An outdoor celebration of the Holy Eucharist concluded last weekend's parish retreat at The Bishop's Ranch. (Photo by Jed Dearing)
09.12.19
Connect to God 
This past weekend over 60 parishioners of all ages gathered at The Bishop’s Ranch in Healdsburg for our annual Parish Weekend. The Parish Weekend is always one of my favorite events of the year. I love spending time with so many church members building our community, sharing our faith and having tons of fun in an extraordinarily beautiful setting. 

The theme of the weekend was transformation. One of the workshops focused on transformation through worship. In our tradition we affirm that the Eucharist is primarily about changing human lives. The primary theology of the Episcopal Church is the language of our worship. Our beliefs are shaped by our corporate prayers.

During the worship workshop the participants planned all aspects of the Eucharist service we celebrated at the Ranch on Sunday morning. This included deciding what spaces we would use and how they would be arranged. We crafted a transformative liturgy with everyone sharing in the leadership roles. The opening prayer for the service was written by Jane Heath. ((During Rev. Ginger’s opening remarks she referred to a great article about the theory that everyone can be classified as a Chaos Muppet or an Order Muppet. It generated a lot of discussion and is referenced in the prayer. Read the article is  here .

Gathering prayer for SJ at the Bishop’s Ranch Transformation Service
Lord Jesus Christ 
Ever present, ever the same,
ever-changing 
we welcome you into our midst this morning 
we invite you into our hearts and minds And the spaces between them. 
we welcome you, as you have welcomed each and everyone of us,
No matter where we are on our journey nor what roads we have traveled to reach this point
Our time of gathering here at the Bishop’s Ranch - this mystical place where lives are changed - is drawing to a close. 
And so we come together in this circle of fellowship to conclude these first small steps of exploration into the possibilities for transformation in our faith and our lives. 
God whether you created us as chaos muppets, order muppets or a confusing conflicting mix of the two, we ask that you hold us in the palm of your hand as we worship you in this experimental ‘ready for transformation service’
Together lets us rise and shine and give God the glory. 
Amen

May each of us take the steps that lead us deeper into the transforming power of God’s love.
The Rev. Chris Rankin-Williams, Rector
Connect to Community
Welcome Sunday & Parish BBQ  All are invited to attend a BBQ on the lawn after the 10am service this Sunday, September 15. Welcome Sunday marks the official start of our Sunday School program year, as well as the return of the Chancel Choir to the 10am service. Grilling is courtesy of the St. John's Men's Group

Monday Bible Study resuming. We’ll start meeting on Monday, September 23 in the youth room from 1-2:30pm. This group is open to all whether you’re new to reading scripture or a regular participant.

Spirituality in the Second Half of Life: The ‘second half of life’ - however you define it - invites us to new and important spiritual work. For six weeks in October and November, small groups will be meeting at different times and places to discuss theologian Richard Rohr’s book on this topic. Interested? Sign up by emailing Rev. Ginger at and you’ll be invited to a group that fits your schedule. Deadline for signups is September 23.

In Search of Belief: Theologian Joan Chittister says “we live in an age of expanding religion and a diminishing God.” She invites us to a faith that is alive, open, reflective, and connected to world around us. For six weeks in October and November, small groups will be meeting at different times and places to discuss her book on this topic. Interested? Sign up by emailing Rev. Ginger, and you’ll be invited to a group that fits your schedule. Child care will be available at some of the group meeting for a small fee. Deadline for signups is September 23.

Dinner Church . . . There's a place for you at the table . Dinner Church resumes its regular 2nd and 4th Tuesday schedule on Tuesday, September 24 in the Parish Hall from 6-8pm. Deepen your faith, build community, and dine on a delicious homemade four-course dinner. If you want to cook with us, contact Virginia Kosydar, Church Administrator via  email  or at 415-456-1102, x102 to sign up. Join us in the kitchen and/or at the table!

New or New-ish to St. John’s? Join us for coffee, donuts, and a fun, low-key introduction to what our church believes and what it means to be a member. These short sessions will take place on Sunday, September 29 after the 9am service in the Parish Hall and after the 10am service in the Youth Room. Child care will be offered.

St. John’s Harvest Party Saturday October 19, 6 to 10pm in the Parish Hall. Join your fellow parishioners in a festive gathering of exceptionally tasty food, a well curated bar, amazing experiences to purchase and a chance to celebrate the season with this special community. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased after the 9 and 10AM services, by calling the office (415) 456-1102 or emailing Emily McFarland, Director of Stewardship.

Love & Serve 2: St. John’s Tennis Fest!  All tennis players, young and old, are enthusiastically invited to the beautiful Lagunitas Country Club for an exciting afternoon of tennis and fun. Open to the St. John's community and guests, tennis matches will be organized for men's doubles, women's doubles, mixed doubles, and youth doubles (ages 12-18).
When: Sunday, October 20 from 1:30 to 4pm
Cost: $25/youth, $50/adult or $100/family registrations (3 or more).
Sign up now by contacting Emily McFarland via email or at 415.456.1102, x117. Register online here .

Leave a legacy at St. John’s . An Episcopal church (not SJR) in our area has received two homes this year from parishioners who left their homes to the church in their estates. One of the homes will be used as much needed housing for their associate priest. A home to provide staff housing or rental income would be an incredible gift for St. John’s. A house is one of many ways to include St. John’s in your estate plan. St. John’s Cornerstone Society honors all those who have included it in their planned giving. Please contact Rector Rev. Chris or Director of Stewardship Emily McFarland to discuss leaving a legacy gift to St. John’s.

Worshipers targeted by gift card scam The FTC is seeing a new spin on gift card scams: "This time, scammers are pretending to be a pastor, rabbi, priest, imam, or bishop. They’re asking worshipers for gift card contributions for a worthy cause. Appeals are often made by email, but we’ve heard people are also getting texts and phone calls, too." For more information, click here.
Connect to Service
Prepare Brown Bag Meals: Every 1st Sunday of the month at the coffee hour after our 10am service, St. John’s parishioners make brown bag meals for our homeless and hungry neighbors. These meals are distributed through St. Vincent De Paul. Please let Rev. Ginger know if you’d like to join our great leadership team (shopping, set up, delivery). This is a great project for an adult or teen!

Opportunities at Gilead House Please email Rev. Ginger at to volunteer at this Transitional Housing facility for moms and kids experiencing homelessness.
  • Administrative Volunteers: Have a couple of hours once a week during business hours? Help with simple admin tasks, answer phone calls, and get to know Gilead House families. 
  • Saturday Activity Leaders: Have a hobby or activity to share? A great opportunity for individuals or groups. Lead an enrichment activity for moms or kids on a Saturday morning.
  • Mentors for moms: after training from Gilead House, work one-on-one with a mom in transition. Listen, care, help with job research and resumes. (volunteers age 18 and up)
  • Childcare volunteer: after training, care for kids onsite at Gilead as their moms take life-skills classes. A great chance to encourage, listen, and learn with a great group of kids going through a difficult transition. Tuesday and Wednesday nights, 6:15-7:30pm. Sign up for the days that work for you. A great way to volunteer alongside your child; all children under 14 must attend with a parent.

Serve hot meals and share conversation : at St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room with those in need of food and community. Saturdays from 10:30am-1pm. To learn more, contact Becky Hlesbasko via email or phone, 415-846-1589 for details.

When am I scheduled? Check Ministry Scheduler Pro (MSP) To view the volunteer schedule for the church, click here .
Connect to Children
Our Sunday School Program begins this Sunday, September 15.  We have two classes: Class Hope for preK to 2nd grade and Class Faith for 3rd-5th grade. Classes start at 10am every Sunday. This Sunday, all kids will meet in the Parish Hall to assemble before going to their respective classes for a Show and Tell Introduction and Orientation. Kids are requested to bring a family picture if available. Parents are requested to register their kids.  

Nursery Care is available for children aged 0-3 years old every Sunday (except for Christmas & New Year) during our 10am service. We have a paid and trained nursery worker who works alongside parent/youth volunteers to offer care to our youngest parishioners. Registration is required.

For more information, contact Sandra Pathik, Director of Children’s Ministry, via email or at 415.456.1102, x115.
Connect to Youth
First, a huge thank you to Anne Doyle who provided fresh baked bread last weekend for my wife's installation as the new Rector at St. Paul's Walnut Creek. I had our parish and my wife's previous parish donate the sacramental elements (Communion bread & wine) as symbols of support for her new ministry. It was a fantastic Saturday!

SUNDAY
  • Junior High Church School @ 9AM - we'll be having a kick off of our Junior High Class at 9AM with Suzanne Egan! Yes, there will be donuts!

  • Senior High Church School @ 10AM - Jon is back and we'll have our kick off our Senior High Church School class. Yes, there will be donuts here as well!

  • Confirmation Class Blessing after communion during the 10AM service

  • Espresso Hr - after church, youth will be making drinks in the Parish Hall. If you are new to SJR, please come by for a free drink.

  • Snow Cones & Parish BBQ - youth will have a chance to make snow cones for all the children of the parish.

  • Senior High Youth Group - 6pm parish hall
  • Whip Cream pie fight, water balloon fight, and pizza!
  • bring a change of clothes and a towel!

Summer Youth Pilgrimage - to SOUTH AFRICA!
  • Informational meeting 9/22 at 11:30 a.m. in the Youth Room
  • If your youth is interested in going please email Tom
  • Dates: June 13-25, 2020.
  • Cost 4K-ish, Commitment deposit of $100 due before 10/1
  • Join before 10/1 - have scholarship access
  • After 10/1 - you are responsible for full cost.
  • More details to come.

Summer Youth Pilgrimage Reflection
  • Sunday 9/22 at the 10 AM service. Come here our pilgrimage youth share stories from the trip.
Connect to Music
Announcing Ross Arts at St. John’s, Season Two ! Ross Arts opens its new season on Sunday, October 27, at 3pm in the Parish Hall. Special guests from Seattle will be Joseph Gottesman (viola), Yuka Gottesman (piano), and Hana Gottesman (violin), joining SF Conservatory Professor Paul Hersh and St. John’s Music Director David Montgomery. The program features two major works: Benjamin Britten’s Lachrymae on two songs by the renaissance master John Dowland, as well as J.S. Bach’s delightful Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B-flat major. The concert is a free event. All are welcome to enjoy the music and a glass of good California wine (also gratis). A freewill offering will be announced, and donations will go towards maintaining this tradition at St. John’s.

St. John's Choirs for Adults & Teens
  • Our Chancel Choir is open and welcoming to all high-schoolers and adults who enjoy singing. The choir meets in the Parish Hall every Thursday evening from September to June at 7pm. Email David Montgomery, Director of Music for more information.
  • The Children’s Choir meets every Sunday from September to June after the 10am service for a short practice in the Sanctuary while parents enjoy coffee hour. Rehearsals this season will begin on Sunday, September 22. This group is for 2nd through 6th graders and sings approximately once a month at the 10am service, as well as for Christmas and Easter events.  
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