St. John's Episcopal Church
202 Gordon Drive SE, Decatur, AL   (256) 353-9615
For the Fifth Sunday in Lent - March 13, 2016

The View

Breaking Ground: Our Next Capital Improvement Plan
For over four years, I have been listening. I have listened to cooks in the kitchen complain about inadequate, residential-grade stovetops and oven doors that will not close. I have listened to the men complain about standing in line at the bathroom between Sunday school and worship. I have listened to the staff complain about drafty offices with paper-thin walls that hardly keep sound from going in or out. I have listened to the children of our handicapped parishioners complain about how hard it is to get a wheelchair into church.
I have also listened to parents dream about a dedicated space for our youth. I have listened to our outreach committee dream about starting a weekly soup kitchen. I have listened to parishioners dream about a parish hall that can seat everyone on Wednesday nights or Sunday mornings. I have listened to you dream about new ministries for seniors or preschoolers or neighborhood children that we could begin if only we had the right space to host them.
I have been listening, and you have been listening, too. Three and a half years ago, a group of parishioners was asked to put together their ideas for the future of our parish, and they shared that vision with St. John's in January 2013. Then, we asked everyone to build upon that work and share his or her own dreams for what God is calling our parish to do over the next twenty years. Those ideas were gathered together in an envisioning process that took place in the fall of 2013. Then, we spent some time paying off the residual debt from our last renovation, and, when a generous donor completed that effort, we were ready to begin the next phase of this process. In 2014, the Vestry appointed a group called the Capital Improvement Committee (CIC) and charged them with helping us make the improvements to our facility that are necessary for us to be the parish God is calling us to be for the next fifty years. Now, we are ready to share their progress with you.
Over the past few months, the CIC interviewed several architects and fundraising consultants and recommended two people to the Vestry to be hired for this project. The Vestry agreed with those recommendations and hired Jim Barganier of Barganier Davis Sims in Montgomery, Alabama, and Pete Rauchenstein of RCG Consultants in Gahanna, Ohio, to help us with this effort. With those two professionals on board, we are ready to begin the next, intensive phase of this effort.
In early April, Jim Barganier and his firm will come to St. John's to meet with various groups from our parish so that they can get an idea of who we are and what improvements our facilities need. Then, they will create a master plan for our entire campus, which will become the basis for our next construction project. In August, Pete Rauchenstein will come to St. John's to organize our fundraising team, and in late September he will move to Decatur in order to live and work and worship with us for twelve weeks until we have raised the money we need for this project. Once we have the pledges in hand, we will ask the architects to create the construction documents that the contractor will need to complete the project, and I can easily imagine that we will break ground in early 2017.
What will we build? What projects will we tackle? What ministries will all of this enable? Will we start a soup kitchen or an adult daycare or an after-school program for the children in our neighborhood? I don't know the answers to those questions yet. No one does. But we have been listening to each other and sharing our dreams for St. John's for a long time ----even long before I got here in 2011 ----so the general direction of that effort is already beginning to take shape. Much of our work from a previous renovation effort remains unfinished. Some of it we will likely complete this time around, and other parts we may decide are not needed anymore. There are also other important areas that were not addressed in that previous effort that must be addressed now. In time, and with continued intentional listening and dreaming, all of that will become clear. For now, however, you can join me and the Vestry and the CIC in getting excited about what will come next.
In the weeks ahead, listen out for opportunities to share your thoughts about what we might do to provide for the healthy and vital future of St. John's. Some of you will participate in the first round of meetings with our architect. All of you will be urged to share your thoughts on the proposed master plan once it is prepared. Everyone will be invited to take part in the fundraising efforts, so that all of us can enjoy the fruit of this endeavor. I believe that God is doing something remarkable in and through our parish, and I believe that God is calling us to do even more, but this project isn't my vision. Neither does it belong to the Vestry or the CIC. It belongs to all of us ----from our ancestors, upon whose shoulders we stand, all the way down to our grandchildren's grandchildren, in whose future we have hope. Today, however, the work belongs to us, and I hope that you will be a part of it.

Yours faithfully,
Evan D. Garner

Wednesday-Night Lenten Series & Guest Speakers
Wednesday-Night Lenten Series
& Guest Speakers 

Dinner at 5:30pm
and Programs (for children, youth & adults) at 6:00pm

March 9  
The Rev. Kelley Hudlow, Deacon ,
The Abbey, Birmingham
Menu: ham, vegetarian spicy black bean patties, green beans, potato salad, green salad, bread, dessert (macaroni and cheese option for children)

March 16 - Jamie McAdams, Grace Episcopal, Cullman 

While the children will learn about the Passover in their downstairs classroom, the youth will meet in the EYC Room downstairs for their series 'Spiritual Toolbox' in which they will explore a variety of ways to slow down and renew focus on God during Lent. Nursery will be provided for 3-years old and younger.

Parish Work Day

Parish Work Day
Saturday, March 12
8:00am to Noon
Help clean and make repairs in and around our church.
Doughnuts & coffee, too!

ONE Conference March 12
The ONE Conference, a one day event that will challenge "Faith Formation for A New Age." Leif Kehrwald will be leading us on a journey where we will "Do What Matters" in forming disciples of today. This is an exciting event that will take place Saturday, March 12, at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Birmingham.

Cost is $25/person and includes lunch and childcare. Registration begins at 8:15am. The program will be from 9am-4pm. Deadline to Register online  is Wednesday, March 9. 

For questions about the event, you may contact Sally Marsh, ONE Conference Council Member at 256-353-9615


Community Garden Volunteers

Be a garden volunteer
for Common Ground Community Garden when we start up again this spring! No previous gardening experience required!!

Garden coordinators, Carol Charlton and Dodie Hall, along with last year's volunteers, will guide you through  planting, weeding, watering and harvesting tasks that are needed. 

Carol Charlton (256-686-3513 or or Dodie Hall (256-616-3370 or )

Children's Ministries
Sunday, March 13  
* Holy Eucharist services, 8:00 & 10:30am (children's church) and 5:00pm

* Sunday school for children, 9:30am   

9:00 a.m. Childcare provided through the 10:30 a.m. service
Wednesday-Night Series Continues

March 9
After the 5:30pm dinner with family and friends, the children (K-5th grade) will meet downstairs (6:00pm) to study about the Passover as it is told in Exodus and how it relates to Jesus in the New Testament. K-2nd  grade will meet with Mrs. Kristen Propst while 3-5th grade will meet with Mrs. Sally Marsh. Those that are in preschool will gather in the nursery for Bible stories and play.
Sally Marsh, Director of Children's Ministries (256) 353-9615 ext.104 

Youth Ministries


Lent Dinner & Program Series continues this Wednesday, March 9, beginning at 5:30pm. Join us for dinner in the Parish Hall, then we'll retreat to the EYC room for our program, ending at 6:45pm. This week, we'll be learning about prayer labyrinths and creating our own finger labyrinth.
Sunday, March 13:

* Holy Eucharist services, 8:00 & 10:30am and 5:00pm
* Sunday school, 9:30-10:15am
* EYC, 6:00-7:30pm: we will have dinner & continue our study of labyrinth by making our own personal, walkable labyrinths
Kristin Blackerby, Director of Youth Ministries (256) 353-9615 ext.104   

Sunday Schedules

For the Fifth Sunday in Lent - March 13, 2016
     Sunday Readings

8:00am Holy Eucharist, Rite I
8:45am Breakfast, Parish Hall
9:00am Childcare through the 10:30am service
9:30am Sunday School for All Ages
10:30am Holy Eucharist, Rite II
5:00pm Evening Eucharist, Chapel
6:00pm EYC

Vestry Representative: Squee Bailey
LEM : 8:00am Melinda Dunn, Paul McCain  10:30am Kristin Blackerby, Carol Sartain
5:00pm Suzanne Thompson
Bread Baker : Nina Mae Blackburn
Altar Guild
: Team 4                   
Lector : 8:00am Alana Haughaboo  10:30am Julia Roth    
Acolytes : 8:00am Holden Kincaid S, Harrison Kincaid C  10:30am Davis Wenzler ES, Sanders White GS, Emma Grace Lang C, Colwell Bibb TB, Cortner Crumlish TB
Ushers : 8:00am Mike Burnthall   10:30am Don Kincaid, Aaron Lang, Jeff Leavitt, Jim Mitchell
Childcare: Joanne Peterson, Haley Melson, Ella McAnear 
Breakfast: Jim Smith 
Flower ReArranger: Margaret Fite
Flower Delivery: Nora and Huey Hall

View Team Schedules from the Church Website at 

Easter Flowers Contributions

The flowers on the altar during the Easter Day services are a significant addition to our annual celebration of the resurrection of Christ. They are given to the glory of God in memory of loved ones or in thanksgiving for family members or for our many blessings.
To contribute flowers, fill out this Easter Flowers form (PDF) and mail or bring it to the church office with your donation by Sunday, March 20 so that it may be included in the bulletins. Make your check payable to St. John's with "Easter Flowers" on the memo line. 
Thank you for contributing to the beauty of our Worship Services.


Holy Week & Easter Day Schedule

Holy Week & Easter Day Schedule   

March 20, Palm Sunday
(Nursery provided from 8:45 a.m. through the 10:30 a.m. service) 
8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
8:45-9:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:30 a.m. Palm Cross Folding Workshop (All Ages) 
10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist with Palm Procession
(For Palm Procession, please meet at 10:15 a.m. on the Jackson Street sidewalk)
5:00 p.m. Evening Eucharist
March 21 & March 22, Monday and Tuesday in Holy Week
12:10 p.m. Holy Eucharist in the Chapel
March 23, Wednesday in Holy Week
12:10 p.m. Healing Eucharist in the Chapel
March 24, Maundy Thursday
6:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist with
Foot Washing & Stripping of the Altar in the Church
(Nursery provided beginning at 5:30 p.m.)
March 25, Good Friday
7:00 a.m. Stations of Cross in the Church
12:10 p.m. Good Friday Liturgy in the Church
 March 26, Holy Saturday 
8:00 a.m. Liturgy for Holy Saturday
March 27, Easter Day
(Nursery provided from 8:30 a.m. through the 11:00 a.m. service) 
6:00 a.m. The Great Vigil of Easter in the McKimmon Garden & Church
 Followed by a Break-the-Lenten-Fast Brunch, Parish Hall (Parishioners are asked to bring their favorite thing they may have given up during Lent.)
9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist with Children's Sermon
11:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist in the Church
5:00 p.m. Evening Eucharist
Please bring cut flowers to fasten to the bare cross.

Parish Retreat: April 15-17
Parish Retreat
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 15-17

Our lodging will be in three Bethany Village Lodges at Camp McDowell!  View a map of Camp McDowell.
Plan to stay for the weekend or come for the day on Saturday.  Print a Registration form from this link.

Activities: Front Porch Rocking, Sitting by the Fireplace, Hiking, Hayride, Canoeing, Dance Party, S'mores & Bonfire, Bingo, Eucharist on Sunday Morning, & More!

Counting Your Blessings in Change
Pick-up Your Blue Box and add your pocket change daily in thanksgiving for your many blessings. We will collect these on May 8 during each service. United Thank Offering (UTO) is a ministry of the Episcopal Church for the mission of the whole church. UTO monies support mission and ministry throughout the Episcopal Church.

Planned Giving

Planned gifts are a variety of charitable giving methods that allow the donor to express his or her personal values by integrating charitable, family, and financial goals. Planned giving to St. John's is a gift to support the future ministry and security of the parish and its mission. One of many types of planned gifts:
Give a bequest in a will. This accounts for 80% of planned gifts according to the Episcopal Church Foundation.   The bequests can be a specific amount, a percentage or remainder, or as a contingent bequest.   The bequest can be for a specific piece of property or asset. The bequest designations can by restricted or unrestricted.
St. John's has a planned giving committee whose mission is to help any person who is interested in making a planned gift to St. John's accomplish that goal.   If you are interested in learning more about planned giving, please contact the church office, and either Evan or one of the committee members will contact you. Your gifts are confidential.

St. John's Faithfulness
St. John's Faithfulness
For the 9th Week Ending March 3, 2016

2016 Total Pledge
& Plate Budget
Received This
Received to

Our Prayers and Thanksgivings

We pray for family and friends who are ill or distressed:
Donna Akers, Karen Cunningham-Becker, Danny Berry, Frances Bradley, Ava Campbell, Gere Carnathan, Aaron Castell, Bill Clem, Nell Clem, Fionn Crimmins, Mary Daniels, Anne Draper, Debbie Dumas, Stephanie Dunn, Marlene Eads, Anne Eich, Linda Engelman, David Farmer, Evie Frith, Chuck George, Lori Grasz, Sally Jo Green, Lou Greene, Avis Gunter, Stratton Hall, Charles Hanks, Tania Harris, George Harvey, Jo Ann Harvey, Jane Anna Hawkins, Marty Heaner, Harold Henneman, Helen Holland, Sherry Holland, Will Hollon, Mark Hopsecger, Harriet Howard, Scott Howard, Bailey Jones, Denise Jones, George Journey, Katy Kavanagh, Carol Kerbel, Ray Landis, Jane Hollon Lee, Dena Lewis, Carey Link, Don Logan, Mike Lothspeich, Kelli Lovelace, Garrett McCravy, Nancy O'Flinn, Bill Oliver, Eva Owen, Joanne Peterson, Mary Ford Pheny, Sam Piper, Bethany Pridmore, Muse Reed, Menine Rice, Scott Richards, Braelyn Richardson, Jean Robertson, Bridget Ros, David Sandlin, David Schacht, Reece Seal, Paul Simpson, Cynthia Small, Austin Smith, Dwight Smith, Jeannie Smith, Nathan Smith, Sloan Smith, Steve Sprague, Thala Stalls, Angie Steeno, Emma Strane, Michael Terry, Paul Thatcher, Pa ula Thomas, Sydnor Thompson, Betty Thrasher, Stacy Singley Townsend, Geraldine Tubb, Florence Turpin, Bill Waldo, Virgil Weaver, Carolyn Webb, James Williams, and Nancy Turner Wilson.    
We pray for those who serve in and with the Armed Forces, especially: Michael Blair, Steven Blair, Brandon Blevins, Trey Colantonio, Christopher Harwell, and Mark Nelson.
We pray for: Pamela Payne, our candidate for holy orders; for all persecuted Christians and refugees around the world; for our companion dioceses of Alaska and the Virgin Islands and their bishops Ambrose and Mark; for the Department of Mission and Outreach; for the Companion Diocese Commission; for St. Joseph on the Mountain, Mentone; and for the pilgrims and staff of Cursillo #201 taking place at Camp McDowell (March 10-March 13).

We pray for the departed, especially: Ross Newman.
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.

Upcoming Birthdays & Anniversaries


Sonny Craig 03/01
Emma Grace Lang 03/01
Lillian Turbyfill 03/03  
Peter Neil, II 03/03
Margaret Fite 03/04
Harrison Kincaid 03/04
Sully Nickels 03/05
Lou Greene 03/06
Steve Price 03/07
Barbara Pettey 03/09
Nicole Shelton 03/09
Harvey Pride 03/09
George Harvey 03/09
Eva Owen 03/09 
Jack Dinsmore 03/10
Cara Beth Nelson 03/11
Maggie Nelson 03/12

Kevin Shelley 03/12
McCauley Smith 03/12
D. D. Martin 03/14
Jim Smith 03/14
Lucas Turbyfill 03/14 
Elizabeth Hunt 03/15
Glynn Tubb 03/15
Melanie McCrary 03/16
Robin Higdon 03/16 
Danny Morgan 03/16
Piper Nickels 03/17
Mary Stuart Burrell 03/18
Guenther Huber 03/18
Bonnie Richardson 03/18 
John Templeton 03/23
Marty Doty 03/22
Jack Williamson 03/22
Noah Pride 03/22
Betty Cromeans 03/23
Jordan Matthews 03/24
David Irwin 03/25
Danny Berry 03/25 
Sherri Rahm 03/25
Jack Sewell, Jr 03/29
John David Calame 03/30
Dabney Hofammann 03/30  
Rita & Gary Baker 03/02
Renee & Lance Wenzler 03/12
Kate & Richard Rickart 03/20
Carol & Chuck Puckett 03/23

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


8:00am Holy Eucharist I
8:45am Breakfast
9:00am Childcare through 10:30 service
9:30am Sunday School 
10:30amHoly Eucharist II
1pm-5pm EYC Soccer Tournament 
5:00pm Evening Eucharist, Chapel  
10:00am Rector's Bible Study

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

8-9:30am Yoga-2

9:15am Staff Meeting   
7:45am Men's Reunion Group
8:30am Yoga-1
12:10pm Healing

5:30pm Lent Series Dinner & Programs

6:45pm Choir Rehearsal
9:00am Centering Prayer          
5:15pm Theology on Tap, The Brick
7:00am Men's Reunion

8-9:30am Yoga-2    
8:00pm EYC Lock-In Begins 
8:00am EYC Lock-In Concludes 

8:00am Holy Eucharist I
8:45am Breakfast
9:00am Childcare through 10:30 service
9:30am Sunday school   
10:30amHoly Eucharist II
5:00pm Evening Eucharist, Chapel  
10:00am Rector's Bible Study  

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

8-9:30am Yoga-2

9:15am Staff Meeting   

10:00am Sing-A-Long at Riverside 
7:45am Men's Reunion Group
8:30am Yoga-1
12:10pm Healing

5:30pm Lent Series Dinner & Programs

6:45pm Choir Rehearsal
9:00am Centering Prayer   
5:15pm Theology on Tap, The Brick  

Cursillo #201 Begins at McDowell
7:00am Men's Reunion Group
8-9:30am Yoga-2

Cursillo #201 Continues at McDowell
8:00am Parish Work Day

Cursillo #201 Continues  

13 Spring Forward
8:00am Holy Eucharist
8:45am Breakfast
9:00am Childcare through 10:30 service
9:30am Sunday school  
10:30amHoly Eucharist II
5:00pm Evening Eucharist, Chapel
6:00pm EYC

Cursillo Clausura #201 at Camp McDowell 
10:00am Rector's Bible Study  

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

8-9:30am Yoga-2

9:15am Staff Meeting    
7:45am Men's Reunion Group
8:30am Yoga-1
12:10pm Healing

5:30pm Lent Series Dinner & Programs

6:45pm Choir Rehearsal
9:00am Centering Prayer   
9:30-11am Beans & Rice Giveaway

5:15pm Theology on Tap, The Brick
7:00am Men's Reunion Group
8-9:30am Yoga-2  

20 Palm Sunday
8:00am Holy Eucharist
8:45am Breakfast
9:00am Childcare through 10:30 service
9:30am Parish Palm Workshop 
10:30am Holy Eucharist II (Palm Procession) 
5:00pm Evening Eucharist, Chapel  
21 Holy Week
10:00am Rector's Bible Study  

12:10pm Holy Eucharist I

5:15pm Vestry Meeting

6:00pm EfM
22 Holy Week

8-9:30am Yoga-2

9:15am Staff Meeting 

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

6:45pm Choir Rehearsal
24 Maundy Thursday
9:00am Centering Prayer   
6:00pm Maundy Thursday Service, HE II 
25 Good Friday
7:00am Stations of the Cross
8-9:30am Yoga-2  

12:10pm Good Friday Liturgy
Followed by a children's Easter activity 
26 Holy Saturday 
8:00am Holy Saturday Liturgy   

27 Easter Day
6:00am Easter Vigil 
Followed by Break-the-Lenten-Fast Brunch
9:00amHoly Eucharist II
11:00am Holy Eucharist II 
5:00pm Evening Eucharist 
Church Office is Closed

6:00pm EfM
8-9:30am Yoga-2

9:15am Staff Meeting   
7:45am Men's Reunion Group
8:30am Yoga-1
12:10pm Healing

6:45pm Choir Rehearsal
9:00am Centering Prayer   
5:15pm Theology on Tap, The Brick

St. John's Parish Staff & Vestry


Office 256-353-9615 | Fax 256-350-0514      
Mon.-Thurs. 9:00 a.m.-Noon; 1:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
The Rev. Evan D. Garner, Rector, ext. 102;
The Rev. J. Seth Olson, Associate Rector, ext. 103;
Vickie Reed, Financial Administrator, ext. 101;
Sally Marsh, Director of Children's Ministries, ext. 104;
Kristin Blackerby, Director of Youth Ministries, ext. 104;
Ann Stewart, Director of Communications, ext. 105;

Lauren Salerno, Choirmaster
Foster Bailey, Organist
Joanne Peterson, Nursery
Haley Melson, Nursery
Ella McAnear, Nursery 
Ken Schuppert, Chancellor
Bobby Straub, Treasurer
Stan Evans & D. Hall, Assistant Treasurers

Class of 2016
Joe Propst; Julia Roth; Carol Sartain, Senior Warden ; Julie Sneed; Grant Thompson
Class of 2017
Squee Bailey; Harry Moore; David Rice, Steve Sandlin, Junior Warden; Kathy Slaton
Class of 2018 Alana Haughaboo, Mary McKimmon, Billy Middleton, Pat Price, Karen Smith
Martha Freeman, Clerk of the Vestry

St. John's Episcopal Church | 202 Gordon Drive Southeast | Decatur AL 35601
(256) 353-9615 |
Email   |   Website