The theme of this Sunday's Coffee Hour is 'high school graduation.' Above are some of the St. John's staff as fresh-faced high school seniors. Can you guess who is who?

Our circumstances we face today require patience - not passivity, but loving patience. I want more than anything to see each one of you, to return to “normal” life. But it is increasingly clear that our call for the time being is to learn how to be a patient church. Not a church that waits to worship or serve or love. But a church that worships and serves and loves creatively while undergoing something not of our own choosing. 

In that spirit, I’d like to share with you that we have gathered a committee of folks with a simple charge: to advise the Rector, Vestry, and the St. John’s community in coming to sound and thoughtful decisions on a safely phased reopening of the Church for in-person activities. Any decisions the parish makes will be in compliance with the guidance we have from the Diocese, state, and county, but it’s essential to have a group that is focused on discerning how these guidelines can be applied at St. John’s. 

We will be in regular communication with you about the work of this group, and the Rector will take over leadership in this work when he returns from sabbatical. But I wanted to let you all know that we do not plan to open immediately after the shelter-in-place rules are lifted in Marin on May 31 (if they are in fact lifted). Our governor has suggested that in person worship might not be possible until July or later. Our committee anticipates a reopening that will occur slowly, in stages, with social distancing and other precautions. We anticipate continuing to make our worship and other activities available online throughout the process.

We have a long road ahead. And learning how to walk that road together in a spirit of love of God and of neighbor is not an obstacle we have to overcome in order to be the church. It IS the work of the church, learning how to love and serve God right now, in the midst of coronavirus. 

I am thankful to parishioner Darwin Labarthe, MD, MPH, PhD, who is a professor of epidemiology at Northwestern University and a former staff member at the CDC, for chairing the reopening committee. Other members are Robb Baer (senior warden,) Genny Biggs (vestry,) Leslie Limpert (altar guild,) Brian Wittenkeller (buildings and grounds,) Keith Granger (sound and video,) Tom Fregoso (Youth Minister,) and Virginia Kosydar (Church Administrator.) Please feel free to share ideas, concerns, and thoughts with me or with them.

P.S. Please join us on Zoom for a special coffee hour this Sunday, May 17, honoring our seminarians, Jed Dearing and Joanna Benskin. Jed has completed his seminary study and has moved back to Ohio to be ordained and begin serving a parish. Joanna will be rejoining us next year after a summer break. We are so thankful for their ministry among us. They stepped into leadership during this painful time with grace and joy, and we are so grateful.

Since Jed will not be able to have a graduation ceremony this year, we invite you to celebrate his graduation and Joanna’s first year with us by dressing as if it were your high school graduation year. We want to see your awful bangs, big hair, and polyester suits! Bring a coffee cup to toast Jed and Joanna. To join by Zoom, click here .

Yours in Christ,
Rev. Ginger
The Rev. Ginger Strickland, Associate Priest
email Rev. Ginger
Connect to Worship: Gathering Online

Sunday Morning Coffee Hour: after 10am service through 11:30am Join us on Zoom here for coffee and conversation. Stay on after coffee hour to continue discussion of our Diocese's carbon tracker app.

NEW: Sunday Evening Bible Study, 5pm Join us on Zoom here for a brief Bible Study on the Psalms, ending in candlelight prayers. Bring your own candle!

Monday Evening Yoga: 6:15pm Feeling some cabin fever? Join us for Yoga St. John’s, live streamed from our sanctuary. Click here.

Tuesday: Virtual Dinner Church: 6-6:45 pm Grab some grub and fire up your computer to share dinner together digitally! Click here to join. We continue to build community one meal at a time, even if it's virtual!

Thursday Morning Prayer: 7:30am Please click here to join us on zoom for a time of prayer as the day begins.

St. John’s Group on Nextdoor.com St. John’s has created a group on Nextdoor.com that we hope will be an opportunity to enhance connections between parishioners. Nextdoor is an application that allows members to post announcements and messages and for other members to reply. While we are sheltering in place it could be an opportunity to share tips on baking bread, a request for needed assistance, a reflection on how this week’s sermon touched you and much more. To join the group click here If you do not have a Nextdoor account, you will need to create one (It's a popular program and we feel is safe). If you would like assistance on creating an account or accessing Nextdoor, please email parishioner Mike Kowalczyk and he would be happy to help you. 

LOOKING AHEAD
Sunday, May 24 after the 10am sermon . Please join our Junior and Senior Wardens, June Sullivan and Robb Baer, for an update on the church’s financial health. Bring your questions! Join us on Zoom here .

Sunday, May 31, 9 & 10am services. Join us for a Pentecost Celebration! Pentecost is one of the great feasts of the church year, a celebration of the birth of the church: this wonderful, loving community that sustains and inspires us even when we can’t gather in person. So it’s a perfect day for a party, even though it will have to be a digital one! We will celebrate the official end of our capital campaign - we will bless our new chancel and the other improvements and changes that your generous gifts have provided. We’ll talk about the ministry that your gifts have made possible. We will celebrate St. John’s and the way that we have banded together to care for one another and our community during this time. And we will welcome Rev. Chris back from sabbatical to begin a new season of ministry together.

Sunday, June 7, 10am service. Our youth confirmation class will lead our Sunday service, sharing readings and reflections. You will not want to miss the wisdom and perspective that these youth bring to our parish. 
Connect to Giving: Funding Our Spiritual Home
Have you made your commitment to the 2020 Annual Fund? If so, THANK YOU. If not, please read on . . .This is a call to all of you who have the ability and intention to give this year:  Now is a Good Time!  Make a commitment here and fund St. John’s as we strive to make present God’s hope and love during this time.
Connect to Community: St. John's Cares
The people of St. John’s are doing amazing work to support those who are in nursing homes, hospitals, and shelters during this season. But we are always open to new ways to serve - to connect. Click here to learn more about how St. John’s is responding to Coronavirus and how to help. 

NEW: Learn how to better support older friends and family members.  Please join us for an online workshop on mental health and dementia in older adults. Led by experts from Marin Aging Action Initiative, participants will learn more about how to detect signs and symptoms of mental health issues or dementia in loved ones and how to connect them to resources in the community. Please click here to learn more or here to register.

Do you have a prayer request that you’d like to be shared (anonymously or with your name) on Sunday? How about a birthday, anniversary, or other occasion of thanksgiving to celebrate? Click here to share this request. 

Please join in praying for the needs and concerns of our congregation by viewing our online Prayer List .
Connect to Music
Musical Figure of the Week: Marie-Claire Alain was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye in northern France in 1926. Her father was an organist, as were her brothers Jehan and Oliver. She became the most-recorded classical organist in the world with over 260 recordings in her catalogue. She recorded the complete organ works of J.S. Bach three times, as well as the complete organ works of over a dozen other major composers. She was devoted to the organ works of her brother Jehan, who died before she began her conservatory studies. When her third recording of Bach's works for organ appeared in 1994, she explained to  The Organ , a British journal, why she was recording them again: 

“It's because of the instruments, the instruments above everything else, and the fine state to which they have been restored—and the fact that they are now accessible. These recordings use instruments from Bach's time, and we know that Bach even played some of them—it's an extraordinary feeling, to put your hands on the keyboard, knowing that he was there 250 years before you!”

Marie-Claire Alain died in 2013. To hear her play Bach’s great D-minor Toccata and Fugue, click here .
Submit your child's artwork to add to our collage.
Connect to Children
We’re still collecting artwork for our collage! We’re putting together all kids’ drawings, paintings, origami, any artwork to make a collage. Take a picture of your kids’ artwork and email to Sandra Pathik, Director of Children's Ministry. 

A Challenge for Kids! Memorize Psalm 23 and the Lord’s Prayer and send your video. This challenge is for the month of May.

Virtual Sunday School with Teacher Connie Granger and Teacher Sandra this Sunday, May 17 at 11:30am. Zoom information will be provided to families through email.  
For more information, email Children’s Ministry Director, Sandra Pathik.
Connect to Youth
Picture above (Left to Right): In the spirit of high school memories, I thought I would give the youth a laugh. Check out the cross country photo, an SI graduation with siblings, a brief foray into playing football, and God bless Jon! Sigh, gotta love the hair!

Take care all and keep washing those hands!
Tom

SUNDAY
1130AM Church School (6-12th)

TUESDAY
7PM Confirmation Class

WEDNESDAY
5PM Junior High Check-in / we'll keep playing games on various platforms.

South Africa: I wanted to make sure that I highlighted that our trip to South Africa has been postponed. I've pushed back our trip to next year. If you'd like to know more, please read here .
Contact 
St. John's Church 
PO Box 217 
14 Lagunitas Road 
Ross, CA 94957

415.456.1102