Newsletter for August 16, 2018

Sunday, August 19 – The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist in the Church, with Summer Singers (see below)
5:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist in the Cloister Garden
Click here for a service preview – Besides a preview of the service music and bulletin for upcoming services, this link also provides access to sermon texts, podcasts and live-stream service videos.
Summer parish office hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. M-F. Regular office hours (9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) will resume on Tuesday, September 4, and the regular Sunday service schedule will resume on September 9.
Join the Summer Choir – All are welcome!
Anyone, age 8 and up, is welcome to experience the joy of singing in our choir during the month of August at our 9:00 service. This is a great opportunity to see what it is like to sing, without the commitment of a midweek rehearsal. A core of our regular choir members will be present and singing to help you feel confident and welcome.
Why try choir? Singing in the choir has benefits you may have not considered, other than the obvious – using your voice to express praise to God, at the same time helping those who hear you to praise and pray…
  • Choir is an amazing, close-knit community
  • Singing has proven health benefits – both physical and mental
  • Best seat in the house on Sundays
  • An activity that children and adults can do together
  • Best robes in town!
Join us on any Sunday during August at 8:15 in the church for a brief rehearsal to learn the Offertory Anthem for the day. You can just show up, or contact Scott at for details.
Is your backyard garden exploding with produce? Bring extras to St. John’s to share!
Each Tuesday morning, volunteers led by our dedicated community garden coordinator, J.P. Evans, give out free vegetables to anyone who comes by. If you have extra vegetables or herbs from your own garden, bring them to the church on any Tuesday morning, and if you’re able, stay to help greet our neighbors and hand out fresh produce. You may also drop off your extra produce on Mondays during office hours (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
We can always use volunteers to help maintain the garden, harvest and wash vegetables, and staff the vegetable giveaways. If you’d like to help, contact J.P. Evans at or (860) 436-7967. Even if you can only come for an hour, your help is needed—and you’ll have fun too!
St. John’s Youth Choir Open House, on August 29 at 5 p.m., is a great time for kids and their parents learn more about our amazing choir program! Even (and especially) if the Youth Choir is not a good fit for your family, it may be for someone you know outside of St. John’s. Please share this information with families who might be interested. If you use Facebook, go to St. John’s page for a shareable post and video.
Community Block Party 2018
This annual event is a great way to kick off a new program year, and an opportunity to invite friends and neighbors to enjoy our beautiful property and learn more about our parish.
How you can help:
  • Put a lawn sign in your yard: To cut down on costs, we’re re-using last year’s lawn signs and have stickers to cover last year’s date with this year’s date. You may pick up a sign and sticker in Hubbard Hall on Sunday, or if you still have last year’s sign in your basement or garage, pick up a sticker to update it.
  • Sign up to help with the event: Many hands are needed to make the party a success. Even if you can only give 30 minutes, your help is needed to serve food, supervise the bounce house and other kids’ activities, staff the information table, and welcome neighbors. Contact Ginny Kemp at if you’d like to help.
Fall Blessing Bag drive — Please donate toiletries and other items for people in need
It’s time for our annual Blessing Bag collection drive! Blessing Bags contain toiletries, warm accessories, snacks, and information on community resources. The office staff give bags to people in need who come to the church looking for help. We will be filling Blessing Bags at this year’s Fall Ministry Fair on Sunday, September 30. Between now and then, please bring in the following items and put them in the labeled bin in Hubbard Hall:
  • Shampoo (small or trial size)
  • Body wash (small or trial size)
  • Deodorant (regular or trial size, for men and women)
  • Toothpaste (small or trial size)
  • Soft adult toothbrushes
  • Body lotion (small or trial size)
  • Individual or small packets of wet wipes
  • Grooming items, such as combs, brushes, nail clippers and lip balm
  • Warm socks (for men and women)
  • Warm gloves (for men and women)
  • Warm hats (for men and women)
  • Nonperishable, single-serve snacks, such as cracker packs, trail mix, snack bars, fruit snacks, and fruit sauce.
  • Small bottles of water
Many of these items can be purchased less expensively by ordering in bulk from online retailers, and having them shipped directly to the church—if you do this, please let Ellen in the office know. Thank you for helping with this simple but important ministry.
Mark your calendar for September events
The new program year will start on September 9 with a return to our regular 8 and 10:30 a.m. Sunday service schedule, and the Community Block Party from noon to 3 p.m. Make a note of these other September events and watch for more information in future newsletters:
  • Welcome Back Sunday & Community Partners Faith Forum, September 16 At the 9:30 a.m. Faith Forum, several community partners, including Covenant Prep, Grace Academy and Operation Fuel, will have leaders and program participants on hand to tell us about their work and how we can support it. After the 10:30 service, the Vestry will host a special coffee hour to welcome everyone to a new year of ministry.
  • Choral Evensong, September 23, 5 p.m. The first Choral Evensong of the new program year will feature the St. John’s Choirs. This ancient and beautiful service provides a quiet, reflective space for ending one week and beginning another. Please come and invite a friend.
  • Fall Ministry Fair, September 30, 9:30 a.m. Come learn about St. John’s many ministries and how you can be involved. Breakfast will be provided! You’ll also be invited to fill a Blessing Bag or two (see above for more on Blessing Bags and donations needed). Representatives of parish committees and groups will be on hand to tell you more about their ministries. A layreader training will take place after the 10:30 service.
Free CPR/defibrillator training for parish volunteers
St. John’s will hold two training sessions this October on adult and pediatric CPR and how to use our on-site defibrillator.* We encourage ushers, Christian education volunteers, and other parish volunteers who are not already trained to sign up for one of these sessions if possible. The goal is to train enough volunteers and staff that we will always have trained people on hand at services and events.
The sessions are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2 OR Saturday, October 13. They are free of charge to volunteers, and we will provide coffee, snacks and lunch. Please RSVP to Ellen in the parish office at Each session can accommodate no more than 10 people, so RSVP early to get your preferred date. We currently have 4-5 openings left in each session.
*The defibrillator and a substantial first aid kit are located on a shelf just outside the entrance to the Education Wing.
Women’s group resumes on September 18
Women Together—a group that gathers weekly to explore our Christian faith and practice through book discussion, prayer and fellowship—resumes meeting on Tuesday, September 18. Harold Kushner’s book, How Good Do We Have to Be? A New Understanding of Guilt and Forgiveness, will be the focus of the first five-week session; please purchase a copy from Amazon or your favorite book store before the first session. Women Together meets on Tuesdays from 2 to 3:15 p.m. in the Reception Room at St. John’s. Note that this is a different meeting time than last year! The group is now attended by women from St. John’s, Trinity, and St. James’s, and new members from any church are always welcome! For more information, contact Sarah Kieffer at
Update on our Sunday Service Live Stream – Subscribe today!
Just a reminder that if you can’t catch us in person during the summer, you can watch the morning service live on YouTube, or at the same link anytime later. We currently have an online congregation of around 50 people (between the live stream and podcast). It’s a great way to connect right from home!
Categories: Blog, Ministries