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connect ST. JOHN'S
issue 02.02.23
The scene at last Sunday's Annual Meeting in the Parish Hall.
connect GOD

This weekend, the clergy and Vestry of St. John’s will gather for a retreat at The Bishop’s Ranch. This gathering happens each year on the weekend following our Annual Meeting. It’s a time for the Vestry to learn about its responsibilities, to engage in prayer and spiritual reflection together, and to vision and plan for the coming year. I imagine there will also be an optional hike, some quiet time to enjoy the beauty of the Ranch or a nap, some delicious food, and laughter. On Saturday evening I will head back so that I may be present at Church for our Sunday services. On Sunday morning, Rev. Chris will celebrate the Eucharist with our Vestry at the Ranch, and then Sunday afternoon he will begin his sabbatical. 

This past Sunday we commissioned and blessed Rev. Chris, inviting him to “lay aside the obligations of daily parish life and engage in the practice of holy rest,” and we prayed that this sabbatical would hydrate his soul. The practice of sabbatical is deeply rooted in our Scripture. In the first creation story that unfolds like a poem at the beginning of the Book of Genesis, God speaks Creation into being, day by day, for six days. On the seventh day, God rests from all the work that has been done, and God blesses and hallows the seventh day. And then in the Book of Leviticus, God shares with Moses a practice of sabbath rest for the land. Fields are to be planted and vineyards are to be pruned for six years, and in the seventh year, the land is granted a sabbath rest. In the midst of this special rest, the land will continue to produce food, providing for the people of Israel. We are invited to pattern our lives in a similar way.

As the religious scholar Abraham Joshua Heschel points out in his book, The Sabbath, the first thing to be described in the Bible as holy isn’t a mountain or an altar or some other tangible thing, it is time - the seventh day. He writes, “on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the world of creation to the creation of the world” (page 10). In the Book of Leviticus, when the land is offered a sabbath rest, even though it is not being planted or pruned, the land will continue to provide and produce food for the people. Both of these examples remind us to trust - to trust in God and God’s provision.

One of the ways we can support Rev. Chris while he is on sabbatical is through prayer. During the four months he is engaging in holy rest, we are holding a prayer vigil, of sorts, for him. You are invited to sign-up for a Sunday and hold him in prayer in any way that feels right to you. There is a prayer provided, which you are welcome to use, or perhaps praying looks more like taking a walk, or a bike ride, and setting an intention to support Chris through reflecting on sabbath or rest or the Church’s mission in the world or anything else that stirs your heart.

Follow this link to sign-up: Sabbatical Prayers for Rev. Chris.

The Rev. Heather Erickson, Associate Priest
email Rev. Heather
Pastoral Notes & Prayer list
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. 

[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry issued a pastoral word on January 28, the morning after the Memphis Police Department issued body-camera footage of the beating of Tyre Nichols. The 29-year-old motorist was beaten by Memphis police officers after a Jan. 7 traffic stop and died as a result of the injuries three days later. The five police officers involved were charged on Jan. 26 with second-degree murder. Protests took place in cities across the U.S. on Jan. 27 as the footage became public.

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 email Amy Rankin-Williams with any questions or interest.

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.
Spiritual Direction Are you a woman who has found herself at a crossroads? You might be asking yourself, "Where am I being led?" "Who am I, truly?" "How do I let go and allow the healing to begin?" If this resonates, spiritual direction could be the path for you. Spiritual direction is following the Divine into the questions, the unknown, the new seasons, and the heartbreaks; and discovering clarity, peace, a deeper connection with God, and your true self along the way. Parishioner and spiritual director, Jennifer Whitaker, is offering spiritual direction for the women at St. John's. If interested, please contact Jennifer here. She is a certified spiritual director, trained at San Francisco Theological Seminary.
connect CHILDREN
Sunday School @ 10AM Sunday School is open to kids from preschool to 5th grade. This Sunday we will have two classes, one in the Fireside Room for kids preschool to 2nd grade and the other class will be in the Garden Room near the Youth Room for kids 3rd to 5th grade. 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 Children's Ministry.

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: SKQA80. 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  Maurice Greene started out as a choirboy at St. Paul’s Cathedral singing for Jeremiah Clarke. He also studied organ there and took over the post of organist there in 1718. With the death of William Croft in 1727, Greene became organist at the Chapel Royal and in 1730 he became Professor of Music at Cambridge University. In 1735 he was appointed Master of the King’s Musick. At his death, Greene was working on the compilation Cathedral Music, which his student and successor as Master of the King's Musick, William Boyce, was to complete. Many items from that collection are still used in Anglican services today.

It’s no accident that Greene’s style owes a lot to Henry Purcell, as he knew two of Purcell’s brothers who were accomplished musicians, and to Georg Friderick Handel. Greene was such an admirer of Handel’s talents as an organist that, according to historian Charles Burney, he had “condescended to become [Handel’s] bellows-blower when he went to St. Paul’s to play on the organ … Handel, after three o’clock prayers, used frequently to get himself and young Greene locked up in the church together, and in summer often stript unto his shirt, and played till eight or nine o’clock at night.”

The Sundays after the Feast of the Epiphany (celebrated January 6, twelve days after Christmas) contain narratives of the revelation of Jesus as the divine Son of God, manifested through various events and miracles. Our closing hymn today (“Songs of Thankfulness and Praise”) is appropriate because of the cycle of references, starting with the Baptism of Jesus, through his changing of water into wine at the marriage feast in Cana. The tune dates to 1678, but its name, Salzburg, was first used by the editors of the publication, Hymns Ancient and Modern, which was influential in the creation of the Episcopal hymnal. The harmony of the tune (originally written by Jakob Hintze) has been ascribed to J. S. Bach, but it is more likely by Johann Pachelbel.

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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