Grief

It has taken some time to process all that I have gone through in the last few weeks, helping three families through the death of their loved ones. Losing Dennis Hermes, a parishioner of St. John's, was difficult when he was in this office not seven days earlier. We visited about him and his wife, Cash, speaking to the congregation about the epiphany that they had experienced in this battle with cancer. Two hours after his funeral, I found myself in the driveway of my good friend Roger, praying over his body, because he accidentally shot and killed himself. I prayed over him with the Prayers at the Time of Death from the Book of Common Prayer. And then on Tuesday, Mike Sullivan passed. He was the husband of one of my Senior Wardens from St. Christopher's in Portland, TX. Mike's death was a rather sudden event, as he had been living with a lung transplant for three years.

Losing Dennis has been hard enough, but adding on my friend Roger and three days later, Mike, I was pretty broken. As I look back on those eight days, I think the thing that has really gotten to me was praying over my friend in his driveway. I was in shock, struggling emotionally, and shaken beyond what I usually do as a parish priest. Anyone who has lost a loved one knows the journey of grief that has included anger, depression, disbelief, and acceptance. I have been mad at God, Roger, and even myself for the things left undone and unsaid. Not a day goes by that I don't spend a good deal of time thinking about the past, the present, and our future. Grieving continues and there is a realization that nothing will be the same, a new journey has begun.

I have never in this process lost any semblance of faith. I am not under any assumption that those who love God have any better luck than those who do not. I understand the reality of accidents, poor decisions, planned events, and good decisions. Each one of them has a consequence and God is not behind every single one of them. God goes with us, is present with us, guides us, and blesses us along the journey, but bad things still happen to good people.

As a priest, I have never taken time off to mourn. One part of me feels terrible as there is always so much to do, and the other part of me cannot wait for this time to myself. I have one more funeral this Saturday and then I will be able to spend some time working through my grief. I really want to thank you as so many have sent cards, emails, or texts telling me that either you understand the difficulty of grieving or are thankful that I can have this time to recover.

I will miss you terribly and will think and pray for you. It isn't something I try to do, this is just who I am. Know that I love you and look forward to being together again on March 22.


In Christ,

Ripp Hardaway
Rector
Parish Updates and Announcements
Happy Birthday
Coleton Bushart, 3/1; Channe Felton, 3/2; Olivia Smith, 3/2; Paula Strength, 3/3; David Cecconi, 3/5; Libby Pender, 3/5; Harriet Aristeguieta, 3/6; Becky Luft, 3/7; Jean McLane, 3/7; Rachel Hartman, 3/8; A'ndrea Fisher, 3/10; Rees Cecconi, 13; Patricia Amicone, 3/12; Clarke Wendel, 3/12; Stony Felton, 3/15; Karen Shumway, 3/16; Allison Drichta, 3/18; Fallon Hicks, 3/19; Logan Ann Sanders, 3/19; John Sheaffer, 3/22; Stan Martin, 3/23; Joyce Dabbs, 3/24; Mason Strand, 3/24; Roseanne Van Zandt, 3/24; Denise Dennin, 3/27; Ed Guillen, 2/27; Carrie Mann, 3/27; Tish Sutton, 3/30.

Happy Anniversary
Robert & Mary Soeldner, 3/7; George & Shirley Cabada, 3/14
Worship Ministries | Upcoming Events and Updates
March 8, 2020 | 2nd Sunday in Lent | Year A
Diocesan Cycle of Prayer
This week we give thanks for St. Alban's in Harlingen and St. Philip's in Uvalde.
Stations of the Cross Lessons
Fridays in Lent | 6:00 p.m. | Sanctuary
EfM hosts a Stations of the Cross Lesson on Fridays in Lent at 6:00 p.m. The class will walk to each station, describe what is being represented, and pause for a moment of quiet reflection. Weather permitting, the group will walk the stations outside. For more details, contact Carol Folbre at carol.folbre@gmail.com.
Youth Sunday on March 22
Sunday, March 22 | 8:45 & 11:00 a.m. | Sanctuary
A special worship service will be led by the St. John's youth on Sunday, March 22 at 8:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. There will be a special homily by Hayden Hardaway and the youth will help lead our worship.
New Braunfels 175th Anniversary
Blessing & Celebration
Sunday, March 22 | 6:30 p.m. | Downtown Plaza
Join the New Braunfels community Sunday, March 22, at 6:30 p.m. in the Downtown Plaza for the blessing and celebration of the Founders Anniversary. The New Braunfels Community Worship Band will perform and Lance Berkman will be the special guest speaker to help lead worship. Bring a lawn chair!
 

Next Healing Service is March 31
The next Healing Service has been moved to Tuesday, March 31. Join Fr. Ripp for prayers of healing, group unction, and Holy Eucharist. Come stand in the stead for anyone in need of healing that cannot attend.
Outreach Ministries | Upcoming Service Opportunities and Updates
Threads of Blessings Returns to St. John's on March 21!
St. John's will host a discussion and showcase of goods from Threads of Blessing on Saturday, March 21 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. A guest speaker from the Uganda Threads of Blessing Team will host a discussion from 9:30-10:15. Baskets and textile works will be on display and available for purchase through Sunday. Visit www.threadsofblessing.com for more information regarding this organization.

Easter Eggs and Candy Needed!
Easter is quickly approaching which means the St. John's Annual Easter Egg Hunt will be here soon! Please send invidually wrapped candy ( no chocolate please!) that will fit into the plastic eggs. Small prizes are also welcome. Donations may be dropped off in the Easter Bucket in the Narthex on Sundays throughout March.
Nurture Ministries | Upcoming Classes and Updates
No Greater Love Class
Sunday, March 1 | 10:00 a.m. | Parish Hall
Ever wonder why Christ died for us? What did his death accomplish? Not to mention, what was the meaning behind the tearing of the temple veil and the crowning with thorns? The meaning of Christ’s Passion and events centering his death will be studied. No books are needed and the class will run through Sunday, March 22.
Valentine's Prayer Hearts Update
Sunday, March 29 | 10:00 a.m. | Parish Hall
To anyone who “captured” a heart but didn’t sign up at the table on Valentine’s Sunday, please let Cheryl know ASAP. Email Cheryl Smith at cheryl@stjohnsnb.com or call (830) 625-2532. 

On Sunday, March 29, we will celebrate with all participants in the Parish Hall.
St. John's Bible Studies
Thursday Mornings | Upstairs Conference Room

Men's Bible Study
On Thursday mornings all men of the parish are invited to join us at 7:30 a.m. in the upstairs conference room to share breakfast, fellowship, and Bible Study. The group studies the upcoming lectionary readings.



Ladies Bible Study
Join us in the upstairs conference room at 9:00 a.m. to study scripture, have meaningful fellowship, and participate in stimulating discussion. The group meets every Thursday throughout the year.
Nurture Ministries | Upcoming Fellowship
Prayer Shawl Meeting
10:00 a.m. | 3rd Wednesday | Parish Hall
Love to knit or crochet? Interested in learning how? Stop by St. John's for the next prayer shawl gathering on March 18. Meet people, catch up with old friends, and knit or crochet a prayer shawl or swatch.
Lunch Bunch
Olive Garden | Next Wednesday | 11:30 a.m.
The Lunch Bunch will meet next Wednesday, March 11, at 11:30 a.m. at Olive Garden in New Braunfels. Contact Maxine Nilsen at (575) 430-1332 or Rita Nelson at (830) 481-9763. Join in to enjoy delicious food and great fellowship!
SAVE THE DATE!
Newcomers Dinner | Sunday, March 29 | 4:30 p.m.
This casual get together will be hosted at the home of Jim and Carol Folbre. Please RSVP to
Heidi Forgione, newcomers ministry leader , at heidiforgione@gmail.com or (703) 402-1057.
Children, Youth, and Family Ministries | Updates and Events
A Word from Ms. Cheryl

The new Parenting Christian Kids Newsletter for March is linked below. This month, the theme is Making the Choice to Be Kind - a timely topic. There is a review of the movie I Still Believe and also the Lego Masters TV show. There are "Upcoming Events" at St. John's including Camp Outreach listed!
Children's Sunday School
10:00 a.m. | Downstairs Conference Room
No Sunday School on March 8 due to the Bishop's Happening #145. We will meet in the downstairs conference room to practice songs for the Bishop's visit in May.
Easter Egg Hunt Volunteers
Volunteers are needed to join the Bunny Crew! We are also looking for those who love to face paint! Contact Cheryl Smith at cheryl@stjohnsnb.com for details and to learn how to be part of this special event and crew.
Resurrection Gardens
Parents, grandparents, and friends: Join your child(ren) at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 15 for a St. John’s tradition of creating a Resurrection Garden for the family.  Bring a pie-plate like container to build the garden in. Preschool-1st graders will be in the Children’s Gathering Room and 2 nd -5 th graders will be in their regular classrooms. Everyone is welcome to participate!
Primary Camp at Camp Capers
May 31-June 6, 2020 | 3-5 Grades
This session is lead by Fr. Ripp! Summer camp at Camp Capers offers people ages 8-18 the opportunity to experience the unconditional love and friendship of a Christian community through each of our 1-week sessions. Through God’s grace, Camp Capers is committed to offering fun, life-changing experiences to children and youth in a safe, Christ-centered community. Visit www.dwtx.org Summer Camp page for pricing, scholarship info, and more details on Camp Capers.
Family Camp at Mustang Island
June 11-16, 2020
Gather your family for awesome fun in a Christian community led by Fr. Ripp. Surf lessons, crafts, games, s'mores, music, worship, and more. $395 for family of one, $535 for family of two, $700 for family of three, $860 for family of four, each additional child $180 and each additional adult $270. Children 24 months or younger at time of session no charge. This includes 1 room, 8 meals per person and activities. Visit www.dwtx.org to learn more. Questions? Contact lynn.corby@dwtx.org .
Pictures from the Ordination of Susan Burnham
Fr. Ripp & the St. John's Youth
Susan Burnham, Bishop Reed, Clergy
Susan Burnham, Clergy, Bishop Reed
Fr. Ripp & Acolytes
Ordination Greeters & Ushers
Roy Lund, Kyle Smith, Hayden Hardaway, & Don Bedford
2020 Vestry Members:
Linda Lund, Sr. Warden; Don Greer, Jr. Warden; Jim Whitcomb, Treasurer
Paul Anthony, Janet Guillen, Bruce Howard, Carol Lenker, Adrian Quintanilla, Tori Smith