St. John's Church
the parable of the rich fool , rembrandt
This Sunday, August 4, 2019
The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost: First Fruits Sunday

                                                  10:00 a.m.          Holy Baptism & Holy Eucharist
                                                                              Children’s Chapel, Keeper’s Cottage
                                                11:15 a.m.           Coffee Hour, Parish Hall
Nursery is available in the Parish Hall from 9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

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Sunday is a First Fruits Sunday

Bring your donations to the Christ Ascension Food Pantry with you to church Sunday morning. As you approach the altar for communion deposit your donations in the baskets at the chancel steps. Bless you for your generosity.

From Amelie with Love

Dear Friends:

In this week’s Gospel, Jesus is invited to settle a dispute over an inheritance, and instead of offering a decision, he offers a warning: “Beware of greed…life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Jesus then tells a story about a successful farmer whose land produced so abundantly that he does not have enough storage space in his barns. So the farmer plans to pull down his barns and build bigger ones to store all his grain and goods. Then he will have ample savings set aside for the future and will be all set to enjoy his golden years.

Isn’t this what we are encouraged to strive for? Isn’t it wise and responsible to save for the future? The rich farmer would probably be a good financial advisor. He has worked hard and saved wisely. Now he can sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of his labor, right?

Not exactly. There is one very important thing the rich man has not planned for--his reckoning with God, who says to him, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?”

If you have ever faced a serious medical diagnosis or anything that threatens life “as usual,” you have probably confronted the relative insignificance of your possessions and belongings-- and the time wasted worrying over them. 

I thought of this during my morning run the other day as I came across a field of bare trees that had been destroyed by fire, a stark reminder of loss and change. But then I saw
flowers--beautiful tiny yellow and purple flowers growing up in the midst of those charred remains. Life was returning to that bare landscape. In God’s time, life was returning.

Somehow this helped me remember that God holds this all, that God holds us all. Even those things I worry too much about which hold no ultimate meaning or power. I may never fully grasp the perspective on possessions and security that this week's Gospel means for me to carry. Even now, I find it hard to imagine this all will end--that one day, too, before I know it, my own ‘life will be demanded of me.’

But I do have a sense that the story Jesus offers is intended not only as judgment but also as hope. Hope that there is still time for new life, for new ways, for new flowers to emerge from the burning away of what was. The burning away of old expectations, the charred limbs and logs of things that we’ve tried to control, or things we worry about that finally don’t matter. 

This week I invite all of us to hear Jesus’ admonitions about possessions not so much as words of judgment, but as a gift of hope we desperately need to wake up and bring things into proper focus. To remember what matters most, even now. Somehow, small as they are, flowers growing up out of a long-charred landscape speak to me of this. Time goes quickly. But it is not yet too late.

In Christ,

We'll See You Tuesday for
Our Annual National Night Out Ice Cream Social

The Young Adults will sponsor our annual National Night Out Ice Cream Social in front of the church, offering hospitality in the form of ice cream to our neighbors while getting to know them better.

National Night Out is an annual, nationwide event, locally supported by the Richmond Police Department, that aims to lower crime rates by bringing citizens outdoors to meet their neighbors. It’s free and open to the public, so bring your friends and family.

If you’d like to help, please email Heather Jones. We need volunteers to show up early to set-up and to stay after to clean-up.

Tuesday, August 6
6:00 to 8:00 p.m
Corner of N. 24th & E. Broad
Dorothy White to join the staff at St. John’s

As many of you know, the Rev. Dr. Dorothy White concluded her ministry as the Chaplain of St. Catherine’s School last May. For the past five years, Dorothy has also blessed our congregation with her preaching and teaching on a non-stipendiary basis. We are pleased to announce that Dorothy will now be joining the staff of both St. John’s and St. Mark’s as a part-time Associate Priest.

Our Stewardship Team invites members and friends of the congregation to consider a special contribution in order to support this exciting new ministry at St. John’s. This can be done by returning the card you received in the mail or by making clearly designated payments either by check or through Paypal

Please do not hesitate to contact Amelie with any questions.
Wednesday Evening Programming

Join us Wednesday evenings for a series on Barbara Brown Taylor’s Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others. The evening begins with Centering Prayer, followed by supper and our discussion. You are welcome to attend any or all these evening offerings, and if you join us for dinner, you are invited to bring a side dish to share.  

This coming week we will discuss chapter 5 of the book, which is available in in paper or electronic versions via or other booksellers. If you need assistance with the purchase, please contact Amelie.

You are welcome to attend any or all of our Wednesday evening offerings, and if you join us for dinner, you are invited to bring a side dish to share.  

Wednesday Evenings
6:00 p.m. Centering Prayer
6:30 p.m. Supper
7:00 p.m. Discussion
The Parish Hall
Join Andrea Bleck-Smith for Gentle Yoga

Each Thursday, Andrea Bleck-Smith offers a yoga class meant for those who enjoy moving a little more slowly and who are looking to maintain or increase strength and flexibility. We focus on moving all joints and muscle groups, alignment, and breath awareness to maintain and restore balanced body function.

Students receive personal alignment suggestions and assistance as needed. Each class ends with a brief relaxation to balance the body.

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

Thursdays at 4:00 p.m.
The Parish Hall  
Thursday Evening Prayer

Attend Evening Prayer, according to the Book of Common Prayer, Thursday evenings at 5:30 p.m. in the Parish House, 2319 E. Broad Street (across 24 th  Street from the Church). After prayers, you are invited to join other participants at a local restaurant for dinner. 

For more information   contact Hannah Mawyer .  
Next Evening Contemplative Service,
Saturday, August 10

St. John's offers a Saturday 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. Please consider inviting friends who prefer a more contemplative form of worship in the early evening.

Also, please consider serving at this service when you sign up for your service slots each month. 

Second Saturday of each month
5:30 p.m.
Inquirer's Class
Our formation series is for those who are interested in learning more about the Episcopal Church or in becoming a member through Confirmation, Reception, or the Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows. This year, we have 11 participants, and we invite the prayers of the congregation as they journey together.
The remaining two classes will be held on Sundays, August 11 and 18, all at 4:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall.
The series will serve as preparation for a service held at the Bishop’s office in the early fall. Please email Amelie directly with your interest or questions.

 St. John’s to Host a Service
of Lament, Reconciliation, and Commitment

St. John’s will host a Service of Lament, Reconciliation, and Commitment in observance of the 400 th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans at Jamestown and the lasting impact that slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, and white supremacy have had on our nation.

This service is sponsored by the Central Richmond Region of the Diocese of Virginia, of which St. John’s is a member. Bishop Susan Goff will preside. 

If you are interested in serving in worship or assisting with the reception that follows, please contact David Curtis or Amelie Wilmer.  

Saturday, August 17
5:00 p.m.
The Next
Property Committee Meeting

The Property Committee meets again Monday, August 19, at 5:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall. If you are interested in being a part of this important ministry, please contact Jamie Isaacs at .
St. John’s Episcopal Church’s
2019 Shrine Mont Retreat
Oct 18-20, 2019
  An Altar in the World:Spiritual Practices for Real People

Shrine Mont is the conference and retreat center for the Diocese of Virginia, located in Orkney Springs, in the mountains of western Shenandoah County.

You’ll have ample time for rest and relaxation, and opportunities for conversation, fun, and socializing with others. You can climb a mountain or rock in a porch chair, explore the local wineries and shops, or just pray, read and be. The buffet meals won’t leave you hungry!

We’ll gather for casual conversation about our theme, “Altars in the World” and celebrate Eucharist on Sunday in the outdoor cathedral, with Amelie as our celebrant.

Children’s Chapel now has an Instagram account: @stjohnsrvacc
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.

Current Opportunity
Donate School Supplies – Tax-free Hebrews 13:16 says, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others.” This weekend, Friday, August 2, through midnight Sunday, August 4, you can do good and share tax-free by buying back-to-school supplies for Bellevue Elementary School. We are collecting supplies through August 25. Collection boxes are at the back of the church.
School supplies on Bellevue’s wish list include:
·          pens
·          pencils
·          scissors
·          crayons
·          composition notebooks
·          erasers
·          highlighters
·          glue sticks
·          index cards
·          resealable bags (small)
·          markers
·          colored pencils
·          tissues
·          paper towels
·          hand sanitizer

Ongoing Opportunities
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. Christ Ascension Food Pantry currently needs canned fruit and rice.  The food pantry always needs cereal, canned tuna, pasta, and peanut butter. Next First Fruits Sunday— This Sunday, August 4

Laundry Love : This ministry takes place the third Saturday of every month from 11:45 a.m.-2:15 p.m., at Richmond Coin Laundry, 25 th & Nine Mile, and defrays our neighbors’ cost of doing laundry so that they can direct their income to other necessities. We would love your help dispensing coins and laundry supplies, helping to run the machines, entertaining children, and being a friendly presence.  Please contact David Curtis for more information. Next Laundry Love Day— Saturday, August 17.

Laundry Love Activity Table : The Outreach Team thanks you for your donations for the kids' activity table at Laundry Love. Currently, we have enough supplies, including puzzles, books, Legos, and coloring supplies. We will let you know when we need supplies again, and until then, know that we are grateful.
Volunteer Opportunities

Thanks to all of you who have expressed an interest in offering your gifts, skills, and experience to support Re:Work Richmond , the new East End employment initiative that St. Peter's Episcopal Church launched this spring. 

New volunteer opportunities are continually being identified, and you are invited to complete one of the "Good Neighbor Network" cards now available in the Parish Hall. A basket for completed cards is in the Parish Hall, or you can send your card to the Parish Office at 2319 E. Broad St., Richmond, Virginia 23223.

To add your name to the Re:work email list or for any questions, please contact Diana Vasquez .
Strategic Plan Information Available

The Power Point presentation of this year’s Strategic Plan , including our goals and objectives and the tasks we have identified to accomplish them, is available here.

Hard copies are available in the Parish Hall.

We encourage you to view the slides and provide input as we work together to implement our shared vision for St. John’s in the year to come.
Sign-up to Sponsor Altar Flowers
While Slots Are Still Available

Only 3 Sundays remain available for altar flower sponsorship, thanks to our Senior Warden’s successful campaign to get us to sign up. 

If you would like to honor or remember someone with flowers at the altar, these dates remain: August 25, September 22, and November 3.

The cost is $35. Please send your payment and the name(s) of the person or people you are honoring or remembering to Patty Duffy in the church office. You can also send your payment through Paypal by clicking the button below.  
It is never too late for you to submit your pledge to support the ministries of St. John’s Church, either to the parish office, in the offering plate, or at our website .

Pledge cards are available in the back of the church.
Next Vestry Meeting,
Tuesday, August 13
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.
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
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.

Click here to read the 2018 St. John's Church Annual Report. You may pick up a hard copy of it in the back of the church or in the Parish Hall. If you have any questions about the report, please contact our Rector, Amelie Wilmer , or Senior Warden, Horace Dowdy.
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.