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March 2013

IF YOURE GOING TO GO ON A JOURNEY St. Johns United Church of Christ

youre going to have to move. A journey implies going from where one is to a place where one wants to be. I have a problem with the church calendar, or at least with the way its frequently used. You have heard it said that the Season of Advent prepares us for Christmas. And you have heard it said that the Season of Lent prepares us for Easter. But I say to you: a life of faith is one that continuously prepares us to meet and continuously moves us closer to God. We began our Lenten journey on Ash Wednesday and Sunday, February 17th with the invitation to make a commitment to pay attention to pay attention to how God is imprinted in our lives, to pay attention to the footprints we leave in the world, and to pay attention to the blueprint we at St. Johns are in our community. I like this approach to Christian formation because of what it implies. If Easter is a destination, we know that on the day after Easter, we can stop preparing. Its arrived. We can eat our peeps & candy eggs, place the lily in the backyard, and get ready for the next event on our calendar. But if our journey to Easter is a time that reminds and encourages us to pay attention, there is the direct inference of our need for preparation and our need to pay attention on Easter Monday just as much as on Good Friday. And so, Christian faith formation encourages and guides and assists us in our movements, not toward the goal of celebrating a holiday, but toward the goal of moving toward God, of coming closer to God, of paying attention to Gods presence in our lives. Christian faith formation is not an hour of Church school on Sunday or a program year of September to May. It is not a series of times of preparation for the next holy day. Its a movement. Its a way of getting in touch and remaining in touch with the Holy One. Its a way of paying attention to who God would have us be, and paying attention to how we should live our individual lives and our lives lived together in community. I remember when my son got his first cell phone. He had lousy reception in his house, so when we called he would say: Hold on. Let me go out on the back porch where Ive got better reception. Where do you get the best reception when God calls? For me, I need to go into my heart that place where body, soul and Gods Spirit all come together. Using the three aspects of faith life that are used in the St. Johns Lenten Spiritual Journey booklet, I need to Tend In before I Tend Out. I need to Tend In before Im ready to Tend Together. Over the next several weeks, I encourage you to pay attention. Use the Lenten Booklet. Attend the Christian Formation classes and worship to help you discover what God is saying. Tend In. Tend Out. Tend Together. And blessings be upon you on your journey,

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 Email: Web Site:

Published monthly for members and friends

2013 St Johns UCC

2 The Messenger | March 2013

Dear St. Johns Family and Friends, This winter has been quite full and entertaining at St. Johns! If you have not yet seen, Closer to Thee, you still have time! Many thanks to member-writer Rob Osborn for sharing his talent, to Tony Sharpenstein for directing/choreographing, Shirley Townsend for music direction, member-actors Helena DeLigt, Bud Higgins, and Anita Sharpenstein for their performances, and the St. Johns Players for their continued gift of self. Saturday, March 2, you will have an opportunity to discuss the plays message after the performance. Thanks also go to CARITAS organizers (Richard and Betsy Bighinatti) and servers. We are well underway with serving our guests, which continues through April 12th. The Youth prepared what has become a delicious pancake dinner tradition. The dinner was followed by a meaningful service by Pastor Jon using Our Lenten Spiritual Journey: Making Faith Prints, which was developed by Karen-Marie Yust and Julia Eliades. This booklet is a testimony to Julia and KarenMaries love of and dedication to the Word. Throughout the Lenten Season you will hear tending in (tending to our inner life with God), tending out (tending our outward life, so that we can pay attention to the footprints we leave in the world), tending together (building up community, so that we can become a clear blueprint of what God desires for the world). As Karen-Marie and Julia have written, Your spiritual journey of tending in, tending out, and tending together is what forms your faith prints your unique way of following Christ according to Gods desires for your life. Jo Ann Jellison chairs the Interim Search Team with the help from a cross section of our members (Justin Barbour, Betsy Bighinatti, Allen Caraher, and Billy Poarch). Rev. Dr. Kwame Osei Reid, Associate Conference Minister has met with the team and will be back during different times of the process as helper/adviser. Please feel free to address any questions to the chair or members of the team. Also, you will find a separate notice of their progress on the next page (pg 3). Easter is right around the corner, and the Congregational Life and Care Ministry is preparing another wonderful celebration of this high holy day! When this group gets together, we reap the benefits. They plan to have something for everyone on the lawn, weather permitting. Otherwise, we will bring the outside in. Enjoy the Journey! Blessings, Teresa Jolles

Members of Church Council

Council meets Monday, March 11th at 7 p.m.

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

The Messenger | March 20132

Report of the Interim Search Committee

Your Interim Search Committee is at work! We have had some preliminary meetings together, one with Rev. Ginna Minasian Dalton, who gave us information on interim ministry from the point of view of the interim minister and from the point of view of other congregations experiences. We have also had our first meeting with Rev. Kwame Osei Reed, Associate Central Atlantic Conference Minister, who works with the churches in the Potomac Association during search and call processes. The committee is working on the Interim Needs Assessment, a document which will be submitted to Kwame by March 1. Kwame keeps in touch with those specially trained for interim ministry in the CAC and will encourage those available to apply. The I nterested interim ministers will be able to learn a little about us from the Interim Needs Document, just as we will learn about them from their profiles that Kwame will send to us. The committee expects to interview a small number of candidates and select from among that group. Once the committee has reached a decision, the candidates name will be submitted to Church Council for their vote. There are some recommendations for transition times that the committee feels are appropriate and will plan to follow. 1. The interim minister will not be someone from within our church membership. That does not mean that ordained ministers who are members of St. Johns will not be helpful in other ways. 2. The interim minister will not be considered by the Search Committee for long term pastor. This would place a handicap on the interim, as he or she helps guide us to clarify the qualities we are looking for in a long term pastor. 3. The Church Council will vote to call the interim minister; whereas, the whole congregation votes on the long term pastor.

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! The following are needed: 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. Thanks to everyone who has signed up! Contact Richard Bighinatti for more information.

CARITAS Volunteer Schedule

3/2 3/3 3/6 3/7 3/8 3/9 3/10 3//13 3/14 3/15 3/16 3/23 3/24 3/27 3/28 3/30 Ginna and Sam Dalton Dale and Laura Totty Jeff Michel Hank Harman Cook Family and Higgins Family Confirmation Class Dale and Laura Totty Need Volunteers Need Volunteers Bill Watson, Sal Anselmo, and Michael Bauger Confirmation Class Confirmation Class Woods Family Need Volunteers Denise Martin Confirmation class

Facilities Report
Facilities Chair Richard Bighinatti reports that the church retained stained glass window expert Scott Taylor to examine the Rose window (above the altar) for damage and leaks during January. We are awaiting Mr. Taylors report and expect to be able to share his findings in next months MESSENGER. In addition, a team has been assembled to evaluate the repair of the churchs disabled boiler.

The Messenger | March 2013

Area Congregations Together in Service

ACTS is A Greater Richmond interfaith mission providing support and resources during periods of financial crisis to prevent homelessness. We began assisting clients in 2006. Since that time, over 1,500 households have been financially assisted. In 2012, we financially assisted 256 households (a 62% increase over the prior year), keeping them stably housed. 601 total people, including 185 children under the age of 18 were affected by this effort. An additional 200 households were offered resources more appropriate to their individual needs. $110,000 was expended in direct financial services. In 2013, ACTS anticipates assisting 336 households and expending $168,000. ACTS makes payments for rents, mortgages, utilities, car payments or repair billsall items that could jeopardize stable housing and cause eviction. Our clients are hard working people who experience some unexpected emergency rendering them unable to meet this months housing expenses. According to Billy Poarch, Executive Director of ACTS, ACTS appreciates the support the congregation of St. Johns has offered to enable the organization to thrive. Together, we offer HOPE to our neighbors in desperate need, who often fall through the cracks. Together, we do the work God has called upon us to do. A special offering for ACTS will be taken Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. Please consider the possibility of yourself, a family member or a neighbor facing homelessness when making your donation.

One Great Hour Of Sharing Sharing Brings Joy

Over the past year, the resources shared by St. Johns and thousands of other congregations in the United Church of Christ through their One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) mission offerings have brought joy to every corner of the world, including our own country. These gifts are abundant evidence that we are a caring, compassionate people, providing needed assistance to people in desperate situations. The lives of thousands of people were given hope and given resources that changed, if not saved their lives.

Countries battling chronic famine issues were supported with programs that improved food production. Young men and women were given training through partner agencies like the YMCA and YWCA Worldwide, training that strengthened their abilities to become leaders in their communities. Women were given voice through empowerment projects which gave them skills to improve their familys economic situation. Families and communities hard hit by natural disasters in the United States, as with Hurricane Sandy that caused massive damage along coastal areas in the Northeast; extensive flooding in North Dakota; and tornado ravaged areas of North Carolina and Missouri, received assistance that helped them rebuild their lives, their homes and their communities.

In total, our One Great Hour of Sharing improved the lives of people in 138 countries! Helping others brings joy, and God knows joy when we take actions that restore the well-being of Gods children. When we reach out to others with helping hands, we share love and justice with sisters and brothers, with whom we are one. God loves our joyful attitude when we share from our abundance. We will receive the One Great Hour of Sharing offering during worship on March 3rd. May your worship be amazingly joyful, may your sharing be delightfully abundant, and may God be made glad by your cheerful generosity.

The Messenger | March 2013

Lectionary Readings
March 3rd, 2013 Third Sunday in Lent Isaiah 55:1-9 Psalm 63:1-8 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 Luke 13:1-9 March 10th, 2013 Fourth Sunday in Lent Joshua 5:9-12 Psalm 32 Luke 15 : 1-3, 11b - 32 March 17th, 2013 Fifth Sunday in Lent Isaiah 43 :16- 21 Psalm 126 Philippians 3: 4b - 14 John 12 : 1 - 8

Holy Week begins March 24th

Holy Week begins on Sunday, March 24th with Palm Sunday Worship and Parade, a cooperative venture of the five Stuart Circle Parish congregations: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, First English Lutheran Church, Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, St. Jamess Episcopal Church and St. Johns United Church of Christ. March 24th, 2013 Palm Sunday Luke 19:28 - 40 Psalm 31:9 - 16 Philippians 2:5-11 March 31st, 2013 Easter Sunday Acts 10:34 - 43 Ps 118:1-2,14 - 2 1 Cor. 15:19 - 26 John 20: 1-18 Please be at St. Johns by 9:30 AM, pick up a palm branch and then (CAREFULLY!) head across Stuart Circle to gather beyond the steps of First English. Worship will begin promptly at 9:45 AM and the parade at 10:00 AM. The parade stops at each of the five congregations for the singing of a verse from All Glory Laud and Honor. This is a meaningful time for the five communities of faith to come together to remember Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Maundy Thursday (March 28th) will be observed with a light supper of soup, salad and bread at 6:45 PM downstairs in the Fellowship Hall. Following supper, we will worship and receive Holy Communion in remembrance of Jesus last supper with the disciples. The host congregation of Good Friday is Monument Heights Baptist Church (corner of Monument Avenue and Libbie Avenue). Worship begins at 12 Noon on Friday, March 29th. Pastor Jon will be preaching at that service. Gather for our traditional Easter Sunrise service at the overlook to the city, in the 2100 block of East Grace Street, at 6:30 AM Easter morning, March 31st. Following worship, we will commune with donuts and coffee. This is a special service in the life of our congregation. Come. Celebrate Christs resurrection. Watch the sun and Gods hope rise over our city. Then gather on the front steps to St. Johns at 10:45 AM for our traditional Easter service. We ask that only mobility impaired persons be seated in the sanctuary prior to the start of our 11:00 AM worship service. Following the good news that the tomb is empty, we will process into the sanctuary singing Christ is risen. Alleluia! Our Easter service will include brass accompaniment and conclude with the singing of the Hallelujah chorus to Handels Messiah. Weather permitting; we will go out on to the lawn just east of the sanctuary after worship for fellowship and refreshments. We look forward to seeing you at these special observances of Lent and Easter


Sunday, March 24th: Palm Sunday Parade. Gather at 9:30 AM @ First English Lutheran Church (across Stuart Circle from St. Johns). Thursday, March 28th: Maundy Thursday Supper and worship in the Fellowship Hall. Friday, March 29th: Good Friday Service at Noon at Monument Heights Baptist Church (corner of Monument Avenue and Libbie Avenue). Sunday, March 31st: Sunrise Service at 6:30 AM 2100 block of East Grace Street (at the bluff overlooking downtown Richmond just outside the gates of Richmond Hill Retreat Center.) 10:45 AM in the Sanctuary Gather outside on the steps to sanctuary to prepare the Service Resurrection. Followed by an Easter Celebration on the Lawn at noon.

6 The Messenger | March 2013

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, adults continue the journey with Jesus as investigators following the footsteps of Jesus on a mission of discovery. 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. Everyone is invited to go on this remarkable journey. Come 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.

Our Lenten Journey - Making Faith Prints

Christian life is a journey with God. As we take this journey, we need to pay attention to how Gods desires for us are communicated in our lives and how we live faithfully in Gods world. During the season of Lent, we encourage you to take a Lenten booklet home with you and try out several practices or exercises that will help you tend in, tend out, and tend together. Pay attention to how each practice makes you feel, helps you focus on God, or motivates you to action. We are offering three opportunities for you to share your journey with fellow travelers and to recharge for the next segment of the journey.

We will offer reflections on what we are learning from the weekly practices and create a visual record of our journey together in the Fellowship Hall. Each Sunday, we will be studying The Way, Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus. As we delve deep into these stories of Jesus in the Bible, we may discover significant relevance for our lives today. Adults are invited to gather at 6:30 pm on Wednesday evenings for a light meal and for conversation and inspiration as we share our experiences of our journey together.

Being the Hands of Feet of Jesus in the World 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! 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 . Please watch for e-blasts and bulletin articles about each of these opportunities to give!! And volunteer for our CARITA ministry.

The Messenger | March 2013

Easter Celebration on the Lawn!

Celebrate our Risen God as we gather on the lawn after worship to enjoy wonderful food and fellowship! There will be activities for the children including our annual Easter Egg Hunt (Bring your baskets!)

The Fellowship
The Fellowship will meet March 14th at 10:30 AM. Please join us for this event as lunch will be served.

Basement Sale
Spring! Its just around the corner, and its the time when we clean out closets and storage areas for our annual spring basement sale held in the Fellowship Hall. The most popular items are books, toys, childrens clothes (no adult clothes, please), small appliances in good working condition, white elephant items, small furniture , and jewelry. Drop contributions in the white elephant room. The sale is Saturday, June 1st from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Calling All Women!! March 23

The Womens Group (all women invited) will have a meeting on Saturday, March 23 at the church. We will gather at 11:00 A.M. Those who feel called to do so are invited to bring snack or lunch items to share (finger food preferred). Jeannette Drake, a gentle member of St. Johns, who is a poet, writer, musician and artist, will offer us a chance for reflection on our own spirit through the arts. You do not have to feel that you are an artist to participate. We all enjoyed a previous program by Linda Jenkins, finding creativity within ourselves. Our other agenda is to talk about and plan a retreat of some kind. Perhaps Jeannettes presence will spark ideas. Please plan to join us. Birth Announcement GreatGrandmother Frieda Walsh welcomes Twin Girls!

Souper Bowl Update Thanks to all your support the Youth were able to raise $749!

Remember to set your clocks forward on March 10th

Birthdays This Month

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 10 13 15 19 26 31 Teresa Jolles Ginny Etter David Townsend Aghavni Dalton, Sonny Darnell Rick Cook, Joan Cooper Theresa Christian Florence Cross, Jillian Amrhein Mary Ann Greenwalt Frances Smith Vass William Joseph Christian Gil Caldwell, Audrey Buchanan Sam Dalton Johanna Gilbert

Frieda Walsh and the family of Timothy Walsh extend their gratitude and appreciation to those who sent cards and/ or attended his funeral service last month. Frieda has been ill sine the funeral and regrets being unable to personally thank you at this time.

The Messenger | March 2013

* Performance Dates:

March 1 & 2 at 8 PM March 3 at 3 PM

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

Church Women United of Richmond

Met on February 1st at Seventh Street Christian Church Richmond, Va. The meeting was opened after President Susan Allen led us in prayer, followed by devotion led by Dorothy Cook of St. John's UCC. The speaker of the day was Mary Cathern who is a board member of Safe Harbor a Healthy Community Liaison, Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital/Mission. She spoke on Domestic Violence for service and support. Meeting was adjourned by Susan Allen At 11:30 am.

Lily Order Form To order a Lily in honor or memory of a loved one, please complete this form. Indicate with a check mark if the plant is in memory of or in honor of your loved one. Place the form in the offering plate, drop it through the slot in the office door, mail it to the church office, or email the church office at The cost is $14.00 per plant. Ordering Deadline: Thursday, March 21st. (Please print clearly) 1) ( ) In memory of: ( ) In honor of: Name(s)_______________________________ Given by:______________________________ 2) ( ) In memory of: ( ) In honor of: Name(s)_______________________________ Given by:______________________________ 3) ( ) In memory of: ( ) In honor of: Name(s)_______________________________ Given by:______________________________ Following the Easter service, you may take your lily home.

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.

MESSENGER March 2013

Welcome Team Coordinator Billy Poarch 804-359-6131 Welcome team captains
Families with children Acolytes Iola Miller Cheryl Goode Adults Billy Poarch Erin Burnette Vivian White Jo Ann Jellison Sharon Machrone Jeff Hetzer Sam Dalton Denise Wright Jo Ann Jellison Beth Stiegler Don Stiegler Chris Miles Betsy Bighinatti Phil Jones

Feb. 24th Mar. 3rd

Justin Barbour 804-687-1460
Barbour Family

Mar. 10th Mar. 17th

Lynn Snyder 804-550-3928
Allen Family

Mar. 24 Mar. 31
Richard Bighinatti 804-502-1005
Woods Family Gretchen Miller Family Lydia Woods

April 7 April 14

Doug Waldrop
Etter Family Voelcker/ Barrett Family Bryan Etter James Cook Dorothy Cook Desiree McNeice Kim Vann

Sound System Facilities

David Pittman

Richard Bighinatti

Jeff Michel

Richard Yuk

Bob Corby

Richard Bighinatti

Joe McGregor

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!

Mar. 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

Mar. 10th
Mike and Terri Woods Jeff Jacobs Iola Miller Denise Martin Tony and Anita Sharpenstein

Mar. 17th
Justin and Marjorie Barbour Jeff Jacobs Iola Miller Denise Martin

Mar. 24th
Elisabeth Burnette Laura Totty Adrianne Dery Billy Poarch Johanna Gilbert

Mar. 31st
Easter Sunday Adrianne Dery Billy Poarch Easter Lillies

Beth and Don Stiegler Betsy Bighinatti Mark Souza

Eddie Allen Cammie Allen

Sal Anselmo Jo Ann Jellison

Denise Martin Chris Etter

Teresa Jolles Billy Poarch

Paul Jolles Mark Atkinson

Theresa Caraher

Chris Miles

Laura Totty

Marjorie Barbour

Martha Cook

MESSENGER March 2013

SUNDAY 24 25



5:00 pm Card Ministry

11:30 am NA

8:00 pm Closer to Thee

6:00 pm Talk Back 8:00 pm Closer to Thee 9

11:30 am NA

6:30 pm Dinner 7:00 pm Choir and Conversation Rehearsal 3 9:45 am Christian Formation ( all ages) 10: 00 am Choir Rehearsal 11:00 am WorshipOGHS Noon Fellowship 3:00 pm Closer to Thee 4 5 11:30 am NA 6 5:00 pm Card Ministry 7 11:30 am NA 8

6:30 pm Dinner and Conversation 7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal

9:45 am Christian Formation ( all ages) 10: 00 am Choir Rehearsal 11:00 am Worship Noon Fellowship

7:00 PM Church Council Meeting

11:30 am NA

13 5:00 pm Card Ministry

10:30 The Fellowship



11:30 am NA 6:30 pm Dinner and Conversation 5:30 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


11:30 am NA

5:00 pm Card Ministry

11:30 am NA


Womens Group Meeting

7:00 pm Choir 6:30 pm Dinner and Conversation Rehearsal

9:30 am 10:00 am 11:00 am Noon Palm Sunday Parade Choir Rehearsal Worship Fellowship


11:30 am NA

5:00 pm Card Ministry



Holy Saturday

Maundy Thursday Good Friday 11:30 am NA Noon Worship at Monument 6:45 am Dinner 6:30 pm Dinner Heights Baptist and Conversation and Worship Church 7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal 3 5:00 pm Card Ministry 6:30 pm Dinner and Conversation 4 5

31 10:45 am Gather for worship 11:00 am Worship - Easter Service - ACTS Noon Easter Celebration

1 Office Closed

Office hours : Mondays 9 am - 2 pm, and Wednesday Friday 9 am - 2 pm CARITAS will be take place every evening beginning February 9th from 5:30 - 7:00 pm through April 12th