December 26, 2019


Thank you for the opportunity to serve along-side you for the past 14 months. Following Jesus is not about what I do or how I do it, but rather it is about our working together as disciples of Jesus to bring about the kingdom of God - to love God, to love one another and to reach out into the community and serve others as Jesus did. Discipleship is done in community, and for us that community defines itself most clearly in the communal acts of Baptism (dying to the old self to rise as a new creation) and of Communion (breaking bread and pouring out wine - to be shared by all). If you are ever tempted in the future to say, "But Father Tom said this" or "Father Tom did that," I implore you to value that for what it is, and then to say to yourselves and to anyone who will listen, "and we will do even more, with God's help." 
Christian ministry is not about me, but about we.  
As disciples of Jesus, we are called to move outside our own needs, to tend to the needs of our neighbors...especially the poor, the sick, the hungry, the rich, the haughty, the powerful. St. John's is a great example of this type of outreach and I have learned much during my time here. But this is not about me, it's about we. St. Paul has taught us boldly that while we are many parts, we are all one body, working together in our diversity to bring God's Kingdom fuller into being. Each part of the body, the community, is different but no one part is of greater value than the other. Each of us is an invaluable part of the whole. It is not about me, it's about we.
Some of us are healers of bodies, others are healers of souls. Some of us feed the hungry through South Bay Community Services, while others feed the soul through the Bible study groups, the monthly healing service and the Order of St. Luke. Some of us reach out to the children in the Episcopal Community Services Head Start program. Some of us make music, some of us clean, some of us do repairs, some of us pray, some of us make visitors feel welcome. If you are anything like me, though, we just go about our daily lives, not consciously acting as a disciple, not making a show of our piety or religion. But in reality, as we live out our faith, our values, we do show forth to others God's wondrous diversity. Regardless of the role we see ourselves playing in the everyday world, as a disciple of Jesus we know and act out the reality that we is more important than me.
On a personal note, John and I are so thankful that you called me to serve this community as your Interim Priest. I know that some of you would have preferred it differently - without the "interim" part of the call, but we always need to be open to the workings of the Spirit and the consequences of decisions. Do you have a clearer sense of yourself as a parish today? Then we have been successful. Have you called your next priest?  Then we have been successful. Together our hearts listened and responded to the stirrings of the Spirit. Together we faced the trials and disciplines of community life. Together we studied and played and prayed.
I hope to see you at the potluck lunch on Saturday, December 28 or on Sunday, December 29, my final day with you.
May God continue to bless you in the years to come.
The Rev. Thomas Wilson
Thank you for your
Christmas Flower Donations

We remember before God all those who rejoice with us,
but upon another shore, 
and in a greater light, that multitude which no one can number,
whose hope was in the Word made flesh,
and with whom in the Lord Jesus we are one forevermore.
T he floral decorations for the Christmas Services and all special arrangements
are given to the Glory of God and in special remembrance:
In memory of Eva Brzeczek, given by Tom Brzeczek and Mark Higginbotham
In memory of Arthur and Eleanor Johnson  given by the McKays and the Jakubiaks
In memory of Gregory Neff and Theodore Neff given by Linda Longoria Neff
In memory of parents and grandparents given by Jack and Sarah Tolley
In memory of Mitch Young given by Lynn Young
In memory of Bob Hunter and thanksgiving for family given by Wilma E. Hunter
In memory of Darlene Stanard and Joseph & Josephine Zajkowski given by Barbara Duncan
In memory of Richard L. Jones and William Walter Wallace given by Jan Jones
In memory of Bill and Betty Tatu, given by Mary Hublit
In memory our parents: Sandy (Silas) Morris, Hermina and Reuben Van Dam
given by Michael and Marcia Morris
In memory of Rev. Gerald, Sallye and Larry Graves given by Jane Ferguson
In memory of Sofia Cristina de la Lama given by Alejandra Valdez-Beer
In thanksgiving for the joy of family and friends given by David and Linda Dennehy
In memory of Carl Ferguson, given by Jane Ferguson and children
In memory of Margie Bailey, given by Bob Bailey
In memory of Joseph Pallard
In thanksgiving for the St. John's Choir given by Cheryl and Wayne Seppala
In memory of Myrta Painter given by Nancy Painter
In memory of Hector Vasquez, given by the Vasquez family
Given by Bob and Norma Dunn
Women of St. John's Meeting 

The WOSJ will meet on Monday, January 6, at 3 p.m. in the Narthex. We have switched to an earlier start time so those of us who don't drive after dark can come. We keep our meetings to just an hour. We have a number of things to discuss and would like your input. Among these are the welcome for Fr. Roger's first service on January 19 (we plan continental-breakfast-type things at various stations in Nale Hall), our Super Bowl Sunday bake sale on February 2, and the possibility of a St. Patrick's Day dinner which would be handled mostly by the Men of St. John's but for which we would do the decorating and plan the opportunity drawings.
Hope to see you there!  Call Diane Gustafson 619-253-7298 if you have questions.
Men of St. John's  January Meeting
The Men of St. John's will meet on Monday, January 20 at 6 p.m. at
Mangia Italiano's in Chula Vista.
The South Bay Amateur Radio Society (SOBARS) will be holding their monthly meeting at St. John's on the first Monday of each month in Nale Hall at 7:00 pm. The first meeting will be on January 6. Anyone interested is welcome, and you don't have to be a member (or a HAM) to attend our meetings. We usually wrap up by 9:00 pm.
Please email Bill Cheney if you have any questions -
Charitable Donations from IRAs

If you're age 70½ or older, you can make up to $100,000 in annual cash donations to IRS-approved charities directly out of your IRA. These direct donations are called qualified charitable distributions (QCDs).
QCDs are tax-free and nondeductible. So, they don't directly affect your tax bill. However, they count as withdrawals for purposes of meeting the required minimum distribution (RMD) rules that apply to traditional IRAs after age 70½.
So, if you haven't yet taken your 2019 RMDs, consider holding off and arranging tax-free QCDs before year end in place of taxable RMDs. That way you can meet your 2019 RMD obligation in a tax-free manner while satisfying your charitable goals at the same time.
Lynn D. Boster, CPA, CGMA
Tax Partner, Vasquez & Company LLP
Parishioner at Saint John's
Vestry  Application Process is OPEN 

Over the past couple of months, members of the Vestry have been inviting folks to ponder God's call to serve on the Vestry. The Vestry is Saint John's board of directors. The Vestry is responsible for the financial and physical well-being of the parish. The Vestry is composed of nine lay members, plus the priest, and normally meets once per month. Biographies of current Vestry members, as well as meeting minutes, can be viewed on Saint John's website (

Saint John's By-laws state that the qualifications for serving on Vestry are:  "any person of 16 or more years of age who is attendant at worship and a regular contributor of record and who for the previous sixty (60) days shall have been registered in the congregation as a baptized person or communicant member." Vestry members are elected by the parish at the Annual Meeting in January and serve for a three-year term.
There will be three openings on the Vestry in 2020, as Karen Duignan, David Dennehy and Mark Jordan complete their terms of service. If you wish to apply, please complete the application form found here:   Vestry Application 2020
and return it to the Vestry Clerk, Diane Gustafson (, no later than December 31, 2019.  Paper copies of the application form can be found on the counter in the church lobby.
Barbara Ervin Memorial Service
Barbara   Ervin , a long-time parishioner with her husband, Donald, was welcomed into heaven by him and the heavenly host of angels on September 24th.   Barbara  was the niece of The Rev. Richard Nale, who served as rector of St. John's from 1949 through 1964.   Barbara  had a long and full life, having just celebrated her 91st birthday in August.  A service honoring  Barbara 's life will be held on Saturday, January 4th, at 2:00p.m. here at St. John's.  
The Rev. George Keith, who retired as rector of St. John's in 2009, will preside and preach.

Ordination to the Priesthood
Saturday, January 4, 11 a.m.
The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook will ordain the Rev. Hannah Wilder to the priesthood at St. Mark's, 4227 Fairmount Avenue, San Diego, 92105. 
Reception to follow.

Calendar of Events:

Office hours are 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Monday-Thursday.
The office is closed on Fridays. 

Farewell Potluck
Saturday, December 28, 12:00 noon
New Year's Eve Service 
Labyrinth at 3pm 
Communion Service at 4pm 
Tuesday, December 31
Memorial Service for Barbara Ervin
Saturday, January 4, 2:00 pm
De-greening of the Church 
Sunday, January 5, 11:30 pm
Healing Service
Sunday, January 5, 11:30 pm
Women of St. John's Meeting
Monday, January 6, 3:00 pm
SOBARS Meeting
Monday, January 6, 6:00-9:00 pm
Gonzaga Students Visiting
January 5-11
Fr. Roger's First Day
Monday, January 13
Men of St. John's Meeting
Monday, January 20, 6 pm, at the Mangia Italiano Restaurant in Chula Vista
Combined Service and Annual Meeting
Sunday, January 26, 9:00 am


We Are Available in Your Time of Need

If you have a pastoral emergency when the parish offices are closed, 
please call 619-483-7883 or email

Prayer List
Today and every day include some time for prayer, for yourself,
for your church family, and for those in need.  

For our Military
Matt, Drew, Cody,  Cameron,  Chariti, 
Mark,  Sean, Jonathan,  TK,   Christopher, 
Timothy,  Jeremy,  David,  Jonathan,  Nick, 
Jamal,  Matt, Daniel,  Jocelyn, Devon, 
Taylor, Jorge, Katherine, Sebastian and Richie.

  For Strength in Time of Need

Scott, Betty, Rob, Florence, Eva,  Dee and Barb,  Paul,
Lyne, Jim, Purissima,  Scott,  Pete and Phyllis, Mike,
Heather and Stephen, Penny and baby Mario.

Those unable to come to services, but thankful
for their continuing connection with Saint John's, 
especially Lois, Roland  and  Juanita.   

For Churches in Transition in our Diocese

Christ Church, Coronado
St. Paul, Palm Springs
St. Margaret's, Palm Desert
St. David's, San Diego
All Saints', Vista
Holy Cross, Carlsbad

Opportunities For Service

Pill Bottle Ministry

Did you know that in developing countries, the pill bottle and cap is often more expensive than the medication inside. You can donate your empty prescription bottles! Just drop off your empty prescription bottles in our collection bucket located in the foyer- no need to peel the information off.  Our volunteers will take care of that for you! We will wash them and ship them to Matthew 25: Ministries.  Matthew 25: Ministries accepts donations of empty plastic pill bottles for inclusion in shipments of medical supplies and for shredding and recycling. Our pill bottle program fulfills the dual needs of improving medical care in developing countries and caring for our environment.

Please note that we can currently only collect the clear orange prescription bottles.  We have found that the others do not benefit the program.
Thank you for your support!
Emergency Food Pantry:

Jesus said, "Feed my sheep." John 21:17
The South Bay Community Services "Emergency Food Pantry" needs donations every month. It's easy to donate! We will focus on a different food category each month. Pick up a flyer from the narthex, carry in your car until your next trip to the market, purchase the food, and place it on the table in Nale Hall before the end of the month.  During the month of December, our featured items will be peanut butter and jelly.  Thank you for your support!

Scripture Readings For This Week

Readings for Sunday, December 29, 2019

Isaiah 61:10-62:3
Psalm 147:13-21
Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7
John 1:1-18

Readings for Wednesday Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer will return on Wednesday, January 8.

Celebrant's Schedule

Here is our upcoming celebrant's schedule:

Sunday, December 29
Presider: Fr. Tom
Gospel: Rev. Cathey, 8:00
            Fr. Jack, 10:00
Sermon: Fr. Tom

Sunday, January 5
Presider: Rev. Cathey
Gospel: Rev. Cathey, 8:00
            Fr. Jack, 10:00
Sermon: Rev. Cathey

Sunday, January 5
Presider: Fr. Al
Gospel: Fr. Al, 8:00
            Fr. Jack, 10:00
Sermon: Fr. Al

Weekly Bible Study  and Morning Prayer 

Tuesday night Bible Study meets on  Tuesdays from 6-7:30 pm  in the youth room.  For information, please contact Mike Gollihur
at 619-852-4960  or  
* Tuesday night Bible Study is on a break and will resume on Tuesday, January 7th.
Every Wednesday, Saint John's will have Morning Prayer at 9:30 am and Bible Study from 10 am to 11. 

The Vestry

Karen Duignan-Senior Warden
(619) 470-1647
David Dennehy-People's Warden
(619) 429-4747
Terry Farrelly - Treasurer
Pamela Brittain
Ray Contreras
Diane Gustafson 
Mark Jordan
Jim McDevitt
Judy McKay
Lynn Young

Approved Minutes for the November 20th Vestry meeting can be found here:

To our Saint John's Family:
Here is your weekly newsletter highlighting important events at St. John's Episcopal Church.  You can also find news about St. John's at

We welcome your feedback, photos, and news items. Contact Maria Love at 619-422-4141 or .

Please submit your announcements by Tuesday of each week for inclusion in the Enews and Sunday bulletin.

Emergency Contact Information

If you had a medical emergency at church on Sunday morning, would the Wardens or church  staff know who to contact? If you would like to add someone to St. John's emergency contact  list in case of such an emergency, please contact Maria, our parish secretary (619-422-4141 or A sign-up sheet will also be available in the church lobby to collect this information. Please provide your name, the name of your emergency contact, their relationship to you, their phone number and/or their email address. This is one more way we can show how we love one another.
Reporting Misconduct
As part of our ongoing commitment to creating a safe haven for everyone, our diocese trains people in the prevention of misconduct and encourages all to report misconduct. All reported incidences are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly and confidentially. If you believe you have experienced misconduct of any kind, please contact Mr. John Seitman, (, 858-793-4555 or Ms. Equilla Luke, (, 760-583-0485.

Safeguarding God's People
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May God's face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May God give you the grace never to sell yourself short;
Grace to risk something big for something good;
Grace to remember that the world is too dangerous for anything but truth 
And too small for anything but love.
So, may God take your minds and think through them;
May God take your lips and speak through them;
May God take your hearts and set them on fire.
-William Sloane Coffin

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Contact Information
phone: 619/422-4141
pastoral care: 619/483-7883
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