The Church Messenger
February 6, 2020
Message from Rev. Tom Ferguson
Dear friends,

We are now nearly through with the Season of Epiphany -- the last Sunday after Epiphany is February 23, and Ash Wednesday is February 26!

One of the central themes to the Epiphany Season, this time in between Christmas and Lent, is light.  John’s Gospel speaks of a “a light shining in the darkness.” Our reading from Luke’s Gospel last Sunday spoke of Jesus as “a light to enlighten the nations of the world.”

With that in mind, Epiphany Season might seem an odd time to have Annual Meeting.  Do we often associate “light” and “shining” to Annual Meetings? It all depends on how we look at Annual Meeting.  There can be a sense that Annual Meeting is a kind of unexciting process of governance and due diligence. But it depends on how you look at it.

This year, in my Rector’s Report, I chart out what I think are some critical issues we need to look at for the future of St. John’s.  The budget presented is an effort to live into the mission to which we believe God is calling us as a church. The Reports from our various ministries are signs of where we have been engaged in ministry in this church community and in the broader world. 

Far from being rote box-checking, Annual Meeting is where we can see how our light shines to a world in need of it.  Copies of my Rector’s report and the budget were available after all of our services last Sunday.  

The complete report is posted on the church website and available for download.  We will also have copies available at the meeting.

Please join us on Sunday, February 9, at 11:15 AM.  Jesus says in the Gospel assigned for next weekend, “You are the light of the world.”  Jesus is talking to us, friends. We are the “you”. We are that light. Come help us shine.

In Christ the Servant,  Fr. Tom


Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of St. John’s Episcopal Church
(Also known as Sandwich Village Episcopal Church, Inc.)
will be held Sunday, February 9, 2020
at 11:15 a.m.
St. John’s Church, Sandwich, MA

for the election of officers and vestry persons
and to conduct other appropriate business.

A copy of the full Annual Meeting Report is available for download on the church website, sjchurchsandwich.org.

The term “members” is defined as follows according to the Canons of the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Massachusetts:

All persons duly baptized, whether in this or another Christian Church, and whose Baptism is duly recorded in this Church are members thereof.

A person over the age of sixteen (16) is an adult member thereof.

Persons who have received Holy Communion in this Church at least three (3) times during the preceding year are to be considered adult communicants.

Of the members of the Parish only those shall be entitled to vote at any Parish meeting who shall be adult communicants and who for six (6) months prior to the meeting shall have been faithful attendants at the service of the Church in this Parish, unless for good cause prevented, faithful contributors to its support, and faithful in working, praying, and giving for the spread of the kingdom of God. 


Loving God, Loving Neighbor: Outreach 2020
 
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.” (John 14:12)
 
Outreach is the manifestation of our continuing the works of Jesus; is evidence of our loving one another as He loves us. For 2020, the Outreach Committee is asking that St. John’s make a targeted and committed effort to support the Cape Cod Council of Churches, of which we are a member parish. 
 
The Council’s mission is “to serve God by serving others” through their six central programs: 
 
   • Hospital Chaplaincy: providing chaplains to local hospitals;
   • A Baby Center, offering assistance to families with young children;
   • Faith Family Kitchen, serving three free meals per week in Hyannis;
   • Covenant to Care for Foster Families, giving support to families that foster children by helping provide for those things state assistance does not cover;
   • Hands of Hope Food Pantry and Outreach Center, for those experiencing food insecurity on the Cape and Islands; and
   • Youth StreetReach Homeless Ministry, offering services and outreach for homeless teens in Hyannis.
 
We will be collecting donation items for every month of 2020 to support these outreach ministries of the Cape Cod Council.   For February, we are collecting diapers and wipes for A Baby Center, which offers assistance to families with young children.  We ask that as you are able throughout the month of February, kindly make your contribution to the collection baskets located in the narthex, as you enter the church, or in the parish office Tuesday through Friday from 9am-2pm.

We are also looking for members interested in helping coordinate our efforts as part of our Outreach Committee. If you would like to learn more about Outreach and how you can get involved or if you have any questions, please contact Fr. Tom or or Meredith Randall, Chair of the Outreach Committee:  meredithrandall@comcast.net  or 508.269.7381.
 
Through these programs and many other activities and events, the Council supports more than 6500 fellow Cape Codders and Islanders annually.  You can find out more about the Cape Cod Council and its ministries here:  https://capecodcouncilofchurches.org/.
Talking Across Differences: 5-Week Program
The purpose of this series is build your capacity to have meaningful, productive, and respectful discussions about difficult or sensitive topics with family members, colleagues, and friends. We will be using a curriculum developed by the church-wide offices of The Episcopal Church. The goal of the curriculum is not change people’s minds, or to resolve contentious issues, but to develop tools to foster better understanding and respect. 
 
This series will meet on Wednesdays from 5:30-6:30 PM on the following dates: March 18, 25, April 1, April 15, and April 22. Interested participants will need to attend the first session on March 18.
If you are interested, please be in touch with Steve Tom ( stephengtom@gmail.com ) or Colleen Sari ( colleensari@gmail.com ), who will be facilitating the group, or call the office.
 

Parent's Group
To follow up our Fall Parenting & Technology Series there will be a Parent's Group meeting on  Monday, February., 10 at 6:30 PM  in our Parish Hall.   This   Joint group with First Church is for parents to come together and discuss that are important while raising children in our community . Please RSVP to Christine at  christianed@sjchurchsndwich.org

Sunday School Assistants can sign up online!
Help is needed to assist in all the Sunday School Classes. You can sign up to help via Sign Up Genius. Please sign up here .


Youth and Families Newsletter
We recently started a new newsletter targeted toward families to keep them up to date on Sunday School, youth and other family activities. Follow this link to read the Jan 31st edition. This newsletter will come out every other Friday. Please email Christine if you would like to be added to the distribution list.

CAPE KIDS MEALS
St. John's Church members will be packing meals for those children in the Bourne and Sandwich elementary schools who receive free or reduced lunches during the school week, and who may go home to little or no food on the weekends. We pack on the 2nd Wednesday of each month ( next date will be February 12th ) at Upper Cape Tech High School in Bourne, in the cafeteria. We begin packing promptly at 5:30PM and will be finished by 6:00PM. Parking can be tricky. There is a small parking lot at the top of the drive on your right, but if it is full, you'll need to go to the back parking lot and then walk through the building to the cafeteria. Please feel free to email Mary Carlson at mcarlson3159@gmail.com or call 508-681-8047 with questions.

WE ARE NOT ALONE
Our next gathering will be on February 16th , at 11:30AM after fellowship. If you are grieving the loss of someone or something, please join us on the 3rd Sunday of the month, in the Church Office. Please feel free to phone or email Rev. Barbara at 781-910-1323 or revbap@aol.com.
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY
Prayer Shawls which have been knit and crocheted by many people in the congregation over the past several months, are a symbol of God's love and the support of your church community. If you know of anyone who might find comfort by receiving a prayer shawl,(including yourself), please let either Father Tom or Rev. Barbara know.

LENT MADNESS

This year during Lent St. John’s will be participating in Lent Madness. We hope this is a fun, engaging way for people to learn about the men and women comprising the Church’s Calendar of Saints. This program has 32 saints that are placed into a tournament-like single elimination bracket. People are invited to vote online throughout for their favorites. You can participate in a variety of ways: 
  1. Fill out a bracket found in the narthex and turn it to see who from the St. John’s wins the most points- if you want to know more about the Saints you are choosing pick up a “Saintly Scorecard” booklet to learn about the Saints.
  2. Vote online at LentMadness.org Each pairing remains open for a set period of time and people vote for their favorite saint. 16 saints make it to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen; eight advance to the Round of the Elate Eight; four make it to the Faithful Four; two to the Championship; and the winner is awarded the coveted Golden Halo. 
  3. Participate in this Years Lenten study where we will highlight a few of the Saints and explore their lives more in depth and how they can shed light on our journeys of faith today!
LENT IN A BAG
We are offering small bags with symbols of the season to assist individuals and families in practicing Lent at home. In addition to the items in the bag, we include instructions and reflections to go with each item. These bags will be available starting Sunday February 9.

CARING FOR CREATION

"The Episcopal Church and Climate Change: Through the care of creation, we safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth." ( https://www.episcopalchurch.org/creation-care )

 "The Episcopal Church and Climate Change: Through the care of creation, we safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth." ( https://www.episcopalchurch.org/creation-care )
 
Creation Quote for your Meditation
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.                                   Matthew 25: 36-37
We are witnessing millions of already poor people facing extreme food insecurity and exhausting their reserves because of compounding climate shocks that hit already vulnerable communities hardest….The scale of the drought and devastation across southern Africa is staggering.  https://weather.com/news/news/2019-11-08-africa-drought-hunger-extreme-weather

Suggestion for Personal Action
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. If you want to contribute or learn more go to this link.  https://www.bread.org/about
HUGS FROM HOME

Please consider joining us on Wednesday evenings in the Parish Hall from 5:00PM til 8:00PM for wonderful fellowship, sewing, and learning new patterns, as we make new quilts for Veterans for now, and for McCarthy Care Center when it re-opens. Bring a bite of dinner if you want. No experience necessary, we take all "comers"! No experience necessary!! For questions or further information, contact MIB Kelly at 208-890-3092 or email her at mibkelly66@gmail.com.


CONTACT INFORMATION

Please contact the office if you have a new address, email address for phone number so that we can update our data base. Thank you.
PLEDGE ENVELOPES
Pledge Boxes for the 2020 stewardship year, and Annual Statements for 2019, are available in the Narthex. To save postage, kindly plan to pick your up on the way out. Thank you from your Stewardship Committee!
FAMILY WORSHIP SPACE

Our nursery is now equipped with video and sound! This allows families to stay together with space for children to explore and play while the parents are still able to see and hear worship and be able to know when to come upstairs to receive communion.
Connect with God - Bible Reading Plan
The best way to connect with God is through reading the bible. The 'Bible Challenge' is a convenient, online way to engage in daily Bible study, go to the  Bible Challenge website .

You can also access a list of easily accessible background materials to the books of the Bible, go to the  Center for Biblical Studies website .
Give to St. John’s While Shopping Online Through Amazon!!
St. John’s is now registered through Amazon Smile! Every time you purchase something through Amazon, they will donate an amount to St. John’s Episcopal Church. We have already started earning money in our Amazon account based on purchases you are making already! But you must sign up!
How does it work? Go to  smile.amazon.com . It will ask you what organization you would like to designate. Type St. John’s Episcopal Church into the search box, and look for St. John’s Episcopal Church, Sandwich, MA. Click on that.
It’s that easy! There’s only one catch: For St. John’s to be the beneficiary of your shopping,  you must shop through smile.amazon.com , not through the regular amazon.com portal. (The prices are the same!)

Thurs., Feb. 6 Women's Group @ 5:15PM - Parish Hall
Sun., Feb. 9 ANNUAL MEETING @ 11:15AM - Parish Hall
Mon., Feb. 10 Prayer Shawl @ 2PM - Parish Hall
Parents' Group @ 6:30PM - Parish Hall
Tues., Feb. 11 Funeral for Robert Gage @ 10AM
Vestry Meeting @ 6:00PM
Wed., Feb. 12 Cape Kids' Meals Packing @ 5:30PM - UCT
Choir Rehearsal @ 7:00PM - NEW DATE
Sun., Feb. 16 We Are Not Alone @ 11:30AM