St. John's Church
Christ healing the blind man, miranov

Discerning our Gifts in Community: Asset Mapping Workshop

If you signed up for the session, don’t forget that this Saturday, October 27, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, in the Parish Hall, The Rev. Deacon Theresa Lewallen will facilitate a discussion to help us determine our individual strengths, skills, and resources, which we can share with others.

This “asset mapping” will assist us in knowing, as a community, how we can better support other organizations, such as Episcopal Community Services. Coffee and breakfast food will be available beginning at 8:30 a.m., and lunch will be served following the session. For more information, please contact David Curtis .

Saturday, October 27
9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
The Parish Hall
This Sunday, October 28, 2018
The Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost
                           8:15 a.m.               Holy Eucharist (no music)
                               9:15 a.m.               Adult Forum, Parish Hall
                               10:30 a.m.            Holy Eucharist & Children’s Chapel, Keeper’s Cottage
                               11:45 a.m.            Coffee Hour, Parish Hall

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From Amelie, with Love

Dear Friends:
This coming Saturday, we will be gathering in the Parish Hall to participate in an Asset Mapping Workshop facilitated by The Rev. Deacon Theresa Lewallen. Together we will go through a process of identifying the unique gifts, resources, skills, and talents that we can offer our community and organizations such as Episcopal Community Services (ECS) and Circles RVA. I cannot think of a more fitting way to go “NOW into the World” during this season of stewardship, more fully aware of our untapped gifts and potential, with a richer sense of our identity, both individually and as a community.

In our gospel lesson for this Sunday, we hear the story of Bartimaeus, a man whose blindness required that he sit by the road begging. We do not know how long he has been blind or how long he has been sitting there, but we do get a sense that his condition has become his identity. I’ve always wondered if Bartimaeus had other attributes – other skills, gifts, talents, that we don’t hear about. A good sense of humor? A mind for math? A compassionate, listening presence?

What we do know is that when he heard Jesus coming, Bartimaeus cried out, “Lord have Mercy.” Somehow, Bartimaeus mustered the courage to reach out to Jesus. Did he know, deep inside, that his blindness what not his only identity? Did he long to uncover, leave behind, risk everything, to live in to a new and richer identity? 

And yet, when Jesus hears the cries of the blind man, he does not come running. Instead he says to the bigger community, “Call him here,” and they do. Maybe Jesus sensed that Bartimaeus’ transformation was going to take a village, and he was right. “Take heart”, the people tell him, “He is calling you.”

Now is the pivotal moment, not only for Bartimeaus, but for all of us who are stuck in an old story, an old identity. Will we, like Bartimaeus, have the heart to haul ourselves up from our old positions and habits of mind? Will we be courageous enough to let go of the story we know, tap into the fullness of our identities, and step into an unknown story?

In the words of the late Kayla McClurg, “This is the hardest part of transformation, not just to have an insightful moment but to head out in a new direction. We can walk a different road along with the brave companions who surround us, spreading the news that we are more than the story we have been living. We are more than our long list of losses, our hurts, our failures or even our accomplishments. The past is past. It’s time to see and live the next part of our story.”

Won’t you join me?

Adult Forum to Resumes ThisWeek: Faith and Advocacy, Part II

Sunday, we continue our discussion on the connection between faith and citizenship during a challenging and divisive period in our nation’s history. Our conversation will focus on faith in the public square with a panel discussion including The Rev. Deacon David Curtis, Bud Oakey, and other members of the St. John’s community.  

Sunday, October 28
9:15 a.m.
The Parish Hall
Child care is available

November's Adult Forum: Prayer From Different Angles

During November we offer a three week series on prayer practices from a variety of perspectives and traditions that we hope will enrich our existing prayer life and our relationship with God. Topics and speakers are as follows:
November 4     The Contemplative Tradition: Lectio Davina, Examen, and Holy Listening , by The Rev. Janet Legro

November 11   The Contemplative Tradition, Part II, Centering Prayer,  by Don and Mary Alexander

November 25   Bodily Prayer: Yoga, Movement and the Breath as pathways to the Spirit , by Andrea Bleck-Smith
All are invited to attend. Adult Forum begins at 9:15 a.m. in the Parish Hall. Childcare is provided.
Stewardship Season Has Begun

For the next few weeks, we will be reflecting upon our many gifts and how we offer them in and through our St. John's community. This year's stewardship theme is "Now into the World," a phrase echoing the commission we accept in our Post-Communion prayer each Sunday. 

During worship each week, you will be hearing from members of the congregation whose engagement in our ministries “Now” witnesses to the work of God’s Spirit in the world we serve.  This world of “Now” at St John’s includes:

  • Providing 1,464 of food to the local food pantries so far this year.
  • Providing hundreds of school supplies and lunches for students at Bellevue Elementary School and Peter Paul Development Center, while offering parent/teacher support.
  • Assisting a monthly average of 50 people with 104 washing loads and 109 dryer loads at Laundry Love
  •  Joyfully welcoming nearly a thousand community members through weekly worship, hymn sings, concerts, special services, and prayer vigils.
  • Creating over 75 opportunities for learning and spiritual growth through weekly Wednesday night and Sunday morning Adult Forum programs.
  • Restoring our Parish House offices and church grounds to be a welcoming place for dozens of visitors, every day.

We invite you to read the stewardship materials you recently received in the mail and to read it prayerfully and consider how you are being called to contribute your time, talents, and treasure to our shared life. We will conclude this season on November 18 by welcoming the Bishop and celebrating our new members!  
Sunday we welcome Julie Simonton, Director of Congregational Development and Stewardship from the Diocese of Virginia, and her colleague, Richard Jones, from the Diocese of Hereford in the Church of England .  We are delighted that Jim will be offering Sunday's homily during worship.

During Coffee Hour , he and Julie will facilitate a conversation on congregational vitality and growth. You will be invited to offer your own stories about the ministries at St. John’s that witness to the work of God’s Spirit in the world we serve. We hope this will help us to consider prayerfully how we are being called to contribute our time, talents, and treasure to our shared life.
Wednesday Formation Book Study
Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error

Our Wednesday evening programming is currently discussing, Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, by Journalist Kathryn Schulz. In it, the author explores why we find it so gratifying to be right and so maddening to be mistaken, and how this attitude toward error impacts our relationships—whether among family members, colleagues, neighbors, or nations.

Drawing on thinkers as varied as Augustine, Darwin, Freud, Alan Greenspan, and Groucho Marx, Schulz proposes that error is both a given and a gift—one that can transform our worldviews, our relationships, and, most profoundly, ourselves. 

Each evening’s session begins in the Parish Hall with a simple supper at 6:30 p.m. followed by our discussion at 7:00 p.m. Next week, we will cover chapters 11-12.

Copies of the book are available for purchase online in hard copy or in electronic (see below) format. Please contact the Parish Office if you need help with the purchase.  

Wednesday, October 31
Dinner 6:30 p.m.
Study & Discussion 7:00 p.m.
The Parish Hall
Remember Loved Ones Who Died This Year
on All Saints’ Sunday

In the early church the word “saint” was used to describe a baptized Christian. All Saint’s Day is the time we honor all the saints of God, all of us , through Holy Baptism and through the remembrance of saints departed. 

On November 1, as we welcome our newest saint into the household of God through the waters of baptism, we will also remember those Saints of God who we lost this past year. 

If you would like to include loved ones who have died since last All Saints’ Day, November 1, 2017, in the prayers for the departed, please send their names to Patty Duffy no later than Wednesday afternoon, October 31.
Bishop’s Visit
and St. John’s Celebration

The Right Rev. David Jones, retired Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Virginia, will visit St. John’s November 18 at a single 10:00 a.m. service for Holy Baptism, Confirmation, Reaffirmation, and Reception. We hope you will support new members by attending the service. 

Plan to stay afterward for our annual St. John’s Celebration in the Parish Hall.

Sunday, November 18
10:30 a.m. Eucharist
12:00 p.m.-ish St. John's Celebration, Parish Hall
Plan to attend our annual Thanksgiving Eucharist, and bring your friends and family. Attending church on Thanksgiving Day focuses your celebration on thanking God, solidifies your connection to the St. John's community, and gives everyone at your house something meaningful and joyful to do before tucking into their turkey.

Thursday, November 22
10:00 a.m.
Spotlight on Outreach

St. John's is committed to living our Baptismal Covenant
to seek and serve Christ in all persons,
loving our neighbor as ourselves
and respecting the dignity of every human being.

Ongoing Opportunities 

Bellevue Elementary needs mentors, lunchroom buddies, and tutors. Scheduling is flexible and during the school-day. If interested, please contact Ms. Charla Armstead . Requirements: background check and orientation meeting.

Join the $5 Club : Pledge to spend at least $5 a month on non-perishable foods to feed others. Bring your donations on the first Sunday of each month, or deposit them in the basket at the rear of the church at any time.
First Fruits Sundays : First Sunday of every month. Bring non-perishable food items to church for donation to the Christ Ascension Food Pantry. Christ Ascension Food Pantry currently needs pasta, tuna, and peanut butter.
Next First Fruits Sunday— November 4
Laundry Love : Third Saturday of every month from 11:45 a.m.-2:15 p.m. Help do your neighbors' laundry at the laundromat at 25th & Nine Mile. Please contact David Curtis for more information.
Next Laundry Love Day— Saturday, November 17

Laundry Love Activity Table The Outreach Team is looking for new or gently used donations for the kids' activity table at Laundry Love, a place for safe play and learning while parents are busy with clothes. Possible donations include:
  • addition/subtraction flashcards
  • Play-doh
  • simple puzzles
  • picture books, coloring books
  • markers, crayons
  • small Lego sets
  • simple craft supplies (pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, glue, etc.). 

A box for your donations is in the Parish Hall. This is an ongoing collection. If you have any questions, please contact Liz Broda.
Canned Chicken and Tuna Donations
for the Community of Deacons
(This Sunday is the Last Before Convention.)

The Community of Deacons in the Diocese of Virginia will sponsor a canned tuna and chicken collection at Annual Convention the first weekend in November. They will disburse this collection to food pantries and ministries throughout the Diocese.

Since we support Christ Ascension's Food Pantry with First Fruits, we will give half of our collection to it, and the other half to the Convention collection. We will also include the full amount we collect in our First Fruits totals for the year. 

Please deposit your donations to this drive in the collection box in the Parish Hall. You may contact David Curtis with any questions.
Altar Flower Remembrances

We encourage everyone who is a part of the St. John’s community to remember or honor loved ones and special anniversaries and events by sponsoring the flowers at the altar for a specific Sunday. The cost is $30. You may pay via cash or check in the offering plate or in the church office, or through Paypal. Sign up for the Sunday when you want to sponsor flowers on the sign-up sheet in the Parish Hall foyer.
You Are Invited
to Sarah Kye Price’s Ordination

The St. John's community is invited to Sarah Kye Price's ordination to the transitional diaconate (all ordained priests are first and always ordained deacons). Everyone is invited; no exceptions.

Saturday, November 10, 2018
5:30 p.m.
Next Vestry Meeting,
Tuesday, November 13,
at 5:30 p.m.
in the Parish Hall

All members of St. John’s Church are welcome to attend vestry meetings as observers. Minutes of recent meetings are posted on the bulletin board in the Parish Hall foyer. Please share your ideas or questions about the life of our parish with a vestry member.
Prayer Group & Sunday Prayers
Bring your prayers to the Wednesday morning prayer group. Pray with us silently or aloud as the Spirit leads you, and let us surround you with love and prayers. Find sacred silence and hear the still, small voice of God. Simply stop by the Keeper's Cottage any Wednesday at 10:00.

Prayer ministers also offer individual prayer Sundays during communion.

10:00 a.m.
Keeper's Cottage (to the left of the church)
To learn more,   contact Carolyn Dallas

St. John's Church
2401 East Broad Street

Office: 2319 E. Broad Street RVA 23223

The deadline for submitting copy for the weekly bulletin insert and parish-wide email is Wednesday morning , but earlier is always appreciated. Please send your content to  Patty Duffy . Please note that content may be edited to accommodate space limitations and style guidelines.