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From Our Council President;

SUMMER UPDATE 2013 St. Johns United Church of Christ

St Johns members and friends celebrated during the month of June with Jon and Linda as they leave us and journey on to the next adventure in their lives- RETIREMENT. The Party was fun and the worship services were beautiful and moving. A few tears were shed as we remembered the last ten years with them and thanked them for this time in their lives. Thank you to all the members who made these celebrations so joyful and meaningful. We will miss them, but wish them nothing but the best and may God and his ever powerful love go with them and keep them healthy and safe. We will soon welcome Rev. Thomas Gerstenlauer as our Interim Minister. This will be a time for change and reflection as we explore St. Johns future for the next 10 years and more Pastor Tom plans to preach his first sermon on Sunday, July 28th at 10:00 am. We will have a welcome reception for him that morning after church in the Fellowship Hall and invite all members to join us on this very important Sunday in the life of St. Johns. We have listed in this Messenger the names of the many ministries/ committees and chairs that help lead our church. Every adult at St. Johns needs to prayerfully review this list and see where they can plug-in to the work we all have in store for us. The future depends on what we do NOW! And we need everyones prayers and involvement. Please contact Betsy Bighinatti and let her know how you want to help. Please feel free to contact me anytime with concerns.

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:

Betsy J. Bighinatti
Council President

Published monthly for members and friends

2013 St Johns UCC

The Messenger | SUMMER UPDATE 2013

Meet Rev. Tom Gerstenlauer

Here are some highlights from Pastor Toms resume:

Members of Church Council

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

He describes himself as an enthusiastic, creative and professional ordained minister with 15 years expertise in providing leadership and spiritual care for individuals and congregations. Most recently, he was the Senior Pastor and Mission Minister for the Miller Avenue United Church of Christ in Akron, Ohio. He received a Master of Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois in 2011 He has also worked as an Outreach Specialist for ICAN Housing Solutions in Canton Ohio; a Housing Associate for Phoenix Rising (also in Canton, Ohio), a Senior Pastor for a United Church of Christ church in Canal Fulton, Ohio, and several assignments as an Interim Pastor in various United Church of Christ churches His first career, prior to God calling him into the ministry, was as a business professional with 18 years in the transportation industry.


Administration Committee
Made up of Church Council officers: Betsy Bighinatti Jeff Hetzer Helena DeLigt

Dear Friends Linda and I wish to thank you all for a heart-stirring worship service on June The music, the 30th. gathering at Table, the return of the sacred symbols of the Pastoral office, the reception hosted by The Fellowship were all quite meaningful to us. We love the beautiful pottery pieces they will provide wonderful memories of our time here in Richmond, and please know how overwhelmed we were by the generous financial good bye gift. As you know, we have been making plans to visit States #49 (Alaska) and #50 (Hawaii) during our retirement, and this gift will certainly get us to those places. Thank you. Thank you. Our love and prayers remain with you in your time of transition and beyond. Jon and Linda Heaslet
Jeff Hetzer

Richard Bighinatti Ad hoc- Beautification- Ginna Dalton Facilities Planning Group Task Force: Jeff Hetzer Includes committee members of the Facilities, Council, Endowment and Trustees

Worship and Music

Kenn Shirley

Mission and Outreach

Bill Watson

Christian Formation
Children- Marjorie Barbour Adult Education- Bryan Anderegg

Congregational Life And Care

Membership Development- Dreama Terrill Community Development- Allen Caraher Congregational Care- Helena Deligt St Johns Players- Tony Sharpenstein German Fest- Jeff Jacobs Weddings Vivian White

The Messenger SUMMER UPDATE 2013

Caring for one another is a long standing Christian practice following the example of Jesus who cared for the needy and healed the sick. Stories of the early Christian church tell us that they cared for the widows and orphans and the needs of those living on the fringes of the community. They responded to the call of Jesus to be disciples of love for one another. We are a people called to care as well. In the past few months, you may have heard about or read about a new ministry at St. Johns called COVENANT CARE GROUPS. Our vision for this ministry is that all will be part of the St. johns community in which we extend the healing love of Christ to one another. This may be by helping an injured member with grocery shopping; providing meals at the birth of a child; or visiting a member hospitalized or confined at home. The response will depend on the situation. Each group will get to know each other by holding a time of fellowship at the start of this program, and then at least once a year after that. Rev. Tom Gertenlaurer, our interim pastor, hopes to join you at your first group gathering. In this way, he will have a chance to get to know everyone, and you will have a chance to get to know him! Be on the lookout for information about your specific Caring Group and the place and time of your first meeting.

Womans Retreat October 24 - 27

The Women's Retreat is scheduled for October 25, 26 and 27, at Twin Lakes State Park. This will be a womenled retreat-- meaning, we are all invited to give input into the planning and preparation. We hope you will fill out one of our survey sheets to help with the planning. If you have any questions, speak with Adrianne Dery or email her at . Watch for sign-up information coming out soon!

The St. Johns Players

The St. Johns Players would like to thank everyone who attended our summer childrens production of The Little Mermaid. It was a wonderful presentation!!! A Fall production of Shout will take place for three weekends in September and October. Watch for more information on this event!

Please find some time during the long summer days for daily reading with your children, especially the younger ones. The children's library at St. John's has books for all ages. It includes picture books, Bible stories, books about the world we live in, and books for older readers. We don't have a due date; just return the books when you finish so others may enjoy them. We welcome and suggestions about books that you would like to add to the library. Thank you, Beth Stiegler

The Messenger | SUMMER UPDATE 2013

Monthly Contributions to William Byrd July 21

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.

Preaching Schedule
July 14 - The Rev. Dr. Steven Plymale July 21 - The Rev. Dr. Lex Tartaglia July 28 - The Rev. Tom Gerstenlauer


Every August we also collect much needed school supplies to be given to the families whose children are involved in projects at the William Byrd Community House. As you are shopping for your own children, or when you see a sale, pick up some extra supplies. We will be collecting these supplies during the entire month of August. Please drop off your donated school supplies (preschool to middle school) at either front or back entrances of the church. We'll get them delivered to WBCH in mid-August as well as at the end of the month.

August 4



Please join us for a CLEAN UP COOK OUT on August 4 for fun fellowship and a summer spruce up of particular spaces. Our clean up will not be as extensive as last year but it takes all of us to care for our Holy Space. Please sign up on the sign up board in the parlor or call the church office. We need to plan for lunch and our approach to clean up based on who and how many will participate !