Pentecost can be a powerful season in our lives as we welcome the Holy Spirit's presence more deeply into every part of us. Do so intentionally, inviting the Spirit's presence into your life spiritually, physically, emotionally and relationally. Focus on specific things that surface in each area, allowing the Holy Spirit to transform them. For the rest of your life that's even a mystery to you, ask the Holy Spirit to "groan thru you" in light of the following verse:
"Now in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words" (Romans 8:26)
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On May 8, I participated in the annual Diocesan Vestry Retreat. This year’s retreat was virtual, reaching well-over 100 vestry members throughout southwest Florida. The theme of the retreat was SEEKING GOD TOGETHER: Prayerfully Guiding the Church. We were led by Br. David Vryhof, an Episcopal priest and brother in the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, the oldest religious order for men in the Anglican Communion. Br. David divided the day into three parts: Listening to God, Listening to Others, and Listening to God Together.
Br. David reminded us that our purpose in life is to know God, love God and serve God. Knowing God and doing His will requires us to discern His will for us as individuals, as a Vestry and for the body of Christ in St. John’s. Based on some of the rules and spiritual practices of St. Ignatius of Loyola, we focused on the value of silence and listening for God’s voice primarily through prayer in the continuing posture of openness and receptivity. Prayer should not be a task; a one-sided recitation of petitions to be checked off our prayer list. God actually initiates our prayers—His Spirit prompts us into a conversation, and we respond with praises, thanks, confession or intercessions. We look for God continually throughout the day. We strive to recognize His voice among all the other voices competing for our attention. God’s voice is persistent and He wants to be found.
You can try one of the spiritual exercises yourself. Select a photograph of a father and child, an icon of Jesus, the lyrics of a hymn, or a short passage of scripture. Spend 5 minutes in silence contemplating what you hear God is wanting to say to you. What would you like to say to Him? God may have a difficult, unexpected message for you. Go ahead and stretch.
As for listening to each other, we should not assume that we fully know someone, even someone we’ve lived with for a long time—or even ourselves for that matter. Only God truly knows and understands any of us. Therefore, we should view each person as a mystery whom Christ has called and encourage them to manifest their thoughts.
I’ll be sharing additional thoughts with the Vestry for how we can discern God’s will together.
TRIVIA QUESTION: Paul preached faith alone, not deeds, leads to salvation. Who preached faith plus deeds? Trivia responses to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth Program Director
Sunday School has spent the last month talking about how important our parents are and how Jesus wants us to love them like he loved us. We have also continued to talk about the importance of praying and all the different ways we can pray whether it is alone or with others, out loud or in silence. We will continue to talk about our faith in God, how God always keeps his promises and God knows what we need. We need to believe in God and our prayers and he will continue to take our worries away. The children are loving all the lessons and the hands-on activities that go along with each Bible story.
As of June 6th – Sunday School will be switching its time to the 10:00 AM service. Masks are recommended but not required for all children attending Sunday School starting in June. We hope you can join us! The nursery will also be available for the 10:00 AM Sunday morning service.
If you have any questions or would like to stay updated on what is going on with our Sunday school or nursery programs, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
To all our friends at St. John’s Episcopal Church – THANK YOU!
Thank you for your wonderful support over the years - and especially this year of the Coronavirus. Laces of Love was sidelined for several months in the spring since our method of getting new shoes to kids in need is through the schools and non-profit organizations, all of which were closed. As of my writing this to you on the day before Thanksgiving and thanks to you, this year to date we have outfitted 13,764 kids in Collier (7,822) and Lee (5,942) Counties who desperately needed decent shoes – almost the same number as in all of 2019.
Because of your and other’s generosity last December, we had funds in hand when we had to shut down our deliveries in March and were able to spend time purchasing new shoes at great prices throughout the spring and summer. Then, when late summer hit, we were able to provide new shoes (from those sale shoes kept in our storage unit) to thousands of needy kids at the beginning of school and through the fall.
Make no mistake: St. John’s support has kept us going. Bless you all for your caring, your love, and your support of Laces of Love.
St. John’s Thrift Shoppe – The Outreach Ministry of St. John’s Episcopal Church
St. John’s Thrift Shoppe has limited hours through September 30th, 2021. We will be open from 10 AM to 2 PM Mon. to Sat. Tamiami Square. 14700 Tamiami Trail N. Naples, FL 34110. 239-597-9518. www.stjohnsshoppe.com
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Librarian Colleen Spangler for her presence and ministry at St. John's over 18 years. In addition to being a great librarian, she has participated in Healing Ministry, Bible studies and Fellowship opportunities. Colleen also assisted in publishing "The Hope that is in Us" and "A Golden Celebration." She has been such a blessing to us and we wish her God's best in Maine!
I would also like to welcome Noreen Schumann who has agreed to explore the possibility of being our new librarian. John and Noreen recently joined the church and I'm grateful for her willingness to step in at this time. Please take time to read their reflections below and join me in giving thanks to God for the blessing each one brings to us!
Good-bye from Colleen Spangler
Since 2003 for 18 years, I considered St. John’s as my home church. Nourishing my faith, stretching my mind, providing precious friendships, encouraging fun and meaningful activities, St. John’s will remain in my heart. Thank everyone who has enriched my life, especially my Monday morning Bible Study friends.
I may come back to visit as my son and grandchildren live in Naples. Otherwise, I will remain in Maine at 81 Oceanside, Sedgwick ME 04676, 238-262-1778.
A Warm Welcome
is pleased to share her Library Science Training and Skills (Master of Library Science as State University of New York at Buffalo and MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) as our Volunteer Librarian. She will continue to support Christian Healing Center of Naples as an active board member and prayer minister. For any questions, please contact Noreen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-985-3662.
June 20th, 2021
Happy Father's Day to all the Father's in the World
Summer officially starts!
Sisters for Life gather Mondays at 5:30 PM in Brewster Hall. Please contact Dee Hayes at 239-784-8759.
Co-Ed Bible Study continues as we study the book of Acts. Tuesday’s from 10 AM to 11:30 AM. We will meet in Brewster Hall. We welcome anyone who would like to join us. Contact Joan McCarthy at 331-625-2196.
Men's Bible Study fellowships on Wednesdays at 7:30 AM in Brewster Hall. Bring your own coffee. Plenty of room to distance. We continue our study of Matthew. Please contact Skip at email@example.com.
Order of St. Luke gathers Wednesdays at 10 AM in Sugden Hall.
OSL healing prayer continues on Sunday during the service. For healing prayer at any other time, please contact Vickie Bauch at 239-249-0957.
St. John's worship services are Saturday 5 PM and Sunday 10 AM. Join us in person or via live stream!
Enews deadline is Friday (June 11th)
We The Kingdom will be in concert at First Assembly of God in Ft. Myers on Thursday (6/17) at 7:30 PM. Tickets are available online.
Life Relaunch will be at St. John’s on the following dates: Women’s (6/18 -6/19). For more information, contact Susan Uresti at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plan your Pilgrimage to the Holy Land June 20-29, 2022. For more information please contact Cathy Latimer at email@example.com.
Starting June, Youth Sunday School is at 10:00 AM.
Archives of the audio and video sermon are available at Sermons.
Facility Key Release Form is available at the office. You will be asked to to fill out a form when a key is released. The key return date will be filled out by the office staff.
For Lost and Found inquires, please contact the church office. We may have found your item! Any items found, please feel free to drop it off at the office.
St. John’s WiFi system is present in all buildings.
Hurricane season starts June 1 and lasts until Nov. 30. For more information visit stateofflorida.com
New Members: Stephen Thayer
Deaths: Thomas A. Eppley Jr., Joel Johnson.
Instant Church Directory
If you need a refresher course on how to upload the Instant Church Directory, simply click on the link below and you will see three different pages on how to load the directory. One is for iPhone, iPad and any iOS device. The second is for Android devices. The third is for logging in from a computer.
Darren, Jackie, Lzzy, David, Linda, Joel, small businesses, St. John's Parishioners and Families.
Names are kept on the prayer list for 4 weeks unless the office is notified.
Wait for the Lord
“I would have been without hope if I had not believed that I would see the loving-kindness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord. Be strong. Let your heart be strong…” Psalm 27:13-14 (NLV)
I was raised in a Christian home. Faith was always a part of who I was. In college, even though I was in a sorority, I was never a crazy partier. If I veered a bit in the wrong direction, my conscience helped turn me back to the right path.
I knew that when I married, I was supposed to be “equally yoked.” When I met Joe Maiocco, I knew I’d met my match. Over time, as our relationship developed, we both realized that God meant for us to be together, and we married. No marriage is without its difficulties. Like in most marriages, my husband and I had to work really hard to get through some things, but in so many ways, I felt as if my life was charmed. Joe became a naval officer. Our first duty station was Hawaii! When we had our son, Joseph Maiocco, IV, I felt certain he was brilliant and far beyond his years!
“How many families get to do all the cool things our family has gotten to do?” I asked myself, feeling grateful. When we learned that God had blessed us with a set of identical twins, I thought my life could not have been more idyllic.
And then we got the news that our girls had special needs.
My first response was to question God: “After following you my whole life, Lord, why have you allowed this to happen to me?” Then I tried to bargain: if I took our girls to every healing service there was, surely God would cure them of their disability. When he didn’t, my trust and dependence on him had to grow—sometimes with me kicking and screaming, always with lots of prayer! It wasn’t easy, but God always came through.
At our parish in Cleveland, people were great with our girls. When we were called to Florida, I was nervous, but I needn’t have been. Our girls are treated even greater here in Naples.
Through it all, deep within me I heard, “Just wait. It will get better,” and it has.
Today, at thirty-one, our daughters have a place in this world in which to share their own unique personalities and gifts. While Lisa is responsible and goal-oriented, Lauren is generous and adventurous. They both are givers with hearts for others, particularly those in need.
God used adversity far more than abundance to stretch my faith. While I waited for him to come through for me, he strengthened my trust in him until I finally got it: we can trust him in all things, especially in those we hold most dear.