We've been on an inspiring journey with Philip Yancey as we reflect on "What's So Amazing About Grace?" Everything is amazing about grace, from our Father's very nature being love and grace, to how it transforms us and our relationships, as well as the miracles it uniquely brings. As one lives into grace, a person experiences divine humanity that redeems all that is touched with Loving, Forgiving, Laughing, Enduring, Connecting and Healing, May each one of us be part of God's Amazing Grace.
"For it is by grace you have been saved thru faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast" (Eph.2:8-9)
As we look ahead to 2021 and beyond, let us commit to growing our faith, nurturing our friendships and refreshing our forms of fellowship.
Faith. Fortunately, we were already live streaming our worship services well before the pandemic hit. Thankfully, our governor and bishop have allowed our churches to remain open with very few restrictions. Recently, we introduced a more COVID-cautious Sunday morning worship service. In-person Bible studies, a fixture of St. John’s, have continued to gather and welcome new participants. Sunday School is bustling with creativity and excitement. Fr. Joe continues to prompt us to go deeper into scripture each day. Have you read the full accounts of the lives of Elijah or David?
Friends. During the pandemic, some of our seasonal members have stayed up north and some of our physically vulnerable members have stayed in their homes, but we have not forgotten them. They are in our prayers and in our hearts. Have you sent them a note to say how much you miss them and are looking forward to hearing from them? As our county is growing with new residents and your community is likely seeing new neighbors move in, so we are excited to welcome new families to St. John’s. Have you considered dropping them a personal note to inviting them to worship with you at St. John’s?
Fellowship. To avoid possible contagion, we temporarily suspended Sunday morning coffee hours, FOYERS dinner groups and serving meals at St. Matthew’s House. As public health data shows improvement, we’ll not only resume these wonderful opportunities to be together, but consider introducing new forms of fellowship. Our first “Food Truck Fellowship” was a great success!! Any interest in more movie nights, a trivia night, art workshops???? What do you suggest? Please share your thoughts with me or other vestry members. My contact information is: e-mail to email@example.com; text to 703.967.4129; phone to 239.263.8309; or snail mail to 4956 Rustic Oaks Circle, Naples, FL 34105.
Youth Program Director
Sunday School has been busy learning about the season of Lent and Easter. We have learned about Jesus fasting in the wilderness for 40 days, Jesus picking his disciples and spreading good news. We also learned the importance of Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, and Easter. Each child was given a Lent Bag with items to represent each story – a candle to represent the light Jesus sheds on the world, kinetic sand to represent Jesus’ baptism and spending 40 days in the wilderness, a wooden figure to represent Jesus’ disciples and a cross to represent Easter. The children have started writing in their own prayer journals too! Each prayer entry goes along with our weekly story. For example – on Palm Sunday, we focused our prayer on celebrations and the Last Supper; we wrote a prayer and thanked Jesus for our favorite foods.
We will continue to learn about the Easter Season by reading our bible stories and writing in our prayer journal weekly. We will be discussing Jesus’ ascension, the Holy Spirit coming to visit and how we can follow in Jesus’ footsteps.
Sunday School is at 9:00 AM on Sunday mornings. Children and teachers attending Sunday school are required to wear masks. We hope you can join us!
The nursery will be available for the 10:00 AM Sunday morning service.
If you have any questions about Sunday school or the nursery, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stitches of Love
On Saturday, March 13th, Father Joe blessed the items that the Stitches of Love group made since January, 2021. The items included 13 prayer shawls, 25 pillowcases for Ryan’s case for Smiles-a nationwide campaign, 46 knitted baby caps to be distributed between two Richmond, Virginia hospitals, and 15 animal mats for Naples Humane Society.
St. John's awarded 10 Collier Charities $210,000 in 2020. One Charity will be in focus each month.
Community Pregnancy Clinic
Awarded Grants for International and National Charities
Twice a year the Outreach Committee recommends to the Vestry grants to charities. In November we gifted grants to charities that reside in Collier County. In March, the committee gifts grants to National or International charities. The Vestry has approved the following grants for this year’s national or international giving totaling $101,000.
CCO – Coalition for Christian Outreach. This is a nationwide organization working through local churches in making witnesses out of college students to create disciples who follow Jesus Christ in every area of their lives.
Emmanuel Community Aleppo – We provide seed money for new business ventures in Aleppo to aid rebuilding this Christian community along with ongoing donations for the sustenance of the poor in this community.
Favor Internationalis faith-based organization based in South Sudan and Uganda bringing the Word of God to this population. They also do trauma counseling, community projects and conduct bible schools throughout the region.
Gary Fusco is a Christian counselor and missionary in India. He is creating opportunities to reach and teach the Christian faith to Muslims through various resources. An orphanage was started 9 years ago and needs our help in supporting these children.
Grace Center, located in Ethiopia, provides a safe and nurturing place for children and families while sharing the Love of Christ. Medical care is provided but their greatest need is food.
Ned and Sky – located in Turkey, we assist with living costs as they work with Missionaries Through Community Vision International.
Samaritan Health Center located in Cape Coral, Florida – this is an integrated primary care behavioral health clinic with pastoral counseling on site. The professionals working at Samaritan serve the uninsured and under insured in Southwest Florida in a Christ centered environment.
We Trust in Him Ministries brings hope and salvation through Jesus Christ to Atacames, Ecuador and Karanataka, South India. They supply food, clothing, medical treatment and education along with Christian teaching.
I had the most wonderful time yesterday at St. John‘s Thrift Shoppe. You never know what to expect when the door bell rings at the back door at the shoppe. We open the door and received a huge donation. The back room was filled to the wall with many treasures, and some we had to guess what it’s purpose might be.
We were busy as bees and laughed a lot. I also met a new friend and it felt so good as I drove home knowing we had been doing the Lord’s work.
Come join us!!! Volunteer or Shoppe
Board Member for St. John's Thrift Shoppe
STATIONS of the CROSS
Fourteen images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion line the perimeter of the sanctuary walls. These Stations of the Cross are imitations of the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem believed to be the actual path Jesus walked to Mount Calvary. Pictured are two of the fourteen images.
The Food Bank Challenge Grant resulted in $160,000 being equally shared by Harry Chapin and St. Matthew's House Food Banks. This will ultimately result in $320,000 in needed food items for our hungry neighbors. God bless you for your generosity!
Women's Bible Study meets Mondays at 10 AM in Sugden Hall through May 3. Women’s Bible Study will restart October 25. Questions? Please contact Jan Eveleigh at 239.682.5339.
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 Brewster 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.
Stitches of Love will not meet until Friday, October 8, 2021 - 10:00AM until noon in Brewster Hall. Questions please contact Jane Kindorf at 630.542.1243 or Mary Frances Aiken at the 239.450.3199.
St. John's worship services are Saturday 5 PM and Sunday 9AM & 10 AM. Join us in person or via live stream!
Enews deadline is Friday (April 9th)
Life Relaunch will be at St. John’s on the following dates: Women’s (4/16 -4/17). 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
Spirit Alive’s Book Discussion of Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. Tuesday (4/13) in Sugden Hall at 10:30 AM. Book discussion leaders are Mary Tilney 719.492.7097 and Don Esterline 517.206.4643.
Thrift Shoppe Hours are Mon. - Sat. 10 AM - 5 PM. Tamiami Square. 14700 Tamiami Trail N. Naples, FL 34110. 239.597.9518. www.stjohnsshoppe.com
Thank you for reflecting God's light through your good work and for sharing His grace in so many wonderful ways.
God Bless You on Your Birthday and Always!
Holy Week Schedule
March 31- The Seven Last Words of Jesus (String Quartet) 7 PM
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.
Tabebuia Tree blooming in our playground
Tabebuia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae. Native to the West Indies and South and Central America. The flowers are a spring spectacle with 1 - to 4 wide blooms. Most varieties flower in pink, lavender and golden yellow and grow between 20and 30 feet.
Crown Of Thorns and Powder Puff
Euphorbia milii, the crown of thorns, Christ plant, or Christ thorn, is a species of flowering plant in the spurge family Euphorbiaciae, native to Madagascar.
Calliandra haematocephala The pretty powderpuff tree blooms with red, pink or white blossoms resembling soft, fluffy powder puffs. Powderpuffs are large, fast-growing, wide shrubs.
New Members: Scott R. Lange
Deaths: Lois E. Pierce McArdle
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.
Prayer Concerns can be emailed to Claudia at firstname.lastname@example.org with the name and concern. She'll share this with intercessors and they may be placed on our worship service prayer list.
Order of St. Luke offers healing prayer during worship services and Wednesdays. Please contact Vickie Bauch at email@example.com to schedule healing prayer.
Lay Eucharistic Visitors are available upon request by contacting the church office at 239.261.2355.
Please Pray For
Dayna, Betsy, Darren, Ray, Donald, Morgan, Michelle, Tony, John and Maida, Taylor, small businesses, St. John's Parishioners and Families.
Names are kept on the prayer list for 4 weeks unless the office is notified.
“God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” Genesis 1:26a (KJV)
A little boy about four years old would always come up to me in church. He knew that I had cough drops and stuff in my purse, so he made a point of coming to see what I had that he might want.
One day he came up to me, but instead of asking for what I had in my purse, he grabbed me by the hand, looked intently into my eyes and asked me another question.
“What does God look like?” he said.
“I’m glad you asked,” I said. “You know I knew somebody would ask me that one day.”
As he watched, I pulled my compact out of my purse and opened it, holding the mirror to his face.
“Look,” I said. “Who do you see?”
“Me,” he replied.
“That’s what God looks like. He created you in his image and in his likeness, so he must look somewhat like you.”
“Wow,” he whispered, examining himself closely in the mirror.
And then I put the mirror up to me, and leaned over so that he could see my reflection. “He must look somewhat like me, too. Each of us, whoever it is, was made in God’s image, so he must look somewhat like them, too. If they’re Chinese, African, Mexican. If they’re black or white or purple—”
“There are no purple people!’ he said.
“Yeah,” I agreed, chuckling. Taking the compact from my hand, he held it up to his face again. “Yep, that’s what God looks like,” I said.
He nodded his head, looked up at me and smiled.
Pamela Solomon Sooknanan
For the Resurrection is our guarantee that justice will triumph over treason, light will overcome darkness, and love will conquer death.
We praise you in this Easter season. Change our lives, change our hearts to be messengers of Easter joy and hope.
We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our risen Lord forever.