Dear Friends-

Just outside the front doors of the church the Snowdrops have emerged from the ground.

The word Lent comes from the Middle English word that means 'spring'. It's no surprise that this season, which prepares us for Easter, coincides with the growth and renewal in our natural world. Because, after all, the purpose of lent is a time of reflection and growth-and also a time of hope in God's enduring promises of love and forgiveness.

Blessings,
George
St. John's Annual Meeting is Next Week, Sunday March 21

Each year we gather as a community for an Annual Meeting to hear reports from church leadership, share in fellowship and elect new lay leadership. his year (like most things over the last year) our meeting will be a bit different.

Following the 9:00 a.m. service, we'll have our first ever 'drive-in' annual meeting. In next week's 'Weekly Update' we'll share reports from our community as well as information about how to participate in this important event.
Resources for Youth, Families, and the Young at Heart 
 
God So Loved the World
  
Have you ever seen someone in a sports stadium holding up a sign that reads, ‘John 3:16’? This is one of the most well-known verses in the Bible.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

This verse reminds us how much God loves all of us. Every year during the last week before Easter we read the story of how Jesus dies and then defeats death. It’s the most important time in the church year and this story is at the center of what we believe as Christians. 

You can use these coloring pages to help you learn this verse and give thanks for God’s love for us.

Want to 'Learn to Pray?'
Fr. James Martin, a Jesuit Priest, has written a fabulous book about prayer. When I ordered my personal copy, I also picked up a few extras. If you'd like a copy, let me know!

I'd also be happy for an 'ad hoc' book club if you're interested!

Beverly Bootstraps Update
Thanks to everyone who donated soups and stews last month.  

For the month of March, we’ll be collecting cereal.  

Donations can be brought to church on Sunday mornings during 'drive in' worship or dropped off anytime in the bins outside the church office. 
Technical Assistance for Recording Sessions and Copyright Reporting

We have a continuing need for helpers who might want to learn more about audio and visual technology in connection with our virtual services. This could be the perfect job for a younger person, but anyone can learn to help with lining up a good shot, hitting the record button, or editing audio and visual material once the recording is done. If I can do it at nearly age 70, I bet you can too!

Making virtual services is time consuming, but it is quite rewarding and fun. Many parishioners have been helping to record readings and prayers. Maybe you'd rather not appear in front of a camera, but would you like to be involved in production?

Like all other churches these days, we are required to have a streaming license which covers the use of copyrighted material in any live-streamed or recorded service. We are asked to report what music we sing or play every Sunday as well as for every recorded service we make. The reporting is quite a simple job that can be done online at home, but it does take time. Would you let me know if you're interested in helping out?

If you can answer yes to either of these questions, please be in touch with Francie at frances@sjcb.org or 978-853-2700.
Changes to Worship at St. John's

As you know, we recently received updated guidelines from the Bishops of Massachusetts regarding worship in Episcopal churches around the state. This newest set of guidelines ends indoor worship for the time being.  

This means we're beginning another chapter of our worship life.  

Much of our shared worship life will remain the same.  

We will have 8:00 p.m. evening services three days a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). These services of Compline and Evening Prayer can be found on our Facebook page and you can participate whether you are 'on' Facebook or not. There are resources, including bulletins, below in the section titled, 'Resources for Evening Worship'.  

At 8:00 a.m. Luther Zeigler will offer a 'Zoom' service of Morning Prayer. For information about how to join this service email Luther by clicking here: Luther's Email

Each Sunday, beginning at 8:00 a.m., we will also offer a recorded service on our Facebook page that includes readings by parishioners, a sermon, and music from Francie and members of our choir. Resources for that service, including a bulletin and prayer list are available below in the section titled, 'Resources for Sunday Online Worship'.    

And, we will also offer a service of Holy Eucharist at 9:00 a.m. here at St. John's.  
 
The only difference is that, rather than some parishioners joining worship indoors, all will be required to worship from their cars. Instructions about how to participate in 'Drive In' worship are below.  
 
I am so grateful for your continued generosity and flexibility during these challenging times.  

"Drive In" Eucharist Instructions for Sunday, March 14th
 
Participation in the "Drive In" Eucharist is simple.  
 
As you enter the parking lot from Hale Street, an usher will give you a bulletin before you park. Then, tune your car radio to 103.1 FM and follow along!    
 
Following the prayer of consecration, Sarah or I will come to your car with the host (we're only distributing the bread at this time).  
 
Please help us to remain healthy when interacting with ushers to get the bulletin and when we are giving you communion though the car window.   We ask you to stay in your car for the entirety of the service and participate in the peace by beeping your horns.  
 
We will also have these instructions written for you on Sunday morning.  
 
The broadcast travels about 1/4 of a mile, so unfortunately, unless you're an immediate neighbor, you won't be able to hear us! 
Resources for Sunday Worship  
 
1. You can watch our Sunday Worship Service anytime after 8:00 a.m. this Sunday, March 14th by clicking here Click Here to Join us for Sunday Worship
         
2. Here is the Bulletin for Sunday's Morning Prayer Bulletin, March 14

3. At 8:00 a.m. Luther Zeigler will offer a 'Zoom' service of Morning Prayer. For information about how to join this service email Luther by clicking here: Luther's Email

4. Here is the most updated prayer list. Most Recent Prayer List
Resources for Evening Worship  
 
During this season of Lent, we'll be continuing Evening Worship Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m.  Services on Tuesday and Thursday will be Evening Prayer and led by clergy. The service on Saturday will be Evensong, led by Francie and the Choir. 
 
The service of Evening Prayer is found on page 117 in the Book of Common Prayer, but we've included bulletins below too.  
 
The Lenten Evening Prayer Bulletin is available here: Evening Prayer Bulletin
 
The bulletin for Choral Evensong (Saturday) is here: Evensong Bulletin
Questions?
Should you need anything or have any questions, Isabel can best be reached by email at isabel@sjcb.org and will be in the church on Tuesdays and Fridays.