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From the Rector


One of the most special things to me about the way we live in community and measure time is that in one calendar year we have essentially two New Years. We have January 1st, of course, and we also have this time of year, when people return from their summer sojourns and Sabbath time, when school begins, when we look forward to the change of season, and the start of or resumption of activities, fellowships, and the work of putting our faith into action. I love September for the freshness and re-purposing it offers all of us, whether or not we actually attend or lead classes.

My very favorite feature of the St. John’s community is the “all in-ness” of our parish. When something needs to be done, people step forward, roll up their sleeves, and get busy. This is a large part of the ways in which we have been successful in building a connected, communicating, caring, compassionate, and vital parish community life together. September is a perfect time to renew our commitments to our Lord Jesus, to our worshipping and serving sacramental community, and to each other, our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Screen Shot 2016-09-08 at 13.05.10So, I hope that you will read this Epistle with an eye to the richness of our parish life together.  So much is planned for the next many months and all of it is a sign and signal of the vibrancy of our life in Christ.  If you see or sense a place where you might jump in or “try on” something new, please prayerfully consider taking that new chance.  And if you are a person devoted to the ministry of a particular group at St. John’s, this is a time of year to rededicate yourself to that work and fellowship, as you seek to serve Christ in all persons, striving for justice and peace. Follow your heart. Be led by the Holy Spirit to find your passion, purpose and peace in what you choose to invest in as a member of the Body of Christ here at St. John’s, called and chosen by God to do God’s work in the vineyard of your life. Remember, most of the time our Lord’s hands look just like the hands at the ends of our own arms.

Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more
abundantly that we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20

Blessings ever,
Virginia

Parish Pearls

Sunday, September  9 is Bill Winterton HOMECOMING Sunday.  Church School and Choir will resume at the 10 am worship service, and Tom and Virginia will be hosting an Open House and Light Luncheon at the Rectory immediately following the second service that Sunday. We hope some 8 o’clockers will come back!!  The Luncheon is in lieu of Coffee Hour and if it rains, we will gather in the Lower Parish Hall.

Our Church School opens on September 9 and Nursery Care will continue.  We have a fabulous team of volunteers working together with our youngest members this year. Andy Halpryn, Erica Feenstra, Bethany Chanthavisouk, Kimmie Farrell, Amelia Halpryn, Clarissa Halpryn, Isabel Mund, Elaine Anderson, Maria Evans, and Linda Hull have all agreed to help. The Church School and Nursery Care will be run together and small children will be able to move back and forth. Please don’t worry about if your child is in nursery or church school; everyone grade 5 and younger is welcome and we will work it out for each child. There will be prayers, art projects, opportunities to sing and make music, and plenty of fun, as the children learn about Jesus and experience fellowship together. The volunteers will be commissioned at the 10 am worship service on opening day. Church School will be entirely upstairs in the Parish House this year, so please bring the kids upstairs, not down.  There is Nursery Care every Sunday, and NO Church School on October 7th (Blessing of the Animals and Columbus Day Weekend).

Screen Shot 2016-09-08 at 12.44.39Our Confirmation Class kicks off on September 16th.  Nine youth will be participating with their mentors and parents. This year there will be one Mentor Meeting Sunday per month, one or two classes per month, run by Virginia and Diane Dalo, and five events/fieldtrips in collaboration with St. Peter’s Hebron, Trinity Brooklyn, and St. Mary’s Manchester. A schedule for the year is included in this Epistle. A Northeastern CT regional confirmation will be held at St. John’s on May 7th 2019. The following is a list of Mentors and Mentee Confirmation Class Members. Please pray for the youth in this class, their mentors, teachers, and parents as we embark together on this spiritual journey.

Carole Cronsell  –    Charlotte Mund
Alfreda Barber  –   Victoria Minietti
Kelli Peters  –   Peter Sartori
Tom Army  –  Donny Wilson
Dave Smith  –   Damien Wilson
Alicia di Leo  –   Isabel Mund
Marsha Francis  –   Clarissa Halpryn
Hannah Army  –   Claire Palmer
Bethany Chanthavisouk  –   Rachel Pospisil

Each fall we do a collection for the Cheyenne River Lakota Reservation through the local non-profit, Hawkwing.  The reservation remains one of the most impoverished places in the world.  The following items are needed this year.  We are collecting September 9- October 28th.  Items needed:  Full sized personal care items (no items containing Triclosan): toothpaste & floss; deodorant; bar soap; Shampoo/Conditioner; lip protector (Chapstick, for example); hand cream.  New or gently used coats (all sizes -12 month – adult 3xl);  new warm clothes (same sizes); gently used winter coats accepted; underwear; warm socks; winter boots; sneakers; tops (sweaters/sweatshirts); heavy water proof gloves (all ages).  New Items for Babies (sizes 3 months to 18  months): disposable diapers & wipes, powder & diaper cream, sleepers, Onesies, receiving blankets, snowsuits, baby wash & shampoo, developmental & educational toys, baby dolls.  Toys for toddlers & art & sport items for teens.  (PLEASE NO BATTERY OR ELECTRIC TOYS or STUFFED ANIMALS.)  Art supplies (drawing pads/charcoals/pastels), board games, trucks & cars, preschool playsets & building blocks, baby dolls, basketballs, footballs.  New books for all ages (infant – teen.)  New items for elders: socks, hand cream, sweaters, towels.  FOOD IS CRITICALLY NEEDED:  You may donate to the existing Food Bank on the Rez. They purchase food for 18 cents a lb. from the South Dakota Food Bank.  CASH/CHECKS (all tax-deductible), made payable to Hawkwing, are welcome!  Send to:  Rochelle Ripley, 306 Cavan Lane, Glastonbury, CT 06033 860.633.8933.  For more information visit: www.hawkwing.org.  Any questions please see Terri or Tom Sessions, 860.644.5892. Thank you.  We will also have a money jar collection for Hawkwing Outreach Food Bank on Sunday, October 14th .

The St. John’s Concert Series will host The Prometheus Duo on September 16th at 4 pm and The Jolly Beggars will return on October 14th at 4 pm.  Invite your friends and plan to join us!!  Following the concert, many parishioners will be dining together at New England Pizza in Vernon, with a portion of the proceeds coming back to St. John’s Concert series.

The Brotherhood of St. Andrew will be hosting their annual Steak and Chicken Dinner on Saturday, September 29th.  Tickets are on sale now and must be bought in advance. Hors d’oeuvres will be served at 5 pm and the dinner will be served at 6 pm. The menu includes a choice of NY strip, BBQ chicken or a hot dog, served with baked potatoes, green beans, and salad.  Dessert will feature a Sundae bar.  All the proceeds support the Brotherhood’s food ministries, and work with local Veterans at Phelps House in Rockville.

On Sunday, October 7th we will celebrate St. Francis Sunday and will have our annual Blessing of the Animals service at 10 am. The service will be in the Memorial Garden if the weather permits.  Bring your favorite lawn chairs and your pets!  Folding chairs will also be available.  If it rains, we gather in the Sanctuary. This will be followed by Coffee Hour.

Our fall Clean and Green Sunday, will be Sunday, September 30th , with Coffee Hour hosted by the Environmental Committee and will include a visit from Horizon Wings Raptor Rehab of Willington.

Screen Shot 2016-09-08 at 12.57.25Children of all ages are invited to annual Trunk or Treat Halloween Party on Saturday, October 27th at 6:00 pm, for the second of our “Let’s Have Fun Together” activities.  Costumes are highly recommended for children of all ages.  There will be games and pumpkins, and a pot luck supper of Sloppy Joes, corn bread, salad and dessert (sign-up sheet will be posted in October).  The party ends with Trunk-or-Treat in the parking lot.  It is amazing what some of our parishioners do to their cars!!  Bring your family and friends….this party is open to all comers and
is always SOOOOOO much fun!!

Ongoing Ministry, Mission, Fellowship and Formation Opportunities

We are blessed to have four active Eucharistic Visitors in our parish.  These members bring communion, pastoral care and concern, and the spirit and prayers of our parish community to sick and homebound members of our Parish.  We are in critical need of several more volunteers now, especially given the addition of several homebound members to our list of people who desire regular contact with the parish through this sacramental ministry. Virginia offers training and support for this ministry, which you can do at times of your choosing, to fit your schedule.  Please talk to Virginia if you think you might be able to help.

The ECW (Episcopal Church Women) meets monthly during the fall (at scheduled times announced in the Epistle and announcements in the Undercroft) at 7 pm during the school year, and for some additional evening or Sunday workshops in preparation for our Annual Christmas/St. Nicholas Bazaar (which is December 1st and 2nd this year). The ECW welcomes everybody’s help and participation in making the Bazaar an annual success.  The proceeds support mission initiatives and ongoing ministry and special needs at St. John’s. The second half of the school year is devoted primarily to spiritual conversation and sharing fellowship.  Every year we collect donated items and/or raise funds for:  the Lakota Indians in So. Dakota; St. Vincent’s School in Haiti; Undie Sunday (for the local schools and homeless shelters); and the Relay for Life.

The Brotherhood of St. Andrew meets on the second Wednesday of each month in the Undercroft at 7:30 pm. Their meetings are structured by Group Bible Study and special reading, prayer and discussion, and reporting on their several mission and outreach projects.  All men of the parish are most welcome!

Holy Eucharist and Healing Prayers are offered one Wednesdays per month (see the Dates to Remember) at 7 pm in the Sanctuary (from Thanksgiving to the end of March we gather in the Children’s Chapel in the lower parish hall). This worship is followed by Faith Study, which is either Bible Study or the reading together of a mutually chosen book about some aspect of our faith journeys together.  The conversation always ends by 8:30 pm. All are welcome!

The Good Grief Group gathers once a month (see the Dates to Remember schedule) to share and listen as we explore together the challenges of bereavement and provide mutual support and companionship as we grieve life’s losses.

Screen Shot 2016-09-08 at 13.10.06St. John’s Knit Together Group – St. John’s knitting group offers a chance for fellowship, to learn a new skill, to share time with, and get to know more people.  It is not just a group for knitters.  We welcome people who crochet, do needle work, beading, sewing, or just want to talk.  We meet in the undercroft on most Monday nights from 7 to 9 pm (please check the Dates to remember.)  We have all you will need to get started-pattern books, needles, yarn, and people willing to help if you are new to knitting or crocheting.  So please join us whenever you can.

The Brotherhood of St. Andrew invites continuing donations of non-perishable food for food pantry.  Canned meats, peanut butter, canned vegetables and fruit, cereal and juices, pasta and sauces, and soups are especially helpful! We continue to feed several local families monthly and help out at Phelps House and the Cornerstone.  And we are looking for some new volunteers to help with our food ministry.

Speaking of the Cornerstone, our Cooks for a Cause make and serve brunch there every Sunday.  We are seeking several more team members this fall to help out.  Please see Carole Cronsell or Virginia if you can offer two hours one Sunday a month to serve the homeless and hungry in our community.

Our enhanced and well-watered Organic Vegetable Garden has been vastly productive this year.  Planters, mulchers, waterers, weeders, harvesters, and deliverers to the soup kitchen at the Cornerstone are always welcomed to this essential ministry of our parish. WE URGENTLY NEED PEOPLE TO SIGN UP TO DELIVER THE PRODUCE THROUGH THE FALL GROWING SEASON!! There is a sign-up sheet in the Narthex.

thing_1The Choir is always seeking more voices!!  Please see Markus if this opportunity tempts you or if you have any questions. Rehearsals are Sunday mornings at 9 am in the new choir room in the Upper Parish Hall. The Choir is an integral part of our 10 am service and weekly enhances our worship together. And they have FUN together every week at rehearsal!

The St. John’s Book Group meets once a month at the Rectory to discuss mutually chosen fiction and non-fiction works. (The Dates to Remember have all the dates and book selections through November.) Our discussion is lively and we always welcome new comers to our conversation.  It is a joy to have reading companions and the commitment of reading something new and well recommended/reviewed once a month.  See Mary Wilson, Elaine Anderson or Virginia for more details.

Screen Shot 2016-09-08 at 13.17.54If you have been thinking about a ministry that you might be willing to support within the St. John’s family, how about joining our Altar Guild Ministry?  We are looking for some new members to add to our teams (10:00ers in particular, but not limited to that).  The Altar Guild of St. John’s  is a ministry of service and fellowship with a purpose to serve the Rector and the congregation by making each service as beautiful and efficiently run as possible.  Our ministry is often a behind-the-scenes but deeply rewarding and spiritual endeavor.  Each member gains their own personal growth in our faith and service to the Lord.  The commitment of time works out to be only about once a month on a rotating schedule.  There is extreme satisfaction in helping to set the ‘table of the Lord’ and in decorating our beautiful church for the holy days during the church calendar year.  Please contact one of us or get back to Margaret in the church office, or Virginia if you’d like to join this absolutely essential ministry.

Screen Shot 2016-09-08 at 13.33.57St. John’s is blessed to have a number of babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary aged children attending church regularly.  Our Nursery has been joyfully full this summer!!  We have assembled a team of excellent volunteers to run the Nursery and Church School this school year.  Some faces are familiar and returning and we are always grateful to have some new people involved and are still hoping for a few more helpers. I am delighted to have such a great group of devoted leadership committed to our youngest members.  All of the program will be upstairs in the Parish Hall on Sunday mornings. There will be art projects, singing and music making opportunities, seasonal activities, learning, and plenty of fun as we seek to help our youngest members know God’s love and the wondrous and faith-filled stories about God’s work and movement in the world, especially through our Lord Jesus Christ. We also want to the kids to enjoy play and fellowship time together. Children will be able to move freely between classrooms and guided learning or project activities, and the play of the Nursery.  We know that a church without little people is a church without life or a future, and we cherish the children of St. John’s.  Please be in touch with Virginia if you have any questions.

Environmental Ministry – Our community organic vegetable garden is continuing its super-producing ways this summer!  Thus far we have harvested bags and bags of lettuce, kale, sweet cherry tomatoes, green beans, carrots, broccoli, squash, zucchini, and eggplants, and now the bigger tomatoes,   cucumbers, peppers, and corn as well!  Still to come are some pumpkins, which are growing and becoming ‘oranger’ every week!  Many thanks to all the St. John’s folks who have pitched in so far, especially Letty who planted our new fruit beds, and Don Wills and Walter Kustwan who built the new raised beds!!

Flower Ministry – I am looking for one or two more volunteers to join the Flower Ministry.  This would require making a delivery of one of the vases of altar flowers after the 10am service once every 4 to 6 weeks.  It is small commitment of time yet very rewarding to bring the flowers to one of our fellow parishioners who is either homebound, in need of some cheer, or is celebrating a time of joy.    I am also in need of few more volunteers for our Home Away from Home Ministry.  This involves putting together & mailing a care package once a semester for one of our college students (and we have several this year!) or one who is in the military.  As much fun as college can be, it can get a little lonely and it’s nice to remind those who are away that our St. John’s parish is thinking of them.   If you can assist with either of these ministries, please contact me at daug6978@sbcglobal.net or (860) 916-8316.  Thank you! Diane Augustus

Dates to Remember

Sept. 1  1 pm Funeral Services and Burial in the Memorial Garden for Peter and Dorothy Marshall
Sept. 2 9 am UNITED Worship, Rite I with Music, Nursery Care available
Sept. 4  7 pm  ECW Meeting in the Undercroft
WelcomeSept. 9  Bill Winterton Homecoming Sunday 8 am Rite I and 10 am Rite II with Choir, Sunday School, Nursery Care, and Open House Luncheon at the Rectory (if the weather is foul, the luncheon will be in the lower parish hall) in lieu of coffee hour
Sept. 10  7-9 pm Knitting Fellowship in the Undercroft
Sept. 11  11:45 am Senior Lunch Bunch
Sept. 11  7:15 pm Women’s Spiritual Growth Group
Sept. 12 10:30 am Pastoral CareGivers at Riverside Nursing Home
Sept. 12  7 pm Holy Eucharist and Healing Prayers
Sept. 12  7:30 pm Brotherhood of St. Andrew Meeting in the Undercroft
Sept. 13  10:30 am Pastoral CareGivers at Fox Hill Nursing Home
Sept. 16  8 am Rite I and 10 am Rite II with Music, Choir, Sunday School, Nursery Care, followed by Coffee Hour and First Confirmation Class in side classroom of LPH (Making Clay Masks!)
Sept. 16 4 pm St. John’s Concert Series features The Prometheus Duo
Sept. 17  7-9 pm Knitting Fellowship in the Undercroft
Sept. 23  8 am Rite I and 10 am Rite II with Music, Choir, Sunday School, Nursery Care, followed by Coffee Hour and Confirmation Class Mentor Meetings
Sept. 24  7-9 pm Vestry Meeting in the Undercroft
Sept. 24  7 pm Knitting Fellowship in the Upper Parish Hall
Sept. 25  7 pm Good Grief Group in the Upper Parish Hall
Sept. 26  5:30 pm Book Group at the Rectory Discussing Educated by Tara Westover
Sept. 27 6:30 pm Renewal of Ministry and Welcoming of a New Rector, The Rev. Sandra L. Cosman, at St. John’s, Pine Meadow
SteakSept. 29  5 pm Steak and Chicken Dinner in the Lower Parish Hall. Please purchase tickets in advance after worship in September.
Sept. 30 Clean and Green Sunday 8 am Rite I and 10 am Rite II with Music, Choir, Sunday School, Nursery Care, followed by Coffee Hour with visit by Horizon Wings Raptor Rehab of Willington.
Sept. 30 Confirmation Class in Brooklyn, CT, departure at 12:15 from St. John’s.

Oct. 1  7-9 pm Knitting Fellowship in the Undercroft
Oct. 2  11:45 Senior Lunch Bunch
Oct. 2  7:15 Women’s Spiritual Growth Group in the Undercroft
Oct. 3  7 pm ECW in the Undercroft
Oct. 7 8 am Rite 1 and 10 am Rite II with Blessing of the Animals in the Memorial Garden, weather allowing, with Music, Sunday School,  Nursery Care, and Coffee Hour
Oct. 10  10:30 am Pastoral CareGivers at Riverside Nursing Home
Oct. 10  7 pm Holy Eucharist and Healing Prayers
Oct. 10  7:30 Brotherhood of St. Andrew in the Undercroft
Oct. 11  10:30 pm Pastoral CareGivers at Fox Hill Nursing Home
Oct. 13 9 am to noon Hospitality Workshop with Ann Watkins for all Greeters and Ushers
Oct. 14  8 am Rite I and 10 am Rite II with Music, Choir, Sunday School, Nursery Care followed by Coffee Hour and Confirmation Mentor Meetings.
Oct. 14 4 pm St. John’s Concert Series features the return of The Jolly Beggars!!!
Oct. 15  7-9 pm Knitting Fellowship in the Undercroft
Oct. 21  8 am Rite I and 10 am Rite II with Music, Choir, Sunday School, Nursery Care followed by Coffee Hour and Confirmation Class in the Undercroft.
Oct. 22  7-9 pm Vestry Meeting in the Undercroft
Oct. 22  7-9 pm Knitting Fellowship in the Undercroft
Oct. 24  5:30 pm Reading Group at the Rectory discussing The Other Einstein, by Marie Benedict
Oct. 26-27 ECCT Annual Convention in Mystic
Screen Shot 2016-09-08 at 12.57.25Oct. 27  6 pm in the Lower Parish Hall  Annual Halloween Party for kids of all ages.  Potluck Sloppy Joes and Salad, Costumes, Games, and Trunk or Treat.
Oct. 28  8 am Rite I and 10 am Rite II with Music, Choir, Sunday School, Nursery Care followed by Coffee Hour  and Confirmation Class in the side classroom in the LPH (Painting the Clay Masks).
Oct. 29  7-9 pm Knitting Fellowship in the Undercroft
Oct. 30 7 pm in the Upper Parish Hall Good Grief Group

Nov. 4  ALL SAINTS Sunday 8 am Rite I and 10 am Rite II with Music, Choir, Sunday School, Nursery Care followed by Coffee Hour in the Lower Parish Hall and Confirmation Class in the Upper Parish Hall
Nov. 5  7-9 pm Knitting Fellowship in the Undercroft
Nov. 6  ECW Meeting in the Undercroft
Nov. 7  7 pm Holy Eucharist and Healing Prayers
Nov. 8  10:30 Pastoral CareGivers at Fox Hill Nursing Home
Nov. 11  8 am Rite I and 10 am Rite II with Music, Choir, Sunday School, Nursery Care followed by Coffee Hour and Confirmation Mentor Meetings.
Nov. 11  5:30 pm dinner party Party For The Planet, or Chill our corner of the world with a Hot Chili and salad potluck dinner, Golden Oldies with DJ Dave Smith, great fellowship, and a special tea cup raffle. All proceeds to support the work of IREJN (The InterReligious Eco-Justice Network of Hartford).
Nov. 12  7-9 pm Knitting Fellowship in the Undercroft
Nov. 13  7:15 pm Women’s Spiritual Growth Group in the Undercroft
Nov. 14  5:30 Book Group at the Rectory, discussing Dinner With Edward, by Isabelle Vincent
Nov. 14 7:30 pm Brotherhood of St. Andrew Meeting in the Undercroft
Nov. 15  5:30 pm NUT NIGHT (includes pizza and salad dinner) in the Undercroft
Nov. 18  8 am Rite I and 10 am Rite II with Music, Choir, Sunday School, Nursery Care followed by Coffee Hour
Nov. 18  Confirmation Class Outing to Hebron for dinner and discussion. Depart St. John’s parking lot at 3:30 pm. Return at 7 pm.
Nov. 19 7-9 pm Vestry Meeting in the Undercroft
Nov. 25  8 am Rite I and 10 am Rite II with Music, Choir, Sunday School, Nursery Care followed by Coffee Hour
Nov. 26  5:30 Good Grief Group Potluck Supper at the Rectory
Nov. 26  7-9 pm Knitting Fellowship in the Undercroft
Nov. 27 5:30 COOKIE NIGHT with dinner served in the Lower Parish Hall
Nov. 28  10:30 am Pastoral CareGivers at Riverside Nursing Home
Nov. 28 5:30 pm Bazaar Set Up
Nov. 29 and 30 Bazaar Set Up

DECEMBER 1 Christmas Bazaar 9 am to 2 pm, with sales on Sunday morning, Dec. 2 as well.

Collaborative Confirmation 2018-2019

confirmationAll the Mentor Meetings happen after worship on the designated Sunday, or in the week thereafter by mutual agreement between the confirmand, the mentor, and the young person’s parents. All Mentors must be background checked and Safe Church Trained.  All the classes happen at the individual parishes.  The Group activities will all involved some travel and will be done as a large group among and between the several churches.

September 16 First Class in the side classroom of the LPH making Clay Masks with Hannah Army
September 23 Mentor Meetings
September 30 1 pm The Church’s History of Slavery and Racism at Trinity Church, Brooklyn and see Old Trinity Church which was built by slaves and has etchings and drawings done by those slaves.  Watch the movie “Traces of the Trade” with pizza and then have a discussion. (Departure from St. John’s Parking Lot at 12:15PM. Return at 5 pm.)

October 14 Mentor Meetings
October 21 Class
October 28 Class in the side classroom of the LPH to paint clay masks

November 4 Class
November 11 Mentor Meetings
November  18  4 pm “Othering” the Stranger in Hebron. Special speakers, dinner and a conversation about the ways in which people who are different are excluded and marginalized by our society. What does Jesus do with the strangers and others in his time? (Departing St. John’s Parking Lot at 3:30. Return at 7 pm.)
December 9 Mentor Sunday
December 16 Class

January 13 Mentor Sunday
January 20 Class
January 27  2 pm Walking the Common Ground Among People of the Abrahamic Faiths. Group Visit to
the Berlin Mosque/The Islamic Association of Greater Hartford with a shared meal and prayers.

February 3 Mentor Sunday
February 10 11 am Church Street Eats/Church by the Pond in Bushnell Park  followed by debrief and
conversation and a light meal at St. Mary’s, Manchester
February 24 Class

March 3 Mentor Sunday
March 10 Class
March 24 Class
April 5 Nightwatch at St. John the Divine in NYC
April 14 Mentor Sunday
April 28 Final Class

May 7 Confirmation at 6:30 at St. John’s, Vernon. Meet with Bishop Douglas at 5:30.


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