The Winter 2014-15 edition of St. John’s newsletter, The Link, is now available digitally in your e-mailbox, on paper at the Sunday services, and online right here. (If you receive the Link on paper, please pick it up on Sunday morning if you can, to save St. John’s the cost in postage of mailing it out.)
In this issue, we look both back – at undertakings and accomplishments of the past few months – and we look forward – to the season of Advent and Christmas.
Parishioners who have attended for any length of time must have noticed that we see more and more children in our congregation nowadays. It is with them in mind that the clergy of St. John’s have decided to add a third service on Christmas Eve, Wednesday December 24. This service, at 4 PM, will be a lively and short service especially for very young children and their parents.
There are personal stories. The new deputy wardens, Hugh Moore and Suzanne Sutherland, introduce themselves. Pat and Mo Bent participated on a medical mission trip to Ecuador earlier this year, an expedition that changed lives both for those in Ecuador and for those making the trip.
Music is a big part of the life at St. John’s. On Sunday December 7, the Handbell Ringers and the Chimers will have some fun at the annual Sing and Ring concert, and on Sunday December 21, they will be a part of the Christmas Candlelight Service where we experience the Christmas story through words and music. Patrick Dewell, the music director, explains why music is not an add-on but is an integral part of how Christians practice their faith – indeed the Bible calls us to “make a joyful noise” and praise God through music. St. John’s offers wonderful opportunities for anyone who would like to make music, and invites everyone to find a place for themselves among the choir, the band, or the ringers.
Rev. Anne provides some food for thought. People have wondered: Where is God? Why does God seen distant? Why can I not feel God’s presence even when I make an effort? Rev. Anne explores these questions and offers insights into why we sometimes do feel this way. She share some reflections on how we might get to experience God’s presence, and how we can trust that God is here, and everywhere, even when it doesn’t seem that way.
On a practical note, Pamela Smith explains where the beautiful flowers come from, that you see every Sunday in church (except during Advent and Lent). And, of course, as we approach Christmas, the church will soon be decorated with fresh greenery, lights and candles, a Christmas tree, and of course the Nativity. If you have ideas, or would like to help with the decorating, we would love to hear from you.
In summary, there are stories, there is food for thought, and there is “news you can use” in the current issue of The Link – enjoy!