OCTOBER 16, 2020
They celebrate your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
Psalm 145:7
Grace and Peace, 

It may be difficult to consider, but there have been blessings that are a result of our current pandemic. One such blessing that has been mentioned to me several times is that during the Zoom coffee hours folks feel that they are getting to know each other better than has occurred in the past. It would be wrong to credit Zoom, which is much like a double edge sword, both blessing and curse, with these connections, and it is more likely that we are so enjoying the focused, undisturbed, discussions that we are now having. 
One such discussion that I remember was Gail and Les Rucker talking about a class that they took during their Master Gardener program. They explained that the presenter asked the group “what is the most expensive plant in your garden?”
After much discussion, and perhaps some bragging about rare species, it was revealed that your lawn is the most expensive plant. When considering the fertilizer, water needs, mowing, maintenance, etc. a lawn is more costly than any other plant in your garden. While a green lawn may be a friend to your local HOA, and actually a requirement, it is not a friend to the environment or your wallet. 
The best investment for your garden is actually edible. This is not necessarily a traditional vegetable garden bed, but a permaculture garden with a variety and assortment of compatible edible options. A group of berry bushes, edible flowers, herbs, fruit trees, and vegetables can produce a surprising harvest, even on the tiniest of plots. What might be most surprising about this is that studies have shown that an acre of suburban garden can be three times more productive than an acre of farmland.
To demonstrate this Amy Stross has written a book, The Suburban Micro-Farm: Modern Solutions for Busy People, that highlights her 1/10 acre micro-farm. Her tiny plot of land supplies fruits and vegetables for 50% of her family meals. The book is written about the real world of small spaces, or no space, sloping land, poor soil, shade, limited time (even 15 minutes a day), and neighbors who expect you to have a green lawn. In short, it is written about the world in which most of us live. 
This, however, is not a book review, rather it is a call to ministry. Food insecurity is a real issue in Montgomery County and Olney. Locally, 16.3% of children in this county are food insecure, more than any other county in Maryland, and more than the 8.3% of the adult population. Cashell Elementary, an affluent community school, has 19 families that identify as food insecure (with more in the shadows). Suburban micro-farms, like the Victory Gardens of WWII, can be a part of the solution. St. John’s can be a part of the solution. 
Recently, St. John’s received the gift of seed money to begin developing a ministry that provides resources and education so that we can teach and facilitate this sort of micro-farming in a way that will address some of the food insecurity in our community. Each family that we help is one less family that is going hungry. But this not just about food insecurity, it is also about good stewardship of our land resources and our environment, and it is about healthy eating for all of us.
It is one thing to give someone a fish for a meal, and it is entirely different to teach them how to fish; or in this case, teach them how to farm, even if that farm is just a small raised bed, or pots on an apartment balcony. A tenth of an acre, or ten square feet, each can provide food for the table. We do not want to duplicate the efforts offered by other groups, but instead focus resources on this permaculture micro-farming as a way to address healthy eating, food insecurity, and land resources. This is a ministry we can do now; training over Zoom, or working outside in a garden are all in accordance with best practices for safe contact. 
Will this new ministry become one of the blessings of the pandemic?  Do you feel called to be a part of this ministry? Do you feel called to help someone leave behind the bonds of food insecurity? Do you feel called to usher in a new era of good land stewardship? Do you simply want to eat healthy fruits and veg? Please let me know how you might like to help.

God be with you until we meet again.
Fr. Henry+ 
SERVICE OF COMPLINE ~ Tuesday Evenings at 8:30pm ~ STJEC YouTube channel
Earlier in the year St. John's was challenged to Light a Lamp for Jesus... to do something "good" for someone else. With $10 money was donated to a school fundraiser to help purchase surgical masks for hospitals. The challenge was a success and has now become the 2021 Stewardship theme... Help us keep that light shining!

Organist and Choirmaster Jim Kreger is presenting a zoom talk on The Hymnal 1982 and hymnody in general on Sunday October 25 at 11:00 am. In this one-hour talk, Jim will lead us through our hymnal, its organization, styles of hymns, as well as what makes a hymn a hymn. This session will be open to all parishioners, but you are asked to RSVP by Friday October 23 at noon so that you can receive the zoom link. Please RSVP to Jim at music@stjec.org. Having a hymnal on hand will be most beneficial, so we will arrange a date that hymnals will be available for outdoor contactless pick up at the church in advance should you need one.

It's that time of year again! St. John's is helping Linkages to Learning collect gifts for Thanksgiving and Christmas as part of the Holiday Giving Project. This year, in response to Covid, the Holiday Giving Project and Linkage to Learning, is asking for gift cards to help families in need. Linkages to Learning serves over 5,000 children in our county who live with financial difficulties. The goal is to collect grocery store (Giant, Safeway, Harris Teeter, etc) and Target gift cards in the amount of $25 or higher. If you are interested in helping we have a few different ways to contribute:

  • You can purchase gift card(s) and drop them off at the church on Thursday mornings 9am-12pm or Sunday mornings during worship. There will be a box for drop-off.

  • Mail gift cards to the church: St. John's Episcopal Church 3427 Olney-Laytonsville Road, Olney, MD 20832. Note Holiday Giving Project on the memo line.

  • Donate directly to the church. Make sure to put Holiday Giving Project on the memo line. We will convert all money donated into gift cards.

Please drop off gift cards by Sunday, November 15th
Questions? Contact: Katie Phillips @ Katie.judge@gmail.com.
Friday, October 30th

Starting what is hoped to become a new St. John's tradition... Pumpkin Walk with carved pumpkins lining our sidewalk like luminaries. 
Purchase your pumpkin from our Patch
Take it home... carve it
Drop off your carved pumpkin on
Friday, October 30th by 6pm.

Your carved pumpkins will be lit with votive candles and will line the walkway around the church. Drive by to see all the pumpkins from 6:30 to 9pm. Retrieve your pumpkin later that evening, or leave it where it may join the other pumpkins as food for the farmer's pigs.
Authentic Homemade Greek Food
is coming to the Pumpkin Patch!
Thursday, October 22nd
from 12pm -7pm
Be sure to stop for some of the best Greek food in the area.

Thursday evenings @ 7pm
in the Parish Hall

is following strict safety protocols. Masks are required in the patch.
with 8am Morning Prayer.

In the event of rain, worship will be cancelled and an email will be sent out by 7am Sunday morning as well as an announcement posted on Facebook.

Sunday Mornings @ 9am

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 833 0378 8008 Password: STJEC
November 1
The celebration of All Saints' Day
Recognizing those who passed in 2020. Please submit names to accounting@stjec.org
for inclusion in the All Saints prayers.

November 14
Holly Harvest Outdoor Market &
Food Truck Showcase
due to Diocese COVID-19 restrictions

November 29
Zoom Prayer Partner Coffee Hour & Advent Wreath Making @ 11am
Pre-K: 9AM
K-2nd: 9:15AM | 3rd-5th: 9:30AM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 967 598 3901
Password: EpiscoKid
Sunday, October 25th

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 967 598 3901
Password: EpiscoKid
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
    slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
    he has compassion on all he has made.
All your works praise you, Lord;
    your faithful people extol you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom
    and speak of your might,
so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor
of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures through all generations.

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
    and faithful in all he does.
The Lord upholds all who fall
    and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and faithful in all he does.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

In Jesus Name,
Use this list to pray and to show your love and concern for the sick, shut-in, bereaved, or those merely in
need of prayer.

Matthew Skube
Anne Hohl
Tom Boyle
Rick & Phyllis Baldwin
Tom Boyle
Tiffany McKelvy
Courtney Cook
Veronica Almasi
Will Bartley
Frances Hunt
Catherine Cant
John Daniel
Stan Simpson
Linda Niemczyk
Beblon Parks
Evans North
Georgene Ruff
Mary Persinger
Maura Parker
Chris Prinz

Lord, Hear our prayer
3427 Olney-Laytonsville Road
Olney, MD 20832