ST . J OHN' s E PISCOPAL C HURCH

202 Gordon Drive SE, Decatur, AL     (256) 353-9615

For the First Sunday of Advent - Sunday, November 29, 2015

 

The View
Giving Thanks Every Day
 
During the month of November, I have seen several people posting a daily thanksgiving on Facebook. What a wonderful practice! Each day for thirty days, these individuals are thinking about their lives, naming one thing for which they are grateful, and then sharing their gratitude with the world. Consider that practice for a moment. What are some of the things you would share? Could you think of thirty? Could you figure out which thirty among hundreds you would post?
 
I have never undertaken that particular exercise, and I wonder what sort of effect it has on those who do. Does the daily practice of giving thanks deepen their overall appreciation for the blessings they have received? Does the spirit of gratitude persist beyond the thirty days? Does the habit of sharing a positive perspective change the way they view and use social media? Is their thanksgiving contagious? Does it invite other Facebook friends to consider the blessings in their own lives?
 
Although it does not appear in social media, part of my daily practice is to name before God those things that are troubling me and those things for which I am thankful. That is how I structure my daily prayers ----intercessions and thanksgivings. And something arises out of the daily habit. I discover a shape or direction of how God is present with me each day. For me, my life finds balance as I consider both challenges and blessings together. If I focus too much on the troubles around me and forget the importance of intentional thanksgiving, God's presence in my life is harder to see. When I am steeped in that daily practice, however, God's work seems clear and obvious even when times are tough.
 
The bible is replete with examples of gratitude in the face of adversity. James wrote, "Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you meet trials of various kinds" (1:2). Even from prison, Paul wrote, "I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content...In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:11-13). Again and again, the Psalmist reminded God's people to choose hope in the midst of struggle: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (46:1) and "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil" (23:4). Those sacred words are written so that you and I might take comfort in moments of difficulty, but, in my life, the invitation to intentional thanksgiving has come even more substantially from another source: the grateful people around me.
 
Maybe you know those people, too ----the sorts of people who always seem to see the blessings in their lives even when they are surrounded by hardship. Although they always lead with a cheerful smile, just below the surface is considerable pain. Story after story of disappointment, difficulty, and disaster have filled their lives, yet they never complain. Instead, they remind me what it means to be truly thankful. They know what it means to let gratitude define their lives, and they invite me to do the same.
 
Gratitude, it seems, increases resilience. "How do you do it?" we might ask those whose lives have been filled with tragedy. "How do you even get out of bed in the morning?" And their answer is as astounding as it is simple: "Because each day is another blessing." Those who refuse to let the challenges of life beat them down are the ones who never forget to count their blessings. That is not a coincidence.
 
This Thanksgiving, consider more than those things for which you are grateful. That question is too easy. We are all thankful for family and friends and food. Instead, ask yourself how you are grateful. Do you give thanks every day? Have you adopted a pattern of gratitude as a way of life? Are you building up your resilience for whatever hardship might lie ahead by counting the blessings that have already come your way? Gratitude is not a list; it is a way of life. May thanksgiving become a part of who we are.
 
Yours faithfully,
 
Evan D. Garner




Thanksgiving Day Meal
 
   
A Thanksgiving Day Meal will be prepared in St. John's kitchen on the morning of November 26, for the children in our immigrant communities and their families. We are asking for volunteers and food contributions. Monetary donations noted for Thanksgiving gifts will be greatly appreciated.  
 
In addition to volunteers on Thanksgiving, we are asking for:
4 turkeys, 15 baked regular potatoes, 15 baked sweet potatoes, and green beans for 20. (Potatoes individually wrapped in foil)

Contact Carol Puckett at 256-318-3265 or email carolcpuckett@gmail.com to learn how you can share your bounty this Thanksgiving. Read  a letter from Carol about this outreach.



Thanksgiving Day Holy Eucharist
 
  Thanksgiving Day Holy Eucharist
10:00 a.m.
Start your Thanksgiving Day by giving thanks to God for all the blessings he has given us. Join us for a service of Holy Eucharist at 10:00am on Thursday, November 26.




Donations for the Free Clinic
 
Join EYC in collecting personal care items and cleaning supplies  for the Community Free Clinic. Our collection will conclude on November 29 when youth go over to decorate the free clinic for the holiday season to bring some cheer to our neighbors and their patients! Suggested items include soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, feminine hygiene items, laundry detergent, dish soap, etc. Please bring items to the boxes located near the bathrooms outside the Parish Hall and in the Narthex.   
   
 

Advent Wednesday-Night Series
 
Advent Wednesday-Night Series
December 2-16
Dinner at 5:30pm - Programs at 6:00pm
Nursery provided.
 
On the Wednesday evenings that the whole parish meets for its series, children and youth will eat dinner with the parish and then the children will retreat downstairs for their program while the adults and youth remain in the Parish Hall.
  • Adults & Youth - "It's the End of the World as We Know It...And I Feel Fine" - This year, adults and youth will share a teaching series on an Advent theme.
  • Children (PreK-5th grade) will rehearse on Wednesday evenings (Dec. 2, 9, and 16) for "The Story of Christmas" to be presented Sunday, December 20, at 5:00pm.


Vestry Nominations
 
At the Annual Parish Meeting on Sunday, January 24, we will elect five new vestry members to serve a three-year term. Any parishioner of St. John's is able to nominate someone to serve. Self-nominations are accepted.

Nominations for vestry are now being accepted. If you are interested in serving or would like to nominate someone else to serve, please carefully review the requirements and expectations which are included on the Vestry Nomination Form available here. You may bring your completed nomination form to the office or e-mail it to churchoffice@stjohnsdecatur.org.   

 

Children's Ministry (PreK-5th Grade)
 
LAST CALL!
St. John's upcoming Christmas Play
"The Story of Christmas"

If your child would like to be part of this year's Christmas Play contact Sally Marsh by Tuesday, December 1. We still have a few speaking parts,  non-speaking parts, and set design/ painting help is needed. Our play is set for December 20 at 5:00pm with practices occurring during our Wednesday Night series (Dec. 2, 9, 16).

               
Sunday, November 29   
  • Holy Eucharist services, 8:00 & 10:30am and 5:00pm 
  • Continental Breakfast, Parish Hall, beginning at 8:45am 
  • Children's Sunday School, 9:30am in the downstairs classrooms
  • Children's Church, during the 10:30am service
Teaching sign ups are available for next semester. Click here to sign up.

Sally Marsh, Director of Children's Ministries: (256) 353-9615 ext.104 or
EYC (6th - 12th Grades)
       
Happy Thanksgiving! We will not have parish programs on the evening of Wednesday, November 25.

Thanksgiving Eucharist, Thursday, November 26, 10:00am


Sunday, November 29
  • Holy Eucharist services, 8:00 & 10:30am and 5:00pm   
  • Sunday School, 9:30-10:15am     
  • EYC, 6:00-7:30pm - don't forget to bring your personal care items & cleaning supplies for donation to the Community Free Clinic!
     
LOOKING AHEAD 
Advent Program Series, "It's the End of the World as We Know It...and I Feel Fine" begins Wednesday, December 2
EYC Pre-Christmas Party, December 13

   Kristin Hanson, Director of Youth Ministries: (256) 353-9615 ext.104 or  kristin@stjohnsdecatur.org  
   


Sunday Schedule

For the First Sunday of Advent - November 29
   Sunday Readings  
 
8:00am Holy Eucharist, Rite I
8:45am Continental Breakfast, Parish Hall
9:00am Childcare through 10:30am service
9:30am Sunday School Classes for All
10:30am
Holy Eucharist, Rite II
5:00pm Evening Eucharist, Chapel
6:00pm EYC Dinner in the Parish Hall then over to the Free Clinic to decorate

Vestry Representative : Harry Moore          
LEM : 8:00am Ken Schuppert  10:30am  Allyson Land
5:00pm
M.M. Tweedy
Bread Baker
: Rachel Wiley
Altar Guild
: Team 4     
Lectors : 8:00am Jim Smith  10:30am Rachel Wiley     
Acolytes : 8:00am McCauley Smith S; Henry McFarland C  10:30am John Davis IV ES, Davis Wenzler GS, Lawson DeMent C, Hilton Wiley TB, Banks DeMent TB
Ushers
: 8:00am Woody Peebles
10:30am
Patrick Haughaboo, Dodie Hall, D. Hall, Brandon Hanks
Childcare
(9:00am through 10:30am service): Joanne Peterson, Haley Melson
Breakfast: Jim Smith 
Flower ReArranger: Elizabeth Griffin
Flower Delivery: Kathy Stoner, Eileen and Joe Sunstrom
  
View Team Schedules from the Church Website at
http://stjohnsdecatur.dioala.org/schedules.html
 
 

Simply Divine Bake Sale
 
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, HOORAY! to all our shoppers and many volunteers for a very successful bake sale! Proceeds (less expenses) $8,778 to benefit the Common Ground Community Garden at St. John's and three important partnerships at Banks-Caddell Elementary School: the Homework Helpers program, the Backpacks for Food program, and PTO funds for school field trips.

 

 Please return yard signs from the bake sale to the church. We will fix them up for next year.

 


Final Rehearsals for Lessons & Carols
 
Final Rehearsals for Lessons & Carols

Sunday, November 29, 2-hour Rehearsal
2:00pm
 
Wednesday, December 2, 7:00pm

Sunday, December 6, from 2:00pm BIG Rehearsal


Pamela Payne, 256-585-0487; pam.payne54@gmail.com
 


Advent Festival of Lessons & Carols


  
 

The St. Nicholas Shoe Tree Is Up
 
  Holiday Outreach for Members of
the Boys & Girls Clubs
 
  1. Select your name tag(s) from the St. Nicholas Shoe Tree.
  2. Purchase a new pair of casual shoes based on the information from the name tag.
  3. Please consider a gift receipt when purchasing these shoes to simplify any necessary exchanges and include your gift receipt inside the shoe box.
  4.  Wrap each shoebox and tape the name tag on the outside of the wrapped box. You may stuff your shoe box with items such as socks, candy, toiletries, toys etc.
  5. The shoes are due back to the church by Sunday, December 13  during any of the three services.
We will gladly take monetary donations to purchase shoes for you. Make checks payable to St. John's and note "St. Nicholas Shoe Project" on the memo line.

Any questions, please contact the church office, 256-353-9615.
  


     
Our Prayers and Thanksgivings
 
We pray for family and friends who are ill or distressed: Karen Cunningham-Becker, Danny Berry, Mary Bingham, Frances Bradley, Kenny Burnett, Jack Caddell, Ava Campbell, Gere Carnathan, Aaron Castell, Walt Chenault, Bill Clem, Nell Clem, Fionn Crimmins, Mary Daniels, Anne Draper, Debbie Dumas, Marlene Eads, Anne Eich, Linda Engelman, Wally Evans, David Farmer, Eddie Finn, Chuck George, Richard George, Lori Grasz, Sally Jo Green, Avis Gunter, Stratton Hall, Talmadge Hall, Jamie Harold, David Harris, Tania Harris, George Harvey, Jo Ann Harvey, Jane Anna Hawkins, Marty Heaner, Harold Henneman, Helen Holland, Sherry Holland, Harriet Howard, Scott Howard, Duffie Hughes, Valerie Hunter, Barbara Johnson, Bailey Jones, Denise Jones, Katy Kavanagh, Karla Kohl, Ray Landis, Wendy Lavender, Jane Hollon Lee, Dena Lewis, Carey Link, Don Logan, Mike Lothspeich, Joanne Marsh, Mary McDaniels, Tommy Meuth, Betty Morton, Nancy O'Flinn, Bill Oliver, Joanne Peterson, Mary Ford Pheny, Bethany Pridmore, Melvin Pridmore, Scott Richards, Braelyn Richardson, Jean Robertson, Bridget Ros, David Schacht, Reece Seal, Paul Simpson, Cynthia Small, Austin Smith, Dwight Smith, Jeannie Smith, Nathan Smith, Scott Snider, Steve Sprague, Angie Steeno, Emma Strane, Michael Terry, Paula Thomas, Sydnor Thompson, Stacy Singley Townsend, Geraldine Tubb, Kenny Vaden, Bill Waldo, Chuck Weaver, Carolyn Webb, Judy West, Danny Williams, and Nancy Turner Wilson.  
 
We pray for those who serve in and with the Armed Forces, especially: Michael Blair, Steven Blair, Lindsey Cantrell, Trey Colantonio, Christopher Harwell, Gray Keenum, Mark Nelson, and Virginia Schaefer.
 
We pray for: Pamela Payne, our seminarian; for all persecuted Christians and refugees around the world; for all persecuted Christians and refugees around the world; for our companion diocese of Haiti and its bishops, Zaché and Oge; for grace and guidance as we develop our new companion relationship with Alaska, and the Virgin Islands; for the Diocesan Standing Committee; for persons with AIDS, their families, and the Diocesan AIDS Task Force; for the Brotherhood of St. Andrew; St. Andrew's, Birmingham; St. Andrews, Montevallo; St. Andrews, Sylacauga; and St. Andrews, Tuskegee.
 
If you are hospitalized or in need of a clergy visit, please notify the Church Office (256-353-9615). Please remember that area hospitals do not notify us about admissions.


     
Pledge Cards 2016

Stewardship Update as of November 24
 
Total Pledges Received -  111
2015 Pledgers That Have Not Turned in a 2016 Pledge Card -  55
 
Please remember the importance of returning your pledge card promptly. The Vestry needs your pledge in order to make a budget for 2016. If you have not received a pledge card, please contact the church office or download the 2016 Stewardship Materials including a pledge card.


     
St. John's Faithfulness

St. John's Faithfulness
For the Month Ending October 2015 
   
  YTD Actual Income
$607,385.08
 
YTD Budgeted Income
$577,371.21
 
YTD Difference
$30,013.87
  YTD Actual Expenses
$637,311.20
 
YTD Budgeted Expenses
$664,927.76
 
YTD Difference
$-27,616.56

These figures reflect the 2015 budget for operating expenses, which includes pledges and other gifts received in the offering plates. They do not include gifts designated for specific purposes, which are not a part of the operating budget. A copy of the parish's full financial reports is available in the church office. If you have any questions, please contact the Treasurer, D. Hall.

Pledge cards for 2016 are now due. Please turn in your pledge card as soon as possible so that the Vestry can form a budget for the coming year. If you need a pledge card or have any questions, contact Vickie or Evan in the church office. Pledge cards are available in the Narthex, office and online.
 
Stewardship at St. John's: St. John's holds tithing-the giving of the first 10% of our financial resources to God's work in the world-as the expected practice for Christians. We believe that proportional, sacrificial giving is integral to spiritual growth. We invite all households in the parish to join us in faithful stewardship by calculating what percentage of their resources they give to God and by developing a plan to become tithers.




December Birthdays & Anniversaries
Happy  
Birthday!
12/03 Corrie Riehl
12/04 Becky Conroy
12/04 Marlene Eads
12/04 Nikki Kincaid
12/04 Dennis Harris 
12/04 Callie Tubb
12/06 Julia Stewart
12/09 Karen Sawyer
12/09 Tia Martin
12/09 David Thomas
12/09 Anne Hatcher Thompson 
12/10 Emmy Faison
12/11 Ginnie Shikles
12/11 Will Greene
12/11 Nathan Stewart
12/13 John Davis
12/14 Nina Mae Blackburn
12/15 Larry Fite
12/15 Alice Haughaboo
12/16 Davis Wenzler
12/19 Rick Paler
12/20 Patrick Haughaboo
12/21 Dashiell McKay
 
 
 


12/22 Bob Eads
12/22 Dixie Francis
12/22 Amber Barr
12/22 Parker Tubb 
12/23 Jackson Stewart
12/24 Joel Weinbaum
12/26 Carol Sandlin
12/27 Kathy Stoner
12/27 Bynum Rogers
12/27 Rodolfo Garcia
12/27 Caine Matthews
12/28 Lyla Peebles
12/28 Michael Higdon
12/28 Sanders White  
12/29 Melinda McCall
12/29 Charles Mathis
12/30 Marella Adams
12/30 Joan Neville
12/30 Marie Thomas
12/30 Joanne Peterson
12/30 Julie Mathis
12/30 Natalie Huber
12/30 Bo Belcher
12/31 Laura Phillips

 
Happy Anniversary !
 
  
12/04 Dot & Bobby Straub
12/22 Leanne & John Templeton 
12/23 Julia & Nick Roth
12/26 Bibi & Harvey Pride 
12/28 Allyson & Ed Land
12/31 Vennette & Jack Charlton

 



If your celebration is not listed, please forgive us. Call or email the church office with any updates.
 
 
Calendar

Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday

Thursday
Friday
Saturday
22
23
24
No bible

25
7:45am Men's Reunion Group
 
8:30am Yoga-1
 
12:10pm Healing
Eucharist  

26 Thanksgiving Day

10:00am Holy Eucharist
 
 
27
No Men's Reunion Group
 
8-9:30am
Yoga-2
28
29 1Advent
8:00am Holy Eucharist I
8:45am
Continental Breakfast
9:00am Childcare through 10:30 service
9:30am Sunday School
10:30am Holy Eucharist II
2:00pm Rehearsal for Lessons & Carols
5:00pm Evening Eucharist
6:00pm EYC
30
10:00am Rector's Bible Study

6:00pm EfM 
1
7:00am
Men's Breakfast & Bible Study


8-9:30am
Yoga-2

9:15am Staff Meeting    


 
2
7:45am Men's Reunion Group
 
8:30am Yoga-1
 
12:10pm Healing
Eucharist

5:30pm Advent Series: Dinner & Programs

6:45pm Choir Rehearsal
 

3
9:00am Centering Prayer  

5:15pm Theology on Tap, The Brick


4
7:00am Men's Reunion Group
 
8-9:30am
Yoga-2





5

6 2Advent
8:00am Holy Eucharist I
8:45am Breakfast
9:00am Childcare through 10:30 service
9:30am Sunday School
10:30am Holy Eucharist II
2:00pm Rehearsal for L&C
5:00pm Lessons & Carols with a reception to follow
7  
10:00am Rector's Bible Study

6:00pm EfM  
8
7:00am
Men's Breakfast & Bible Study


8-9:30am
Yoga-2

9:15am Staff Meeting 



9
7:45am Men's Reunion Group
 
8:30am Yoga-1
 
12:10pm Healing
Eucharist

5:30pm Advent Series: Dinner & Programs

6:45pm Choir Rehearsal
10
9:00am Centering Prayer

5:15pm Theology on Tap, The Brick

11
7:00am Men's Reunion Group
 
8-9:30am
Yoga-2  
12

13 3Advent
8:00am Holy Eucharist I
8:45am Breakfast
9:00am Childcare through 10:30 service
9:30am Sunday School
10:30am Holy Eucharist II
5:00pm Evening Eucharist
6:00pm EYC Pre-Christmas Party
14
10:00am Rector's Bible Study

6:00pm EfM (offsite) 

15
7:00am
Men's Breakfast & Bible Study


8-9:30am
Yoga-2

9:15am Staff Meeting 

16
7:45am Men's Reunion Group
 
8:30am Yoga-1
 
12:10pm Healing
Eucharist

5:30pm Advent Series: Dinner & Programs 

6:45pm Choir Rehearsal
17
9:00am Centering Prayer  

9:30-11am Beans & Rice Giveaway

5:15pm Theology on Tap, The Brick

18   
7:00am Men's Reunion Group

8-9:30am Yoga-2 
19

20 4Advent
8:00am Holy Eucharist I
8:45am Continental Breakfast
9:00am Childcare through 10:30 service
No Sunday School
10:30am Holy Eucharist II
5:00pm Children's Christmas Pageant
21
10:00am Rector's Bible Study

5:15pm Vestry Meeting, Library


22
8-9:30am Yoga-2

9:15am Staff Meeting & Lunch 
 
23
7:45am Men's Reunion Group
 
8:30am Yoga-1
 
12:10pm Healing
Eucharist
24 Office Closed
Christmas Eve
5:00pm Holy Eucharist with Children's Sermon
10:30pm Christmas Eve Music
11:00pm Holy Eucharist 
25 Christmas Day
10:00am Holy Eucharist 
26
27
8:00am Holy Eucharist I
8:45am Continental Breakfast
9:00am Childcare through 10:30 service
No Sunday School
10:30am Christmas Lessons & Carols

28
29
30
31



St. John's Parish Staff & Vestry

 

THE PARISH STAFF     Mon.-Thurs. 9:00 a.m.-Noon; 1:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Office 256-353-9615 | Fax 256-350-0514

 

The Rev. Evan D. Garner, Rector, ext. 102; evan@stjohnsdecatur.org

The Rev. J. Seth Olson, Curate, ext. 103; seth@stjohnsdecatur.org

Vickie Reed, Financial Administrator, ext. 101; vickie@stjohnsdecatur.org

Sally Marsh, Director of Children's Ministries, ext. 104; sally@stjohnsdecatur.org
Kristin Hanson, Director of Youth Ministries, ext. 104; kristin@stjohnsdecatur.org

Ann Stewart, Director of Communications, ext. 105; ann@stjohnsdecatur.org

 

 

Pamela Payne , Choirmaster
Foster Bailey, Organist
Joanne Peterson, Nursery
Haley Melson, Nursery
Ken Schuppert, Chancellor
D. Hall, Treasurer
Stan Evans, Assistant Treasurer

 

THE VESTRY

Class of 2015 Dodie Hall, Senior Warden; Janet Morgan; Karen Sawyer; Bobby Straub; Jack Thomas, Jr.

Class of 2016 Joe Propst; Julia Roth; Carol Sartain, Junior Warden ; Julie Sneed; Grant Thompson

Class of 2017 Squee Bailey; Harry Moore; David Rice, Steve Sandlin; Kathy Slaton

Martha Freeman, Clerk of the Vestry

St. John's Episcopal Church
202 Gordon Drive SE
Decatur, AL 35601
(256) 353-9615