JULY 5, 2019
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
Psalm 33:12
THE MAGIC OF INVITATION

A couple weeks ago, I received a call from the diocese asking me about our church growth. We have had some steady, modest growth in the last two years and they wanted to know what we were doing to make that happen.

Regularly, church growth is treated like magic. If you bring in the right priest with the right magic formula, the church will grow. The community will somehow just know that what the church is doing is “good” and they will show up. It’s a virtual Field of Dreams mentality - if we build it they will come. Episcopal evangelism is often described as building a gorgeous fish take and placing it next to a river, lake, or ocean. We hope the fish will see our beautiful work and jump in. Unsurprisingly, this is not a successful method. 

My initial response to Church House, which was a bit simplistic, but true, was:
“We go outside and talk to people.”

90% of the visitors to St. John’s over the last year had similar refrains, they came to visit because some one invited them - meaning in an interaction with a parishioner or priest, someone directly said “I go to St John’s, we would love to have you come and join us.”

It feels vulnerable, not only because we live in a time where we are more sensitive to the balance between inviting and overbearing, but also inviting someone to something so personal puts us at risk. Our friends may not like our worship style. They might have different theologies and thoughts about God.

Or...

We could be just what they need and an answer to how God can continue growing in their lives.

A number of years ago, Chris and I invited friends, currently unaffiliated or unhappy with their church affiliations, to come and pray the Advent wreath with us on Sunday nights. Not a single friend turned us down. We lasted praying together until Easter. Despite the busyness of spring and summer, the invitation came out the following Advent, and again, we gathered each week for prayer. There was no coercement, badgering or awkwardness. For two years, it was a highlight to our advent season - praying with friends.

The magic formula God uses to share the possibilities of Christian community is people - you are the method that God uses to grow the church, to invite people in, for the church to hear what the community needs, for the church to offer back to the community God’s love and help.

This summer, get outside and talk to people. Hear what’s happening in our community - the good, the bad, the joy, the pain - and be ready to answer back with the invitation to explore it in prayer and community.

In Christ,
Mo. Shivaun+
SUNDAY FORUM - The forum group is reading “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction” by Eugene Patterson. The first two chapters will be discussed THIS Sunday. Please join in the discussion as we learn to grow in worship, service, joy, work, happiness, humility, community and blessing. THIS Sunday at 9am in the Parish Hall.
MISSION SUNDAY is Sunday, July 21st . Coffee Hour treats will be bake sale items, to benefit St. John's outreach ministries. If you love baking and would like to be a part of the baking ministry, please contact
FAVORITE HYMN MONTH
August is favorite hymn month! 
Do you have a favorite hymn from The Hymnal 1982 that you would like to have us sing in August? 
Email your selections to JIM KREGER by July 21 . We will accommodate as many favorite hymns as possible.
RECRUITING GREETERS
Be a part of making people feel welcome at St. John’s. We are creating teams of people each Sunday who will purposefully welcome people coming, invite them to coffee hour, get to know who they are and help us gather information so we can follow up with a note or email. If you love to meet new people and want to be a part of making visitors feel at ease, please contact Mother Shivaun. 
Come sing with us this summer!
SUMMER FAMILY CHOIR
Open to all interested singers entering grade six in the fall through adult. Join us Sunday morning at 9am for rehearsal.
AFRICAN PALMS
 will be at the
Olney Farmers Market
9am to 1pm
Sunday, July 21st
Sunday, August 18th

Can't come to VBS, but want to help?
We need help buying and preparing dinner for each night of VBS week. Buffet style meals will be served at 6pm. Food can be prepared in the church kitchen or else where, but needs to be delivered to the buffet table by 5:30pm. Please SIGN-UP to help buy and prepare meals for VBS.  
Celebrate the month’s birthdays and anniversaries with us in prayer THIS Sunday. Enjoy Celebration Donuts at coffee hour. “Stock our Pantry” with non-perishables in lieu of gifts. If you are interested in celebrating your own or someone else’s birthday or anniversary with flowers or donuts, contributions towards the costs can be made through the Office. 
CELEBRATION SUNDAY ~ JULY 7th
OUR NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE
Our Neighbor's House is gearing up to furnish apartments for refugees legally being resettled in our community by the U.S. State Department and International Rescue Committee. Find out more about Our Neighbor's House at WWW.STJEC.ORG or stop by the table in Parish Hall after service and browse these resources or connect with one of our ministry committee members.  
MISSED SUNDAY MORNING'S SERMON?
Click the link below to listen or read
JULY 4 & 5
Independence Day
OFFICE CLOSED

JULY 7
Stock the Pantry
Celebration Sunday

JULY 10
Vestry Meeting

JULY 18
Calendar Planning Meeting
Meeting Room @ 10am

Mindful Yoga with Lori
7pm in the Parish Hall

JULY 20 & 21
African Palms Farmer's Market
Dogfish Ale House - July 20th
Olney Farmers Market - July 21st

Mission Sunday @ Coffee Hour

JULY 29 - AUGUST 2
Family Vacation Bible School
5:30pm - 8:30pm


JULY 7, 2019
 
8AM
Carmen Jones

10AM
.
EM Chalice
Selva Selvarajah
.
EM Intinction Cup
Stephen Simpson
.
   Lessons
Al Barth
.
Prayer Lector
Mike Salen
.
Acolytes
-
.
Ushers
David Huey
Andy Nicholas
.
Counters
Dennis Atkinson
Stephen Simpson
ST. JOHN'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
3427 Olney-Laytonsville Road
Olney, MD 20832
301-774-6999