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Becoming God's New Thing: Third Edition

Perceiving and cooperating with the good things God "is getting up to" in and around our parish.

Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you see it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19


THANK YOU, EVERYONE, who participated in Ruth Adam's funeral/reception and in the St. John's/IMAN Center Community Dinner. The Psalmist expresses perfectly the feeling that you embodied last Saturday: 

How very good and pleasant it is when kindred

live [and work] together in unity.     Psalm 133:1 NRSV

To begin, it took an extraordinary effort and an abundance of God's grace for you to host two big gatherings on a single day only hours apart. Hats off to Marlene Gill and all those serving our Hospitality Ministry, and to Bridget Matthison, and all of the Community Dinner kitchen crew!  You entered into this challenge with a spirit of generosity and cooperation.  There was some anxiety around all that could go wrong, but you entered the work as collaborators, and the outcome speaks for itself.  

Thank you, members of the Ruth Adam's Memorial Choir! Between Thursday evening and the start of the funeral, you rehearsed and trained together for hours. Martha Freitag was rightly pleased and proud of how you came together as a choir so quickly and well. You sang beautifully, and you gave all of us the support and confidence we needed to sing our hearts out. Well done!

For Trish, Donna, and the front office team! Your task was monumental, and you all performed selflessly and with great attention to all the things that could have gone wrong. 

Thank you, Dana Pitts and your faithful Altar Guild Members, who had to prepare and clean up for very different back-to-back services, and Debbie Baxter and the flower ministry members for the beautiful flowers and the artful table settings at each meal. Just outstanding. God bless all of you servers, table hosts, and dishwashing crew; some of you, Dennis Welch, Jon Vicklund,  Rick Long, Diane Kovar, Mary Lou, and Doug Sales, who worked from morning until late that night. My deepest thanks to Joe Kattenhorn our ushers, and the sound team for both Liturgies. And thank you who read, and offered the prayers of the people, and for the Altar Servers and Lay Eucharistic Ministers. 

There are too many to thank, and a paucity of words adequately express the joy and gratitude that so many feel toward that day and this community. I, too, am so grateful and humbled by your hard work and tender hospitality.  M+

PS.  If you are not mentioned by name, you are no less loved and appreciated. I've decided that love demands specificity and the attendant risk of hurt feelings.  Please risk telling me if you feel slighted.   



Lenten Formation:

Renewing and Preparing for the Promises of the Baptismal CovenantLast year, Canon John Fergueson offered a series on Baptism from its roots in Judaism to the church's practices throughout history, its prominence in the 1979 revision of the Book of Common Prayer, and practical considerations and issues for Baptism in today's context. 

All of this was prescient.  

This Easter will have no fewer than two baptisms on the night of the Easter Vigil, and we may have as many as six!   If you have not been baptized, or have a child to be baptized, or if you simply don't know if you've been baptized or not, please let me know. The Church has always set aside the Season of Lent for preparation for Baptism. And it is a great gift you will be giving to the Parish.  

Our 2024 Lenten Formation Series will be dedicated to preparing the already Baptized to reaffirm their Baptismal Promises and to prepare others to receive the gift of Baptism. 

The Church rightly sees itself as a community of people who embrace their shared identity as both learners and practitioners. As such, we commit ourselves to learning, where each of us, having been baptized, is both a student and a teacher of the Christian faith. Additionally, we come together as a community of practice, actively engaging in prayer, worship, and serving others in our daily lives. We believe that every member of our parish has valuable insights to offer in preparing others for Baptism, while those preparing for Baptism themselves can teach us about their own journey and motivations for Baptism.

To accommodate the schedules of babies, their parents,  working adults, and retired folk, we will be conducting the same instruction and discussion sessions twice each week.  The same content, small group discussion, and home exercises will be offered on Sunday at 11:45 am following our celebration of Holy Eucharist and coffee hour, and again on Wednesday evening along with a light supper of soup and bread.   This will make it easier for all of us to attend.  If you want to come on a Wednesday one week and a Sunday the next, that works!   We want to make this as accessible as we can for everyone. 


Ash Wednesday Worship Schedule

Saint John's will hold two celebrations of the Holy Eucharist with the Imposition of Ashes.  Times will be announced in tomorrow's Companion.   


Postscript:  This will be the "good-enough" post. There will be times when I won't have the benefit of a good copy editor, and I am slightly dyslexic, so I won't likely catch many mistakes. You may find this off-putting. I find it mildly embarrassing. We'll get through it together. M+

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