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connect ST. JOHN'S
issue 01.19.23
Rev. Chris shortly after his ordination in 1997.
connect GOD
Yesterday, on the Feast day of the Confession of Peter, I celebrated the 26th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. In the Gospel, Jesus asks the disciples, "who do you say that I am?" Peter answers for the disciples saying, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus then says the Peter is the rock upon which he will build his church. The confession of Peter is notable because it is both Peter confessing/proclaiming who Jesus is and Jesus accepting the title of Messiah. As I've said many times, I take great comfort in having been ordained on the Confession of Peter because Peter is called into leadership in the church, but also makes so many mistakes, including denying three times that he even knows Jesus after Jesus is arrested. For me it is a reminder that we are all works in progress. God does not call us to be perfect — Lord know I make plenty of mistakes — God calls us to be faithful, or at least strive to be. 

I will not always be a rector — though I hope and plan to be for many more years — but I will always be a priest. The examination portion of the ordination service includes a sort of job description for priests:

My brother, the Church is the family of God, the body of 
Christ, and the temple of the Holy Spirit. All baptized people 
are called to make Christ known as Savior and Lord, and to 
share in the renewing of his world. Now you are called to 
work as pastor, priest, and teacher, together with your 
bishop and fellow presbyters, and to take your share in the 
councils of the Church.

As a priest, it will be your task to proclaim by word and deed 
the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to fashion your life in 
accordance with its precepts. You are to love and serve the 
people among whom you work, caring alike for young and 
old, strong and weak, rich and poor. You are to preach, to 
declare God's forgiveness to penitent sinners, to pronounce 
God's blessing, to share in the administration of Holy 
Baptism and in the celebration of the mysteries of Christ's 
Body and Blood, and to perform the other ministrations 
entrusted to you.

In all that you do, you are to nourish Christ's people from the 
riches of his grace, and strengthen them to glorify God in this 
life and in the life to come.

What I love about this is that priesthood is relational and always exercised in the context of community. For me, an important part of priesthood is affirming what is often said in the ordination process: God calls all of us to ministry, the question is to which ministry have you been called. My calling is to the priesthood. What is yours?
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.

Note: The funeral for Mary Amonette is at St. John's on Saturday, January 28 at 2pm.

Church 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. 

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

Bishop Search Survey The search committee for the next bishop of our diocese is seeking input from people across the diocese though an online survey. The survey is available here and is open until January 23. Please share your thoughts. Rev. Chris is on the search committee. Please speak with him if you have any questions.
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!

Confirm Not Conform Our next meeting is this Sunday, January 22nd. In this class – titled “World Religions” – we will be learning about a beautifully diverse range of different religious traditions across the globe. 

Our meetings are at 12 pm on Sunday mornings in the Youth Room and typically last around an hour.

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 Charles Wesley (1707-1788) exerted influence on all Christians through his hymn collections. He wrote and translated a number of hymn texts (over 6000 of them!) and promoted congregational singing as a vital part of worship. Born in Lincolnshire, he was one of eighteen children of an Anglican clergyman (Samuel), brother of John and Samuel the Younger (also clergymen). He would later father a famous musician (Sebastian) and be a grandather to an even more famous musician (Samuel Sebastian, who was named after J. S. Bach).

Charles is most closely associated with his brother John (1703-1791) with whom he formed a prayer group at Oxford, where they both studied. John would eventually mold the group’s belief system according to his own convictions, and they were known by outsiders by such derogatory names as the “Holy Club,” the “Sacramentarians” and famously the “Methodists.” A few years after becoming Anglican clergy themselves, they each, almost simultaneously, had a conversion experience. This led Charles to become fervently engaged in spreading the Gospel, which he did mostly through his hymn writing, whereas John was known primarily as a preacher. The Methodist Church exists today because of their work but, in their day, both men believed that Methodism lay firmly within the Anglican tradition.

 “O for a thousand tongues to sing” first entered the Episcopal hymnal in 1871, only to be taken out in 1874, reentered in 1892, taken out again in 1916, and restored in the 1940 Hymnal. It is from Charles Wesley’s eighteen-stanza(!) hymn entitled “For the Anniversary Day of One’s Conversion.” In order, we sing what was originally the seventh, eighth. Ninth, eleventh, twelfth, and first stanzas. It is traditionally the opening hymn found in the Methodist hymnal.

The text “Christ for the world we sing” was written by Samuel Wolcott (1813-1886) while he was pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church, Cleveland. In 1869, he was a delegate to the 25th annual convention of the Young Men’s Christian Association (originally the YMCA was founded as a group that aimed to put Christian principals into people’s daily practice, and having a healthy body was only one aspect of that). Wolcott served as a missionary in Syria and was deeply impressed by the motto for the convention, “Christ for the world, and the world for Christ.” He would develop that into the hymn we know today.

The tune Moscow was originally paired with the text “Come thou, almighty King” (Hymn 365), and both are examples of an alternate definition of the word “parody.” Today we understand the word as “creating a composition based on a previous one which imitates the original in an intentionally mocking way,” but it can also be defined as “making use of a preexisting composition to create a new one.” Both the original text and the tune were parodies of “God save the King,” and the idea was to create an anthem that would be sung by the church that put the reign of God in the proper perspective vis-à-vis the reign of a earthly ruler. The later text became popular in the early 20th C. The tune name reflects the place of the death of the composer, Felice de Giardini.

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


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