You are on page 1of 10

MARCH 2014

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

503 Stuart Circle
Richmond, Virginia 23220
Telephone: 804.358.9291

Web Site:

Published monthly
2014 St Johns UCC
My friends,

Here are the Revised Common Lectionary scripture selections
for Lent 2014. Generally speaking we will use psalms to guide
the opening of worship each Sunday. For reflection I will likely
be studying the passages from the New Testament (but I will not
avoid reading the Old Testament selections). Sharing this I do
not mean to imply that you should prepare for a test; rather, you
are invited to consider these passages and make your own stud-
ies. We will almost certainly share our thoughts and feelings in
some manner during our Sabbath day gatherings. Here is a hint
about my orientation to Lent this year: it is about how our Divine
nature is being revealed.

Blessings on this and all journeys!
Tom G
From Rev. Tom Gerstenlauer...
Eighth Sunday after Epiphany
March 2, 2014

Exodus 24:12-18
Psalm 2 or 99
2 Peter 1:16-21 Matthew 17:1-9
Ash WednesdayMarch 5

Joel 2:1-2,12-17
Isaiah 2:15-17
Psalm 51:1-17
2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
First Sunday in Lent
March 9, 2014

Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7
Psalm 32
Romans 5:12-19 Matthew 4:1-11
Second Sunday in Lent
March 16 , 2014

Genesis 12:1-4a
Psalm 121
Romans 4:1-5, 13-17

John 3:1-17
Third Sunday in Lent
March 23, 2014

Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 95
Romans 5:1-11

John 4:5-42
Fourth Sunday in Lent
March 30, 2014
1 Samuel 16:1-13
Psalm 23
Ephesians 5:8-14 John 9:1-41
2 The Messenger | MARCH 2014

The Search is On!

In December 2013, church council appointed a search
committee for the purpose of finding a senior pastoral
candidate to recommend to you for final approval. The
committee has been meeting every two weeks to become
familiar with each others abilities and areas of expertise,
to develop leadership roles and to begin work on our initial
objective: our Church profile. Nothing else in the search
process can proceed until our Church profile is complete,
since it is used to advertise nationally the opportunity at
St. Johns for a new pastor.

The church profile gives a prospective pastor some idea of
who we are, where we live, what our objectives are and
what qualities we desire in a new pastor. Some of this
information can be generated by the search committee,
but much of it will be gathered from the congregation. We
are currently designing questions for group meetings and
questionaires that will enable us to collect this information
in a variety of formats.

The search committee co-chairs (Elisabeth and Don) have
the responsibility to keep you informed of our progress
and of the events where the congregational input will be
collected. Your input and understanding of the task before
us is an important part of the search process. With your
help and with your prayers, we will find that pastor out
there who is a perfect fit for St. Johns.

Together with Christ,
Elisabeth Burnette Don Stiegler

Come, Join the Search Team
Give you Input!

Church Council breakfast
March 16

Breakfast starts at 9 am, the conversation
at 9:30 am
Following Worship at 12:30 pm
March 30th
Following Worship at 12:30 pm

The Search Committee will be soliciting your input in
March in order to complete our church profile. This
church profile is the first step and a very important piece
of the search process since it is crucial to accurately
represent ourselves and our desires for our new pas-
tor. We need your input to help us define who we are
as a congregation and who we aspire to become as well
as the qualities and characteristics we hope to find in
our new pastor and the roles we expect him/her to ful-
fill. To that end, we will be providing several opportuni-
ties and formats to express your thoughts this
month. We will utilize the March congregational break-
fast as a forum for group discussion. If you prefer, we
will also accept your input in writing.

Search Team

Justin Barbour Desiree McNeice
Elisabeth Burnette (Co-chair) Rob Osborn
Sam Dalton Lynn Snyder
Kristina Gilbert (Secretary)
Jeff Jacobs Don Stiegler
The Messenger | MARCH 2014
(Congregations Around Richmond
Involved To Assure Shelter)

Our congregation is an INTAKE CENTER for CARITAS until
April 19, 2014. The CARITAS guests will be gathering in our
Fellowship Hall every evening (approx. 5:30-7pm) during this
time period. Please sign up in the Parlor to help one night.
If you cannot volunteer you may want to consider donating
supplies for this mission.
8 ounce cups
toilet paper
Please leave in the kitchen and label CARITAS
Area Congregations Together in Service

ACTS has a new house and it will be sitting in St. Johns Par-
lor on March 16th! The open windows are for you children
and adultsto put your contributions of personal hygiene
items and household products. All go to support the individu-
als and families served by ACTS, a ministry to which St.
Johns is a faithful supporter and our congregations Billy Po-
arch is the acting Executive Director.

ACTS is a faith-based ministry of congregations that provides
emergency financial assistance for rent, utilities, mortgage,
and other basic needs that will help families sustain housing
stability. Our challenge as a congregation will be to fill the
house! Week by week we will witness the addition of gifts
until the house is filled to the brim!

Once we have filled it, our gifts will go to ACTS, and the
house will be shared with the rest of ACTS 40+ partner con-
gregations so that each one can participate in a congregation-
al ministry challenge.

Bring the following items for the ACTS house anytime and
Suggested Gift Items for ACTS House
Tooth brush Dish detergent
Tooth paste Laundry detergent
Soap Bleach
Deodorant Paper towels
Band-Aids Paper napkins
Combs/brushes Dish cloths
Female Products Toilet Tissue
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, com-
passionate 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
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 30th. 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 2014
Children/Youth Ministry in March

Exploring Stories of Jesus First Fol-

Our young children are enthusiastically getting to know the
early followers of Jesus and learning to follow Jesus them-
selves. This month, they will listen to three stories that Jesus
told about what it means to be a good follower: the parable of
the servant who was forgiven but refused to forgive another,
the parable of a father and his sons who were trying to figure
out how to be a family, and the parable of a woman who took
on the judicial system to get what she needed to live.

Adult Lenten Study

24 Hours that Changed the World, by Adam Hamilton

Join the Sunday morning adult class as they experience and study the significance of the last 24 hours of
Jesus life. Author Adam Hamilton is your guide through the events that occurred in the day before Christs
death beginning with the last supper with the disciples, followed by the garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal
and condemnation, and Jesus death on the cross. During the season of Lent, be a part of this conversa-
tion and reflect on the meaning of these 24 hours on your life today. The class meets at 9:45 am starting
on March 9
We encourage families to find time during
Lent to reflect on the bible passages and ques-
tions in the Lenten booklet.

Be a follower of Jesus!
Help St. Johns fill up the ACTS house in the
Parlor with items to help our neighbors in
need. (See Page 4 for a list of items to bring)

What Wondrous Love
Holy Week in Word and Art

Everyone is invited to the FELLOWSHIP on Thursday March 13, 2014 at 10:30 am.

Come and enjoy the fellowship of others and be led through a Lenten reflection by Julia
Eliades, our Pastoral Associate. The Lenten reflection will be a presentation of the
events leading to Easter through the eyes of the artist, John August Swanson, and DVD
presentations by professors of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. We
will respond to the images of Holy Week by Swanson and listen to the historical and the-
ological background as provided by the professors. Our time together will encourage us
as we seek to make our season of Lent meaningful for our lives today.

Lunch will be served after the presentation.

Please RSVP to the church office (358-9291) if you plan on attending.
The Messenger | MARCH 2014 5
A Season of Saying Yes to God, Neighbor and Self

Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. Ash Wednesday marks the start of
Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter, not counting Sundays. We get this time period from
the story of Jesus spending the 40 days after his baptism in the wilderness fasting and praying
as he prepared to say yes to a ministry of teaching and healing (Matthew 4:1-11). Lent, then, is
when we follow Jesus by setting aside time to reflect, pray, and imagine what God wants us to
say yes to in our lives.

During Sunday worship, we will reflect on ideas and things that get in the way of an abundant life
with God, saying no to these obstacles. We will also respond to a question that might help us say
yes to all that God desires for us. These questions will be linked to the scripture readings for the
week. Out of our responses we will contribute a piece to an image that will change and develop
throughout Lent, until a full image of the mystery of Gods love is revealed on Easter Sunday.

Each household will receive a booklet with suggested activities for each week during Lent. Plan
to read through the designated page and think about how you might include each reflection or
practice somewhere in your schedule. Perhaps you will engage the three reflections on saying
yes to God, neighbor, and self at three different times throughout the week (e.g. Monday,
Wednesday, Friday) or perhaps you will set aside one time (e.g. Wednesday evening) to explore
all three together. However you use the booklet, know that others in your church family are also
practicing their yeses in their own ways.
Yes to Self

A Service of Ashes
March 5th6:45 PM
A service to open the season of Lent will be observed on
Ash Wednesday, March 5th, beginning at 6:45 PM. The
service will follow a light meal of soup and salad that we
will share at 6:00 PM with our guests from Cari-
tas. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend both
the meal and the worship service, which will conclude with
an offering of ashes for this season of penitence and dis-
Yes to God
Yes to Neighbor
To my friends at St. John's,

I want to thank you all for your prayer, cards,
phone calls, and visits during my recent sur-
gery. I've made good progress and hope to be
back at church soon.

Peggy Ford
6 The Messenger | MARCH 2014

St. John's UCC Wedding
March 22, 5:00 pm

Kim Smith & David Deuyour
125 guests
We sincerely thank Jeanette Salley for
sharing experiences from her mission
work in Haiti with the congregation at
Februarys fellowship breakfast. Please
hold her in your thoughts and prayers as she prepares to
continue her mission work, through Global Ministries, in
St. Johns Community Players Presents
Stage and Screen
A Musical Cabaret of Songs
From Broadway and Movies
Performance Dates:

Dinner Theatre April 5
Dinner at 6:00 PM and Show at 7:30 PM
$20 (advance payment required and RSVP must
be made by April 3)
Show only-$10, $8 for students
April 6 at 3 PM
$10, $8 for students
Phone 804-358-9291 ext. 16 for ticket information or pay on line at

What Are your questions?

Are you seeking something more in your life? Do you seek an opportunity
to be more involved in a faith community? Do you want to find out more
about membership at St. Johns? Are you interested in learning more
about the United Church of Christ? If the answer is Yes, then join us on
March 30th and April 6th at 9:45 am for a two-part Seekers class. All
are welcome! To find out more speak to Julia or Tom!
The Messenger | MARCH 2014
St. Johns Financial Picture YTD as of 1-31-14

IN-KIND Donations to St. Johns
Do you know that if you donate goods or services to St. Johns your donations must meet the standard charitable organization
rules as outlined by the Federal Accounting Standards Board (FASB) which includes the following criteria:
(1) the donation must be useful;
(2) the service creates or enhances a non-financial asset;
(3) the services require specialized skills and are provided by individuals with those skills.
Providing IN-KIND services and materials require review and approval from St. Johns UCC prior to acceptance. Only signed,
approved donation forms are acceptable as acknowledgement of in-kind donations. Pick up an IN KIND form in the office.

2014 Budget Budget YTD Actual YTD


Pledge Payments* $127,000 $10,500 $9,013
Cash Offerings $22,000 $1,833 $1,298
Other Income (Endowment Contributions $122,850 $25,476 $25,391
Parking Lot Rental, Wedding Income, etc.)

Total Income $271,850 $37,809 $35,702

Personnel 166,549 17,861 19,041
Committees 22,191 1,849 333
Operations/Maintenance 122,390 10,303 8,944
Local Benevolences 7,300 1,692 2,618
Other 9,600 - -

Total Expenses 328,030 31,705 30,936

Income/Expenses Total (56,180) 6,104 4,766
surplus (deficit)

Annual Deficit to be covered by Endowment Fund and General Reserve

2014 Pledge Budget is $126,000. To date, 56 pledges for $118,000 have been received.
Members of Church Council
Betsy Bighinatti, President
Jeff Hetzer, Vice President
Helena DeLigt, Secretary Bryan Anderegg
Marjorie Barbour Teresa Jolles
Desiree McNeice Kenn Shirley
Dreama Terrill Vivian White
Bill Watson Karen-Marie Yust
Members of Pastoral
Relations Committee

Lex Tartaglia, Chair
Elisabeth Burnette
Marjorie Barbour
Billy Poarch
The Lord has blessed us with quite a winter, but hopefully the end
is in site and well see the signs of our beautiful earth alive again!
March is here and the trees will be blooming and the first bulbs will
be out of the ground!

Our thanks go to our council Breakfast cooks, Travis, Gil and Don
along with members from Council committees who have provided
two wonderful breakfasts and date for March is the 16
. Please
join us once a month.

The Search committee has been busy at work filling out our
church profile . On Sunday, March 16 after breakfast, they will
have a discussion session with you, so that they can get your feel-
ings and wishes for the future of St. Johns. This is very important
and I urge you to attend!

Diane, our Administrator is recovering very well and we hope she
will be back very soon. The office has been covered by Sonny
Darnell, Joe McGregor and myself for this period. What would
organizations do without volunteers? Thank you all!

The Church Council will be participating in a retreat with Rev. Tom
on Friday night and Saturday locally on March 21st and 22
Rev. Tom will be reaching out to the Congregation with further

Saturday, April 5
and Sunday, April 6
, St Johns Players will
present their Annual Cabaret, which is a fundraiser for the church.
Dinner will be served along with wine on Saturday evening and
just the show will be presented on Sunday at 3:00 pm. Tickets are
$20.00 for dinner and show and show only is $10.00. Please in-
vite some friends or neighbors to come with you. Last year they
donated $2000 to the church budget from two performances.

Our thanks to the Fellowship for their recent donation to the Koi-
nonia Fund ,Worship and Music and the church budget itself.
What a wonderful loving and compassionate group who cares so
deeply for their church and its activities!

Blessings to all!

The Messenger | MARCH 2014
Rev. Gerstenlauer - 358-9291
Julia Eliades - 358-9291
Church Council:
Betsy Bighinatti - 379-3572
Richard Bighinatti - 379-3572
Jeff Hetzer - 550-3928
Worship & Music:
Kenn Shirley - 502-1002
Mission and Outreach:
Bill Watson - 873-2837
Membership Development:
Dreama Terrill - 972-5669
Christian Formation:
Bryan Anderegg - 317-1941
Community Development::
Desiree McNeice - 323-9086
Congregational Care:
Helena DeLigt - 795-2058
Vivian White - 379-2049
The Fellowship:
Joe McGregor - 364-4078
German Fest:
Jeff Jacobs - 355-1115
St. Johns Players:
Tony Sharpenstein - 762-4870

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!
Acolytes Lay

March 2

Lynn Snyder


Hank Allen
Eddie Allen

Dreama Terrill
JoAnn Jellison

Steve and

Melissa and

Kit Carson
Jeff Michel

Joe McGregor

March 9

Bill Watson


and Ashley

Sal Anselmo
Jeanette Salley

Don and Beth

Abby and
Chris Ward

Adrianne Dery
Billy Porch

Bill Watson

March 16

Bill Watson


and Ashley

Bryan and
Chris Etter

Justin and

Laura Totty

Adrianne Dery
Billy Porch

Bill Watson

March 23

Doug Waldrop

Jeff Michel

Bryan Etter
James Cook

Ashley Quick
Joe McGregor

Joyce and
Marjorie &
Bud Higgins

Bud Higgins

March 30

Doug Waldrop

Jeff Michel

Bryan Etter
James Cook

Betsy Bighinatti
Billy Porch
Betsy and
Marjorie &
Bud Higgins

Bud Higgins
March 2 March 9 March 16 March 23 March 30
Ken Warner Sharon
Machrone and
Jerry Simonoff
To order fresh flowers to be placed on the altar in honor of a special occasion or person or
in remembrance of someone, please sign-up on the flower chart on the bulletin board in the
hallway near the nursery or contact Sonny Darnell at 743-7528 or
Fellowship Coordinator: Sal Anselmo 358-1696
Tellers Coordinator: Bud Higgins 301-5059
Lay Readers Coordinator: Sal Anselmo 358-1696
March CARITAS Volunteers
1 Joann Jellison/Kenn Shirley/
Richard Yuk
2 Don Warren/Gil Caldwell
5 Jeff Michel/Steve Plymale
6 Allen Family
7 Cook/Higgins Family
8 Mascher Family
9 Woods Family
12 Jeff Michel/Steve Plymale
13 Hank and Richard Harman
14 Kenn Shirley/Richard Yuk
15 Barbour Family
16 Don Warren/Gil Caldwell
19 Jeff Michel/Adrianne Dery
20 Bill Watson/Michael Borgor
21 Betsy and Richard Bighinatti
22 Betsy and Richard Bighinatti
23 Dale and Laura Totty
26 Jeff Michel/Steve Plymale
27 June, Joyce, and Dorothy
28 Need Volunteers
29 Need Volunteers
30 Dale and Laura Totty
1 Teresa Jolles
2 Ginny Etter
3 David Townsend
4 Aghavni Dalton, Sonny Darnell
5 Rick Cook, Joan Cooper
7 Florence Cross
13 Frances Smith Vass
19 Gil Caldwell
26 Sam Dalton
31 Johanna Gilbert
MARCH 2014

3-5 SJP

9:45am Christian
11 am Worship

10 am Staff Mtg.

11:30 am NA Meet-


6:00 pm
Ash Wednesday Meal
11:30 am NA Meet-

7 pm Choir Rehears-

8:30 am India Orthodox

3-5 SJP
9:45am Christian
11 am Worship
10 am Staff Mtg.
11:30 am NA Meet-
5:30 Search Team-
5 pm Card Ministry
7 pm WEBS

10:30 AM
The Fellowship
11:30 am NA Meet-
3-5 SJP
9 am Breakfast
9:30 am Adult Forum
Conversation on Search
11 am Worship
12:30 Covenant Care

10 am Staff Mtg.

11:30 am NA Meet-
5 pm Card Ministry

7pm WEBS


11:30 am NA Meet-
5:30 pm Worship &
Music Meeting
7 pm Choir Rehears-

Church Council

Church Council

3-5 SJP
9:45 am Christian
11 am Worship
Noon Confirmation


10 am Staff Mtg.

11:30 am NA Meet-
5:30 Search Team
5 pm Card Ministry

7 pm WEBS



3-5 SJP

9:45 am Christian
11 am Worship
Conversation on Search


Remember to
set your clocks
forward on
March 9th