828 King's Highway, Suffolk VA 23432

757 255-4168 stjohns1755@verizon.net Worship Service: Sundays at 10:30am
Welcome to St. John's community. We are honored to serve Christ, and to open our doors to all. Please feel free to join us for worship. St. John's can trace its history to the founding of Jamestown. The parish is over 350 years old, and the church building itself has stood for 2 and a half centuries. St. John's saw the American Revolution and served as a camp ground for troops during the Civil War. Through it all, St. John's has been a place of worship and a home for those seeking communion with Christ. St. John's has a rich and abiding history. Today, it is as it was... a place to find and be found by Christ.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Christian Education for February 5, 2012 - Isaiah 40:21-31

February 5, 2012; 5th Sunday after the Epiphany
Isaiah 40:21-31
God's People are Comforted

Theme: In this section of Second Isaiah God proclaims comfort for Israel in exile. In the opening verses Isaiah 40, the prophet relates God’s saving word. In these verses the prophet relates God’s promise of strength for his exhausted nation; strength for those who are willing to let God’s plan unfold.

Background: Israel has been in exile in Babylon for years and has paid the price for their sinfulness. The message of Second Isaiah takes the tradition of Israel and interprets that tradition to the exiles then urges them to act. The prophet uses exodus-like imagery to reinforce God’s preeminent place in creation.

Questions to Ponder
* Please review Isaiah 40:1-20 for context and background.

* What is the setting for this passage? What has happened in Israel’s recent past and what promises have been made to Israel regarding their future?

* In verse 25 the writer relates the question, “To whom then will you compare me, or who is my equal?” Who do you think is asking the question? Why might this question be asked in this context?

* Why might God question Israel, “to whom will you compare me?” Do you think God believes the Israelites have forgotten his action in their lives?

* Who or what are “these” that are referred to in verse 26 (…who created these?)? What might God’s question be referring to?

* It can be argued that God was had been reminded by the Israelites that idol did not really exist thus the gods made by humans are not real. Why would God “need” to point this fact out to the Israelites?

* What gods may have been created in Israel’s time? Do you think we have the same issues in our time? What gods are created in our days (if we create gods)?

* What might have caused the Israelites to say that “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God?”

* For what reason might God have replied “The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.”?

* What does it mean to you when God says “his understanding is unsearchable.”?

* How might a person’s strength be renewed by waiting for the Lord?

* What do you consider comforting about God’s assurance that his way is unsearchable and that those who wait for the Lord will be renewed?

* What does this passage mean to us today at St. John’s? What does it mean to us members of the Episcopal Church? What does it mean to us as Christians?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sermon for Sunday January 29, 2012 - 4th Sunday after the Epiphany

We bid you greetings to all on the 4th Sunday after the Epiphany and a brisk Sunday in Suffolk. Our discussion of our prophetic ministry continues. We looked at both the prophets like Moses and the authority given us by Christ. Our sermon today contrasted the facts of our understanding of God in the world and the experience of God in our life – the role of the prophet and the role of the priest. I invite your comments.

Les+
http://chirb.it/D0b4KG

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

St. John's e-Word for Sunday January 29, 2012 - 4 Epiphany

Parish Growth Strategy – Burr Henderson has agreed to serve as the head of our Parish Growth Committee. He will be contacting members of the Parish to identify the areas where we see potential growth and what actions we can take to achieve that growth. Please prayerfully consider serving on this essential committee if called.

Question for Reflection – What three things will we do this year to improve how we form people, offer ourselves in worship, incorporate new members, or live together as a community?
______________________________________________________________
January 29, 2012, 10:30 am Holy Eucharist Rite II
Lessons for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
First Lesson:  Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Psalm:  111
Second Lesson:  1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Gospel:  Mark 1:21-28

Lay Participants for January 29, 2012 - 10:30 am service
Eucharistic Minister:  Jim
Lector:  Fred
Prayers:  Marlene
Ushers:  Gary and Marcella
Nursery Attendant:  Stephanie
Nursery Assistant:  Laura

Refreshments:  Tina

Sermon for January 22: http://chirb.it/N7gxep
______________________________________________________________
Diocesan Council Resolutions and Elections – A copy of the Diocesan Resolutions for this year’s Council can be found at: http://images.acswebnetworks.com/1/2279/ResolutionsALL.pdf and a list of nominees and their positions can be found at: http://images.acswebnetworks.com/1/2279/NomineesforElection.pdf.
          A summary of the Resolutions is: (1) C-1: Change Canons 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17 regarding Parishes and Missions; to remove all reference of size of the congregation when determining its status as a parish or mission. (2) Con-1: Constitutional Resolution changing Article 5, Section 2 regarding the determination of a quorum for congregational meetings to reflect the change in Resolution C-1. (3) C-2: Change Canons 13 and 31 to reflect the modification in descriptors for parishes and missions reflective of Resolution C-1. (4) R-1: Petition to the General Convention to study and consider flexibility with the fiscal year of Episcopal dioceses. (5) R-2: To allow clergy and congregations in Southern Virginia to participate in the use of trial liturgies that may be approved by the 77th General Convention for formalizing the blessing of same-gender unions. (6) R-3: The disposition of the Talbot Hall property.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – Shrove Tuesday is just around the corner (February 21); it is almost time for our Annual Pancake Supper and Offering of the Palms. We will follow our schedule from years past with dinner being served from 5:00-7:00 pm. The cost for the Supper will remain the same also: $5 per person or $15 per family of 4 or more. Help spread the word and invite our neighbors to this wonderful celebration. More information to follow and there will be many opportunities to assist.

Today’s Psalm – We will sing the portion of the Psalter in unison. We will use a metrical version of the Psalter from A New Metrical Psalter by Christopher Webber as we sing Psalm 111 in unison. The Psalm will be set to Hymn 43: All praise to thee, my God, this night (The Eighth Tune) from the Hymnal 1982. The words and music will be found on a bulletin insert.

Bishop’s Visitation – The Rt. Rev. Holly Hollerith will conduct his first official Visitation since his consecration as our Diocesan Bishop on May 6. While not essential this is an opportunity for Baptism, Confirmation, or Reception in the Episcopal Church. For more information about these rites and being Confirmed or Received in May contact the Rector.

Lay Participants – We would like to thank those who volunteer to assist during worship as Nursery Assistant, Altar Guild, Chalicist, Reader, Lector, and Usher. We would like to have a few more volunteers to assist on Sundays in one of these capacities. The Chalicist is the only person who requires special but simple training. If you have any questions about the duties for each position see one of our current volunteers or the Rector.

Wednesday Book Study - Our book study will continue this coming Wednesday, February 1 at 10:00 am and we will discuss Chapter 2, “Stop ‘Being Good’” from the book Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes All the Difference by The Most Rev. Desmond Tutu and The Rev. Mpho Tutu. If you would like to participate or have a copy of the book please contact Margaret.

Formation ClassesWe will discuss our Old Testament reading Deuteronomy 8:15-20, “A New Prophet like Mosesthis Sunday from 9:15-10:15 am. Next week will continue our study of the Old Testament Lectionary reading; Isaiah 40:21-31, “God’s People Are Comforted.” All are invited to join us for class.

Coats for the Needy – St. James of Portsmouth distributes coats for the needy on the 1st Saturday in February.  For more information contact the Rector.

Thought for the week – Mercy: Mercy is the prevailing reason why Jesus speaks and acts. It is about manifesting God’s mercy. And so for us who are his followers.
-Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE
______________________________________________________________________
Upcoming Events:
Wed. Jan. 25th       Convocation IV Pre-Council meeting – 7 pm (St. Paul’s Suffolk)
Wed. Feb. 8th        Garden Club – evening (Parish Hall)
Fri. Feb. 10th         Annual Council begins – Williamsburg Lodge (through Feb. 11th)
Sat. Feb. 11th         James River Rug Hookers – 10 am – 3 pm (Parish Hall)
Mon. Feb. 13th        Vestry Meeting – 7:00 pm (Parish Hall)
Wed. Feb. 15th       Outreach Meeting – 7:00 pm (Parish Hall)
Tue. Feb. 21st        Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Wed. Feb. 22nd      Ash Wednesday – 12:00 pm and 7:15 pm
Sun. May 6th          Bishop’s Visitation
____________________________________________________________
PASTORAL CARE
Pray for Katherine, our presiding bishop; Holly, our bishop; and Les our priest.

St. John’s shut-ins, Marianne, Meriwether, Allen, David, Shirley, Suzanne, Janis, Dominique, Virginia, Lon, Luann, David, Evan, Kevin, Peg, Faye and family, Carter and family, Foster family, Jim, Lisa, Terri and Family, Marvin, Bev, Denise, Jaelyn, Sally, Bill, Heather, and Toni.

Serving in the Armed Forces: Bryan, Susan, and Jonathon
Serving Overseas: David
Parish Cycle of Prayer: Don & Marcella
Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Mrs. Lynette Thomas; St. Andrew's, Lawrenceville; St. Paul's Memorial Chapel, Lawrenceville.
Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Anglican Church of Burundi; The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi Archbishop of the Province of Burundi & Bishop of Matana.

Flowers: To the glory of God and in memory of B.B. Henderson Jr. and Elizabeth “Billie” Henderson by Anne and Bert

Anniversaries in February
Gary & Toni 14           Mollie 15

Birthdays in February
James 2                        Karen 8
Mac 8                          Shawn 8
Perk 16                        Joe 19
Jimmye 20                   Alice 22

If you are in need of Pastoral Care,
Please call Father Ferguson.
Cell:  757-418-0063

Contact Music Minister Roger Peyton

Website: http://StJohnsSuffolk.blogspot.com
Follow us on Facebook:
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Suffolk VA
https://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Johns-Episcopal-Church-Suffolk-VA/176697562360854

Monday, January 23, 2012

Christian education for Sunday January 29, 2012; 4th Sunday after the Epiphany; Deuteronomy 18:15-20

Jan 29, 2012; 4th Sunday after the Epiphany Deuteronomy 18:15-20
A New Prophet like Moses

Theme: This portion of Deuteronomy helps define the judicial, political, and social structures in Israel, especially following Moses’ death. In this chapter a discussion is provided to help define the manner to identify God’s true prophesies.

Background: Israel has been traveling in the wilderness under Moses’ guidance and leadership. The Israelites will need to understand how they will know how to distinguish themselves from the surrounding countries; especially with regard to acquiring knowledge about God’s intentions for them. Moses, as Israel’s mediator, provides insight into God’s word for them in light of their continuing sinfulness.

Questions to Ponder
* What is the setting for today’s lesson? What has been happening prior to this passage with regard to Israel’s relationship with God, Moses, and themselves?
* In what manner does God NOT want Israel to acquire insight into God’s desires for them? How does this passage counter this prohibition for gaining knowledge?
* The writer may have used a plural noun when describing the prophet who was chosen by God. How would the potential for multiple prophets being ordained by God be helpful or a hindrance to Israel?
* By what means does God state that he will identify a true prophet?
* How is Israel supposed to determine the truth of the prophet’s message?
* What would be problematic regarding this means of determining the truthfulness of the prophet?
* At the end of the passage, the writers state “but any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods… shall die.” How might this statement be a hindrance to a prophet?
* What might this prohibition about speaking in God’s name a word not given by God affect our perception of prophets? Does this perception change in light of today’s fallen prophets?
* How might a prophet be different than a Priest or Levite if they are different?
* Why might the Israelites have been interested in identifying where the “new” prophets would come from in their future? Do you think it is reasonable to believe that there would be “no prophet like Moses” raised up from within Israel? Why or why not?
* How does this passage help us “grade” prophets or our spiritual leaders today? How do we know when someone is speaking God’s word?
* What applications can we draw from this passage for our community life?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sermon for Sunday January 22, 2012 - 3 Epiphany B

We bid you greetings from the middle of Epiphany. Even though there was a lot of gray in the air, we had a good service today. We investigated the do over provided to Jonah and how we are called by God to revise our view of God’s graciousness with us as we relate to our community.
Les+
http://chirb.it/N7gxep

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

St. John's e-News for Sunday, January 22, 2012 - 3 Epiphany

New Lay Participants – We would like to thank Suze and Steven for volunteering to be Lay Participants. We can always use more assistance, please see the notice below.

Question for Reflection – How has the Parish at St. John’s helped you to experience God’s presence in your life in the past year? How can we help you continue to experience God’s presence in the future?
______________________________________________________________
January 22, 2012, 10:30 am Holy Eucharist Rite II

Lessons for the Third Sunday after the Epiphany
First Lesson: Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm: 62:6-14
Second Lesson: 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Gospel: Mark 1:14-20

Lay Participants for January 22, 2012 - 10:30 am service
Eucharistic Minister:  Leone
Lector:  Terry
Prayers:  Bernice
Ushers:  Lynn and David
Nursery Attendant:  Stephanie
Nursery Assistant:  Alice

Refreshments:  No one has signed up

Sermon for January 15: http://chirb.it/CeF8Oh
______________________________________________________________
Parish Growth Strategy – Burr has agreed to serve as the head of our Parish Growth Committee. He will be contacting members of the Parish to identify the areas where we see potential growth and what actions we can take to achieve that growth. Please prayerfully consider serving on this essential committee if called.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – Shrove Tuesday is just around the corner (February 21); it is almost time for our Annual Pancake Supper and Offering of the Palms. We will follow our schedule from years past with dinner being served from 5:00-7:00 pm. The cost for the Supper will remain the same also: $5 per person or $15 per family of 4 or more. Help spread the word and invite our neighbors to this wonderful celebration. More information to follow and there will be many opportunities to assist.

Today’s Psalm – We will sing the portion of the Psalter in unison. We will use a metrical version of the Psalter from A New Metrical Psalter by Christopher Webber as we sing Psalm 62:6-14 in unison. The Psalm will be set to Hymn 544: Jesus shall reign where ere the sun (Duke Street) from the Hymnal 1982. The words and music will be found on a bulletin insert.

Bishop’s Visitation – The Rt. Rev. Holly Hollerith will conduct his first official Visitation since his consecration as our Diocesan Bishop on May 6. While not essential this is an opportunity for Baptism, Confirmation, or Reception in the Episcopal Church. For more information about these rites and being Confirmed or Received in May contact the Rector.

Lay Participants – We would like to thank those who volunteer to assist during worship as Nursery Assistant, Altar Guild, Chalicist, Reader, Lector, and Usher. We would like to have a few more volunteers to assist on Sundays in one of these capacities. The Chalicist is the only person who requires special but simple training. If you have any questions about the duties for each position see one of our current volunteers or the Rector.

Olan Mills Update – Those who had pictures taken by Olan Mills should have received their proof sheets in the mail along with 2 order forms (both can be used to order additional photos with a $50 discount). There are two options for ordering photos and directions will be forwarded by separate correspondence.

Our Denominational Heritage Q: Does the Presiding Bishop in the Episcopal Church in the United States have veto power over the two houses of General Convention and the Diocesan Bishops?
          A: No. The Presiding Bishop is afforded the same vote as any other Bishop in the Episcopal Church. In fact, there have been many instances where the decision of the General Convention and the Diocesan Bishops has not been the preference of the Presiding Bishop.

Wednesday Book Study - Our book study will begin this coming Wednesday, January 25 at 10:00 am and we will discuss Chapter 1, “The Difference Goodness Makes” from the book Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes All the Difference by The Most Rev. Desmond Tutu and The Rev. Mpho Tutu. If you would like to participate or have a copy of the book please contact Margaret.

Formation ClassesWe will discuss our Old Testament reading Jonah 3:1-10, “Conversion of Ninevehthis Sunday from 9:15-10:15 am. Next week will continue our study of the Old Testament Lectionary reading; Deuteronomy 8:15-20, “Privileges of Priests and Levites.” All are invited to join us for class.

Coats for the Needy – St. James of Portsmouth distributes coats for the needy on the 1st Saturday in February.  For more information contact the Rector.

Thought for the week – Power: Jesus the meek king exercises a disciplined calmness in the face of evil threats. His rule is characterized by compassion, not tyranny. And he expects his disciples to follow in his way; refusing to return evil for evil, putting their whole trust in God.
-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE
______________________________________________________________________
Upcoming Events:
Thu. Jan. 19th         Clergy Fresh Start retreat – 10 am – 3:30 pm (Camp Chanco)
Wed. Jan. 25th       Convocation IV Pre-Council meeting
Wed. Feb. 8th        Garden Club – evening (Parish Hall)
Fri. Feb. 10th         Annual Council begins – Williamsburg Lodge (through Feb. 11th)
Sat. Feb. 11th         James River Rug Hookers – 10 am – 3 pm (Parish Hall)
Mon. Feb. 13th        Vestry Meeting – 7:00 pm (Parish Hall)
Wed. Feb. 15th       Outreach Meeting – 7:00 pm (Parish Hall)
Tue. Feb. 21st        Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Wed. Feb. 22nd      Ash Wednesday – 12:00 pm and 7:15 pm
Sun. May 6th          Bishop’s Visitation
____________________________________________________________
PASTORAL CARE
Pray for Katherine, our presiding bishop; Holly, our bishop; and Les our priest.

St. John’s shut-ins, Marianne, Meriwether, Allen, David, Shirley, Suzanne, Janis, Dominique, Virginia, Lon, Luann, David, Evan, Kevin, Peg, Faye and family, Carter and family, Foster family, Jim, Lisa, Terri and Family, Marvin, Bev, Denise, Jaelyn, Sally, Bill, Heather, and Toni.

Serving in the Armed Forces: Bryan, Susan, and Jonathon
Serving Overseas: David
Parish Cycle of Prayer: Dianne & Bryan
Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Dr. Jo Anna Price; St. Luke's, Kenbridge; St. Paul & St. Andrew's, Kenbridge; The Rev. Robyn & Roy Hoffman.
Anglican Cycle of Prayer: Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil (Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil); The Most Rev. MaurĂ­cio Jose Araujo de Andrade, Primate of Brazil & Bishop of Brasilia.

Flowers: To the Glory of God and in Memory of Joshua and Betty Pretlow by Anne and Bert.

Birthdays in January
Ashley 1                      Garrett 2
Randy 6                      Landy 14
Arthur 15                    Lynn 15
Marlene 17                  Anne 20
Linda 21

If you are in need of Pastoral Care,
Please call Father Ferguson.
Cell:  757-418-0063

Contact Music Minister Roger Peyton

Website: http://StJohnsSuffolk.blogspot.com
Follow us on Facebook:
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Suffolk VA
https://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Johns-Episcopal-Church-Suffolk-VA/176697562360854

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Christian education for Sunday January 15, 2012; 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany; Jonah 3:1-10; The Conversion of Nineveh

Jonah 3:1-10 Conversion of Nineveh

Theme: Nineveh is an enormous Gentile city that is renowned for its sinfulness; not unlike Sodom and Gomorrah. Jonah is continuing on his mission to declare God’s wrath and proclaim God’s condemnation to Nineveh. Jonah finally responds favorably to God’s second call directing him to go to Nineveh.

Background: Jonah exhibits xenophobic tendencies and has been hesitant to respond to God’s call. He has ignored God’s call and paid the price for his sin by spending 3 days in the belly of the leviathan. The book of Jonah was most likely written in the late 6th century BCE and employs satirical rhetoric to get its point across to readers. The dating of the text to post-exile times provides the opportunity to interpret the text in multiple ways.

Questions to Ponder
* Please read the additional text, verses 6-9.
* What is the situation surrounding this text? What events have taken place in Israel’s history? What has taken place in Jonah’s history?
* Why might God be angry with Nineveh, angry enough to destroy the city?
* Do you think God needed Jonah to proclaim his message to the Ninevites? Why or why not?
* Why might Jonah have responded favorably to God’s second command to go to Nineveh?
* Do you think Jonah’s response this second time is consistent with his response to God’s first call? Why or why not?
* Do you think Jonah truly had a change of heart or was he simply fearful of the potential ramification of his choice to ignore God once again?
* How probable do you think it was that Nineveh was described as “three days’ walk across” in verse 3?
* Why might Jonah have shortened God’s oracle to Nineveh (Jonah 1:2)?
* How does Nineveh’s response to Jonah impact us today?
* What is ironic about Nineveh’s response to Jonah’s oracle?
* Why would it be important for every person and animal to sit in sackcloth and ashes? Do you believe the animals were clothed in sackcloth and ashes?
* Why might the king in Nineveh have declared the whole city would fast?
* Do you think God changed God’s mind when the Ninevites repented and returned to God?
* What do you find troubling about God being able to change God’s mind while Jonah was not able to change his mind?
* What is the application of this message for us today?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sermon for Sunday January 15, 2012 - 2 Epiphany B

Greetings on 2 Epiphany! We had a good church service today including our annual meeting and potluck; as always lots of good food and fellowship. Today’s sermon explored our call and response and was entitled “Listening, answering, and responding – the blessing of God’s calling.” I’ll try to get photos posted here for all to see but suffice to say that the food was great and the company was good.
Les+

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

St. John's e-News for Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 2 Epiphany

Annual meeting – We will have our annual meeting Sunday January 15 in the Sanctuary following worship. All are invited to receive the state of the Parish announcement and share in conversation with the Rector and the Vestry. There will be a potluck immediately following the meeting in the Parish Hall.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – Shrove Tuesday is just around the corner; it is almost time for our Annual Pancake Supper and Offering of the Palms. We will follow our schedule from years past with dinner being served from 5:00-7:00 pm. The cost for the Supper will remain the same also: $5 per person or $15 per family of 4 or more. Help spread the word and invite our neighbors to this wonderful celebration. More information to follow and there will be many opportunities to assist.
______________________________________________________________
January 15, 2012, 10:30 am Holy Eucharist Rite II and Healing Prayers
Lessons for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany
First Lesson: 1 Samuel 3:1-20
Psalm: 139:1-5, 12-17
Second Lesson: 1 Corinthians 6:12-30
Gospel: John 1:43-51

Lay Participants for January 15, 2012 - 10:30 am service
Eucharistic Minister:  Mary-Margaret
Lector:  Ben
Prayers:  Kathy
Ushers:  Anne and Bert
Nursery Attendant:  Stephanie
Nursery Assistant:  Laura

Refreshments:  Parish Potluck

Sermon for January 8: http://chirb.it/6F1I2y
______________________________________________________________
Today’s Psalm – We will sing the portion of the Psalter in unison. We will use a metrical version of the Psalter from A New Metrical Psalter by Christopher Webber as we sing Psalm 29 in unison. The Psalm will be set to Hymn 121: Christ, when for us you were baptized (Caithness) from the Hymnal 1982. The words and music will be found on a bulletin insert.

Vestry Officer Election – At this past Vestry meeting we unanimously elected Leone Vigil as Senior Warden, Joe Fisher as Junior Warden, Gary Davidson as Treasurer, and Marlene Stanton as Parish Register. When you see them, congratulate them on their election.
          We offer a special word of thanks to Jim Tankovich who rotated off the Vestry and faithfully served as Senior Warden during the search process. We also thank Burr Henderson for his service as Junior Warden although he has not rotated off the Vestry and will serve the remainder of his term.

Bishop’s Visitation – The Rt. Rev. Holly Hollerith will conduct his first official Visitation since his consecration as our Diocesan Bishop on May 6. While not essential this is an opportunity for Baptism, Confirmation, or Reception in the Episcopal Church. For more information about these rites and being Confirmed or Received in May contact the Rector.

Lay Participants – We would like to thank those who volunteer to assist during worship as Nursery Assistant, Altar Guild, Chalicist, Reader, Lector, and Usher. We would like to have a few more volunteers to assist on Sundays in one of these capacities. The Chalicist is the only person who requires special but simple training. If you have any questions about the duties for each position see one of our current volunteers or the Rector.

Olan Mills Update – Olan Mills has had a problem processing sittings from the day of our shoot – I hope to have a better idea about when they will have proofs sent for you to select pictures if you have had them taken. Because this is wholly their error they will provide an additional $25 for each person who had a picture taken to purchase photographs in addition to the free portrait every person receives simply for having their picture taken. Thank you for your patience.

Our Denominational Heritage – Q: Historically, what were the names of the Senior and Junior Wardens and what were their responsibilities?
          A: The Senior Warden was historically called the Rector’s Warden; the Junior Warden was historically called the People’s Warden. Churchwardens have a duty to represent the laity and co-operate with the clergy (or, in cases of vacancy, the bishop). They are expected to lead the parishioners by setting a good example and encouraging unity and peace. They have a particular duty to maintain order and peace in the church and churchyard at all times, and especially during services, although this task tends to be devolved to “sidesmen.”

Wednesday Book Study - Our next book study will begin on January 25 at 10:00 am and we will discuss the book Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes All the Difference by The Most Rev. Desmond Tutu and The Rev. Mpho Tutu. If you would like to participate or have a copy of the book please contact Margaret Tankovich.

Formation Classes – We will discuss our Old Testament reading 1 Samuel 3:1-20, “Samuel’s Calling and Prophetic Activity” this Sunday from 9:15-10:15 am. Next week will continue our study of the Old Testament reading from the Lectionary; Jonah 3:1-5, 10, “Conversion of Nineveh.” All are invited to join us for class.

Coats for the Needy – St. James of Portsmouth distributes coats for the needy on the 1st Saturday in February.  For more information contact the Rector.

Thought for the weekGratitude: We need a prayer which acknowledges the dignity of our own birth and the benefits of our own life. And we need a prayer for how we desire to steward this gift of life entrusted to us. It’s how to pray gratitude for all we are and all we hold. All that we are, all that we have we hold in trust.
-Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE
______________________________________________________________________
Upcoming Events:
Sun. Jan. 15th         Annual Meeting – following service
                                Parish Potluck – following the Annual Meeting
Mon. Jan. 16th        Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday (office closed)
                                Junto Women’s Group meeting
                                Vestry planning session – Parish Hall (time to be determined)
Thu. Jan. 19th        Clergy Fresh Start retreat – 10 am – 3:30 pm (Camp Chanco)
Wed. Jan. 25th       Convocation IV Pre-Council meeting
Wed. Feb. 8th        Garden Club – evening (Parish Hall)
Fri. Feb. 10th          Annual Council begins – Williamsburg Lodge (through Feb. 11th)
Mon. Feb. 13th        Vestry Meeting – 7:00 pm (Parish Hall)
Wed. Feb. 15th       Outreach Meeting – 7:00 pm (Parish Hall)
Tue. Feb. 21st        Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper – 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Wed. Feb. 22nd      Ash Wednesday – 12:00 pm and 7:15 pm
Sun. May 6th          Bishop’s Visitation
____________________________________________________________
PASTORAL CARE
Pray for Katherine, our presiding bishop; Holly, our bishop; and Les our priest.

St. John’s shut-ins, Marianne, Meriwether, Allen, David, Shirley, Suzanne, Janis, Dominique, Virginia, Lon, Luann, David, Evan, Kevin, Peg, Faye and family, Carter and family, Foster family, Jim, Lisa, Terri and Family, Marvin, Bev, Denise, Jaelyn, Sally, Bill, Heather, and Toni.

Those who have died: Ken; Dawn.

Serving in the Armed Forces: Bryan, Susan, and Jonathon
Serving Overseas: David
Parish Cycle of Prayer: John & Beth
Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Emmanuel, Jenkins Bridge; Mrs. Eflyn Morris; St. John's, Hopewell.
Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Church of Bangladesh; The Most Rev. Paul Sarker, Moderator, Church of Bangladesh & Bishop of Dhaka.

Flowers: Are given to the Glory of God and in honor of Lynn Kirk Rose and Dr. Arthur Kirk by Anne and Bert Henderson.

Birthdays in January
Ashley 1                     Garrett 2
Randy 6                     Landy 14
Arthur 15                   Lynn 15
Marlene 17                 Anne 20
Linda 21

If you are in need of Pastoral Care,
Please call Father Ferguson.
Cell:  757-418-0063

Contact Music Minister Roger Peyton

Website: http://StJohnsSuffolk.blogspot.com
Follow us on Facebook:
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Suffolk VA
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Monday, January 9, 2012

Christian education for Sunday January 15, 2012; 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany; 1 Samuel 3:1-20; Samuel's Calling and Prophetic Activity

Jan 15, 2012; 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany
1 Samuel 3:1-20
Samuel’s Calling and Prophetic Activity
Theme: Samuel is identified as the new prophet in place of the failing Judge Eli. Samuel has been identified by the prophets as a chosen one of God; Eli has failed to faithfully dispatch the responsibilities of Priest – specifically by controlling his sons.

Background: The books of Samuel describe the origin of kingship in Israel. The first portion of Samuel provides the transition between the period of the judges and the monarchy. Samuel also helps define the role of the prophet as priest, seer, war leader, and judge.

Questions to Ponder
* Briefly, what is the situation in Israel at the time of Eli and Samuel? How is the social situation reflected in this passage?
* What are the roles of Eli and Samuel at the outset of this passage? How do those roles change by God’s interaction with Eli and Samuel?
* Why might there be the contrasting description of light and dark; and sight and vision in verses 2 and 3?
* How might the writer be reinforcing Eli’s fall from grace by his physical description? How might the writer be reinforcing Samuel’s growing selection as leader by his description?
* Why might “[God’s] word” be rare and “visions” be not widespread in those days?
* Why might Samuel be laying in the temple with the “light of God” burning?
* What do you find interesting about God’s interaction with Samuel in the three instances related in verses 4 through 10?
* Why might Samuel think that Eli was calling him as opposed to God?
* What might the significance of Samuel’s response “Here I am” to both Eli and God be? Who else responds in this manner to God’s call?
* Why might Eli tell Samuel to lie down if he is called again by the “unknown voice”?
* Why might God call Samuel a different number of times in each of the three call narratives?
* Why might God have stood with Samuel when he called Samuel the third time?
* What might the significance of the repeated calls be for the Israelites? For us today?
* Do you think it is likely that Eli could have carried out his threat to “call down a like punishment from God” on Samuel?
* Why might Samuel have told Eli all the details of God’s condemnation on him?
* What might it mean to say that “none of his [Samuel’s] words fell to the ground” as Samuel grew in God’s presence?
* How does this passage provide comfort for us today? How is this passage a message of hope for our society in a time where God seems to be missing or far away?
* What applications can we draw from this passage for us today?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sermon for Sunday January 8, 2012 - 1 Epiphany Year B

Greetings on the 1st Sunday after the Epiphany; we had a few more people in church this morning and a good worship service. We are getting ready to move through Epiphany and not look too far ahead to Lent and Easter. This morning, we talked about the personal nature of the baptism of Jesus and how that baptism leads us to move and share the personal relationship of God in Christ. Today’s sermon is entitled “the personal blessing of touch.”
Les+
http://chirb.it/6F1I2y

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

St. John's e-News for Sunday, January 1, 2012 - The Feast of the Baptism of Jesus

“De-Greening” the Church – A special thanks to all who helped take down the Advent greens from the church last weekend.

Renewal of Baptismal Vows – We will substitute the Renewal of Baptismal Vows for the Nicene Creed today in remembrance of our Baptisms and to honor the church's tradition that "the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord is an especially appropriate date for baptisms." For more information about the dates which are “especially appropriate for baptism” in the Episcopal Tradition see page 312 in the Book of Common Prayer.
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January 8, 2012, 10:30 am Holy Eucharist Rite II
Lessons for the First Sunday after the Epiphany – Feast of the Baptism of Jesus
First Lesson: Genesis 1:1-5
Psalm: 29
Second Lesson: Acts 19:1-7
Gospel: Mark 1:4-11

Lay Participants for January 8, 2012 - 10:30 am service
Acolyte:  Jim
Lector:  Nick
Prayers:  Bernice
Ushers:  Nick and Tina
Nursery Attendant:  Taylor
Nursery Assistant:  Lynn

Refreshments:  Marlene

Sermon for January 1: none
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Today’s Psalm – We will sing the portion of the Psalter in unison. We will use a metrical version of the Psalter from A New Metrical Psalter by Christopher Webber as we sing Psalm 29 in unison. The Psalm will be set to Hymn 524, I love thy kingdom, Lord (St. Thomas) from the Hymnal 1982. The words and music will be found on a bulletin insert.

Annual meeting – We will have our annual meeting Sunday January 15 in the Sanctuary following worship. All are invited to receive the state of the Parish announcement and share in conversation with the Rector and the Vestry. There will be a potluck immediately following the meeting in the Parish Hall.

Bishop’s Visitation – The Rt. Rev. Holly Hollerith will conduct his first official Visitation since his consecration as our Diocesan Bishop on May 6. While not essential this is an opportunity for Baptism, Confirmation, or Reception in the Episcopal Church. For more information about these rites and being Confirmed or Received in May contact the Rector.

Lay Participants – We would like to thank those who volunteer to assist during worship as Nursery Assistant, Altar Guild, Chalicist, Reader, Lector, and Usher. We would like to have a few more volunteers to assist on Sundays in one of these capacities. The Chalicist is the only person who requires special but simple training. We will provide an overview of the positions in coming weeks but if you have any questions about the duties see one of our current volunteers or the Rector.

Olan Mills Update – Our materials have been received by Olan Mills and they hope to have the rough layout to us by January 10. We will determine when they will contact the parishioners to identify which picture they would like in the directory. Thank you for your patience.

Our Denominational Heritage Q: What are the primary responsibilities of the Vestry?
          A: The Vestry is responsible for the maintenance of parish finances; upkeep of parish buildings and grounds; and to choose individuals to fill various positions of parish leadership and representation in the Parish and Diocese.

“Women’s” Book Study - Our next book study will be on the book Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes All the Difference by The Most Rev. Desmond Tutu and The Rev. Mpho Tutu. If you would like to participate or have a copy of the book please contact Margaret.

Formation ClassesWe will discuss our Old Testament reading Genesis 1:1-5, “Six Days of Creation and the Sabbath,this Sunday January 8 at 9:15-10:15 am. For our next class will on January 15 we discuss our Old Testament reading 1 Samuel 3:1-20, “Samuel’s Calling and Prophetic Activity.” All are invited to join us for class.

Coats for the Needy – St. James of Portsmouth distributes coats for the needy on the 1st Saturday in December, January, and February.  For more information contact the Rector.

Thought for the week – See: We can only see and serve Jesus in our poor neighbors if we recognize and experience that this is how Jesus sees us – sees you and me…
-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE
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Upcoming Events:
Sun. Jan. 8th          Liturgy Team (following coffee hour)
Mon. Jan. 9th         Vestry Meeting – 7:00 pm (Parish Hall)
Sun. Jan. 15th         Annual Meeting – following service
                              Parish Potluck – following the Annual Meeting
Mon. Jan. 16th        Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday (office closed)
                              Junto Women’s Group meeting
                              Vestry planning session – Parish Hall (time to be determined)
Thu. Jan. 19th         Clergy Fresh Start retreat – 10 am – 3:30 pm (Camp Chanco)
Wed. Jan. 25th       Convocation IV Pre-Council meeting
Wed. Feb. 8th        Garden Club – evening (Parish Hall)
Fri. Feb. 10th          Annual Council begins – Williamsburg Lodge (through Feb. 11th)
Mon. Feb. 13th        Vestry Meeting – 7:00 pm (Parish Hall)
Tue. Feb. 21st        Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
Wed. Feb. 22nd      Ash Wednesday
Sun. May 6th          Bishop’s Visitation
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PASTORAL CARE
Pray for Katherine, our presiding bishop; Holly, our bishop; and Les our priest.

St. John’s shut-ins, Marianne, Meriwether, Allen, David, Shirley, Suzanne, Janis, Dominique, Virginia, Lon, Luann, David, Evan, Kevin, Peg, Faye and family, Carter and family, Foster family, Jim, Lisa, Terri and Family, Marvin, Bev, Denise, and Jaelyn.

Serving in the Armed Forces: Bryan, Susan, and Jonathon
Serving Overseas: David
Parish Cycle of Prayer: Leone
Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Mrs. Sophronia Gordon; St. John's, Hampton; St. Mark's, Hampton; The Rev. Helen McKee
Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Anglican Church of Australia. The Most Rev. Dr Phillip John Aspinall the Archbishop of Brisbane & Primate of Australia.

Flowers: Are given to The Glory of God and in loving memory of Robert Hepburn Rogers: A Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Great Grandfather; by Bernice.

Birthdays in January
Ashley 1                     Garrett 2
Randy 6                      Landy 14
Arthur 15                    Lynn 15
Marlene 17                 Anne 20
Linda 21

If you are in need of Pastoral Care,
Please call Father Ferguson.
Cell:  757-418-0063

Contact Music Minister Roger Peyton

Website: http://StJohnsSuffolk.blogspot.com
Follow us on our Facebook:
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Suffolk VA
https://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Johns-Episcopal-Church-Suffolk-VA/176697562360854