The littlest volunteer at last Sunday's parish service project carries a tray of brown bag lunches to the car for delivery to the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room.
07.11.19
Connect to God 
When I was in high school, my dad took a job that involved work along the Texas-Mexico border. My siblings and I went to visit him for Christmas, staying at a friend’s house in the middle of nowhere. We had a great time catching up, eating great Mexican food and talking over campfires at night. One afternoon we took a long walk in the scrubland along the border. I remember feeling like we were so very far away from everything - we could see the ribbon of smoke coming up from the chimney of the house and the gray, snaking highway but not much else. Only dirt, cactus, mesquite, dry and inhospitable, as far as the eye could see. Nothing you could eat, no shade, no water for miles and miles and miles.

My dad stopped abruptly and pointed to a low, prickly mesquite tree. Under it was a rough blanket, a plastic milk carton of water with just a few sips left, and two sets of footprints. One of the sets of footprints was clearly that of a small child. He said, “Remember this when you hear people talk about who deserves to be here and who doesn’t.” He kept walking and never said anything about it again. 

Now my dad was, at the time, a gun-owning Rush Limbaugh listener who once tried to convince me that Nixon was “misunderstood.” But he wanted us to see beyond the politics and understand how desperate a family would have to be to cross the border on foot. He wanted us to see the people behind the politics and react to them, not the rhetoric. 

This experience came to mind when I read the designated Hebrew Bible reading for Independence Day from the book of Deuteronomy: 

The Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the foreigner, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the foreigner, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. 

Now, I know that I am beginning to sound dangerously “political.” But I am not speaking as a Democrat or a Republican or advocating for a particular immigration policy. 

However, I am saying that as Christians - whether we believe in stricter immigration laws or in increasing the number of migrants and refugees allowed to settle in the US - we are called by our Scripture to love the foreigner in our midst. The Gospel is not about assigning blame or deciding who “deserves” compassion and help. We are called to react to people, not politics. We are called to love the foreigner.

The suffering of families in detention on our border is an offense to the Gospel. As Christians, how will we respond? Perhaps you might choose to learn more about the issues and advocate for the policies you believe in - there are compassionate solutions from both parties. There are some great resources for learning about immigration here . You might choose to give financially to organizations that help those who are given refugee status to resettle in the United States or organizations that help to reunite separated families and unaccompanied minors.

You might choose to support migrants and refugees in our own community by volunteering with Canal Alliance , an organization in Marin that does excellent work with Spanish-speaking immigrants, offering emergency help, job training, English classes, counseling, and an array of other services. Also for information about supporting the Marin Organizing Committee which is helping recent immigrants in the Canal to avoid eviction, email Rev. Ginger. 

Our call to follow Jesus is bigger than a political party. How will we be faithful in response to this crisis?
The Rev. Ginger Strickland, Associate Priest
Connect to Community
Summer Scheduling
  • Yoga St. John’s will continue to meet on Mondays from 6:15-7:30 throughout the summer.
  • The Christian Mediation Group will continue to gather in the chapel every Tuesday morning at 7:15am for a service of prayer and Christian meditation. Also known as contemplative prayer, meditation seeks God in the stillness and silence beyond word and thought. All are welcome – beginners and longtime practitioners!
  • Women of Wisdom will not meet in July and August - we’ll look forward to seeing you on Thursday, September 26 for fellowship and theological exploration.

Second Thursday Lunch and Eucharist meets today at noon but will not meet in August. We will offer eucharist in the chapel but a meal will not be provided afterward. All are welcome to bring a brown bag meal and share conversation after the service. 

Parish Weekend Away  Hiking trails, swimming pool, tree swing, simple but well-appointed rooms, lots of car-free space for kids to roam, campfire, and amazing food! All are invited to the  The Bishop's Ranch   for our annual St. John's Parish Weekend. This year we'll gather from Friday, 9/6 to Sunday, 9/8 for fellowship, fun, rest, and spiritual development. Our staff and clergy provide activities and program for all ages: some of which are age-specific, and some inter-generational. Online sign-up coming soon.

Tennis Fest 2019 . . . Love & Serve!  All tennis players, young and old, are enthusiastically invited to the beautiful Lagunitas Club for an exciting afternoon of tennis and fun on Sunday, October 20. More information to come.

Please consider hosting an experience for the upcoming Harvest Party! The Harvest Party planning committee is hoping to simultaneously build community and raise funds by offering a variety of fun and engaging activities for purchase at the October 19th event. The possibilities are many! Teach a class, join with neighbors and offer a progressive dinner, host a tennis or golf gathering at your club, put on a pool party or board game night with snacks, lead a hike with a picnic… Have ideas?  Email Emily McFarland, Director of Stewardship.
Connect to Service
BBQ, Games, and Fun St. John’s is providing food, cooks, and games for the Gilead House back to school BBQ at Pioneer Park on the afternoon of August 4. We are in need of side dishes to share, folks to work the grill, and teens to lead games for small children. Interested? Please email parishioner Alice Pidgeon.

Interfaith Street Chaplaincy provides once a week support and community to homeless people living outside. About once per quarter, St. John’s cooks and serves a meal - and then joins our guests in eating and sharing. If you’d like to help, please email Rev. Ginger and you’ll be contacted before our next meal. Children are allowed with parental supervision.

Do you speak Spanish? Gilead House is in need of Spanish-speaking volunteers to work with immigrant families. This is a wonderful opportunity to build relationship and help a family transition out of homelessness. Email Rev. Ginger to learn more.
Connect to Children
Click here to know what St. John’s kids did in Sunday School on June 23.

This year’s Adventure Camp’s theme is ROAR! It’s where kids will explore God’s goodness and celebrate a ferocious faith that powers them through this wild life. Kids from pre-K through 5th grade are invited to join! It’s on July 29 th through August 2 nd at 9am to 122noon. Youth have an opportunity to serve as counselor-in-training. Parents can volunteer to help a day or more during the week. We will have a special surprise feature during the camp. Registration for campers is $50 and $20 for youth assistants. 
Scholarship will be provided if needed. You can register online here .
Connect to Youth
Summary of Sunday 7/14/19

SUNDAY
  • Church School - Guest Speaker Betsy Rosen will be sharing a little bit about what life like for her growing up in the South.

  • Pilgrimage Blessing - Youth Going on Pilgrimage will be blessed after Communion on Sunday.

  • Espresso Hr - end of church till 11:30 AM

  • After Church:
  • Movie: Far from Home - Spiderman, either the 12 or 1245 showing at Fairfax 6 / movie is 2hrs, PG13 / Bring money for lunch

Next Confirmation Class
  • To sign up for our next youth confirmation class, please email Tom
  • The confirmation program is open to 8th - 12th graders.
Note: I'd like to cap the class at 10 youth
***People that have contacted me so far:***
8 - Ella Broome, Allegra di Carpegna, Charlotte Fishburne, Lucie Garbo, Alex Mitchell, Tor & Annelisa Svensen, and Cameron Taylor. 

Pilgrimage to North Carolina
  • latest update is here.

Nostalgic Videos of the Past Year(s):
Here's a few video retrospectives of the last year:
Connect to Music
Summer Choir for Adults & Teens  St. John’s resumes its now-traditional 'summer choir,' inviting anyone who wants to drop in on Sundays for the 9am rehearsal and 10am service. The choir’s normal Thursday evening rehearsals will be suspended until after Labor Day. The repertoire for the summer choir will be easy to master, fun to perform, and appropriate to the agreeable moods that California summers often bring us. JOIN US!  We’ll enjoy having you with us, whether just once or for the duration!

This Sunday's Music  To learn what Music Director David Montgomery has to say regarding the music selected for this Sunday's service, click  here. 
Sundays
8am: Eucharist in the Church
9am: Family Eucharist in the Parish Hall
10am: Eucharist in the Church
& Sunday School
Mondays
Tuesdays
7.15am: Meditation in the Chapel
2nd & 4th Tuesdays 
6pm: Dinner Church in the Parish Hall 
2nd Thursdays
Noon: Eucharist in the Chapel  
Contact 
St. John's Church 
PO Box 217 
14 Lagunitas Road 
Ross, CA 94957

415.456.1102