Access to WiFi at the church has changed. The St_Johns_Guest network is no longer available. Use the network named St_Johns to use Easytithe, download a bulletin, check your email, etc. The password isFinite32. You will have to select the network on your device and put in the password the first time. Most devices will remember and connect automatically after that first time. This information will appear on the front page of service bulletins and at the top of each newsletter. Let me know if you have questions!
Prayer for our Country
Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill out hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Letter from the Senior Warden
February 1, 2021
We had a productive Annual Meeting on January 24. We decided to maintain the current vestry for one year as allowed by Diocesan Canon. We heard reports from Deacon Rose regarding Outreach and Pastoral Care. Erika Mehta provided a Buildings and Grounds report, and Angie Mills gave us a summary of her Christian Education report. Jay Mehta, as outgoing treasurer, reviewed the budget proposal which passed. All Annual Meeting attendees will receive a ballot in the mail. Please mark your ballet and return it in the self-addressed stamped envelope provided. You will be voting for convention deputies and a youth representative to the Vestry.
The St. John’s Search Committee is in the process of interviewing candidates for our Rector/Campus Minister position. Round one of the interviews has been completed and a second interview with the candidates is planned. The search committee has the responsibility to protect each candidates’ information. Confidentiality is crucial to the hiring process because it preserves the integrity of the search and helps build trust between St. John’s members and the candidates.
At our January Vestry meeting we concluded that the best course at this time is to continue streaming Sunday Morning Prayer services and Evening Prayer services on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The Vestry will revisit the discussion regarding in-person services at each monthly meeting.
Q. What is the origin and meaning of Lent?
A. Early Christians observed “a season of penitence and fasting” in preparation for the Paschal feast (BCP, pp. 264-265). The season now known as Lent (from the Anglo Saxon word Lencten or Lenchten which means the lengthening of the days approaching spring) has a long history. In the first century, Lent was only a period of forty hours in remembrance of the forty hours that Jesus’ body was in the tomb. In the third century, the forty hours expanded to six days, known as Holy Week. Holy Week grew into thirty-six days, a tithe of the 365 days of the year. In the eighth century, four days were added to the thirty-six days to make the present season of forty days. The number forty is symbolic of a period of purification; Jesus fasted and was tempted for forty days in the wilderness, Moses fasted for forty days on Mount Sinai, Elijah traveled for forty days on the way to the mountain of God, and the Israelites spent forty years in the wilderness.
Ash Wednesday, which is on February 17th this year, is actually forty-six days before Easter; this is because Sundays, being festival days, are not a part of Lent and are referred to as Sundays in Lent. Sundays are, however, affected by the mood of Lent: the Alleluias are omitted, and Canticle 14-A Song of Penitence replaces Canticle 21-You are God.. Flowers are not used during this time. The color used for Lent is purple or dark violet. These colors symbolize both the pain and suffering leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus as well as the suffering of humanity and the world under sin. Purple, however, is also the color of royalty and so anticipates, through the suffering and death of Jesus, the coming resurrection and hope of new life that will be celebrated in the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Originally, Lent was a time of preparation for those who were to be baptized, a time of study and prayer before their baptism at the Easter Vigil. Today Lent has reacquired this significance as the period of final preparation of adults for baptism. All Christians are invited “to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word” (BCP, p. 265).
The Ven. Rose Bogal-Allbritten, Deacon
Ash Wednesday Service and Drive-thru Imposition of Ashes
On Ash Wednesday, February 17th, we will have a livestreamed service at noon. This will be followed by a drive-thru Imposition of Ashes from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in our parking lot on Broach Street. Please line up on Broach St. (facing south towards Main St.) along the parking lot in front of the new parish hall. Please do not get out of your car. If there is more than one person in the car, I will walk around the car to impose ashes. Individuals older than 2 must wear masks. If you are feeling ill, please DO NOT come to the drive-thru imposition. If you do not feel comfortable coming to the drive-thru service but would still like to impose ashes on yourself and/or family members living in the same household, please let Janie know by February 10th and she will mail a very small amount of ashes to you. If you have any questions, please contact Deacon Rose.
Stations of the Cross during Lent
During the season of Lent, Evening Prayer will be replaced by the Stations of the Cross each Friday. Because of COVID-19, they will be done virtually, but it will be easy to pray along as they are recited. Evening Prayer will be said on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as usual.
The Backpack Program during COVID-19
It has been the custom at St. John’s to provide the items and pack the bags for two weeks of the Backpack Program. This program provides a snack bag (juice, crackers, cereal, granola bars, fruit cups, pudding cups, pop tarts and raisins) for children in need in the Murray and Calloway school systems. Since we cannot gather to donate items and pack the bags, we will be providing the funds for Need Line to purchase and pack the bags. If you would like to contribute to this effort, please write a check to St. John’s with “Backpack Program” in the memo line. Checks may be mailed to St. John’s. If you choose to donate electronically, please choose the “Backpack Program” option on Easy Tithe (found on St. John’s website).
February 8th @ 6pm
Join Game Night
Please join us for Game Night on Monday February 8th at 6 PM via Zoom. We are going to change up the format again. We are going back to the old favorite trivia but we will also add a fun, new game that moves pretty quickly. If you want to get ready for Game Night, what are we celebrating in February? (hint, hint) You don't need anything extra to play and we will make this fun for all ages. Here are the meeting details:https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89369733769?pwd=b1hESDNjVmVqMFU0b21nWkVBL3FQUT09 Zoom Meeting ID 893 6973 3769Passcode GameNightPlease call or text Bill Mills at 270-350-2822 with any questions. We look forward to seeing you there!
Join the Sunday Coffee Hour or Adult Forum Without Internet
Do you know you can join us for the virtual St. John gatherings even if you do not have internet at home? There are phone numbers for Zoom meetings in addition to the internet links. You can join by calling in and you will just be missing the video feed. We hope to hear you on the next coffee hour gathering!
For calling please follow these instructions:
1) Call the phone number for the meeting you want to join (listed below)
2) Enter the Meeting ID when prompted
3) No participant ID is needed so enter # when prompted
Blood drives at St. John's in the New Parish Hall from 11am-4pm on the following dates: You can pre-register for your appointment to donate here.
March: 11th & 25th
Adult Forum Meets Wednesdays from 7 to 8 PM via Zoom
Season of Epiphany Bible Study
On Feb 3 and 10, Barbara Wysock will lead discussion of the scripture for the following Sundays. We will use Bible studies developed by Episcopal Church seminarians. (https://episcopalchurch.org/bible-study/year-b) Everyone is welcome, even if you do not study the material beforehand.
Click on the dates below for internet links to material for February 3 and 10 or contact Janie at the church office for copies. The office phone and email are: 270-753-6908 and email@example.com
Join us for a six week Lenten study series based on
Lent of Liberation: Confronting the Legacy of American Slavery
We will use this study in Adult Forum on Wednesdays from 7-8 pm beginning February 17 for six weeks. The book will be provided to those who would like to join the class. If you can help with paying for your copy of the book ($14) you can do so by either mailing in a check to the church or via Easy Tithe as a general church budget donation.
“Lent is a time for personal reflection as we march toward Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. The forty days of Lent are to remind us of the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness, fasting and praying, practicing self-denial to commit himself fully to the will of God. This time was a prelude to his great Galilean ministry, in which he would say “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24). . . . Lent is a time of denial, but not denial of the truth—the spirit of Lent must lead us to confront the legacy of American Slavery head-on if we are to overcome the centuries of White privilege at Black expense.”
—Cheri L. Mills, Lent of Liberation, p. xiii
Zoom Meeting Information
The Zoom meeting information is below and can also be found on the St. John's website under Christian Formation.
Heavyn and I are very excited to start another phase of Rite 13 studies in 2021! We will be continuing our lessons on Spirituality and beginning lessons on our Prayer Life. We hope that all of us learn more about prayer and maybe even take it home to our families!
Classes will continue to be via Zoom, beginning Wednesday, January 13th, at 7:00 PM. Each class will be approximately one hour, each week through May 5th.
We will be listening to and discussing a podcast this semester called The Way of Love with Bishop Michael Curry. Each week a link to the podcast will be made available to everyone via our Facebook page and at our weekly Zoom meeting we will discuss what we thought and learned from it as a group.
We will be joined by the Ministry Open to All (MOTA) from First Presbyterian Church as well periodically throughout the semester during our weekly meetings.
As we move forward in the semester we will continue to evaluate the status of the pandemic in our area, keeping the safety of our members as a very important factor in our decision making. If safe to do so, we will try to incorporate some socially distanced in person activities throughout the semester.
All Murray State Students are welcome!
Zoom meeting information for the Spring 2021 semester
Each month, the vestry chooses a charity/cause that will receive our special collection. During the month of February, our special collection will go to our Blessing Box. At least once a month, supplies are purchased to stock our Blessing Box. It costs approximately $750 to buy one month’s worth of food items. In addition to food items, we will begin buying personal hygiene items to add to the Blessing Box, since these items are in high demand and are expensive to purchase. Checks should be made out to St. John’s with “Blessing Box” in the memo line. Checks may be mailed to St. John’s. If you choose to donate electronically, please choose the “Blessing Box” option on East Tithe (found on St. John’s website).
The items on the list below are the most frequently requested items, but all non-perishable foods are accepted. If you prefer not to shop and would rather donate to the blessing box fund, you can do so via Easy Tithe at the below button and the Parish Admin will do the grocery shopping for you with the donated funds. Thank you in advance, for the generosity that is one of the hallmarks of St. John's. If you have questions please contact Janie.
For several logistical reasons, the blessing box will be returning to single/loose items rather than meal kits for the time being.
Mac & Cheese; Mashed Potatoes with brown gravy packet mix
Peanut butter & jelly with saltine crackers
Jar baby food- variety of ages and flavors
Hamburger helper meals that can use chicken as the meat option
Canned spaghetti o's type products
February 2021-April 2021
Forward Day by Day Devotionals are Available
The new Forward Day by Day devotionals for February-April and can be picked up from the glass top table in the old parish hall. Large and small print are available. If you are unable to pick up a copy but would like one, please let Janie, the parish administrator know and she will get one in the mail to you. You can call into the office at 270-753-6908 or email the office at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you curious about how to submit information for the newsletter?
If you want to submit information to be included in the newsletter, please send your submission to Janie the parish administrator at email@example.com and she will include it in the next month's newsletter if appropriate. Please contact Janie with any questions.