JANUARY 10, 2020
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
Matthew 2:10
Grace and Peace,

It is amazing how our minds work. The mind brings to our attention those things that the mind senses we need to know about, like a deer that just walked into the road; and at the same time the mind filters out much of what is occurring around us, like most of the scenery that we drive past. This filter system assures that we have the information we need, but not more than we can handle. 

The filtering is generally pretty effective, but it also numbs us to the wonders that are around us; we can become oblivious to some of the gifts that surround us.   

Over the past month or so, I have become aware that the winter sun patterns are changing how the sun interacts with our amazing stained glass windows. There have been times that the warm gentle panes of yellow glass have irradiated with light - they glow in a way that does not occur at other times of the year. During the summer, the sun is too high in the sky for this to occur; what a gift the winter light has given us. 

I have also noticed recently the amazing gift of music that we share at St. John’s. There are congregations who sing each week accompanied by the music of an iPod; no choir, no organ, no music director. Our 8am service is intentionally without music, and the opportunity to attend the 10am or 5pm services with music is available. The gift of music at St. John’s can always be shared. But without noticing, the music can fade into the background, and our worship would be the less because of that. 

A few noticed, to the extent that they commented, that during Advent the altar was adorned with greens and not flowers. This was done in keeping with the anticipation of the season, and now the beautiful flowers have returned; I wonder how many noticed the flowers this past week.

The over-stimulation of Christmas has passed. The stark beauty of winter is here. This is a wonderful time for the Epiphany light to illumine our world so that we can see, and appreciate, what is around us. 

Mindfulness is not simply a new-age fad; it is recognizing the beauty that surrounds us, and it is seeing God in the world, and the people, around us. Mindfulness is taking the Epiphany light and letting it shine in our lives so that we are more aware of the gifts that we have been given.

O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the Peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Collect for The Epiphany)
Fr. Henry+
Please join us as we celebrate the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ THIS Saturday, January 11 th  at our 5pm Epiphany service. Worship and stay for fellowship with an ALL PARISH Spaghetti Dinner immediately following the service in the Parish Hall.   

There are two types of prayer - corporate, prayer in community, and private, prayer on our own. We come together on Sundays to pray as community. It is a foundational component of both our Christian faith and identity as Episcopalians. While we are encouraged to find time daily for prayer, in any number of locations- from the car, to the gym, to the office, to warm in our beds- many people like to use the time right before our corporate worship begins to open themselves up in private prayer. The space feels thin; a sanctuary is where God feels especially close and our minds and hearts feel a little more honest, vulnerable and ready.

While we are a particularly friendly and social church, we are trying to seek the balance between people coming into to church and warmly greeting one another and creating space for this private, “get our hearts and minds ready for worship” prayer time. We are making a few changes and asking everyone to work together to accommodate both of these important parts to our St. John’s worship.

Ten minutes before our corporate worship officially begins, our opening music begins. This is a time meant for quiet enjoyment of the music, private prayer and meditation, or even just settling in to make the transition from all the things left to do and this one thing - to be together with God. The ushers will shut the inner entrances to the church at this mark, to create a physical reminder that this space is now set apart for prayer and worship. Fr. Henry and I will come in and join the congregation, seated, to take our own time to prepare our hearts and minds for worship. We are asking you as congregants to please enter the sanctuary quietly and to respect the quiet time of your fellow worshippers during the opening music.

Obviously, kids are kids and may need to be reminded that we are enjoying the beautiful music or that others are in prayer. You may walk in and see a friend you haven’t seen for a bit and want to offer a quiet hug and whispered greeting. Heels make noise, people are still transitioning from nursery and/or Sunday School drop-off, it is certainly a time for grace with one another.

Please be mindful of one another and help cultivate an inviting moment to worship with us.

In Christ,
Mo. Shivaun+=
Saturday, January 25th
1 to 3 pm
Please tell your friends and family about our amazing school and help us show it off during an Open House!
If you know of any families that might be interested in our wonderful school, please pass on the attached information   about our Open House at St. John's Episcopal School on
Saturday, January 25th from 1-3pm.
Register at www.stjes.org.
Feel free to share information about the Open House on social media.
M ake a great impact on St. John’s youth by letting them know someone is praying with and for them. The Prayer Partner ministry is a way to agree in prayer. To become a Prayer Partner, Contact Mo. Shivaun .
If you would like to take advantage of the convenience of making your pledge donation online, it's an easy process. Simply go the www.stjec.org/give , enter the amount you would like to pledge under 2020 PLEDGE, select the frequency and the start date and create your profile. That's it. No need to be concerned about missing out on your commitment to the church... online giving frees you of that concern.

Thank you for your continued support of St. John’s and its ministries.
Click the link below to listen or read
Epiphany Service @ 5pm
followed by Spaghetti Dinner

9am Choir Rehearsal
11:30am Handbells Rehearsal

Sunday School @ 9am

Vestry Meeting

Mindful Yoga with Lori @ 7pm

9am Choir Rehearsal
11:30am Handbells Rehearsal

Sunday School @ 9am

M.L. King Holiday

Mindful Yoga with Lori @ 7pm

JANUARY 24 & 25
Diocese Convention

Annual Meeting @ 9am
Glenn Rempe

EM Chalice
Selva Selvarajah
EM 2nd Chalice
Alan Soukup
Al Barth
Prayer Lector
Tim Wittig
Jessica Vincent
Sophia Jones
Jason Vincent

Gardner Carrick
Stephen Simpson
Glen Drew
Julia Metcalf
3427 Olney-Laytonsville Road
Olney, MD 20832