I hope you've had some time over the summer to harvest moments of blessing and refreshment. I've had wonderful opportunities to celebrate meal times with others, enjoying fun conversations and wonderful dishes that nourish me! As we feed ourselves physically, we need to feed our spirit. One of the best ways is through God's Word and spiritual inspiration. 2 Timothy 3:16 reminds us "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness."
We are what we eat and drink physically and spiritually. Take time to feed yourself some wonderful soul food. The following St. John's link has an abundance of linked sources in one spot. Please go to it often to spiritually feed your soul with Holy Spirit inspirations and light!
I will be
out of the office mid-August returning on August 31st. I will
respond to your messages and emails upon my return. For urgent matters please
contact the office between 9 AM- Noon.
Summer officially ends September 22. To reserve
facility space on the fall calendar for events and meetings and for
any changes to current meetings and events on the
calendar please notify firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would you like to include your picture in the Instant Church Directory? Get familiarized with Instant Church Directory; it is a great way to get to know each other as well as communicate with one another using the information provided at your fingertips. Please email your photo (jpeg image) to email@example.com. For further instructions on how to download the app or log into your directory, please scroll down to the Instant Church Directory information in this Enews.
We have completed the 1st half of 2021, and our financial statements reflect great strength in terms of our liquidity, asset values, and operating performance. We are well positioned, financially, to meet the needs of our parish and membership, and to contribute to our community and beyond with our Outreach giving programs approved by our Vestry.
The stock market indexes have increased significantly during the first six months of the year, and these increases are reflected in our own investment portfolio performance. Our assets include cash and investment securities, distributed in our designated, restricted, and undesignated/unrestricted accounts. We are debt free. The value of our buildings, improvements, and contents, has been appraised by our property insurance carrier at over $4.0 million, and we have insurance coverage to reflect this value.
Our Pledged Income and Non-Pledged Income is very much in line with income levels in 2020. Similarly, our Operating Expenses are in line with those of last year. Our Net Revenues (revenues less expenses) for the 1st six months amount to $291 thousand…very close to our results in 2020. We expect seasonal net losses in the coming Summer and early Fall months, consistent with prior years. We have maintained our level of Cash in Bank to provide for our needs.
We offer our thanks to Clay Jones for serving as the Chairman of our Finance Committee. We also thank Arlene Austin, Stan Lane, and Louisa Woodhull for their service and valuable contributions in fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of the Committee for the benefit and financial wellbeing of St John’s community of faith.
SERVING THE WORLD-LOCAL VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Now that the pandemic is mostly behind us, we’re back on mission! We’re back Embracing God – in-person worship and Bible studies. We’re back Loving our Neighbors—special events, potluck dinners, coffee hour. We’re back Serving the World with generous financial assistance -- over 30% of our operating budget goes to outreach and we’ve raised over well $500,000 for food ministries through matching grants. But could we be Serving the World more with our time and talents? Our own ministries and our Outreach Grant partners need our help. Please prayerfully consider these local volunteer opportunities.
ST. JOHN’S UPSCALE THRIFT SHOPPE. Our very own thrift shop needs volunteers to sort donations and prepare them for display. On the sales floor, volunteers maintain the orderly array of merchandise and assist shoppers. You can work a few hours a day on a scheduled basis or as convenient. To volunteer simply stop by the shop and introduce yourself to one of the managers or call 239-597-9518. You’ll get an orientation and a very helpful set of volunteer guidelines.
ST. MATTHEW’S HOUSE. In the not- too-distant future we will have teams of volunteers again serving meals. But, in the meantime, St, Matthew’s House has other needs for volunteers to help with food distribution, packing groceries, organizing food in the pantry & warehouse, helping in one of the 5 thrift store locations, and administrative support. To volunteer go online to St. Matthew’s House, click Volunteer, create an account, and a team member will contact you. The Contact Engagement Coordinator is Michelle Mendoza 239-241-5043.
GOOD NEWS CLUB. St. John’s sponsors a Good News Club at Gulf Coast Charter Elementary School on Thursday afternoons, 3:00-5:00, January – April. Volunteers receive training and materials. Our team brings the love of Jesus and Bible stories to more than 30 students, K-5. For more information or to volunteer, contact me or Jamie Bentley as soon as possible, so we can arrange for your security clearance and formal training. Me: 239-263-8309; 702-967-4129 (c); firstname.lastname@example.org. Jamie: 239-403-7116; 239-595-9433; email@example.com.
COLLIER RESOURCE CENTER. The Center could use 1-2 additional volunteers to answer phones and help provide information, referrals, and case management services to needy people in Collier County. If interested in this rewarding opportunity, contact Nina Grey at 01NinaGrey@gmail.com
LITERACY VOLUNTEERS OF COLLIER COUNTY. LVCC needs volunteers to tutor adults who want to improve their English skills. Some tutors work one-on-one; others tutor small groups of workers. During the school year LVCC offers family literacy programs in partnership with Collier County schools and Head Start. LVCC also helps prepare students to take the US Citizenship Test. LVCC provides an orientation, training and teaching materials. For more information, including dates for upcoming orientations, go to the web site: www.Literacy Volunteers of Collier County and click on Become a Tutor. The Director of Adult Programs is Veronica Pavon-Baker 239-262-4448, x 304.
HARRY CHAPIN FOOD BANK. The Food Bank needs volunteers to sort and pack donations of food at the Naples distribution center. Volunteers also distribute food at mobile pantries. You can find out more about requirements and hours by contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 239- 334-7007.
SUNLIGHT HOME. This very special non-profit organization provides a residential maternity home for “at risk” pregnant women and teens. The Home provides adoption information, counseling, parenting classes, life skills. Volunteers are needed to transport residents to and from day care/work/medical appointments, organizing donations, simply chatting about life experiences. To volunteer, go to the website: www.sunlighthome.org
or call 239-352-0251.
ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT NETWORK. The Network always needs volunteers and likes to customize opportunities to the interests of their volunteers. Some ideas include: professional skills, tech support, mailings, peer support –friendly visitors—and special events. To volunteer, contact them at 239-262-8388 and leave a message. You’ll get a call back!
BABY BASICS. This volunteer-based non-profit has some important needs right now: a co-site manager to assist with monthly diaper distribution and recordkeeping at their Golden Gate site and a seat on their Board of Directors. They also have ongoing volunteer needs for special events, monthly diaper distributions, translators, and more. To volunteer, please email Jennifer Fey at BabyBasicsJenn@gmail.com.
COMMUNITY PREGNANCY CENTER. INC. The CPCI needs volunteers to sort and organize donations of baby items. After 6 months of training, volunteers can serve as ultrasound chaperones. CPCI also has opportunities for grant writers and marketing assistants. If you are interested, please contact Julia Szwed at 239-262-6381 or email@example.com.
TRIVIA QUESTION: God denied David’s desire to build the Temple in Jerusalem – that work was to become his son’s (Solomon) mission. Name 3 (or more) ways David – by completing his own mission – set Solomon up for success. Trivia responses to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth Program Director
The Sunday School children have been enjoying their fun Summer Curriculum! We started our Summer curriculum in July and it will continue through August! Each week the children have enjoyed a lesson about God and our Faith, have done fun hands-on projects and participate in games. During the month of August some of our lessons will include:
Finding the Joy in Nature God Created – we will observe the beauty of nature by making binoculars and using them to go on a scavenger hunt along with planting flowers!
Jesus is Sweet – we will be having an ice cream party to celebrate Jesus!
We Can Feel the Wind of the Holy Spirit – we will be making windchimes to remind us that the Holy Spirit is always with us!
Sunday School is every Sunday during the 10 AM service. Masks are recommended but not required for all children attending. We hope you can join us! The Nursery will also be available for younger children during the 10 AM service.
If you have any questions or would like to stay updated on what is happening in our Sunday School or Nursery Programs, feel free to contact me at email@example.com
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.
Outreach Grant Celebration
St. John's awarded 10 Collier Charities $210,000 in 2020. One Charity will be in focus each month.
NAMI Collier County
We are so appreciative of the opportunity to apply for a grant with St. John’s in support of the clients we serve in our Housing Program. Over the past year, we have focused on finding safe, stable housing for homeless individuals living with serious mental illnesses to keep them safe from COVID-19 and to help them work on their mental wellness. Since many people living with a mental health diagnosis struggle with living on very low fixed-incomes, it can be challenging for them to save enough to pay for security deposits, first/last month’s rent, or even to pay utility deposits. That uphill battle can leave this vulnerable population homeless, living in their cars, or moving around from couch to couch if they have a support system.
Just since April, using rental assistance funding from county and HUD grants, NAMI Collier helped 32 homeless people find safe, affordable housing with the support of a Peer Specialist! Paying landlords directly, we support them getting into a safe living situation, and assist with up to 6 months of rent. This gives the person a chance to save money, apply for disability, find a job, and ultimately become financially and physically secure. The difference this has made in the quality of life their lives is incredible.
The remaining challenge for our Housing Program participants is that our funding does not allow us to purchase any household items or necessities to help them with even the most basic of needs to live with in their new home. Since our participants were literally homeless before being placed, they do not own furniture, a bed, silverware, toiletries, or towels. We appreciate St. John’s help to give us the opportunity to take our housing clients to thrift stores to help furnish their new homes with items they can call their very own. This Housing Fund would allow us to fill gaps in a system where it is very difficult for our participants to thrive.
Thank you for your belief in NAMI’s mission to improve the quality of life of all those affected by mental illnesses. Please feel free to contact us for any further information or questions.
St. John’s Thrift Shoppe – The Outreach Ministry of St. John’s Episcopal Church
St. John’s Thrift Shoppe needs volunteers. Volunteer at St. John’s Thrift Shoppe and receive 25% off on your purchase at the Shoppe when you volunteer. Contact James or Donna at the Shoppe.
The Shoppe has limited hours through September 30th, 2021. We will be open from 10 AM to 2 PM Mon. to Sat. We're located at Tamiami Square, 14700 Tamiami Trail N. Naples, FL 34110. 239-597-9518. www.stjohnsshoppe.com
Psalm 122:1 I was glad when they said to me "Let us go unto the house of the Lord."
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 Tuesday’s from 10 AM to 11:30 AM. We 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Centering Prayer is held Wednesdays 9 AM. For more information please contact Pat Mills at 239-596-8890.
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 (Aug 6th).
Join us for the August Christian Healing Center meeting Wednesday, (8/18) at 6:30pm at St. John’s in Sugden Hall with Skip Ruch teaching and Fr. Joe and Jan leading worship and Holy Communion.
Life Relaunchwill be at St. John’s on the following dates: Women’s (8/20 -8/21). For more information, contact Susan Uresti at email@example.com.
Piano Lessons at St. Johns! Glenn will be offering piano lessons at a reduced rate for interested students beginning this month. Lessons will be scheduled in the after-school hours at the Church. Please contact Glenn Saffran if interested at 239-298-4352.
Plan your Pilgrimage to the Holy Land June 20-29, 2022. For more information please contact Cathy Latimer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We continue to get reports of fake emails that purport to be from Diocesan House, or the Bishop. The scam involves miscreants who scrape email addresses from websites and public sources and mail to those connected with them. They then ask for financial favors. This scam is seen across denominations and is mostly connected to fake gmail addresses.
What can you do?
Mark it as spam. Gmail can quickly shut down a scam email address if it is reported quickly.
Alert your congregations to email scams in general. These scams are increasingly clever and have caught even the most careful folk in their ways.
Update passwords. While this scam is not email hacking, regular updates of passwords prevent many scams.
Use the telephone. Remind all of our congregations that email is but a tool, and a follow-up telephone call to confirm is an excellent way to check-in safely if there is a question.
Disable old email accounts. Old email addresses can be abused.
Report it to us. If you see it, please send it our way.
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.
Sawyer, Dayna, Nevin and Carolyn, Shelley, Joel and Liliana, Jim, Tom, Frank, Annabeth, Darren, Mary, small businesses, St. John's Parishioners and Families.
Names are kept on the prayer list for 4 weeks unless the office is notified.
With Me All Along
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
I was born a questioning prodigal.
Brought up in a strict, conservative Eastern European family that believed in the Bible and read it often, even as a child, I knew many Bible verses by heart. To me, however, God was like a smiley face sticker up in the sky looking down: He created the heavens and the earth and pronounced them “good.” Just religion, nothing personal. My dream was to break free and live independently in New York City–an impossibility for a young unmarried girl from an Eastern-European family.
When I graduated from high school, my parents were so proud of me they threw a huge party, inviting all our family, friends and neighbors to celebrate. Hours after the party, I rose before dawn to make my grand escape, leaving a note thanking them for everything, telling them I loved them, but not telling them where I was going. I became a paralegal assistant, enrolled in NYU, got my “I think therefore I am” card, and embarked on a wondrous journey of learning. I was always busy, but I felt empty. Something was missing.
When asked if I had a religious background, I’d say, “Not really,” but one of the courses I decided to take at NYU was the philosophies and practices of various religions. At first, as I sat on velvet cushions, philosophized, and chanted, taking part in the practices of one religion after another, I found each one intriguing, but once the initial infatuation faded, once again I felt the void. That’s when Scripture began to pop up in my head. Repeatedly, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit?” made me question what I’d been inviting into my head, my heart, my spirit.
Shortly thereafter, a Christian man entered my life and challenged me to think of God in a different personal way. He told me I needed a savior because I was a sinner. Indignant, I said, “How dare you? I’m a good person!” Quietly, he replied, “None of us are good. But for Jesus, we’re all evil.” I asked him to leave. He did, but he kept coming back, inviting me to church. Tim Keller, an amazing scholar, philosopher and writer, was the Pastor at Redeemer Church. Eventually, I began to go.
When I was invited to a Christian concert in a YMCA basement somewhere beyond Bohemia, I went. I cannot remember the song, but it was about Jesus, how he died for us, and how we needed him because we were all sinners. Something supernatural happened to me. A switch flipped within me. I could see the ugliness of my sins against the grace of God. I understood all the hurt I’d carelessly and arrogantly inflicted upon others. Humbly, I realized I desperately needed a savior, I needed Jesus. He alone could fill the empty void in my wanton heart.
God was waiting for me in the basement of that YMCA, he’d been with me all along, and he’s been with me ever since. I’m blessedly assured that he will be with me always.
John 4:35-36 Do you not say, "Four months more, then comes the harvest? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together."