dolorosa. More important to me, however, was the simple Communion at the Garden Tomb and complete services held at churches in Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

This November, Father Kevin and Susan will be taking this trip to the Holy Land and taking some of you with them. It can be the trip of a lifetime and I hope you can afford to go. When you celebrate Holy Communion there, say a little prayer for Yoniece and me.
Holy Land Trip this November
Three is the charm and we will, once again, plan on heading to the Holy Land this November. Two previous attempts were sidelined by Covid, but this year Israel is open and we are going! Dates for the trip are November 8 – 17, and some will do an extension through the 22nd. Please contact Fr. Kevin for more information and download the brochure HERE!
Hope you can join us!
A Spark of New Life
There is a simple word that is used by the worldwide church. It is often misunderstood. It means a restoration of life to something that was alive but is now lacking vitality, dormant or dead. The word is revival. 

In some denominations, the word revival is used to describe a planned series of exciting church services several days in a row often involving the preaching of a visiting evangelist. I have been  the visiting preacher in several of those events, usually starting with preaching Sunday morning, then the next four nights in a row. The leaders of the host church called those meetings a revival. But they were not revival.

For some, the word revival brings to mind an evangelist pitching a giant tent, passing around handbills to advertise, and trying to bring some rural community to Jesus. There have been movies made of scenarios such as this, many of them not flattering. That is not revival either.

Real revival is when God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, quickens a congregation, or multiple congregations within a geographic region, with a new vitality and fervor that turns out to be life-changing for families, churches, communities and even nations. Real revival is a sovereign work of God that is poured out spontaneously by Him. It is not an event or a product of human scheduling. It begins with a spark of new life, given by God.

Most of the time the word revival is associated with other denominations, not our own. And yet, two of the world’s most influential revivals in our lifetime came through the Episcopal Church. One of them started when a California priest, Dennis Bennett, announced to his congregation that he had been baptized in the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues. This shocked some members of his congregation, thrilled others. The revival that sprung forth impacted most of the major denominations in the 1960s and 70s and became known as the Charismatic Renewal. Many lives were changed around the world, including mine, by that amazing move of God.

An even more recent revival flowed through Holy Trinity Anglican Church on Brompton Road in London. There was a season when the glory of God was so contagious in that church that people would line up along the street hours ahead of service times, hoping to be there early enough to get one of their eleven hundred seats when the doors opened. Their priest, Nicky Gumbel, said that he and some of his leaders had their lives transformed by visiting a revival in Toronto and bringing the fire of revival back home. The now famous ALPHA Course went from being a local program to becoming an international phenomenon because of the influence the Toronto revival had on them.

I have personally experienced revival and traveled with some of the world’s foremost living revival leaders, and as a result have seen what the Church can be. Sinners saved, incurable diseases healed, addictions destroyed, suicides averted, marriages saved, crime rates diminished, Jesus is honored, lives changed, joy, hope and peace abound. And churches are filled to capacity with joyful worshipers.

St John Divine Church is showing signs of a spark of new life. I am excited.

Howard Roshaven
Senior Warden
A Mother's Love
By the time you are reading this, you would have observed the season of Lent and after what seemed like eternity, celebrated the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What is often overlooked is the part women played in His life. Regardless which Gospel you read, there were women with him at the cross and at the tomb. We often wonder what pain his mother Mary bore as she watched her son beaten and crucified. In spite of this all, she remained steadfast with him.

In a couple of weeks, we will be celebrating “Mother’s Day.” It is only fitting that I share a poem I have in my collection. The author, I do not know. What I do know is his description of a mother is spot on.

A Mother's Love
A Mother's love is something
that no one can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendored miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.
Aubrey V. Thompson
Head Verger
SJD welcomes Valerie Southwell
SJD welcomes Valerie Southwell as our new Organist and Music Director. Valerie and her husband Bob have been Sun City Center residents since 2004 and just recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Valerie has two children, and two grandchildren.

Valerie received her B.S. in Music Education from Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon in 1975. Throughout her college education, Valerie majored in piano/organ and minored in clarinet. Her training also included proficiency in percussion, trumpet, flute, and violin. In addition to serving numerous churches as Organist/Music Director, she has offered private piano and organ lessons to students of all ages.
Valerie is very excited about her new position as Music Director at St. John the Divine and looks forward to many years worshipping God together through music with her new, wonderful Christian family.
Triple T Ministry

“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:14

The SJD Healing Center and Healing Prayer Ministry will be a ministry made of chiefly lay persons of St John who have a heart for those in need of prayer. Our Priests will be available to direct and guide us when needed. There will be prayers whether the need is for someone who suffers from an illness or may have received a dire diagnosis for themselves or those they love. Perhaps, they just need someone to listen and pray if they are lonely and afraid. The Healing Center will be a home for all persons in need of believing Jesus heals still today, spirit, body and mind.
The progress in the construction of the building which is adjacent to the memorial garden has been painfully slowed by the pandemic and the extreme building going on in our area. Recently, there has been progress that can be seen. There will soon be opportunities to meet and ask questions about whether you would like to be involved and receive training in this worthwhile ministry. The training sessions and some of the materials available will be from OSL, (Order of St. Luke), along with other models offered from other healing centers. Howard Roshaven will offer his 5-step healing model and other leaders are Stephens Ministers at St. John. Jesus will guide this ministry and make it His.
Please contact Sharon Van Loan if you have questions or an interest in being involved and trained. The only requirement is that you love the Lord and care for those who need Him and for those who need to feel His love and caring through us. God will be our CEO and the Holy Spirit will direct and guide this ministry.
Sharon Van Loan
Heaven on the Mountain
A Silent Retreat June 9 - 12, 2022
Sacred Stories for the 21st Century

The Community of St. Mary is a women's Benedictine community within the Episcopal Church. Each year, the Sisters offer a silent retreat which provides a quiet time for learning, renewal, and reconnection with God. St. Mary's on the Mountain, situated on 230 acres above the Cumberland Plateau in Sewanee, Tennessee is a sanctuary of natural beauty, tranquility, and spiritual rest.

Sister Elizabeth Grace, CSM, will lead meditations sharing stories from the Bible and from the Sisters' history that speak to Christians living in the 21st century. There will be corporate prayer, an abundance of free time, and delicious, nutritious meals.

The cost is $350.00--$450.00, depending on choice of accommodations. All meals are included.
If you're interested, you may contact Connie Keister, (813) 260-9510,
SJD Welcome Ministry 2.0

We are delighted to see so many people coming back to church for in-person worship – both longtime members and new congregants. We are thankful and energized to experience communal worship among an ever-increasing number of parishioners in the sanctuary.
Two years ago we suspended our formal welcoming procedures in order to comply with Covid recommendations. We are now able to reinstate those activities to ensure we are aware of, and attentive to, people in our midst who are new.
We are seeking people to help relaunch our welcome process so we can effectively acknowledge and assist visitors and newcomers at each of our Sunday morning worship services. Activities include welcoming people as they enter the building (paying special attention to new faces or people seeming to need direction), helping newcomers navigate our worship services and coffee hours, and providing them with information about our parish.
Visitors’ first impressions are a critical component of their decision to return to SJD or go elsewhere, so this ministry is an important aspect of our ability to retain and assimilate new people. If you would like to participate in the welcome process, please contact Marianne Strehar at or (813) 638-9283.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Now that we can meet face-to-face a big thank you to all the volunteers who have made possible two of our recent gatherings.

First, thank you to all who helped with the 4th Sunday Breakfasts. It was especially joyful to come into the smell of bacon frying and be greeted so warmly by smiling volunteers, ready to fill your plate and your stomach. Thank you: Roger Mills, Morris & Joy Johnson, Joanna Boley-Lee, Jackie Winder, Sandi Gaudet, Joy & Jay Sparkman, Nancy & Jack Phillips, Linda Torchia, Barbara Sirois, Carl Brant, Ron Drummond, Joe Fairchild, Barbara & John Gentry, Linda & Bill Duhn, Linda Justin, Linda Dolph, Isabel DeTringo, Mary K Merrill, Hilda Knight, Karen Stapleton, Sharon Bakay, and all those who brought in baked goods or other goodies.

Next, thanks to the Wednesday night volunteers who fed us dinner throughout Lent. Thank you: Jackie Winder, Barbara & John Gentry, Joyce Fisher, Sandy Powell, Karen Singleton, Deb Wigmore, Mary Lou Jones, Trevor Warner.

Finally, thanks to our ongoing volunteers who run coffee hour before services: John Kustron, Carol Drummond, Jackie Winder, Barbara & John Gentry, Linda & Bill Duhn, Karen Singleton, and the many unnamed volunteers who help out.

Thanks to all who help keep us connected.
Grief Support Reflection for May 2022

We live in a world that is afraid of loss, afraid of death and afraid of the feelings that they stir up. For grieving people, this means it is not safe to share pain, it is not safe to be honest, it is not safe to be real. We are told we need to move on, readjust, find the silver lining and appreciate the life and people we have.

There is no timeline for grief. It happens and is not a bad thing. If you tell us we are disordered, and you wave drugs in front of us before we know whether they are helpful or even necessary for us, we will hide and withdraw from the feelings that can bring so much richness to our lives, and to the people who are still here on this earth, and the ones who aren’t. If you take a look at the long arc of history, it’s those who have suffered and have found their voice that have made the world a better place.

So, if not a diagnosis and medication what can we do for people who have lost a loved one?

We can help them remember their loved one, actively. We can say their name, celebrate their important dates and keep them present in daily life. Not only for one week, or one month, or one year, but forever. We can ask about who they were, what they loved and what made them smile. We can show up—when we’re asked, and sometimes when we’re not. We can send a text or a note when we see a beautiful flower or a red-tailed hawk that is a symbol of their loved one. Send a card. Make a call. Let them know grieving is natural and really OK.

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.
Sign up for a Foyer Group!
It’s not too late! Join a Foyer Group -- an Episcopal tradition for over 70 years!
As noted in last month’s issue of Revelations, Foyer Groups are small gatherings of five to seven parishioners who meet periodically over a six-month period (our first cycle is May through October 2022at locations away from the church, usually in homes, for a meal or activity.
Historically Foyer Groups met for dinners in people’s homes, but we are offering a variety of options.
·        Traditional potluck supper
·        Potluck brunch/lunch
·        Dessert and games
·        Eating out
There is no agenda -- groups design their own format. Once you sign up you will receive help in getting started.
There are three ways to sign up and indicate your preference.

1) Click here if you are an active user of Realm (our online directory and meeting manager) and complete the form. (If you are not a registered user, the link will appear to work but will not transmit the registration.)
2) Add your name to the signup sheet on the “kiosk” table in the Parish Hall, located outside the sanctuary doors.
3) Contact any member of the organizing team and let them know your preference:

Linda Duhn at or (407) 340-1713
Doug Roderick at or (843) 283-2941
Jackie Winder at or (813) 633-3198 
Outreach Focus for May
Choices Women's Center


Choices has been in operation for over 25 years, providing compassionate Christian care and support to teens, women, couples and families in our community facing unplanned pregnancies. Choices is a non-profit medical clinic providing free medical services and accurate information on all options regarding unplanned pregnancy, including education on abortion, adoption and parenting. All of their services are provided in a warm and private atmosphere. Unlike other clinics, they do not benefit financially from any choice. Using their network of resources and referral services, they seek to meet the challenges and needs of every client, regardless of circumstance.

Not only do they provide prenatal services but also parenting courses and ongoing support for up to a year following birth. Their pantry is stocked with baby clothes and diapers for those who cannot afford them.

Could you donate an item or two for our “Baby Shower”? Most needed at this time are diapers and baby/toddler clothes from infants up to 2T. Checks may be made payable to St. John Divine, earmarked CHOICES.
Monthly Breakfasts on Hiatus

The January through April breakfast gatherings proved to be very popular, averaging about 75 people per time! They were well-attended because they featured a sumptuous menu served within a convenient timeframe (and on “real” dishes with “real” silverware!). The continuous 9:00 – 11:00 am buffet provided a format that enabled diners to enjoy a hearty breakfast while mingling with old friends and getting acquainted with people who attend different worship services. The combination was a huge hit.
Thank you to all the volunteers who made these events possible! Organizers Joy and Morris Johnson were assisted by a large and faithful crew that included Sharon Bakay, Joanna Boley-Lee, Isabel DeTringo, Linda Dolph, Carl & Ron Drummond, Linda and Bill Duhn, Joe Fairchild, Sandi Gaudet, Barbara and John Gentry, Linda Justin, Hilda Knight, Mary K. Merrill, Roger Mills, Nancy and Jack Phillips, Barbara Sirios, Joy and Jay Sparkman, Karen Stapleton, Linda Torchia and Jackie Winder.

The breakfast program is on hiatus for now, but we look forward to its return “in season”.

Jean Brown - 5/1
Shari Kreidler - 5/2
Jenson Keating - 5/3
Tiffany Reed - 5/4
Mark Hunter - 5/6
Alan Watson - 5/6
Jackie Winder - 5/7
Don Fisher - 5/7
Donna Kustron - 5/7
Joy Sparkman - 5/8
Ellen Peck - 5/8
Kelley Lyons - 5/11
Gerry Gardner - 5/13
Christine Standiford - 5/14
Nancy Weiss - 5/15
Eliza Robertson - 5/15
Rolly Ford - 5/16
Janice Violetti - 5/17
Wayne Lillie - 5/20
John Patterson - 5/21
Heather Holmes - 5/23
Karen Pinckard - 5/28
Judy Budziak - 5/28
Ron Drummond - 5/29
Thomas Kreidler - 5/29
Linda Worachek - 5/31


Carl & Stevie Lingertot - 5/20
Jennifer & Jon Bronson - 5/26
Debbie & Bill Carlisle - 5/27

 Howard Roshaven -- Sr. Warden, Steve Van Loan -- Jr. Warden, Val Bryant -- Clerk
Debbie Carlisle, Greg Diehl, Linda Duhn,
Don Fisher, Linda Floyd, Mary Lane Kullmann,
Ralph Powell, Doug Roderick, Clare Thompson, Jackie Winder

Clergy and Staff

The Rt. Rev. Dabney T. Smith & The Very Rev. Dr. Douglas F. Scharf
Bishops of the Diocese of Southwest Florida
The Rev. Kevin Warner - Rector
The Rev. Lee Miller - Associate Rector
Scott Gardner - Praise Leader, Valerie Southwell - Music Director
Tristan Warner - Media & Tech Specialist, Tommy Blair - A/V Assistant
Connie Minnoe - Accounting Administrator, Denise Smalls - Nursery Attendant
Thomas Kreidler - Director of Christian Education

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