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connect ST. JOHN'S
issue 03.16.23
connect GOD

As people seeking to live a life rooted in Christ - a life shaped by the life and teachings of Jesus - we have inherited a rich tradition of sacred stories. While the Bible is presented as one unified book, it is actually a collection of a variety of different books and different types of literature, all bound together. These stories were written by our ancestors in the faith, and many of the writings started out as stories that were passed along by word of mouth. Some of the oldest parts of the Bible were probably written in the 10th century BCE and some of the newest in the 1st and 2nd centuries CE. It’s old. And it’s full of wisdom and wonder about God and humankind and why we are the way we are. It’s full of stories of people making good choices and people making not so good choices. In the Episcopal Church, we consider the Holy Scriptures to be the Word of God, because “God inspired their human authors and because God still speaks to us through the Bible” (Book of Common Prayer, page 853). It is the Spirit of God who guides us, the church, in interpreting and understanding these sacred stories. 

Our Monday evening Bible Study is embarking on an exploration of the Acts of the Apostles, and to help frame our conversations, we are using Willie James Jennings’ Commentary on Acts. Jennings is an ordained Baptist minister and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies at Yale Divinity School. He writes that the author of Acts (who also wrote the gospel of Luke) “wants his readers to see a past unfolding in a future and making intelligible a present” (page 2). I have an image in my mind’s eye of someone reaching one hand back into the past to draw the stories into a future that is unwritten and unknown, and somehow, amidst this swirl of movement, we are offered insight into the present moment, the place where we are right now. 

I think that’s a bit like the way our worship works - “the past unfolding in a future and making intelligible a present.” We are currently worshiping our way through the season of Lent which is a time of preparation, so we may be made ready to receive the mystery of the resurrection. In a couple of weeks we will arrive at Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week, a time where we corporately move through the events of the last few days of Jesus’ life and ministry. We will share a meal together on Maundy Thursday. On Good Friday we will remember the event of the Cross. And on Easter (which begins at the Vigil we hold on Saturday evening and carries through all the Sunday morning gatherings), we will celebrate the mystery and the miracle of Easter. We hope you will join us so that together, we may be moved by these events that happened long ago, and yet are still shaping and transforming our lives today.

Prayer list & Pastoral Notes
The Rev Heather Erickson, Associate Priest
email Rev. Heather
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). All are welcome. We are reading the Acts of the Apostles.

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 (3/21, 5/16)

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

Sunday, April 2: Palm Sunday liturgy at 8am, 9am, 10am
Thursday, April 6: Maundy Thursday Agape Meal and foot-washing at 6pm  
Friday, April 7: Good Friday liturgy at noon
Saturday, April 8: Easter Egg Hunt at 9:30am
Saturday, April 8: Easter Vigil at 7pm
Sunday, April 9: Easter Sunday at 8am, 9am, 10am 
(*we invite you bring a flower on Easter morning to decorate the cross*)

Music for the Congregation: Click here to hear sound clips of the choir singing the "Lenten Acclamation," "Sanctus" and "Agnus Dei" sung during Lent.

connect GIVING

Gift of Stock - We received a generous gift of VZ and WBD stock but did not receive any information about the donor. If you gave this gift of stock, please email Lee Steward. Thank you.

Annual Fund 2023  St. John’s is so grateful for your stewardship of our parish and needs your continued support through your contributions to our Annual Fund 2023 – ‘Connect to God through Stewardship.’  We have reached about 85% of our goal with generous gifts and commitments from 214 households so far. If you have not yet made a donation, you can give online or make a commitment. 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

Names of all households who make a commitment or gift to the Annual Fund 2023 will be published in the Easter Sunday bulletin on April 9. 

We are so grateful for your generous financial contribution that joins 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. Vincent de Paul Bagged Meals: This Sunday Please join us after the 10am service on March 19 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.

Dinner Church: Tuesday, March 21 All are invited to the table at 6pm in the Parish Hall. It’s session 3 in our series, “Grief and Finding Meaning.” This time we’ll wrestle with “Where is God In Our Grief?” How have you experienced God’s promise to be with us in our grief….or not? How do we enlist God in our grief? Our aim is to offer kindness, compassion and support as we tackle this difficult topic. Want to cook with us? Sign up here. Suggested donation of $10 to cover groceries. NOTE: You must be vaxxed against COVID to cook or dine with us.

An exploration of the text - Mary Magdalene Revealed In her text, Mary Magdalene Revealed: The First Apostle, Her Feminist Gospel & the Christianity We Haven't Tried Yet, writer Meggan Watterson explores the spirituality of the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and invites her readers on a path into the radical love at the heart of the Christian story. This non-canonical gospel was first discovered in 1896 though not published until many years later. Scholars date the original text to the second century. Please join Jennifer Whitaker and Rev. Heather Erickson as we explore this text together. We will gather for a retreat on Saturday, March 25, from 9-11am at the church, and then meet weekly on Thursdays (on zoom) from 6:30-7:30pm (3/30, 4/13, 4/20, 4/27, 5/4). Please contact Rev. Heather for more information or to sign-up.

Agape Meal: Maundy Thursday Service, April 6th, 6pm Join us to commemorate the Last Supper together with a simple meal, liturgy and song in the parish hall. This is followed by an optional ritual of foot washing representing our service and humility to one another. We need volunteers to help cook and clean up, please. Sign up here to help with cooking and clean-up. Join us to mark this meaningful tradition of Holy Week. 

About the St. John's CARES team The team is beginning work to live out St. John's core values. Team members are parishioners Betsy Rosen, Brian Wittenkeller, Chuck Finnie, Doug Aley, Ethan Dettmer, Kathryn Supinski, Lisa Sirabella, and Mary Kay Dolejsi. Would you like to join in this work? Do you know of someone who would benefit from a call? Let one of the team members know or contact Mary Kay Dolejsi via email.
The mission of the CARES team is to: 
Connect with parishioners in need of a friendly word; 
Assist them in locating services if needed;
Respect - they are not forgotten;
Embrace change as an opportunity for personal and communal spiritual growth. 
Serve this mission to strengthen our church community.
United Market Community Cards When shopping at United Market show your card at checkout and a percentage of your purchase goes to St. John's. Please email Virginia Kosydar, Church Administrator, to receive a card and one will be mailed to you.
connect CHILDREN
Lent In A Bag. We provide resources for families to observe Lent at home. In the bag you will find a Lent Calendar for Children, 40 Days & 40 Nights Pop-Up Calendar and Footsteps to the Cross, and activities for the family during this Season of Lent.  You can get your Lent in a Bag on Sunday in the Parish Hall or have one sent to you. To make a request, email Sandra Pathik, Director of Children's Ministry.

Sunday School @ 10AM. Sunday School is open to kids from preschool to 5th grade. For the whole Lent Season, we will have one class in the Fireside Room for all kids. The kids will join their parents in the church for communion after the class.

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: AJD761.
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! 

St. Vincent de Paul Bagged Lunch Prep Evening Our next SVDP Bagged Lunch Prep Evening will be this Sunday, March 19th. We will be arranging these bagged lunches at our usual Youth Group time (5-6:30 pm), and dinner will still be provided for youth! This valuable time spent can be counted towards service hours. 

Youth Group on Instagram Follow Youth Group St. John's at _y_g_s_j_ 
connect MUSIC
This Sunday's Music: Largely self-taught, Sir William Turner Walton wrote music in various styles and for various genres over a sixty-year career. Despite his longevity, his output is considered small, possibly because he worked methodically and slowly, making constant revisions of his works. He reportedly said, "Without an india-rubber (eraser) I was absolutely sunk." He is also known to have delayed finishing one of his seminal choral works, Belshazzar's Feast, because of his indecisiveness in setting a single word, "gold." At any rate, he has been justly honored for his music, receiving seven honorary doctorates, including one from Oxford. "Set me as a seal" is one of his most popular pieces of choral music.

A native of Sherman, Texas, Michael Bedford, has held church music positions in Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma. He has published choral music for children, youth and adults, as well as organ collections, handbell music, and two extended works for choir, soloists, and chamber orchestra. He also serves as a workshop leader and clinician for children's and youth choir festivals, hymn festivals, directors' workshops, and music reading sessions throughout the United States.

Percy Dearmer (1867-1936) distinguished himself in the field of hymnology as the co- editor, with composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, of The English Hymnal (1906). He also co-edited The Oxford Book of Carols (1928) and other major collections. It was in the latter book that his text “Now quit your care” appeared, paired with a French Noel (Christmas Carol). The text echoes a verse from the Book of Isaiah as well as from Matthew’s Gospel and the Beatitudes.

Music for the Congregation: Click here to hear sound clips of the choir singing the "Lenten Acclamation," "Sanctus" and "Agnus Dei" sung during Lent.

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. 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 one half-hour. 
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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