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February 2013


St. Johns United Church of Christ

Now the LORD said to Abram and Sarai, Go from your country and your kindred and your fathers house to the land that I will show you. Genesis 12.1 I have two passages in the Bible that are close upon my heart. From the Old Testament, the passage is the opening verse to Genesis 12. Ever since I left the world of business-as-usual and my position of Senior Vice President for Operations of Preferred Medical for the business-of-the-unusual world of pastoral ministry, I have relied upon these words from God to show me the way. This journey has taken me from Charlotte, N.C. to Eden Seminary in St. Louis to St. Pauls United Church of Christ in Ohio. To St. Peters First United Church of Christ in Indiana to St. Johns United Church of Christ, here in Richmond. Each of these steps required that I (actually, it also required that Linda and the children as well) leave a familiar place for an unfamiliar place, that we go in faith to a land that God would show us. In some ways, each of us (by which I now mean St. Johns and I) are about to depart from the familiar to the unfamiliar. I am departing for a place called retirement and St. Johns is departing for a place called transition. There are differences, however, between how a people of faith depart on a journey from how the secular world regards these departures. People of faith give thanks for Gods abiding presence in our lives. We know that through the costs and joys of discipleship, and through the celebrations and concerns of our lives, God has been present. And so, we are ever ready to give thanks to God. People of faith also ask for and receive forgiveness for the mistakes we have made. We acknowledge that we are human, that at times we are quite frail, and that we have made bad days. What makes us different, however, is that in asking forgiveness and in seeking to be reconciled, we know that forgiveness will be offered. As we rehearse in worship each Sunday in the passing of the peace, we enact in life. People of faith hear the call of God in scripture. Whether through personal devotions or communal worship, we use the sacred stories as a lens through which to view our own situation. People of faith pray. People of faith listen to each other and listen to what the still speaking God is saying.

St. Johns is a community of faith centered in Jesus Christ, seeking guidance and direction through the Holy Spirit, and demonstrating Gods love to all people in words and deeds.

An Open and Affirming Congregation

503 Stuart Circle Richmond, Virginia 23220 Telephone: 804.358.9291


Web Site:

Published monthly for members and friends

It is only then that a people of faith respond to Gods call and claim upon them. Every day is a journey into the new and unknown. Some days are more challenging than others, but what is consistent is that we know our acts of faith will be blessed. Knowing the direction that God would have us go, a people of faith are then commissioned and sent forth in peace, knowing they will be guided to that land by Gods Holy Spirit. In the days and weeks ahead, as we each pray and reflect upon our new directions, we can be assured of Gods abiding presence and Gods guiding light. And that is good news. Blessings be upon you on your journey,

2013 St Johns UCC

2 The Messenger | February 2013

Highlights from January Council Meeting

It was all good news at the January 14th Church Council meeting. Here are some highlights: We met and exceeded our pledge goal! The goal was $120,000. The pledges for 2013 total $122,426. Wow! The Finance Committee, whom we appreciate for their professional and determined approach to our budget woes, recommended reconciling the deficit for 2012 with $16,874 from the general fund, $6,984 from the Council Ministry Fund, and $28,265 from the Endowment Fund. This is substantially less than we asked the Endowment Fund Board for last year. Council agreed with their approach and congratulates the Finance Committee and the Endowment Board for working so cooperatively together and with the Council. Interim Search Committee, Jo Ann Jellison, Betsy Bighinatti, Allen Caraher, Justin Barbour and Billy Poarch have had their first meeting and look forward to meeting with Rev. Kwame Osei Reed on Feb. 10th. Work on the roof and gutters has been completed and no leaks have resulted in the recent downpours. The sound system is performing well. Choir speakers have yet to be installed. A representative from the vendor will meet with a team from Worship & Music, Facilities, Choir and Pastor Jon on Monday, Jan. 21. Report to follow next month. CARITAS begins Feb. 9th and runs through April 2nd. Our shift is 5:30 to 6:30 PM. Look for sign up sheets and lists of items to donate on page three. Covenant Care Groups are being formed by the Congregational Life and Care Team. More information on page eight.

Members of Church Council

Teresa Jolles, President Jo Ann Jellison, Vice President Betsy Bighinatti, Secretary Bryan Anderegg Allen Caraher Gary Beasley Helena DeLigt Desiree McNeice Kenn Shirley Dreama Terrill Bill Watson Karen-Marie Yust

Church Council meets Monday, February 11th at 7 p.m.

One Great Hour Of Sharing - Sharing Brings Joy

The theme for this years all-church offering to One Great Hour of Sharing is Sharing Brings Joy. God knows joy when we take actions that restore the well-being of God's children. And when we reach out to those in need with helping hands, we share in that joy as we bring our love offerings to our brothers and sisters, with whom we are one. God, in turn, loves our joyful attitude as we share from our abundance! On Sunday, March 3rd, you are invited to make an offering to One Great Hour of Sharing. Look for bulletin inserts, listen to our various guest speakers and ask our youth to provide you with more information on the ways your financial gifts will support those in need. Most importantly, remember the numerous ways your gifts bring joy - to you, to all of God's cherished children, and especially to the Holy One. Share cheerfully and abundantly, knowing that you are not only sharing your financial resources, you are helping to change lives. May God be made glad by your cheerful generosity!

The Messenger | February 2013

CARITAS (Congregations Around Richmond Involved To Assure Shelter)

CARITAS is a housing and feeding program for the homeless and one of the outreach activities that St. Johns sponsors each year. St. Johns serves as an intake center every evening through April 12, 2013. As an intake center we offer hospitality during the hour before the participants are transported to another location where they are fed a meal and sleep the night. Volunteers Needed: We need volunteers Wednesday through Sunday. This ministry takes 90 minutes of your time. Please arrive at 5:30 PM. We encourage each member of the congregation to sign-up for one evening. You can find sign up sheets in the Parlor. Together we can make a difference! Thanks to everyone who has signed up! The following supplies are needed: 8 ounce cups/creamer/napkins/coffee (individual packets) toilet paper/cookies/snacks. Please leave in the kitchen and label CARITAS. Thanks for your help and ongoing support of this important ministry to our vulnerable population.

Circle Center Day Services

Through your generous gifts, St. Johns was able to raise $911 for Circle Center Adult Day Services. This money will help to cover gaps between the cost of care and the coverage provided by Medicare, as well as for basic services like showers and meals. Your donations are greatly appreciated, thank you again!

Parking Lot Ministry Saturday , February 2nd, 2013

Three volunteers needed to assist with: Set-up 8 PM - 9 PM and assist until 10 PM Assist and breakdown 10 PM till Midnight Donations requested: Hot dogs and Buns Fresh Fruit Snacks Soft Drinks Also wish for persons willing to play an instrument sometime during the evening. Contact Sal Anselmo (804) 539-5032 if interested in volunteering.

Souper Bowl Of Caring

Our youth will hold soup pots at the church doors on Souper Bowl of Caring Sunday, February 3rd. They will join young people in churches across the country to collect money for those who are hungry and hurting. All donations will be given to Freedom House and their feeding ministry at the Conrad Center. Please support the youth of our church in this effort to love our neighbors by dropping your dollars in the soup pot on February 3rd.

Christmas Fund For Veterans Of The Cross

The Veterans of the Cross offering comes in the Christmas season as one way to express our gratitude to God and to retired servants of the church whose pensions and other benefits are meager despite years of service within our churches. Through your generous donations, St. Johns raised $779 for this special ministry of compassion and care.

4 The Messenger | February 2013

Lent Begins on Wednesday, February 13th Pancake Supper at 6:00 PM Ash Wednesday Service at 7:00 PM
Join us for supper followed by worship Wednesday evening, February 13th at 6:00 PM in the Fellowship Hall. Pastor Jon has again this year granted us an extra 19 hours of dispensation before we begin the Season of Lent, allowing us to enjoy pancakes and butter and sausage. Come enjoy the meal hosted by our Youth and their Teachers and Mentors. Our Ash Wednesday worship begins our Lenten journey during which we will seek to come closer to God as we deepen our faithfulness. We will be guided this year by the theme of Soul Tending: Tending In and Tending Out (a resource prepared by Kendra Dean and Ron Foster). It is a call to deepen our (inward) spiritual experiences in order to widen our (outward) faith practices. The Season of Lent provides us with the opportunity to learn and practice and enjoy a deeper relationship with God so that we may be strengthened for the journey in sharing ourselves and our faith with others. Please be sure to pick up a printed Lenten guide of faith practices designed for you as we journey together. (See article on Faith Prints.) Please come and eat, come and worship as we experience the memory of our baptism and receive the ashes of forgiveness that we may be led to the promise of joy renewed on Easter.

Making Faith Prints

Footprints and fingerprints are helpful clues for investigators when searching for answers. Just as we leave these unique, identifying physical impressions, we are called by God to leave our unique Faith Prints on our world and in our relationships. These prints are the evidence that God is alive in our hearts.

What is Lent?
Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent which begins 40 days prior to Easter not counting Sundays. Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness fasting and praying to God, preparing for his ministry of healing and teaching, and resisting temptation. Lent is our time to set aside time for reflection, to pray, and to remember the life, ministry, and last days of Jesus described as Holy Week.

Can you name a person who has left faith prints on your life persons who encouraged and taught you about faith, who lived their faith as examples of forgiveness and love? Or, remember a time when you have felt Gods presence through creation a beautiful sunset, a majestic mountain, the crash of the oceans waves, a walk through the woods? Do you recall a verse of Scripture that offers you insight, encouragement, or guidance? Do you have memories of Christian fellowship on retreats, in worship, on mission trips, sitting with a friend when you felt the presence of the Holy Spirit binding you together in Christs love? Have you experienced forgiveness from others? From God? Have you had an experience of the heart or felt Gods spirit at work within you?

As you ponder these questions, ask yourself, if someone were looking for evidence of my faith, what would he or she find? During Lent, you are invited to examine your heart and commit to leaving your own unique faith prints. We will have an opportunity to make our faith prints starting on Ash Wednesday and throughout the season of Lent. We will provide you with a booklet of faith practices that will give you opportunities for reflection, for action, and for transformation. You are invited to put your prints on the path to the cross in the Fellowship Hall representing your and our journey to Easter morning.

The Messenger | February 2013

A Little Something Different! Family Style Worship in the Fellowship Hall Sunday, February 24th and March 3rd
In the interests of safety and in the spirit of Godly play, we will worship downstairs in the Fellowship Hall on Sunday, February 24th and Sunday, March 3rd. Our sanctuary will be wired and lighted and set on both of these weekends for the world premier of Rob Osborns musical Closer To Thee. And so, lets worship family-style downstairs and enjoy sitting in new places, seeing faces (instead of the backs of heads!), and singing some different music. Worship is giving praise to God, hearing Gods word, praying to God and responding to Gods blessings. Worship can be done anywhere, so lets try it downstairs.

Dont Be Alarmed!
During the Season of Lent (February 13 March 30), the altar will be bare of our candlesticks AND our Protestant (empty) cross. The reason for this change is that these sacred objects are going to be refurbished, polished and protected in the same fashion as our Lectern last year. The cross was a gift to St. Johns in memory of Edward Minasian, 1914 - 1963 (husband of Mariam Krikorian Minasain and father of Reverends Susan Minasian and Ginna Minasian Dalton). The candlesticks were gifts in memory of Marie Minna Zank (1849 1924) and her husband Louis Herman Zank (1844 1915). We give thanks to June Moore for the gift of refurbishing these three sacred objects in loving memory of her husband Sid and her son Charles.

Three Faiths, One God Adult Study at 9:45 in the Guild Room February 3rd and 10th
On these two Sundays in February we will focus on Jerusalem. Three faiths are a major part of the history of this city - Jewish, Muslim, and Christian - together as neighbors in Gods presence. Join us as we examine what God says to each faith and as we look towards our journey together in Lent.

The Way, Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus by Adam Hamilton

I am the way, the truth, and the light. - John 14:6 During Lent, we journey with Jesus as investigators following the footsteps of Jesus on a mission of discovery. For forty days, from Ash Wednesday until Easter morning, we will immerse ourselves in the stories of Jesus and his great love for us. Through his book and DVD, Adam Hamilton will be our guide on this journey as he focuses on the life and teachings of Jesus, and helps us hear familiar stories with fresh ears. We will go back in time to the Holy Land and to the places described in scripture.

Travel to the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. (Did you know it was an 8 hour walk to the Jordan River from Jerusalem?) Experience the desolation of the wilderness where Jesus spent 40 days being tempted. Climb the mountain where Jesus gave his great sermon. Take a boat on the Sea of Galilee. Experience the last week of Jesus from Palm Sunday until his resurrection on Easter Morning.

Everyone is invited to go on this remarkable journey. Come February 17th - March 24th at 9:45 AM and take this trip with us. Our hope is that you will deepen your understanding of the life and teachings of Jesus and make your own Faith prints along the way.

6 The Messenger | February 2013

An Invitation for All Youth to Participate On Super Bowl Sunday, February 3rd
Come to church ready to hold a soup pot at the church doors to collect money for those who are hungry and hurting. Last year, you raised over $500. Lets set a goal for increasing that amount in 2013! Spread the word!

Being the Hands of Feet of Jesus in the World

Our children and youth continue to make faith prints as they continue to focus on feeding the hungry by promoting the monthly donations to William Byrd Community House, the Souper Bowl Offering, making placemats and bookmarks for One Great Hour of Sharing, and providing a meal on Shrove Wednesday for our CARITAS participants. Please watch for e-blasts and bulletin articles about each of these opportunities to give!!

Learning as a Family
Starting with the birth of Jesus, the children and youth will be exploring the life and teachings of Jesus to get a better understanding of where Jesus walked and what Jesus taught. They, along with our adults, will be using Adam Hamiltons The Way, Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus. This is a great opportunity for families to learn about the life and ministry of Jesus together. There will be many hands-on activities to spark the interest of all ages! Come. Lets walk together!

Lectionary Readings
February 3rd, 2013 Fourth Sunday after Epiphany Jeremiah 1:4 - 10 Psalm 71:1- 6 1 Corinthians 13:1 - 13 Luke 4:21 - 30 February 10th, 2013 Transfiguration Sunday Exodus 34:29 - 35 Psalm 99 2 Corinthians 3:12 - 4:2 Luke 9:28-36(37-43) February 17th, 2013 First Sunday in Lent Deuteronomy 26:1-11 Psalm 91:1 - 2, 9 - 16 Romans 10:8b - 13 Luke 4:1-13 February 24th, 2013 Second Sunday in Lent Genesis 15:1 - 12, 17 - 18 Psalm 27 Philippians 3:17 - 4:1 Luke 13:31 - 35

Children's Library News

Thank you to Dreama Terrill for her donation of books about Martin Luther King, Jr, Rosa Parks, and Jim Henson. And thank you to Chris Miles for donating several DVD's to the Children's library. These long winter evenings provide extra time for reading to your children or suggesting books for your older children to read. The St. John's Children's library has a good selection of picture books, biographies, books for older readers, Bible stories, and books about God and Jesus.

The Messenger | February 2013

Its a Winter Party February 2, 2013

Come for a night of fun, fellowship, and line dancing led by own star dancing instructor, Arthur Dewey. from 6:30 - 8:30 PM in the Fellowship Hall. Wine and cheese, snacks, and ice cream sundaes.

The Fellowship
The Fellowship will meet February 14th at 10:30 AM Guest Speaker Rev. Bill Sachs, Executive Director for Interfaith Reconciliation, will be discussing the Future for Christians and Muslims in the Middle East. Please join us for this event as lunch will be served.

St. Johns is starting a Greeting Card Ministry

Join us on Wednesdays beginning in February from 5:00 p.m. until 6:30 PM to make greeting cards. These will be sent to members and friends of St. Johns to commemorate birthdays and other important dates, as well as those needing Get Well or Thinking of You messages. Cheryl Goode will supply the cardstock, envelopes, rubberstamps, inks, punches, and embellishments we need to begin our journey. You just need to bring your creativity and imagination! This ministry is open to all; however parents are asked to accompany those who are under 16.
We Mourn the Death of Tim Walsh, son of Frieda Walsh Thalia Kapnistos, aunt of George Eliades Ruth Ann Wiese, cousin of Kathy Freise We Celebrate the Birth of Finley Reed McCullough granddaughter of Don Warren

Do you like to count money? Then volunteer to be a teller!! We need 3 new tellers in order to build our team. For more information see Bud Higgins or Jeff Hetzer.

Birthdays This Month

5 7 10 11 17 18 21 24 25 27 Sean Patrick Barbour Griffin Allen Kristina Gilbert, Helen Voelcker Barrett Dan Trent Helena DeLigt, William Brody Davis Linda Stiegler, Fletcher Voelcker Bryan Totty Bud Higgins Shirley Townsend Bettie Staton

Prayer Requests
If you would like to be placed on the prayer list, or know of someone you would like to have on the prayer list and listed in the bulletin on Sunday, please contact the church office and speak to Julia or Pastor Jon.

The Messenger | February 2013

A Ministry of Care Covenant Care Groups

Covenant Care Groups - groups that will serve to support one another during times of concern, as well as during times of celebration- are currently being formed. Our vision is that all will be part of a community in which we extend the healing love of Christ to one another. To that end, we are assigning each Church member to a care group, largely based on residential address. Once these have been formed, you will receive a letter (or email if you prefer) letting you know which group you are a part of, as well as more detailed information about how the communication process will work. Generally, we would like Covenant Care groups to meet at least once or twice a year in fellowship, so that members in each group get to know each other. Members of the Care Groups will be linked by email to the church office so that when a request for assistance has been received for a SJUCC member of a Care Group who has suffered illness, loss, or unusual hardship, a CareAlert message will be sent to the members of his or her Group, alerting them to the situation and to the type of assistance that may be needed. (Assistance can be in the form of cards or phone calls, hospital visits, help with household tasks or children, as examples.) We are creating a Congregational Care Team, made up of members interested in being more involved in this ministry. Members of this team will be provided additional training, and will help coordinate care through the Covenant Care groups. If you would like to be part of the formation of this ministry, or volunteer to be a member of the Congregational Care Team, please contact Julia Eliades or Helena DeLigt at

Closer to Thee

Opens: February 22, 2013

A new musical production written by our own Rob Osborn tells the story of a young couple struggling to find each other and comprehend the world in which they live with the support of the church to which they belong. With 18 original musical numbers woven into the fabric of an evolving story of love in its many forms, this musical highlights loves redemptive power to heal broken relationships through new understanding developed through human growth. Songs blend gospel, traditional choir, folk, blues and rock styles..

*World Premier* Performance Dates:

February 22 & 23 and March 1 & 2 at 8 PM February 24 and March 3 at 3 PM

Tickets are $10 for Adults and $8.00 for Students Phone 804-358-9291 ext. 16

MESSENGER February 2013

Welcome Team Coordinator Billy Poarch 804-359-6131 Welcome team captains
Families with children

Jan. 27th Feb. 3rd

Feb. 10th Feb. 17th

Bill Watson 804-873-2837
Quick Family

Feb. 24th Mar. 3rd

Justin Barbour 804-687-1460
Barbour Family

Mar. 10th Mar. 17th

Lynn Snyder 804-550-3928
Allen Family

Doug Waldrop
Etter Family Voelcker/ Barrett Family Bryan Etter

Savannah Quick Ashley Quick Betty Staton Pam Miller Jeff Jacobs Laura Totty Denise Martin Cheryl Goode Billy Poarch Erin Burnette Vivian White Cammie Allen Eddie Allen Iola Miller Jo Ann Jellison Sharon Machrone Jeff Hetzer Sam Dalton Denise Wright Jo Ann Jellison Bob Corby


James Cook Dorothy Cook Desiree McNeice Kim Vann


Sound System Facilities

Jeff Michel Joe McGregor

Mark Atkinson Bud Higgins

David Pittman Richard Yuk

Please find a substitute if you are unable to perform your ministry and contact your team coordinator AND the office to let them know who will be filling in for you. Thank you for making our church ministries run smoothly!

Feb 3rd
Hospitality Coordinator Sal Anselmo 358-1696 Tellers Coordinator Bud Higgins 301-5059 Altar Flowers $40 Church office 358-9291 Liturgist Coordinators Kathy Freise 448-9876 Sal Anselmo 358-1696 Nursery Helpers Coordinator Julia Eliades 358-9291 ext. 12

Feb. 10th
Linda Heaslet Rob Osborn Tony Sharpenstein Elisabeth Burnette

Feb. 17th
Pam Miller Rob Osborn Tony Sharpenstein Chris Miles Sal Anselmo Florence Cross

Feb. 24th
JoAnn Jellison Betsy Bighinatti Mark Souza

Vicky Lyle Charlotte Quick Jeff Michel Kit Carson

Ashley Quick Josh Lyle

Mary Will Fritz Will

Elisabeth Burnette Jeff Jacobs

Theresa Caraher

Chris Miles

Laura Totty

Marjorie Barbour

MESSENGER February 2013

11:30 am NA






7: 00 pm W.E.B.S. 11:30 am NA

9 am - 1 pm Clean Up Day 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm Winter Party 9 pm - Midnight Parking Lot Ministry

7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal

3 9:45 am Christian Formation ( all ages) 10: am Choir Rehearsal 11:00 am Worship Souper Bowl Noon Fellowship 12:30 Confimand, Parents and Mentors Meeting CARITAS Training Interim Search Team

4 3:30 pm Beautification Committee Meeting 5:00 pm Finance Committee Meeting

5 11:30 am NA

6 5:00 pm Card Ministry

7 11:30 am NA

9 5:30 pm- 7pm CARITAS*

7: 00 pm W.E.B.S. 7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal

9:45 am Christian Formation ( all ages) 10: 00 am Choir Rehearsal 11:00 am Worship 11:15 am Childrens Program Noon Fellowship 12:30 pm Interim Search Mtg

5:00 pm Administrative Staff Meeting 7:00 PM Church Council Meeting

11:30 am NA

13 Ash Wednesday 6:00 Pancake Supper

10:30 The Fellowship 11:30 am NA


10:00 am - 4 pm NA Speaker Jam

5:30 pm Worship 7: 00 pm Worship and Music Committee Meeting 7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal

9:00 am Breakfast 9:45 am Christian Formation ( all ages) 10:00 am Choir Rehearsal 11:00 am Worship - William Byrd Offering Noon Fellowship

Presidents Day

11:30 am NA

5:00 pm Card Ministry

11:30 am NA

8:00 pm Closer to thee

8:00 pm Closer to Thee

7: 00 pm W.E.B.S. 7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal

9:45 am Christian Formation ( all ages) 10:00 am Choir Rehearsal 11:00 am Worship Noon Fellowship 3:00 am Closer to Thee 3 9:45 am Christian Formation ( all ages) 10:00 am Choir Rehearsal 11:00 am Worship - OGHS Noon Fellowship 3:00 am Closer to Thee


11:30 am NA

5:00 pm Card Ministry

11:30 am NA

8:00 pm Closer to thee

8:00 pm Closer to thee

7: 00 pm W.E.B.S. 7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal 4 5 6 7: 00 pm W.E.B.S. 7 8 9

Office hours : Monday 9 am 2 pm, Wednesday Friday 9 am2 pm CARITAS will be take place every evening beginning February 9th from 5:30 - 7:00 pm