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October 2013

Volume 27.10

From Rev. Tom Gerstenlauer...

Greetings friends, I appreciate the welcome extended to me during our worship gathering on Sunday, September 8th. Indeed, everyone Ive met since my arrival late July has greeted me and offered a sense of welcome here at St. Johns UCC. Now I offer you my own sense of welcome to transitional times, the realm of the interim in which we now walk together. During this period we will do all of the things to which you have become accustomed here at St. Johns, and more. We will worship, study, pray, and explore this life of faith to which weve been called. There will be some change during this period, as well. I believe it has been the custom to follow the Revised Common Lectionary both in worship and at home. We will continue to provide this guide to faith formation in the monthly newsletter. I will begin favoring other selections from the Bible for reflection from the pulpit and in development of our order of worship each week. Biblical sources will include (but will not be limited to) Isaiah 43 & 44, 1 Peter 2, Acts 6 & 15, 1 Corinthians 16 and Romans 12. Be assured that these areas of scripture relate well to the five basic tasks of the interim period: coming to terms with history; discovering a new identity; leadership change; rethinking denominational linkages; and commitment to new leadership and future vision. I have called you friends and to be sure, I count some of you as friends already. It is presumptive to apply this term to all of my new acquaintances here, however, and so I am eager to get to know more of you better in the days, weeks and months ahead. We find ourselves together during an interesting and challenging passage for this church and the church universal. Let us proceed with the assurance of Gods presence in our personal and communal lives. God said through the prophet Isaiah to the people of faith of Israel and we have accepted it as our own: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Peace be with you now, and always!

St. Johns United Church of Christ

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

Tom G.

2 The Messenger | October 2013

September was a very active month in the life of St. Johns. Rev. Kwame Osei Reed, our Potomac Association Minister was with us for a beautiful worship service of welcome for Rev. Tom on Sunday, Sept 8th. Sunday, September 15, we Launched into fall with new childrens 9:45 and 11:15 am offerings (Faith Place, Following the Good Shepherd, and At Jesus Knee). Our adults were encouraged to make connections to many ministries through the Faith Networks Mission Fair. Thanks to Julia, Karen Marie, Rothea and Bryan who readied our children and adult spaces and Bill Watson and the Mission and Outreach ministry for encouraging us to get plugged in. Rothea Kornelius, our Ministry Intern preached during our worship service on September 29th. Our September Church Council meeting was dedicated to a presentation and discussion about the responsibilities and work of Rev. Toms time with us during the next 18-24 months. Speak with any Council member if you would like more information about this. We have a busy month of October ahead of us with the musical Shout presented by the St. Johns Players. Volunteer to help by speaking with Betsy Bighinatti at 379-3572. The start of our Stewardship Drive - Faith Intersections - begins on October first and we consecrate our pledges on October 27. Volunteer to help with our annual German Fest by speaking with Jeff Jacobs at 355-1115. The Womens Retreat will be held October 25-27 (look for the article on page 8 of this Newsletter). We are all doing Gods work here at St. Johns and we give God thanks for being by our side during this period. We thank Rev. Tom for guiding us thus far during this time in the life of our church and we look forward to his continued love and leadership. Bless your hearts! Betsy Bighinatti Church Council President

Congregational Breakfast Second Sunday in October

Mark you calendar now and plan on attending our monthly congregational breakfast on Sunday, October 13 at 9:00 am in the Fellowship Hall. We will enjoy the food and fellowship and update you on all the happenings at St. Johns. Hope to see you there!

World Communion Sunday Oct. 6

World Communion Sunday offers congregations a distinctive opportunity to experience Holy Communion in the context of the global community of faith. The first Sunday of October has become a time when Christians in every culture break bread and pour the cup to remember and affirm Christ as the Head of the Church. On that day, they remember that they are part of the whole body of believers. Christians celebrate the communion liturgy in as many ways as there are congregations. Join us here at St. Johns on October 6 at 11:00 am as we observe the Lords Supper along with millions of Christians.

Members of Church Council

Betsy Bighinatti, President Jeff Hetzer, Vice President Helena DeLigt, Secretary Bryan Anderegg Marjorie Barbour Teresa Jolles Kenn Shirley Bill Watson Allen Caraher Desiree McNeice Dreama Terrill Karen-Marie Yust

Members of Pastoral Relations Committee

Lex Tartaglia, Chair Elisabeth Burnette Marjorie Barbour Billy Poarch

The Messenger | October 2013

William Byrd Community House Donations (WBCH)

Our younger youth church school class will continue to organize and deliver all donations to WBCH. Dont forget that on the third Sunday of each month, we receive contributions of non-perishable food items for the William Byrd Food Bank. Ask for a shopping bag with a shopping list attached from a member of the Welcome Team when you come to worship, and then bring your offering on the third Sunday of each month.

Neighbors In Need Offering - Oct. 6

On October 6th we will receive a special offering for Neighbors in Need (NIN). NIN is a special mission offering, that is uniquely UCC and focuses on ministries of justice and compassion throughout the U.S. 1. What is Neighbors in Need? Through the Neighbors in Need offering, the church expresses a common commitment to justice and compassion throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. One-third of the offering undergirds the work of the Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM), including much-needed financial support for 20 American Indian congregations in the UCC. Two-thirds of the offering supports justice advocacy and direct service projects such as just-peace programs and community grants. 2. How are Neighbors in Need funds shared with others? Two-thirds of Neighbors in Need supports program initiatives and direct grants offered by the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries. Small but essential grants are made throughout the year to congregations and organizations engaged in community organizing, public policy advocacy, and direct service. Although grants are made to address a wide range of justice priorities, a significant portion of these grants are made to address issues of hunger and poverty. One-third of Neighbors in Need supports the work of the UCC's Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM), which is the voice for American Indians in the United Church of Christ. CAIM supports the work of local churches and their pastors; encourages youth and young adults; supports persons preparing for Christian ministry; empowers American Indians who are members of non-Indian congregations; and advocates for justice on issues affecting American Indian life. Please prayerfully consider how God is asking YOU to be a part of this initiative for Peace and Justice as we take up this special offering on Sunday, October 6 during our regular worship service. You can also contribute online.

CROP Is On Its Way!

About 200 people, representing 20 churches will be coming to St. Johns in a month! Thats right, every year churches from all over Richmond use our facility to kick-off the Richmond CROP Hunger Walk, a 3.5 mile walk that loops through the city. St. Johns team raised over $1,000 in 2012 and with your help we hope to hit $1,500 this year. 25% of the funds will go to local organizations that provide hunger relief; CARITAS, Virginia Food Bank, MARCH and 31st St. Baptist Church. The other 75% will go to Church World Services to be used to stop hunger within the U.S. and around the world. Please come walk with us on November 3rd. Sign-ups will be in the parlor or you can join the team/donate online by visiting Registration will be at 1:15pm and the walk will begin at 2pm. We will need volunteers for setup and cleanup; if you are able to help, please contact Bill Watson at 873.2837 or

4 The Messenger | October 2013

9:45 and 11:15 am Sunday Mornings
On Sunday mornings, all children are invited to follow the Good Shepherd on a journey to hear the stories of our faith, explore the Christian life, respond to Gods call, pray for one another, and discover how we can be disciples today. Re-form: Encounter, Engage, Respond Centered on questions youth would actually ask about their faith. Our confirmands, parents and mentors met with Tom and Julia on September 22nd to kick off the second year of confirmation. A full year of exploration for our four confirmands; Cammie, Ashley, Josh, and Bryan, is underway guided by the curriculum Re-form. Using humor and youth friendly language the materials engage tough theological questions. Youth encounter concepts from the historic Christian faith, engage each other and explore their faith in creative ways, and respond by sharing their points of view with the congregation making videos, taking pictures, interviewing family and church friends, and making other creative stuff. Each youth will use their own personal copy of the Anti-Workbook, and will continue to be shepherded by their mentors; Anita, Martha, Bud, and Chris.

9:45 am Sunday Mornings

Embracing a Life of Meaning

This fall, adults will explore faith stories and practices in conversation with Kathleen Norris, an award winning poet, writer and author. Participants will gather at 9:45 am on Sunday mornings to view a short video presentation by Norris and discuss topics such as belief, the bible, community, faith spaces, and care for self and the world.

Confirmation Lock-In October 5 at 6 pm

Come with your notebook from last year, a bible, a sleeping bag (which may not get used), and your thoughts, ideas, and questions to share with Tom and Julia and each other.

5 The Messenger | September 2013


As of August 31, 2013 Budget Income Pledge Payments* Cash Offerings Other Income (Endowment Contributions Parking Lot Rental, Wedding Income, etc.) Total Income $80,000 $13,333 $93,717 $69,361 $22,234 $92,172 Actual



Expenses Personnel Committees Operations/Maintenance Local Benevolences Other Total Expenses Income/Expenses Total surplus (deficit) * 55 pledging households. 116,523 13,827 75,914 7,200 4,950 218,414 (31,364) 112,038 11,282 75,864 5,899 4,950 210,033 (26,266)

The Messenger | September 2013

October Lectionary Readings

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost October 6, 2013 Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost October 13, 2013 Hab.1:1-4 Psalm 37:1-9 2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c Psalm 111 Genesis 32:22-31 Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost October 20, 2013 Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost October 27, 2013 Psalm 121 2 Timothy 3:144:5 Luke 18:1-8 2 Timothy 2:815 Luke 17:11-19 2 Timothy 1:114 Luke 17:5-10

Jeremiah 14:7-10 Psalm 84:1-7

2 Timothy 4:68, 16-18

Luke 18:9-14

We welcome the return of the Chancel Choir: Soprano: Anita Sharpenstein, Kathy Freise, Teresa Jolles, Joyce Schnabel, Florence Cross Alto: Brianne Chin (new section leader), Helena DeLigt, Julie Wilkinson Tenor: Tony Sharpenstein, David Craig, Rob Osborn, Bud Higgins Bass: David Townsend, Joe McGregor, Paul Jolles, Kit Carson Thanks to our extra singers: Laura Siff, Lynn Snyder, Lee Ford, Gil Caldwell, Sonny Darnell, Pamela Bradley, Bobbie Moore, and Amber dePass.

The Facility Planning Group has been meeting for the past few months since one of our boilers failed in the spring. They have met with specialists and had many planning meetings to come up with a viable solution for the future of St. Johns. An insurance claim was filed soon after the incident, and we received an initial claim. We have recently been notified that we will get another payment when the replacement plan is completed.

It was decided that we will replace the Boiler with a new one this fall. The Endowment Board has agreed to pay for this installation minus the insurance money. The Endowment Board will be contributing about $20,000 to this process.
We will notify the congregation when the installation is completed. At that time we will give a complete financial report on this installation.

The Messenger | September 2013

Shout The Mod Musical is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supported by MTI. 421 W. 54th Street, NY, NY 10019 212-541-4684 Fax: 212-397-6486

Calling All Apple Cake Bakers

Purchase tickets for the St. Johns Players Production or the German Fest by going online at

In preparation for the GermanFest dinner on Saturday, October 19th, kits containing apple cake dry ingredients, apples and instructions will be distributed after church on Sunday, October 6. Bakers will just need to add eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla, mix, bake and return the finished cakes to the church the following Sunday (October 13th). If you have not already signed up to bake a cake, please contact Jeff Jacobs at, or (202) 361-9887, to reserve your cake kit.

The Messenger | September 2013

College Care Packages

It is time again for us to send our October care packages to our college kids. Please donate items you feel our students away from home would enjoy receiving. Some suggestions would be: personal care products, food, hand sanitizer, food, tissues, food, post-it note pads, food, and, of course...dont forget the food! This year, outside of the "sweeter" physical needs, we would also like to encourage you to consider some more personal, spiritual contributions. A nice hand written note of encouragement, a small devotional, etc. For more information, please see Thea. There will be a collection box in the Parlor. IF YOU HAVE A COLLEGE STUDENT, PLEASE MAKE SURE WE HAVE THEIR ADDRESS. EMAIL IT TO THE CHURCH OFFICE TODAY!
St. Johns Fellowship Presents...

October 25-27, 2013

Where: Twin Lakes State Park Cost: $45 Theme: Seeing God in All Things Book: Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamotte (cost is about $18) Reservations: You must confirm/make your reservation. If you havent already done so, please call Diane in the church office.

Card Ministry
The St. Johns Card Ministry designs, creates and sends unique and personal cards to our members. We invite anyone who is interested to come out and enjoy this weekly time of fellowship, prayer and service with other creative and caring folks at 5pm on Wednesdays. Call Cheryl Goode (901-6594) for more information. Here is our October Schedule: October 6 Embossing Class October 9 Nov. birthday cards October 16 Sympathy and thank-you cards October 23 Fall Craft Project October 30 Fall Craft Project

October 18 4-8pm October 19 3-8pm

(during the German Fest!)

Amy Handford and Alex Wood will be married at St. Johns United Church of Christ October 5, 2013 5:00pm 50 guests

Donations of books or baked goods needed. Speak with Dorothy Cook

We extend our sympathy to Carlene Bennett and her family on the passing of her mother Hellin Carlson. Carlenes address is: Linden Terrace 191 Grove Street #37 Rutland, VT 05701-2928

F ll Fellowship hi Nursery Welcome S Sound d A Acolytes l Lay L Team System Readers Hosts Helpers Leader
October 6
Lynn Snyder Dreama Terrill Hank Allen Ashley Quick Cammie Allen Cammie Allen Eddie Allne Kim Vann Melissa & Dan Mascher



Iola Miller Jeff Jacobs

Joe McGregor

October 13

Lynn Snyder

Dreama Terrill

Hank Allen Cammie Allen Eddie Allne

Sal Anselmo Sarah Allen

Richard and Betsy Bighinatti

Chris Miles

Iola Miller Jeff Jacobs

Joe McGregor

October 20

Bill Watson

Mark Atkinson

Savannah Mike Woods Woods family Laura Totty Betsy Bill Watson Quick Julie WilBighinatti Ashley Quick kinson Mark Souza Please find a substitute if you are unable to perform your ministry and contact Savannah Quick Ashley Quick Anita and Tony Sharpenstein Cook family Quick family Marjorie & Justin Barbour Betsy Bighinatti Mark Souza Bill Watson

October 27

Bill Watson

Mark Atkinson

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!

Fellowship Coordinator: Tellers Coordinator: Lay Readers Coordinator:

Sal Anselmo 358-1696 Bud Higgins 301-5059 Sal Anselmo 358-1696

Oct. 6 Lynn Snyder

Oct. 13 Beth Oxenham

Oct. 20 Elisabeth Burnette

Oct. 27 Chris Miles

Sign up for Altar Flowers on the poster in the hall by the Church Office. Cost is $45

Sun Mon Tue
10 am Staff Mtg. 11:30 am NA Meeting

5 pm Card Ministr 7 pm WEBS

11:30 am NA Meeting 7 pm Choir Rehearsal

4-6pm Wedding Rehearsal

2-8 Wedding 6pm Confirmation LOCK IN

8 pm SHOUT!

8 pm SHOUT!

9:45am Christ. Formation

10 am Staff Mtg. 11:30 am NA Meeting 5:30 pm Finance Comm

5 pm Card Ministry 7 pm WEBS

10:30am TheFellowship 11:30 am NA Meeting 7 pm Choir Rehearsal

8 pm SHOUT!

India Orth. Church 8:30 am

11 am Worship
World Communion Day Neighbors-In-Need Offering 12:30 Womens Retreat Planning

6 pm Dinner Theatre 8 pm SHOUT!

3 pm SHOUT!

Breakfast 9 am 9:45am Stewardship Forum

Church Council 7 pm

10 am Staff Mtg. 11:30 am NA Meeting 5:30 pm Staff Relations

10 am Lakewood Manor Tour 5 pm Card Ministry 7 pm WEBS

11:30 am NA Meeting 5:30 Worship & Music Mtg. 7 pm Choir Rehearsal

11 am Worship
12:20 Christian Formation Committee Mtg.

18 5-8 pm German Dinner 25

4-8 pm Book and Bake Sale

5:30 German Dinner

3 pm SHOUT!

9:45am Christ. Formation


10 am Staff Mtg. 11:30 am NA Meeting

5 pm Card Ministry 7 pm WEBS

11:30 am NA Meeting 7 pm Choir Rehearsal


11 am Worship
12:30 pm Facilities

Womans RetreatTwin Lakes SP

WOMANS RETREAT 9:45am Christ. Formation


10 am Staff Mtg. 11:30 am NA Meeting

5 pm Card Ministry 7 pm WEBS

11:30 am NA Meeting 7 pm Choir Rehearsal

11 am Worship
Pledges consecrated

12:30 pm Intern Comm.

2 3 5 6 7 8 10 11 Rob Osborn JoAnn Jellison Sabrina Woods Martha Cook Mary Will Stuart Eliades Paul Hagenmueller Anna Oxenham

14 15 18 19 20 22 22 22 23 24

Brooke Fortier Brian Jacobs Helen Karnap Dorothy Cook Maddie Barbour Judy Brown Sarah Allen Bridget Amrhein Andy Trent Fritz Will

24 26 28 28 30 30

Brittany Totty Laura Viergever Karen Oxenham Sarah (Catie) Davis Maria Roberts Billy Poarch