St. John's Weekly Newsletter

Thursday, April 9, 2020


  Paschal Triduum 2020

We continue our celebration of the Great Three Days, also known as The Paschal Triduum:  Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Great Vigil of Easter, on Easter Eve. These days are the heart of our Christian faith and the holiest time of the church year.  Each day's observance is an integral part of one long service stretched out over three days; commemorating the Last Supper, Passion and Resurrection of Christ. Our liturgy  would engage all our senses - sight, smell, hearing, touch, movement and taste (however, this year will be virtual) - and will invite us to experience the climatic moments of God's story of love. 
Maundy Thursday:   April 9 th  
7:00PM   (Please join our live service on St. John's Facebook or the recorded service on our website)

"Maundy" is from the Latin term "mandatum", meaning commandment.  Jesus gave his disciple a new commandment on the night before he died:  to love one another as he loved them. This is the commandment which we particularly focus on when we celebrate Maundy Thursday.  Our evening service is primarily a celebration of the Eucharist, commemorating the first Eucharist (the Last Supper) when Jesus broke the bread, shared the wine, and said, "Do this in remembrance of me".  On this holy night, we also observe the Passover of God's people from slavery to freedom, as we hear the Exodus account, hearing it through the lens of our Christian understanding of Jesus as the Passover Lamb of God; and we re-enact the loving gift Jesus offered his friends when he washed their feet, as we offer the same humble service to one another.

Tonight we will celebrate elements of the Maundy Thursday liturgy, an Agape Meal and the Passover Seder Meal.  Please join us from your dining room table as we pray and eat together. The evening service will end with the silent stripping of the dining table (household Altar) and will have no dismissal

A meditation on Maundy Thursday by Monika Hellwig
Because the Eucharist is first and foremost the celebration of the divine hospitality made present to us in the person of Jesus, it i s an action  w h ich addresses every form of inhospitality in our world, confronting it with the image of what might be and what ought to be. Jesus, as the outreach of divine hospitality, is not only the primary hospitality of creation but also the redemptive hospitality of healing grace.

At its simplest level of sharing food, the Eucharist signals that in God's world there is room for all. We are therefore challenged to solve the problems of the world by sharing - not by excluding people, not by eliminating people, not by killing. At its other level of symbolism, pointing to the paschal mystery as signaled by the Exodus event, the Eucharist bids us share in promoting and celebrating the liberation of the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized or excluded because these are in a special way the people of God.
Monika Hellwig, The Eucharist and the Hunger of the World, New York: Sheed and Ward, 1992 

Good Friday:   April 10 th  
The heart of the Good Friday observance is from noon to 3 PM, the hours when Jesus hung upon the Cross.  The liturgy for Good Friday is solemn yet simple; dramatic yet understated. The church is bare, unadorned with fabric or flowers.  

(Please find our worship service on our St. John's Facebook or website)
A Noonday Prayer Service which consists of a sequence of psalms, readings and prayers, which will be followed by The Way of the Cross.  

The evening liturgy begins with the Collect of the Day and the appointed somber readings from Isaiah, the Psalms and Hebrews, culminating in reading of the Passion according to St. John.  The account of the death of Jesus is followed by several minutes of silent reflection and a sermon. We then pray the Solemn Collects, remembering the Church and the world for which Christ died.  A cross is brought into the church as a focal point for our meditation, and this year we will virtually venerate and pray before the Cross. We end with the Lord's Prayer and Collect; no blessing or dismissal is given, as this service, like the other of the Triduum is seen as a whole liturgical progression of the Paschal Triduum, which culminates in the Easter Vigil and the first Eucharist of Easter on Saturday night.

A meditation for Good Friday by Walter Brueggemann

The phrase, "It is finished," is a deliberate allusion to God's "finish" three times in the Old Testament. In Genesis 2, after six days of creation when the earth was made fruitful and blessed, "God finished." God overcame chaos and so God rested as the new ruler of creation. In Exodus 40, after Moses has been designing and building the tabernacle for divine presence, Moses could say, "It is finished." He had provided a resting place for God, the new monarch. In Joshua 19, when the land of promise had been carefully distributed among the twelve tribes, Joshua could report that the land settlement was finished. All of these "finishes" report on God's great work. 

And now a finish of one more victory on Friday: One more gift to the world. What is now finished is the victory of God's way in the world enacted by Jesus. Jesus has practiced the way of suffering love, of compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and generosity. On that Friday, the power of death had done its best yet it could not overcome the power of God in Jesus. 

The Friday victory is the defeat of the power of death. The power of death shows up in all the ways that seek to talk us out of our God-given life of well-being. That power shows up in hostility and violence, in pettiness and selfishness, in greed and debilitating anxiety. But it is now robbed of this power because Jesus has prevailed.

The Friday victory is the defeat of the Roman Empire and all empires (including ours) that depend on muscle and militarism. Rome had executed Jesus as an enemy of the state; but it has no power to destroy his love for the world.

The Friday victory is the defeat of all those who thought and think they can compromise and manipulate their way to well-being. The power of death will continue to compete for a while. But, it has lost. It is finished. 

For us this means the sting of death is gone. We need not fear being diminished.
It means the power of guilt has evaporated: we need not carry the wound of shame.
It means that we need no longer operate out of fear or loss or defeat.
It means that in God's strange new world coming to us, our fundamental dignity is not in jeopardy: we do not need to crawl to the top of anything.
Walter Brueggemann, Into Your Hand: Confronting Good Friday, Eugene: Cascade Books, 2014
Holy Saturday - The Great Vigil of Easter:   April 11 th   
7:30PM   (Recorded from St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral)

On the night of Holy Saturday, the night before Easter, the people of God gather in the silence and darkness of the tomb.  We gather in prayer as we light the new fire and Paschal Candle and we hear again the stories of salvation; renew our faith with the reaffirmation of our Baptismal vows, followed by the Celebration of Holy Eucharist and the receiving of Easter Communion.

There is no service in our tradition more powerful than the Great Vigil of Easter.  In our current Book of Common Prayer the Great Vigil has been recreated and reclaimed from the ancient church where it began in the early centuries when the Easter Vigil was the only time permitted for baptism.  This celebration will be a profound experience that will draw you more deeply than ever into the faith of our resurrected Lord.  

Since we have postponed this service at St. John's; you are invited to join the recorded celebration from St. Paul's Cathedral with a sermon from Dean Penny Bridges at: 

Sunday of the Resurrection - Easter Day April 12 th  
Easter Festival of Lessons and Music

The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, and Bishop Susan Brown Snook invite us to join the diocese for an Easter Festival of Lessons and Music. This multilingual service will feature contributions from across the diocese including Easter readings, songs, a virtual choir, and an Easter message from Bishop Susan. The celebration will be broadcast live on  Youtube and  Facebook, starting at 9:45am with gathering and music, followed by the Easter service at 10:00am. 

We want, during this difficult time, more than ever, to be a community. Let's make our best effort to connect with one another this Easter.

A meditation for Easter Sunday by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Whatever you believe about how the Resurrection happened isn't all that important. Some people felt that it was a physical resurrection; that the physical body was raised up. Then Paul came on the scene. He had been trained in Greek philosophy and had read a little of Plato and others who believed in the immortality of the soul, and so he tried to synthesize the Greek doctrine of the immortality of the soul with the Hebrew doctrine of resurrection. And he talked about a spiritual body. 

Yet whatever view you hold isn't important right now. The important thing is that that Resurrection did occur. The important thing is that that grave was empty. The important thing is the fact that Jesus had given himself to certain eternal truths and eternal principles that nobody could crucify. So all the nails in the world could never pierce his truth. All the crosses of the world could never block this love. All the graves in the world could never bury his goodness. 

And so today the Jesus and the God that we worship are inescapable. We can talk this morning about the inescapable Christ. Why? He lives today in society; he lives today in our lives; he lives today in the world. And this is our hope. This is what keeps us going. So you can go out this morning with new hope, new hope for the future. No matter how dark it gets, realize that God ultimately transforms your Good Friday into your Easter, our Easter.

And so this morning, let us not be disillusioned. Let us not lose faith. So often we've been crucified. We've been buried in numerous graves-the grave of economic insecurity, the grave of exploitation, the grave of oppression. We've watched justice trampled over and truth crucified. 

But I'm here to tell you this morning: Easter proclaims that it won't be like that all the way. It reminds us that God has a light that can shine amid all of the darkness. And he can bring all the light of day out of the darkness of midnight.

So often we come to those points when it gets dark. It seems that the light of life is out. The sunlight of day moves out of our being and out the rest of our faith. We get disillusioned and confused and give up in despair. But if we will only look around we will discover that God has another light. And when we discover that, we need never walk in darkness. I've seen this so often in my own personal experience. For when it was dark and tragedy around, when it seemed that the light of day had gone out, I got enough strength in my being to turn around only to discover that God had another light. 

This would be a tragic universe if God had only the light of day. But I came to see in a way that I'd never seen it before, that God has another light, a light that can guide you and me through the darkness of any midnight. Are you disillusioned on this Easter morning? Are you confused about life? Have you been disappointed? Have your highest dreams and hopes been buried? I say to you: "Don't give up, because God has another light, a resurrection light, and it is the light of Christ that can shine amid the darkness of a thousand midnights." 
Martin Luther King, Jr., "Easter Sunday Sermon," courtesy of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University

As we continue in this time of separation, please know that the operations of the parish continue with our staff working from home and in the office.  Even though we can't gather in person on Sundays, it is important - as you are able - to remain faithful stewards of our time, talent and treasure.  In a time when people are losing their jobs and income, I can imagine the difficulty of trying to make ends meet.  The church is no different - as we have financial obligations that the parish must continue to meet. 

As you are able, I offer 4 ways to continue giving your pledge: 
1)  US mail

2)  the secured lock box next to the parish office door on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9:00am and 3:00pm

3)  Sally can add an automatic credit or debit payment by providing to her in writing the necessary information (bank name, account number, expiration date and amount to be withdrawn, 

4)  you can go to your bank (physically or on line) to set up an automatic payment to St. John's by bank check once a month.


If you need help with any of these options, please contact Sally via email ( or phone call to the office on Thursdays for assistance.

I hope that you will be able to join us in worship either live on Facebook or "on demand" with the recorded worship service posted on our website.  We all look forward to the day when we will once again gather in person as a family of faith to worship our God. Blessings and Peace

Scripture Readings For The Paschal Triduum

Readings for Maundy Thursday

Exodus 12:1-14
Psalm 116:1, 10-17
John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Readings for Good Friday

Isaiah 52:12-53:12
Psalm 22
Hebrews 10:16-25
John 18:1-19:37

Readings for Sunday, April 12, 2020

Jeremiah 31:1-6
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Acts 10:34-43
Colossians 3:1-4
Matthew 28:1-10

Year of Discipleship

The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego invites you to  Turn  as part of
The Year of Discipleship 2020  in this holy season of Lent.

The season of Lent is the perfect opportunity to turn and reorient yourself toward Jesus.

On the Way of Love, we don't only practice turning away from destructive things, but also turning ourselves toward God - like a flower setting its face toward the sun. In our daily lives, we are called to reorient ourselves to Jesus and his loving, liberating, life-giving Way.

Find a video message from Bishop Susan here and other resources for the Turn area of The Way of Love, as well as rules of life in this season of Lent here.

Current office hours are 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Wednesday and Thursday.
If you need assistance, please email Maria Love: 


We Are Available in Your Time of Need

If you have a pastoral emergency when the parish offices are closed, 
please call 619-301-0724 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, Bill, Brian, Marcia,  Ed, Bernie, 
Donna,  Mary Ann,  Liz, Dean, Caroline, Lorena, Minnie,
and for all doctors, nurses, medical support personnel, 
police officers, and first responders.

For Churches in Transition in our Diocese

Christ Church, Coronado
St. Paul, Palm Springs
St. Margaret's, Palm Desert
All Saints', Vista

From the Prayer Journal of Fr. Jack Tolley

Listening to each other is really important during our  Corona Virus pandemic. For example,We can call each other  other and listen on the phone. It's really helpful when we are  all cooped up in our homes to listen to each other.  The times are stressful now and it's easy  to get frustrated with each other. I thought this article  on listening by The Rev. Dr. Jennie Clarkson Olbryc,  a retired Episcopal priest from Charleston, SC, might be helpful  to you, as it was to me.
Blessings and love,
 Fr. Jack. 

When St. Benedict set pen to paper in the sixth century and  composed his simple rule for beginning monks, the very  first word he wrote was "Obsculta," which means, "listen."   Benedict invited them and us to "listen with the ear of the  heart." That is, to listen from the center of our being and as  an act of love. Paul Tillich,* writing fourteen centuries  later touched on the same thing when he said, that  "the first duty of love is to listen." Can we say, then, listening
and loving the other are deeply connected.  When someone has listened deeply and faithfully to us, our  trust in them grows, as we come to know they are truly present   to, and with us. In the bond of trust, the foundation of love is   laid, for we cannot love what we do not trust, but attachment is  no guarantee of genuine, life-giving love. Listening not only builds  the foundation of love, it makes relationship possible, not only  between people, but also between ourselves and God.

* The Rev. Dr. Paul Tillich, German American Lutheran Protestant Theologian. (1886 - 1965). He served on the faculties of the The Union Theological Seminary ( Episcopal ), and The Harvard Divinity School after emigrating to the United States. He is most well-known for his 3 volume work titled, "Systematic Theology."

A call for masks for ECS
and a larger invitation for EDSD churches  to engage in mask making!

ECS has approached all EDSD parishes with info to share about making homemade fabric masks  to help them address the spread of Covid-19. The masks are needed for staff and some of the  clients at ECS.

Who Can Do This, Materials, Etc.
These are simple masks, and there are very clear instructions included in the attached docs, so  volunteers do not need to be expert seamstresses or tailors to join this effort. Basic skills and a  "can do" spirit is all that is needed. For supplies, only fabric is needed, as no options that require  elastic are included.
The documents attached provide basic guidelines and include links to instructional videos, as  well as links to other groups, should you wish to also volunteer with them.

Time Sensitive Calls for Help
So...this is a call for a lot of people from churches in our Diocese to consider joining this effort  and bless a lot of people and groups with a mask. Within this larger call, ECS is currently in need  of a up to 70 new masks, and we officially need them by Monday. The new law that was  announced yesterday and goes into effect tonight means that our essential staff who work with  clients at our Central East Regional Recover Center (CERRC), ACCORD DUI program, and  Para Las Familias program all need them. We think we have 30 of these covered, but this isn't a  sure thing. We know we need at least 40 more by Monday for sure.

Tracking our Mask Making!
ECS would love to track the number of masks and generally how they are being used and shared  so this effort can be celebrated along the way and at the end of this strange time. Our point person for this effort is Norma Dunn.  If you are making masks, please contact Norma at

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 April, our featured items will be cereals, powdered and canned milk.  Thank you for your support!
Free Entertainment
Here is a list of some things to do while you are quarantined at home:

Streaming of operas from the Metropolitan Opera, which are occurring daily.  Go to to enjoy the daily streaming available.

The Seattle Symphony is also offering live streaming at this site:

Museums worldwide are offering their exhibits online:

One of the pianists who frequently visits our communities has made a free video performance, which you can enjoy by following this link:

A free class to take at YALE University:

More Museums offering free virtual tours:

Free coloring books for adults from 113 museums:

An article with links to a variety of things that are now free:
The Vestry

David Dennehy,  Senior Warden
Mark Higginbotham,  Junior Warden
Terry Farrelly,  Treasurer
Pamela Brittain
Ray Contreras
Diane Gustafson 
Mark Higginbotham
Muriel Kulikowski
Jim McDevitt
Judy McKay
Lynn Young

Approved Minutes for the January 22nd Vestry meeting can be found here:

Approved Minutes for the February 19th Vestry Meeting can be found here:

Rev. Roger's Office Hours
Rev. Roger will be available in the office Monday and Tuesday depending on his school schedule and all day Wednesday and Thursday.  He will be available by appointment.  Please call the office (619-422-4141) to schedule an appointment.

In case of a pastoral emergency, Rev. Roger may be reached on his cell phone at 619-301-0724.

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

In this issue
Quick Links...

Contact Information
phone: 619/422-4141
pastoral care: 619/301-0724
Join Our Mailing List