This Sunday, we enter the season of Advent, marking the start of a new Christian year. Join us to make your own Advent wreath at 10 a.m., enjoy a free BBQ lunch at noon, and celebrate the beginning of Advent with a parish party at 5 p.m. Full details below.
The First Sunday of Advent
Eucharist—Sermon by the Rev. Rob Fisher
Parish Choir (Parish House Fourth Floor)
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Nursery (Parish House Second Floor)
Choral Eucharist—Sermon by the Rev. Rob Fisher
Coffee Hour (Plaza, weather permitting, or Parish House First Floor)
Advent Wreath Making (Togo West Parlor; see below)
Join in this fun and meaningful annual tradition at St. John’s that’s suitable for all ages. Using seasonal greens, we will make decorative wreaths that also double as a devotional aid in the Advent season. Materials will be provided for each household to make one wreath. You’re encouraged to bring your own clippers if you have them. A few “take and make” bags will be available for those who cannot stay to make a wreath. Contact Sarah Akes-Cardwell with questions. This activity will take the place of Church School.
This Sunday at noon—Join us for BBQ!
Sunday lunch at St. John’s is a longtime tradition in which every member and every visitor can participate. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones—a time for fellowship and for hearing another’s story. All are welcome. Valet parking hours are extended to 2 p.m. any Sunday with a parish lunch. This week’s parish lunch is free of charge thanks to the Stewardship Committee.
TOUR OF ST. JOHN’S CHURCH
This Sunday at noon
For more than 200 years our church has served as a place of worship for a growing and everchanging city and country. Its structure is a lasting testament to Benjamin Henry Latrobe, who, because of his training in both architecture and engineering, is considered by the American Institute of Architects as our country’s first architect. If you are interested in an in-person tour of St. John’s Church, meet at the front of the church near the baptismal font after the 11 a.m. service. This Sunday’s guide is Richard Busch.
This Sunday at 5 p.m.
You are cordially invited to join us in the Togo West Parlor for an evening of holiday revelry, including decorations, food, music, and a carol sing-along. Special activities and food will be provided for children. For planning purposes, we encourage you to RSVP here—or just come and celebrate the start of Advent.
Children are welcome at all worship services.
A nursery for infants and children up to age three is available most Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Parish House.
Children in pre-K through fifth grade may participate in Church School on the second floor of the Parish House, most Sundays from 10 to 10:50 a.m.
Children from birth through grade 5 are invited to participate in Children’s Chapel, a special liturgy just for them most Sundays during the sermon at the 11 a.m. service. Parents may accompany their children, and are encouraged to do so for those younger than three.
Children’s Bulletinswith coloring pages of stories from this Sunday’s scripture readings are posted here each week in time for Sunday services.
Most Sundays from 10 to 10:50 a.m., middle and high schoolers are invited to Youth Group on the second floor of the Parish House for an exploration of life and faith with their peers.
Youth in sixth grade and above are also invited to join the Acolytes ministry. Acolytes assist with 11 a.m. worship by serving as torch bearers or crucifers and by helping set the altar for communion. To learn more, contact Nora Haugh.
This group gathers most Sunday mornings, using a hybrid approach, with some joining via Zoom and others in person. The group is studying the structure, audience, and themes of the Gospel of Matthew. Conversations explore the connections with the Sunday lectionary lessons and sermons. To receive class notes and Zoom login information, please contact Jack Reiffer.
You are invited to take a blank prayer card from the narthex (the entrance of the church) and write down something or someone you would like to pray for. You can hand your prayer card to the ushers when they take the collection, and your card will be blessed and prayed over during the week.
We look forward to welcoming you to worship, either in person or online.
The Vestry Nominating Committee will meet in early December to select the slate for Vestry elections to be held at the Parish’s Annual Meeting on Sunday, February 4, 2024. The role of the Vestry Nominating Committee is to select, from all those nominated, the six candidates who will stand for election; three candidates will be elected. Nominees should be pledging members of the congregation, attend worship regularly, and be active in the life of the parish.
ANGEL TREE GIFTS ARE NEEDED BY WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6
It’s not too late to help with this year’s Angel Tree gifts. You can still pick up an angel with a wish list from the tree in the Parish House. Please deliver unwrapped gifts to the church by next Wednesday, December 6, to facilitate timely distribution starting next week. Not able to pick up gifts? Why not help us wrap gifts on Saturday, December 9—a fun way to contribute to the effort without hitting the stores. Contact the Rev. Shawn Evelyn with questions—and thank you in advance for your generosity this holiday season!
Thank you very much to those who have already pledged for 2024! As of Wednesday, November 29, we had received 224 pledges, for a total of $909,252. By making a pledge, you are helping ensure that the vestry and rector will be able to plan for another great year of ministry, music, outreach, and fellowship. We welcome all pledges, large and small—and, of course, if you are able to increase your pledge this year, it will make a big difference as we grow our programs to better serve our diverse parish community. If you haven’t already done so, you can register your pledge by returning the completed card that you received by mail last month or you can pledge online here. Thank you!
—Toby Stock, Chair of Stewardship
A WORD ABOUT MATCHING GIFTS
Here’s how to make your gift to St. John’s do a bit more
Using your company’s matching charitable gifts program is an easy way to make your gifts to St. John’s and the community we serve count for even more. To find out whether your organization has a matching gift program, please contact your company’s corporate giving officer, who can also help you navigate the gift portal and make sure that St. John’s is listed as a verified recipient. (You can also contact the Parish Office for assistance.)
DID YOU KNOW?
You can direct some or all of your Required Minimum Distribution from an IRA to St. John’s before year’s end
We are grateful for all of the ways St. John’s members give to the church. If you are in a position to give from your retirement account, now may be a good time to consider directing some or all of your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) to a charity, including St. John’s as a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) as part of your annual giving or as a one-time gift. If you are interested and would like to learn more, please contact the Parish Office.
2024 PILGRIMAGE TO SOUTH AFRICA
St. John’s is considering a trip to South Africa and the Kwasa College in July or August 2024 for individuals, families, and youth. In addition to spending time at Kwasa, past St. John’s trips have visited Johannesburg, a game park, and Cape Town. If you are interested or want to learn more, please contact Lisa Koehler.
COMING UP SOON
Wednesday, December 6, at 12:15 p.m.
Our monthly Midweek Music concert series continues with “Songs of the Season,” a festive program offered by soprano Abigail Chapman and organist Lyn Loewi. Midweek Music performances take place during the lunch hour on the first Wednesday of each month from October through May and are open to the public free of charge.
LATROBE YOUNG ADULT FELLOWSHIP CHRISTMAS PARTY
Wednesday, December 6, at 7 p.m.
The Latrobe Fellowship is hosting its annual Christmas Party. All are welcome to a short service of Compline followed by a light holiday dinner, with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage options, and a white elephant gift exchange in the Togo West Parlor. Please bring a small, wrapped gift (up to $15 in value) with you—either silly or serious. If you forget, we will also have several gifts available for purchase at the event. The Latrobe Young Adult Fellowship is an active and engaged group of adults, primarily in their 20s and 30s. We gather at St. John’s at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month. Questions? Contact the Rev. Shawn Evelyn.
ST. JOHN’S BOOK GROUP
Thursday, December 7, at 7 p.m.
Join us in person at the church or via Zoom to discuss Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon. This personal narrative explores the challenges and heartaches of growing up Black in Mississippi and examines the impact that a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception has on a Black person, their family, and the surrounding community. The book group meets on the first Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Janet Edmond.
ANGEL TREE WRAPPING PARTY
Saturday, December 9, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
In the spirit of our Christmas gift drive, we will have a special gift-wrapping event on Saturday, December 9, for all of our Angel Tree Gift Drive donations. Whether you are great at wrapping gifts or not so good with your hands, come along. This will be a fun gathering with food and music to help us prepare to distribute gifts and make someone’s Christmas a little extra special this year. RSVP to the Rev. Shawn Evelyn.
COMING UP IN THE SPEAKER SERIES
The Speaker Series is held most Sundays from September through May at 10 a.m. in the Togo West Parlor on the first floor of the Parish House. An audio recording will be available on our website the week after each talk.
December 10: Simon Johnson, the Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a former Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund, will give a talk entitled “Power and Progress: The History and Economics of Major Technological Transformations.”
Johnson has worked on global economic crises and recoveries for 30 years and published more than 300 high-impact pieces in leading publications such as The New York Times,The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and Financial Times. His most recent book, Power and Progress: Our Thousand-Year Struggle over Technology and Prosperity, explores the history and economics of major technological transformations up to and including the latest developments in Artificial Intelligence.
January 14: Alan Cooperman, Director of Religion Research at the Pew Research Center.
January 21: Communities in Schools of the Nation’s Capital (CISNCAP).
LOOKING FARTHER AHEAD
LESSONS AND CAROLS
Sunday, December 17, at 5:30 p.m.
Join the combined choirs of St. John's for one of our most beloved holiday traditions. Sung in the beauty of a candlelit church, the service begins with the singing of "Once in royal David’s city" followed by nine lessons interspersed with carols and choral anthems. Complimentary valet parking will be available starting at 4:45 p.m. The service will be followed by a reception in the Togo West Parlor. Invite your friends and family to join us for this special holiday offering. The service will also be livestreamed for those who cannot be with us in person.
CHRISTMAS POINSETTIA DELIVERIES
Sunday, December 17
Please plan to help us deliver at least one of the Christmas poinsettias to some of our fellow parishioners who cannot be present with us at worship at this time. The plants will be in the Parish House parlors on Sunday, December 17. You will find cards addressed to parishioners who live near you in Virginia, Maryland, or Washington, D.C.
MIDWEEK MEN’S GROUP
Third Thursdays at noon: Next meeting, December 21
This lectionary-based Bible study for men of all ages is convened by parishioner Carter Keithley, who holds a master’s degree from Virginia Theological Seminary. The group meets on the third Thursday of every month for a brown-bag lunch with fellowship and a wide-ranging, scripture-based conversation. Contact Carter for more information.
CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS DAY
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24—CHRISTMAS EVE
10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist for the Fourth Sunday of Advent—Sermon by the Rev. Shawn Evelyn
4:30 p.m. Pageant & Choral Eucharist with Choir (see details below)
7 p.m. Festal Choral Eucharist—Sermon by the Rev. Rob Fisher
10 p.m. Festal Choral Eucharist—Sermon by the Rev. Rob Fisher
Each service on Christmas Eve will be preceded by 30 minutes of carols and music—come early and get into the spirit!
MONDAY, DECEMBER 25—CHRISTMAS DAY
11 a.m. Choral Holy Eucharist—Sermon by the Rev. Will Morris
Please note: The Parish Office will be closed December 25–27 and January 1.
THE ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PAGEANT
Sunday, December 24, at 4:30 p.m.
The annual Christmas Pageant will take place on Christmas Eve beginning at 4:30 p.m. Children ages three and up are invited to participate in the pageant as an Angel, Shepherd, or Friendly Beast. All children who wish to participate should attend the rehearsal on Saturday, December 23, at 10 a.m. Register your child here. Walk-ons will also be welcome, either at the rehearsal or on Christmas Eve. Questions? Contact the Rev. Sarah Akes-Cardwell. A prelude of anthems and carols will begin 30 minutes before the start of the service.
SPONSORING CHRISTMAS MUSIC
We invite you to make a contribution to support the special music that happens on Christmas Eve. Our goal is $3,000, and gifts of any size are gratefully appreciated. If you would like to contribute to the Special Music Fund for Christmas, please contact Director of Music Brent Erstad.
CHRISTMAS FLOWER MEMORIALS AND THANKSGIVINGS
Deadline for listing in the Christmas order of service: Tuesday, December 12
The poinsettias and evergreens that enhance the beauty of the church and parish house at Christmastide are given by parishioners as memorials for those who have died and as thanksgiving for those who are living. Please consider remembering those who are important to you. The suggested donation is $50 per name. Your support of this important ministry is greatly appreciated.
To pay by check, please print and complete this form, enclose it with a check payable to St. John’s Church, and send it to the Parish Office, Attention: Finance, with “Christmas Flowers” noted on the outside of the envelope—or simply place the form with your check in the offering plate on Sunday.
You may also make your payment online. Choose “Special Flowers” from the dropdown menu. Under memo, list the name(s) and indicate whether your gift is in memory of or in thanksgiving for.
The next dates for Baptism and required pre-baptismal classes with the clergy at St. John’s are as follows:
Sunday, January 7, 2024, at 9 a.m. (Class: Saturday, January 6, 10 a.m.)
Sunday, February 11, at 9 a.m. (Class: Saturday, February 10, 10 a.m.)
Sunday, April 7, at 11 a.m. (Class: Saturday, April 6, at 10 a.m.)
If you are interested in baptism for yourself or a child, please contact Lisa Koehler. Please note that the parents or grandparents of children being baptized must be active, pledging members of St. John’s. Adults interested in baptism must also attend an Adult Inquirers’ Class, offered each fall and spring, and be active, pledging participants in the life of the parish.
We typically offer the following midweek services, except when precluded by a special event, funeral, federal holiday, or office closure:
Mondays and Fridays at 12:10 p.m.: Noonday Prayer
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 12:10 p.m.: Eucharist
SEEKING HOSTS FOR SUNDAY PARISH LUNCH
The parish lunch tradition relies on volunteers to prepare and serve a meal. We encourage individuals, families, groups, and ministries to sign up to host just once between now and the end of May. Hosts may be reimbursed for expenses or receive a tax receipt. Not sure what’s involved? Want to claim an open date? Contact coordinator Holly Sukenik.
December 3—Stewardship Committee (Come and eat for free!)
The flowers that enhance the beauty of the Church and Parish House are made possible by gifts from our community and are often dedicated to the memory of a loved one or to mark a birth or birthday, a wedding, an anniversary, a graduation, or another special event. To make a dedication, pick up a flower card at the entrance to the Church.
MAKE A PLEDGE TO ST. JOHN’S
A pledge is a commitment of financial support over the course of a year, to be paid weekly, monthly, or on another schedule. By making a pledge to St. John’s, you enable us to plan for the work we will undertake in mission and ministry. It’s easy to make a pledge commitment online on our website. Thank you!
Our prayers are requested for the special needs and concerns of this congregation, especially:
THOSE WHO ARE SICK, RECOVERING, OR GRIEVING:
From our parish:Katherine Kyle, Carl Raether, and Mary Raether.
Friends and family of our parish:Martha Brame (Frances Tyler), Barbara Virginia Abalos Branes (Joanne Hutton), Bob Brow (Lauren Moriarity), David Cannon (Kat Kehoe), Billy Beardsley Conderman (Margo Arnold), Rhys Conlon (Frances Tyler), Freya Panduro Davis (Kaye Edwards), Bruce D’Innocenzo (Jim and Michele Mullins), Ed Eder (Joanne and Powell Hutton), Oliver Evans (Casey Evans), Reagan Eudy (Alfred Thesmar), Elaine Gravatt (Margo Wiegenstein), Grace Grifferty (Kerri Stelcen), Linda Young Gsell (Rick Young), Jackie Hanson (Brent Erstad), Morgan Hickenlooper (Livy More), Doug Holy (Joanne Hutton), Jack (Marta Cook and Cal Trepagnier), Latithia and Charles Jones (GeeGee Bryant), Charlotte Crowley Junilla (Margo Arnold), Jim Kasson (Rob Fisher and Sarah Wood), Olivia Kehoe (Kat Kehoe), Lynne Kessler (Mary and Carl Raether), Lori LaPoint (Brent Erstad), Elizabeth Lee (Clayton Crawford), William Markiewicz (Matthew Taylor), Jim Martella (Livy More), Tammy McCleaf (Matthew Taylor), Ann McClellan (Frances Tyler), Barbara and John McGraw (Mary and Carl Raether), Katy Montgomery (Nora Rigby), Bruce Mortimer (Nancy Mathis), Kathy Mullins (Jim and Michele Mullins), Cecile Richards (Livy More), Ann Owens (Debby Hailey), David Row (Livy More), Scott (Marta Cook and Cal Trepagnier), Lou Thesmar (Alfred and Hilary Thesmar), Sallie and William Wilkie Thompson (Cecelia Thompson), Theresa Weber (Kerri Stelcen), Edward Leland Williams II (Virginia Bader), and Linda Woolley (Blount and Charlotte Stewart).
THOSE WHO ARE IN THE HOSPITAL:
From our parish: Garry Dalby.
THOSE WHO ARE IN HOSPICE CARE:
Friends and family of our parish:Carol Bradley (Larry and Krista Bradley), Henry Farrington (Wendy J. Fibison), and Lisa Peña (Autumn Brown).
THOSE WHO ARE IN ASSISTED LIVING:
From our parish:Eve Atkeson, Jack Kinsey, Barney Malloy, Marcella Odom, and Becky Schergens.
Friends and family of our parish:George Corbin (Shawn Evelyn), Wilma Daubs (Kay Gilley), Pat Morris (Will Morris), Cawley Scott (Robyne Johnston), and Carl Wright (Frank and Nancy Klotz).
THOSE IN OUR PARISH CELEBRATING A BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK:
Carlos Arriaga, Shea Bader, Anna Broadbent-Evelyn, Kim Carlson, Andrew Clarke, Henry Coxe, Sarah Demarest, Diana Duncan, Le Evans, Amanda Eversole, Eric Eversole, Karen Jeffers, Sara Josey, Michael McGregor, Ethan Papish, Anthony Pegues, Avo Reid, Annie Simonds, Jeremy Skog, and Anne Stewart.
THOSE IN OUR PARISH CELEBRATING AN ANNIVERSARY THIS WEEK:
Jeff and Sarah Agnew, and Stevan Johnson and Brandon Montgomery.
THOSE ON THE FRONT LINES:
Friends and family of our parish: Janie Abernethy (Elizabeth Lewis and David Abernethy) and Philip L. Faris (Caroline and Steve Faris).