Newsletter April 30, 2020

Sunday service, 10:30 a.m.
The weekly Sunday service will be live on YouTubeFacebook and the web site. You may also watch the recorded video any time afterward. We will send an e-blast at around 10 a.m. on Sunday with the video link, along with a bulletin and Children’s Chapel video. The service is followed by virtual coffee hour on Zoom, and this Sunday, Pipes Alive! at 12:30 (see details below).
Christian Education for children and youth on Sundays
  • Sunday School for elementary and middle school at 9:30 a.m.
  • EYC (youth group) for grades 5 to 12 at 5 p.m.
  • Participate via Zoom
  • If you are not receiving Margie’s e-mail newsletters specifically for children and families, please e-mail Ellen or Margie to be added to the mailing list.
Noonday Prayer, Monday through Friday, 12 p.m.
Compline, Tuesday and Thursday, 9 p.m.
Bible Study with Margie Baker, Monday at 7 p.m.
  • For the next few weeks, the Monday Bible study will be on the book of Jonah.
  • To participate, join via Zoom on your phone, computer or tablet.
Wednesday pop-up benefit recitals, 12:15 p.m.
Various musicians will present short musical programs from their own homes, benefitting local charities helping our most vulnerable neighbors affected by COVID-19. Recitals are posted on YouTube and Facebook for viewing live or afterward. Click here for details.
Happy Hour geared for children & families, Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Happy Hour for all ages, Friday at 5 p.m.
  • To participate, join via Zoom on your phone, computer or tablet.
  • Everyone is welcome at both Happy Hours, with the Tuesday gathering focused on kids’ needs and interests.
Ring out your gratitude, Fridays at 7 p.m.
The Town of West Hartford is inviting residents to show essential workers—from healthcare personnel and first responders to grocery/pharmacy staff, bus drivers, and restaurant workers—how much we appreciate their hard work by going outside and ringing a bell for two minutes every Friday at 7 p.m. If you don’t have a bell, you can bang pots and pans, sing, play an instrument — make a joyful noise however you can. And yes, St. John’s bell will ring!
Pipes Alive! returns this Sunday (online only), 12:30 p.m.
Our monthly Pipes Alive! organ recital series starts back up this Sunday, May 3, at 12:30 p.m. with an online-only performance livestreamed from St. John’s. Guest organist Michelle Horsley, music director at South Church in New Britain, will play works by Paul Hindemith, Camille Saint-Saëns, and Johann Sebastian Bach. After the 10:30 Sunday worship service and virtual coffee hour, get yourself some lunch and settle in for this beloved tradition of regional organists playing St. John’s Austin organ.
May 3, 2020: Online Pipes Alive! Recital - Michelle Horsley, organ
Book study starting on May 13 – Note change of time to 10 a.m.
The rector will host an online book discussion on Falling Upward: Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr, starting on Wednesday, May 13 at 10 a.m. via Zoom.
We will take a deep dive into what it means to build a “container” for ourselves and our family the first half of our lives, giving us the security, safety and predictability we need so we can “fall” into the second half of life, where we are awakened and invited to explore the rich mysteries of life that we could not see in the first half of life. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest and spiritual writer, uses his own life experiences to guide readers as he maps out the spiritual aspects of aging.
If you wish to participate, please get the book and start reading as you’re able. The book is available in multiple formats on Amazon. You may also use your library card to get e-books and audio books via the West Hartford Library’s web site or the Hoopla digital library.
We’re collecting juice and snacks for Loaves & Fishes pantry bags
As discussed in last week’s e-news, Loaves & Fishes is currently distributing “pantry bags” of food while their hot meal program is on hiatus. The bags include non-perishable staples and canned goods, with “extras” added when available. St. John’s is collecting two specific types of extras that Loaves & Fishes staff say their clients would appreciate: juice and snacks.
Fruit juice: Large or small bottles, single-serve bottles, juice boxes. Shelf-stable varieties only, no refrigeration needed.
Snacks: Crackers, pretzels, chips, cookies, granola bars, etc. Large or small boxes, large or small bags, single-serve packages.
Please take a look in your pantry, or pick up a few of these items the next time you’re shopping for your family. As long as they don’t require refrigeration, we can accept any flavor, type, or package size/style.
Items may be dropped off starting Friday afternoon, May 1, at the back entrance to St. John’s (the entrance with the ramp). Please place items in the covered bin and make sure to close the lid tightly afterward.
Grace Academy & Family Life Education fundraising and donation events
Grace Academy continues its online Power of Grace fundraiser, which you can contribute to here. In addition, Bella Rosa Florists and Enjoy Flowers have partnered to donate 10% of all Mothers Day flower delivery orders to Grace Academy. This is a great way to honor your mom while supporting one of our community partners and two locally owned family businesses.
Another community partner, Family Life Education (FLE), continues to support low-income parents and children as they struggle to get by in these difficult times. FLE is hosting a Donation Drive-Up Event this coming Tuesday, May 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. across from S.S. Cyril and Methodius Church in Hartford (63 Popieluscko Court). During those hours, FLE will collect: diapers, cleaning supplies, cloth face masks, toilet paper, paper towels, and non-perishable food. To donate, drive up with your donations and volunteers will remove them from your car. Or you may make a financial contribution online.
First-quarter pledge statements on their way
Early this week, we mailed out statements to all pledging households showing gifts received in the first quarter of 2020. Please note that they include contributions through March 31, so anything deposited on or after April 1 will not appear on this statement. If you have any questions about your statement or pledge, please contact the financial administrator, Peggy O’Toole, at, or by leaving a message at 860-523-5201 x 311.
Ways to connect
We now have two Happy Hour gatherings
Tuesday at 5 p.m. for children and families
Friday at 5 p.m. for everyone
Keep us informed of pastoral care needs
Please reach out to our clergy, Susan Pinkerton (rector) and Margie Baker (curate) by confidential e-mail. You may also call us at 860-523-5201 and leave a message in the general voicemail box, in a particular clergy or staff person’s voicemail box, or on our pastoral emergency line if your need is urgent. We are retrieving voicemail messages regularly.
Request healing prayers
Our healing prayer team is on call to pray with and for you. To request prayers for yourself or someone else, e-mail the parish manager, Ellen, with your preferred contact information. She will pass the information on to one of our healing prayer ministers, who will reach out to you. All prayer requests will remain confidential.
Ways to give
A huge THANK YOU to all who have responded to our requests to send pledge payments and gifts as you are able. Your generosity is encouraging and heartwarming!
We can still receive and process checks through the mail, or you may give online by credit card or automatic bank withdrawal through our web site.
The West Hartford Food Pantry is in need of food to help feed our neighbors. Please contact the West Hartford Food pantry directly for information about what they need and how to drop it off. They ask that you ONLY donate the items listed as most-needed on their web site.
Foodshare is continuing to provide neighborhood deliveries of food and supply local food pantries with items. They have an urgent need for additional funds to help them continue their work. They also need face masks for workers to use when sorting and delivering food. They only need homemade fabric masks; they ask that medical-grade masks be donated to local hospitals and first responders. Mail or drop off your masks to 450 Woodland Avenue, Bloomfield, CT 06002. Donate to Foodshare online.
Journey Home continues to coordinate services for Hartford’s homeless population so they can self-isolate as needed and have access to sanitizing supplies and medical care. Click here to make a financial donation.
Categories: Announcements, Blog