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connect ST. JOHN'S
issue 01.26.23
Staff office nameplates received an update this week.
connect GOD
This Sunday is our annual meeting directly following a shortened 10am service. It is also the last Sunday I will be at St. John's before the start of my sabbatical. The weekend of February 3-5 I will be with the vestry for our annual retreat at the Bishop's Ranch in Healdsburg. My sabbatical begins at the conclusion of the retreat.

At the annual meeting of the congregation we elect a new vestry class (the vestry is the board of directors of the church), delegates to diocesan convention, hear from our senior warden, and review the financials for 2022 and budget for 2023. Lunch will be provided at the meeting.

The 49ers NFC Championship game starts at noon on Sunday so we will do our best to conclude the meeting before the game begins.

One of the joys of being rector is getting to serve and lead the congregation with the members of our vestry. The vestry has 12 members plus me, your rector. Each year we elect a slate of four candidates for the new vestry class. Here are the candidates for vestry:

Claire Comins My husband Ed, daughters Sophia (now 23) Vanessa and Emily (twins, 21), moved to Marin County from London in 2012.

We worshipped at St John’s and Grace Cathedral as a family but it was really during the 2020 lockdowns and virtual services that I came to appreciate the strength of St John’s community and preaching.

I am now part of the AV (audio video) team and enjoy helping deliver the best livestream experience we can to our online congregation.

Having spent the first 40 years of my life in England, village churches have played a significant role in creating family memories. I went with my father to Saint Margaret’s, a tiny 12th-century church in Ditchling in Sussex, where I sang in the choir and, many years later, was where Ed and I were married.

When we raised our family in Kew, Richmond, Saint Anne’s church on Kew Green was where we made friends through junior church and celebrated all our children’s school services.

Graduating in languages and with a masters in journalism, my career started at BBC Worldwide where I was an editor specializing in children’s publishing. Here in Marin, I started my own STEM Education business, TinkerTech Camps, with a busy program of after-school enrichment and summer camps, some of which we hold in the Fireside Room at St John’s.

I am honored to explore this community further by being part of the vestry team.

Donalyn Hellar In my youth, church was a constant.  We were members of St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church, where I was confirmed and held leadership roles with the Jr. and Sr. Youth Groups.  These are very fond memories for me and something I really would like for my children. 

Growing up in NJ, I attended public school then moved to Boston where I graduated college with a BS in Psychology from Northeastern University.  After working in NYC, I relocated to SF to find employment in the software industry.  Eventually, I transitioned into marketing for the home remodeling/building industry, an industry I’ve enjoyed working in for over 15 years.  

In 2002, I met my husband Scott, a Marin County native.  The Rev. Chris Rankin-Williams married us and baptized both our children, Mason (14) and Madalyn (11).  As a family we enjoy many outdoor activities such as golf, boating, and skiing but in my spare time, I’m learning to ride and care for horses.  As members of St. John’s for nearly 18 years, we have supported and been supported by this beautiful church community.

 St. John’s reminded me of my church growing up—vibrant and welcoming.  Since joining St. John’s, I’ve explored many aspects of community service –volunteering as a mentor for Confirm Not Conform, teaching Sunday School, helping with Adventure Camp, making meals for Outreach programs, among many other opportunities to serve, and now, it’s an honor to be considered for the St. John’s Vestry. 

David Kinney I grew up in a rural community near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  I received undergraduate degrees in accounting and finance and graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.  During my legal career, I represented the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, the Oklahoma Tax Commission, the Office of the Oklahoma Attorney General and finished off my governmental career as the General Counsel for the Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction.  I currently represent (remotely) several Oklahoma entities in the issuance of public finance bond issues. 

I met my wife Shari at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church in Norman, Oklahoma, and we were married there. Twice I served as the Lay Leader for the congregation and served as Chair of the McFarlin Foundation for several years.  Shari and I served through Volunteers in Mission in Chuisamayac, Guatemala; Pilon, Cuba; Alajuela, Costa Rica; and Santa Clara, Cuba.  

COVID brought many changes to all our lives and Shari and I were no exception.  We decided that we wanted to be near to our grandchildren and be more involved in their growing up.  Eighteen months ago, we moved to Novato.  Our son Connor Kidd, his wife Julie, and our grandchildren Henley and Colton have attended St. John’s for several years and we came with them when we visited. We felt at home at St. John’s, so it seemed natural for us to join the congregation when we moved to California. 

I am looking forward to serving with the St. John’s vestry team.  

Alice Pidgeon  My family joined St. John’s Church Ross with the baptism of our son Ryan in 1995. Over the years, I enjoyed teaching Sunday School, volunteering at the annual fundraiser Tour de Noel, chairing The Giving Tree, co-chairing Lessons & Carols, mentoring 2 mothers and their children at Gilead House, and serving on the Outreach Committee.  St. John’s Ross has been a special place for our family.  Shannon and Ryan attended Sunday School, Yooth Group, Summer Mission Trips, Rite 13 and Confirmation.  Tim was transformed from a (former Catholic) atheist to an enthusiastic Episcopalian actively volunteering, fundraising and attending regular Sunday services.  He served on Vestry twice (although he wasn’t able to complete his 2nd term).

I hope to bring my appreciation and affection for St. John’s – it’s community and staff - my time, talent and treasure to assist the Vestry in its mission over the next 3 years.  I look forward to making new friends and having fun as we do God’s work together.

  • St. John’s parishioner since 1995
  • Residence: San Rafael
  • Profession: Financial Advisor and CFA with The Pidgeon Group of Wells Fargo Advisors
  • Current Volunteer Work: North Bay Children’s Center (NBCC) Board member and Finance Committee chair, Order of St. John – Officer and member of National Volunteer Corp and SF Regional Volunteer Chair
  • 2 adult children (Shannon and Ryan) live in SF
  • Recently widowed – Tim Pidgeon
  • Interests – Hiking, skiing, yoga, reading, dancing
The Rev. Chris Rankin-Williams, Rector
email Rev. Chris
Parish Annual Meeting: Sunday, January 29 After the 10am service all are invited to the Parish Hall for the annual meeting. This gathering is an opportunity to hear from the senior warden, reactor and review the financials and budget with the treasurer. A new vestry class is also elected by the congregation. All are invited to attend. Light lunch provided. The meeting will be in-person and live-streamed.

Pastoral Notes & Prayer list
The funeral for Mary Amonette is at St. John's this Saturday, January 28 at 2pm. The service will be in-person and live-streamed.
connect FAITH

Worship (inside)
9am: Family Worship (Held on the lawn, weather permitting, or in the Parish Hall.)
Worship (in-person & live stream)
Sunday School for children
Sunday School for youth 

Bible Study (Zoom) Please join us as we dive deeper into the Book of Ruth. All are welcome.

7:30am: Christian Meditation (Zoom)
Click here to receive an invite for the online service.

One TUESDAY a Month
Dinner Church in the Parish Hall (2/21, 3/21, 5/16)
Dinner Church Kitchen Crew signup

2nd SATURDAYS of the Month
8am: Men's Group 
Click here to request a meeting invite. 

connect GIVING

Annual Fund 2023 St. John’s is so grateful for your stewardship this year. This year we are asking for your support of our Annual Fund 2023 – ‘Connect to God through Stewardship.’  Your contribution makes a great impact on the financial stability and security of our parish. Please consider increasing your commitment by 10% to help us pay for higher operational costs caused by inflation as well as support of our vibrant parish programs. You can also go beyond that amount if you are able, increasing your commitment to God through Stewardship. Please give online or make a commitment. Your generous financial contributions will join with the other 295 pledging families making our one million dollar Annual Fund 2023 goal a reality. For assistance, please contact Lee Steward, Director of Stewardship via email or at 415.456.11023, x117.


St. John's Church Trip to Agape Farm in Malawi, Africa (July 10-20, 2023) The goal of the parish trip to Agape Farm, Malawi, Africa is to deepen our understanding of other peoples, their culture, traditions, and forms of religious practice. Parishioners will engage with the Agape Farm community by visiting the surrounding villages, meeting village chiefs and community leaders, assisting in the teaching and tutoring of school age children, partaking in the support groups, and/or contributing to the maintenance of the farm and its buildings. In doing so, we will strengthen our existing partnership with Agape Farm and Father Francis Matumba. Additionally, St. John’s parishioners will have the opportunity to help shape the itinerary by planning non-service activities. Given we will stay at a hotel on Lake Malawi near Salima, our activities could be around the water as well as a visit to the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve.

Please join parishioner Amy Rankin-Williams on a Zoom call to learn more:
Tuesday, January 31 at 7pm or Wednesday, February 1 at 7pm. Join Zoom Meeting

St. Vincent de Paul Bagged Meals: Sunday, February 12 Please join us after the 10am service to help prepare bagged meals which will then be distributed to those in need through the St. Vincent de Paul dining room. For more information, contact Rev. Heather.
Winter Book Read: March 5 (date change) Our next title is Do I Stay Christian?: A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed, and the Disillusioned by Brian McLaren. McLaren is a public theologian and author of several books including A Generous Orthodoxy, Everything Must Change, and A New Kind of Christian. More information about McLaren may be found here. We will gather for discussion and reflection on Sunday, March 5th, at 11:30am. For more information, contact Rev. Heather.
connect CHILDREN
Sunday School @ 10AM Sunday School is open to kids from preschool to 5th grade. This Sunday our class will be combined in the Fireside Room. The kids will join the parents in the church for communion after the class.  If you have any questions, please email Sandra Pathik, Director of Stewardship.

Children's Worship Bulletin Download the Children’s Worship Bulletin for 3+ years old and 7+years old. Free online game included. Secret code to unlock the game: JGPF23. This Worship Bulletin is updated every week. 
connect YOUTH

Click here for our Spring 2023 Youth Calendar

Sunday Morning Youth Group We meet at the 10 am service – 6th-12th grade in the Youth Room. Join us for doughnuts and good chats. 

Sunday Evening Youth Group We meet from 5:00-6:30 pm on Sunday evenings. Join us for games, chatting, crafts, service projects, and more! Dinner is provided.

Evening Youth Group Dinner Volunteers We need volunteers to provide dinner for Evening Youth Group as we enter Spring 2023 of our program year. Sign up here
Your help is always appreciated!

Navajo Nation High School Youth Trip 2023 Join us for our next incredible High School Trip as we journey into the heart of Navajo Nation from June 11th to 17th. This trip is open to rising high school freshmen through 2023 high school graduates and costs around $1500 per person.* For more information, please contact Maggie Doyle, Youth Minister or Sign Up here  *Scholarships available 

Youth Group on Instagram Follow Youth Group St. John's at _y_g_s_j_ 
connect MUSIC
This Sunday's Music  Jane Marshall was a composer of choral music, a hymnist, poet and teacher. A longtime member of the Meadows School of the Arts theory faculty and the Sacred Music graduate faculty at Perkins School of Theology at SMU, she taught in the summer continuing education program there and was active as a clinician for choral organizations around the country. A distinguished alumna of SMU, Jane was been honored twice by the Southern Baptist Musicians Conference and also by the Fellowship of United Methodist Musicians for her contributions to church music. She composed more than 200 anthems, hymns, and other sacred works.

Dale Wood's career as a composer was launched at the age of thirteen when he became the winner of a national hymn‑writing competition for the American Lutheran Church. His first choral anthem was accepted for publication one year later.

Wood has served as organist and choirmaster for Lutheran and Episcopal churches in Hollywood, Riverside, and San Francisco, California. He has published numerous articles on worship, liturgy, and church music and was a contributing editor to the Journal of Church Music for over a decade. His monthly column appeared in the Methodist journal, Music Ministry, for three years. He has lectured and conducted choral festivals throughout the United States, Canada, and Northern Europe, served as editorial consultant for several hymnals, and made numerous contributions to the Inter‑Lutheran Commission on Worship. Wood headed the publication committee of the Choristers Guild from 1970–1974. After serving as music director at the Grace Cathedral School for Boys in San Francisco (1973–1974), he was appointed executive editor for The Sacred Music Press, a position he held from 1975 to 1996. He served as editor emeritus for The Sacred Music Press from 1996 until 2001. Dale Wood has been honored with the Exemplar Medallion from California Lutheran University for his extraordinary contribution to the world of music.

The St. John’s Choir sings weekly at the 10 AM Sunday service, as well as special services for the Christmas and Easter seasons. This warm and welcoming group sings repertoire from all periods and many different styles, from plainchant to polyphony, from Handel to Hairston. While there is no audition required to join, it is hoped that members are able to read music well enough to find their way around a musical score. Rehearsals take place Thursday evenings from 7:15 PM until 9 PM.

The St. John’s Choristers welcome all children ages 6 through 12 into the program. No prior musical experience is necessary and there is no audition to join. Currently, the Choristers rehearse on Sundays at 11:15 AM (or just after the 10 AM service) for about a half-hour to forty-five minutes. We learn the basics of reading music, as well as develop a Sunday morning repertoire through rote learning, which includes hymns, chants, and rounds.
Copyright © 2023 St. John's Episcopal Church, Ross, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
St. John's Episcopal Church
PO Box 217
Ross, CA 94957


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