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Dear friends,

Some of you have had to endure the stories I tell after youve asked, Pastor, how was your
weekend?. Could be Ive shared a review of the movie I saw Sunday night, or reported on the
baseball game I watched Saturday. I might have attended a clergy meeting the Friday before and
so entertained you with my complaints about how clergy folk go on, and on, and on, and on

I think that part of my motivation to respond at length is simply that I am an extroverted personality.
Generally speaking, I am energized by my
engagement with other people and so take
advantage of every opportunity to charge
up. This personality preference also feeds
into my worship leadership and preaching
style. Theres no better evidence of this than
the childrens moment in worship, when we
all turn into little power generators!

What I really want to point out in this letter is
that the book of Acts is the story Luke tells in
response to a question that may or may not have been spoken: How was your time with this
Jesus? Luke starts off with, In the first book, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the
beginning. But then he launches into a lengthy story, a series of stories, about how Jesus
teaching has influenced people ever since. Luke reports and reviews, complains about and
compliments the developing communities of faith that follow in The Way. And I may be wrong
about this but the way he goes on and on and on, I think he must be getting energized in the

So, two things. First, in this month of Easter Sundays well be looking into the stories Luke told in
his book Acts of the Apostles, mindful of both encouragement and caution as we seek to keep the Easter energy flowing. Second, I will be
especially mindful of how the stories Luke tells in his Gospel sequel are also teachings about an appreciative way of reverence for faithful
living. All of this leads up to the day of Pentecost, which falls on June 8
this year.

The celebration is not finished with Easter, my friends! Come to worship each Sunday and get
energized with me and the children. Get involved in the life of your faith community throughout
the month of May. There are plenty of opportunities, beginning with worship and communion as
we join our sisters and brothers at First Congregational Christian in Chesterfield Township on
Sunday the 4
. Get a ticket for the ballgame on Saturday the 10th and make your own report
afterwards. Honor the covenant relationship we share in this place and together well tell our story
to those who ask, How are things going at St. Johns?
Blessings on the journey!
Tom G

MAY 2014
Volume 28.5

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
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
...from the Council President

April was a very busy month and what a glorious one for all of us
at St. Johns. The month started out with a wonderful Cabaret
produced by St. Johns Community Players on April 5
and 6
. In
attendance were over 200 guests to our church. A delicious
dinner was served to 60 of our guests on Saturday night with
another 65 attending the show only. On Sunday afternoon, our
guests numbered over 80. The cast was made up of 33 members
and we are happy to say that $2000.00 was given to our annual
budget. Many thanks go to Tony and Anita Sharpenstein and the
volunteers for all their hard work and dedication for this project.
Caritas continued on until Friday, April 18, with a very moving
thank you from the women that night, as they told us we treated
them nicer than any other place they were! That was our extrava-
gant welcome and thank you to ALL the volunteers who so
cheerfully made them feel welcome, baked cookies for them,
showered them with wonderful goodie bags on several
occasions and especially your conversations with them each
night! Thank you!!
Our Maundy Thursday service was very moving and Rev. Tom
celebrated with other churches in the area on Good Friday! There
were some hardy souls who made it to Church Hill for the Sunrise
service at 6:00 am. Many thanks to Gil Caldwell, who led that
Easter Sunday was a beautiful day and a full church with so many
visitors made it feel even more glorious! Thanks to the congrega-
tional Life Committee for making our Easter celebration after
church so beautiful and so much fun.
The one sad note is that we had to say good-bye to Jo Ann
Jellison. We did that at the service on the 26
followed by a
special cookie church afterwards. As you all know she is moving
to Charlotte, N.C to be closer to her daughter, son-in-law and two
beautiful grandchildren. We certainly thank her for her many years
of dedication, compassion and hard work and especially her cute
humor. We will miss you but do come back!
The Congregation will be meeting at our sister church in
Chesterfield on Courthouse Road for our May 4th Worship
Service. This traffic conflict in the city that day turns out for us a
perfect time to have a service together. I hope you will all make
the effort to come, as it is only about 25 minutes from our church!
(Not too far from Chesterfield Town Center) Rev. Tom is very
excited about this opportunity for us to join them!
The month of May is upon us, and can you believe that Rev Tom
has been with us for 8 months and will be with us for at least
another year. We thank him for is love and caring to all of us
during this time of change here at St. Johns.
Peace and Blessings

Betsy Bighinatti
Council President

The Messenger | MAY 2014

Congregational Meeting
The semi-annual meeting of the congregation will be held on
Sunday, May 11th during the worship service. The primary
purpose of the meeting is the election of church officers.
Please review the nominating committee recommendations
on the next page of this newsletter. As a regular meeting of
the congregation, any business may be raised. If you wish
to introduce any business, please contact Betsy Bighinatti,
Church Council President, before the meeting.

Congregational Breakfast May 18
Mark you calendar now and plan on attending our monthly
breakfast on
Sunday, May 18
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!

Potomac Association Spring
The spring meeting of the Potomac Association of the
United Church of Christ will be held Saturday, May 3rd at
Hope UCC in Alexandria VA. Rev. Tom and others are
planning on attending (leave Richmond at 6:30 am and
return about 4 pm). Please speak with Rev. Tom if you
would like to join him in representing our church at this

Office Closed
The Office will be closed on Monday, May 26th in
observance of Memorial Day.

3 The Messenger | MAY 2014

Dear Church Member,

In 2014, we here at St. Johns have our hearts and prayers focused on the future. There are many
opportunities which allow each of us to play an important role in that future (prayer groups, forums,
meetings, surveys). All of this work gives us - and congregations to come - the ability to do Gods work with
strength and devotion. With your involvement and your prayers, we have a bright future!

This letter is a reminder that we will have a Congregational Meeting during worship on Sunday, May 11,
2014 to vote for the elective positions for this church year.

The Nominating Committee is presenting this slate of candidates. Nominations for a position can also be
made from the floor during the Congregational Meeting, however, if you plan to make a nomination, please
be certain that the person has agreed to serve, if elected. Persons to be considered for an elected position
must be members of St. Johns.

Here is the slate of Nominees:
Church Council: (to serve alongside B. Bighinatti, J. Hetzer, B. Anderegg, M. Barbour, B. Watson, KM. Yust)
Helena DeLigt Kenn Shirley Desiree McNeice
Vivian White Laura Totty Ginna Dalton
Trustees: (to serve alongside J. Hetzer)
Joe McGregor Jeff Jacobs

Audit Committee: (to serve alongside J. Michel and A.Dery)
Denise Martin
Endowment Board: (to serve alongside Elisabeth Burnette, B. Higgins, J. Hetzer, D. Stiegler and
T. Sharpenstein)
Betsy Bighinatti Sharon Machrone Beth Oxenham
Sonny Darnell (to fill the unexpired term of Paul Jolles)
Fritz Will, IV

Thanks for all that you do at St. Johns United Church of Christ. May Gods grace and love fill and sustain
each of you.

Betsy Bighinatti
Council President

Established 1843
St. Johns United Church of Christ
503 Stuart Circle Richmond Virginia 23220 Telephone: 804.358.9291
An Open and Affirming Congregation

Web: Email:
Rev. Tom Gerstenlauer, Interim Minister
The Messenger | MAY 2014
(Congregations Around Richmond Involved To Assure Shelter)
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated
in serving each night our homeless population or made a food or
monetary donation. The group enjoyed the many homemade
cookies and snacks and a special thanks to Chris Miles and Don
Warren who provided the most wonderful goodie bags for the
girls during the month of April. This is another outreach project
that St. Johns participates in for our Richmond community.
People make the difference and we certainly did so in their lives!
We anticipate that we will be called upon next year to carry out
this mission and look forward to your help again!
Thank You:
Richard Bighinatti
Caritas Chairman

One Great Hour Of Sharing Offering

In cooperation with
Global Ministries,
Church World Service,
Action by Churches
Together, Interchurch
Medical Assistance,
Foods Resource
Bank, Oikocredit,
Freedom from Hunger
and hundreds of local
partners around the
world, One Great Hour of Sharing is part of a remarkable network
of service and caring that is efficient, effective and faithful. St.
Johns members and friends together donated $1,180.00 for the
One Great Hour of Sharing offering.
A-C-T-S Area Congregations
Together in Service
Because of St.
Johns extravagant
generosity, the
Easter offering for
ACTS has
St. Johns has
enabled ACTS to
continue to
tackle homelessness, sparing our neighbors from greater
spiritual and financial hardships that come with the instability of
an apartment without electricity, a job with no way to get there or
of caring for your family without a home.
Thank you for generously supporting ACTS again this year.

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 (May 18, 2014).
Celebrating Mothers by Helping Mothers in Need

Our annual Mothers Day offering this year will benefit the YWCA Womens Advocacy
Program, which provides crisis intervention, safe housing, counseling, and legal and
employment assistance for women and their children affected by domestic and sexual
violence. The program recently has added an empowerment group for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. In addition, the
YWCA runs a childcare program for low income children In Richmond.

Mothers Day gifts should be either placed in a clearly marked offering envelope or include the notation Mothers Day offering
on the check memo line. Please make all checks out to St. Johns UCC; the church will issue a single check to the YWCA.
The Messenger | MAY 2014
Guest Teacher from Ghana

On May 11, all adults
are invited to meet and
talk with the Rev.
Vincent Dagadu about
Christians in Ghana.
Vincent is a pastor in
the Evangelical
Presbyterian Church in
Ghana and has spent
the last year working
on a Christian
education degree at Union Seminary. He has many stories
to share about the challenges of ministry in his home
country and the similarities and differences between
Ghanaian Christians and the many Protestants he has met
while studying in the U.S. . This class will meet in the Guild
Room at 9:45 a.m.

Christian Formation Committee

Members of the Christian Formation Committee will meet at
5:30 p.m. on Monday, May 5 in Julias office to review the
year and discuss summer plans. All members are encour-
aged to contact Julia if they have items for the agenda or
cannot attend and want to share reflections or ideas ahead
of time.

Celebrating Eastertide

St. Johns children will spend the month of May continuing
to explore the Easter story and what it means for the life of
the church. Crafts and activities will emphasize retelling the
story and learning about the empty cross as a symbol of the


Confirmands will meet once in May, on Sunday, May 18, at
12:30 p.m. They will being continuing their study of
Christian creeds and faith statements. On Sunday, June 1,
they will responsible for the leading the congregation in a
affirmation of faith during worship.

Small Group Evolving
The Lenten
small group is
exploring how
members might
continue to
gather monthly
for faith
and spiritual
The first
monthly gathering will be Thursday, May 1, at 6:00 p.m. and
will begin with a potluck dinner. New participants are always
welcome. Contact Julia for more information and a location
for the gathering.

Century Faith Formation

Julia participated in a
training event in Raleigh,
NC, April 28-30
. The
focus was new approach-
es to congregational
education and faith
formation. John Roberto,
editor of the journal
Lifelong Faith ( and curator of the Faith
Formation Learning Exchange
( led several
workshops on visions and challenges of 21
century faith
formation, using technology in Christian education, and
gathering resources for helping todays church members
journey with God. She looks forward to sharing insights and
ideas with all in the coming months.

The Messenger | MAY 2014
St. Johns Financial Picture YTD as of March 31, 2014
May 4
Third Sunday of Easter

Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
1 Peter 1:17-23 Luke 24:13-35
May 11
Fourth Sunday of Easter

Acts 2:42-47
Psalm 23
1 Peter 2:19-25 John 10:1-10
May 18
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Acts 7:55-60
Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16
1 Peter 2:2-10 John 14:1-14
May 25
Sixth Sunday of Easter

Acts 17:22-31
Psalm 66:8-20
1 Peter 3:13-22 John 14:15-21
2014 Budget Budget YTD Actual YTD


Pledge Payments* $127,000 $31,750 $30,876
Cash Offerings $22,000 $5,500 $2,532
Other Income (Endowment Contributions $122,850 $30,663 $33,757
Parking Lot Rental, Wedding Income, etc.)

Total Income $271,850 $67,913 $67,165

Personnel 166,549 47,445 47,070
Committees 22,191 5,548 3,847
Operations/Maintenance 122,390 31,989 26,867
Local Benevolences 7,300 1,775 2,618
Other 9,600 2,325 2,325

Total Expenses 328,030 89,082 82,727

Income/Expenses Total (56,180) (21,169) (15,562)
surplus (deficit)

1. Income includes a total of $85,000 annual contribution from Endowment Fund ($7083 monthly)
2. Annual Deficit to be covered by Endowment Fund and General Reserve Fund
3. 2014 Pledge Budget is $126,000. To date, 56 pledges for $118,000 have been received.

The Messenger | MAY 2014 7

The Fellowship May Banquet will be held on May
9th at 6:15 pm. Jeff Jacobs, our chef, has planned
a special dinner. Please call the church office
(804-358-9291) to make reservations.

Dinner cost is $10 a person.

The speakers for this event will be Bob Brown and
Bill Lohman, the authors of Back Roads, People,
Places and Pie Around Virginia.

This should be a delicious event!

May 3 * 5:00 pm
Lee/Boe Wedding
120 guests
rehearsal on Friday at 6:00 pm

May 24 * 4:00 pm
Ryan/Gillispie Wedding
250 guests
rehearsal on Friday at 4:30 pm
The annual St. Johns Basement Sale will be held on Saturday June 7,
8:00 am till 1:00 pm. Here is your opportunity to do some Spring
Cleaning of closets and corners!

Bring books, DVDs, dishes, toys, small appliances (in working condition),
pictures, and gently used childrens clothing (NO CLOTHES FOR
ADULTS). You can bring donations to the church basement (clearly

Help is needed the week before the sale (for setting up) and on Saturday
(for the sale).

Thanks for your donations and for your help! See Joe McGregor,
Dorothy Cook or Laura Siff if you have any questions.

Calling All Graduates
Help us acknowledge all family members who
will be graduating this spring. Please forward to
the Church Office names, degrees and future
plans of your graduates.

We will acknowledge them during worship one
Sunday in June

Address Changes
Please make note of the following address changes:

Dreama Terrill - 701 Mill Quarter Road, Ford, VA 23750
Christine B. Krausse - 7015 Carnation Street, Apt. 104, Richmond, VA
Hank Harman - 1715 Bellevue Avenue, Apt. 804, Richmond, VA 23227
8 The Messenger | MAY 2014


#1 Billy Poarch 359-6131
#2 Adrianne Dery 262-7072
#3 Lex Tartaglia 369-9171
#4 Kim Vann 323-9086
#5 Bryan Anderegg 317-1941
Lynda Merry 756-0270
#6 Rob Osborn 795-2058
Helena DeLigt 795-2058
#7 Cheryl Goode 901-6594
#9 Ginna & Sam Dalton 378-3386
St. Johns UCC

May 10, 2014
Vs. Erie Sea Wolves
Gates open 4:00pm ~
Game time 6:05pm
Invite your family and friends!
Fireworks after the game!

Pre-game entertainment by Street Called Straight

Name: ________________________________________________
Email : ________________________________________________
Phone: ________________________________________________
I would like to purchase ____________ tickets.
I am attaching $________________ to this order ($5 for each ticket)
Make checks payable to St. Johns UCC
National Day of Prayer
May 1, 2014
The National Day of Prayer is an annual
observance held on the first Thursday of May,
inviting people of all faiths to pray for the
nation. It was created in 1952 by a joint
resolution of the United States Congress, and
signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.

Here is an excerpt of the 2014 National Prayer
(written by Anne Graham Lotz):

Lord of the Universe.
Lord of this planet.
Lord of the nations.
Lord of our hearts.
On this National Day of Prayer, we look to
In the darkness, You are our Light.
In the storm, You are our Anchor.
In our weakness, You are our Strength.
In our grief, You are our Comfort.
In our despair, You are our Hope.
In our confusion, You are our
In time of terrorism, You are our Shield.
In time of war, You are our Peace.
In times of uncertainty, You are the Rock
on which we stand.

Worship on Sunday,
May 4, 2014
Will be held at
First congregational
Christian ucc
4310 Courthouse Road
Chesterfield, VA 23832

(1/2 mi south of Hull Street Rd)
easily accessible from the Powhite
Pkwy or Rt 288
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

May 4

May 11

Lynn Snyder


Hank Allen
Cammie Allen
Eddie Allen

Sal Anselmo
Helena DeLigt

Richard and

Abby and
Chris Ward

Joe McGregor

May 18

Bill Watson


Savannah Quick
Ashley Quick

Hank Allen
Sarah Allen

Lynda Merry
Dorothy Cook

Laura Totty

Bill Watson

May 25

Bill Watson


Savannah Quick
Ashley Quick


Justin and

Justin and

Bill Watson
May 4 May 11 May 18 May 25

Erin Burnette

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
$45.00 for two beautiful bouquets.
Fellowship Coordinator: Sal Anselmo 358-1696
Tellers Coordinator: Bud Higgins 301-5059
Lay Readers Coordinator: Sal Anselmo 358-1696

11:30 am NA Meeting
6 pm Faith
Conversations Pot
7 pm Choir Rehearsal
National Day of

6 pm Wedding Rehearsal

Potomac Assoc. Meeting

5 pm Wedding

11 am Worship at First
Congregational UCC

5:30 pm Christian
Education Meeting
6 pm SJP

10 am Staff Mtg.

11:30 am NA Meeting

5:30 Search Team


5 pm Card Ministry

6 pm SJP

11:30 am NA Meeting

7 pm Choir Rehearsal


6:15 The Fellowship May

8:30 am India Orthodox

Flying Squirrels

9:45 am Christian Formation
10 am Choir Rehearsal
11 am Worship
Congregational Meeting

Mothers Day

7pm Church Council

6 pm SJP

10 am Staff Mtg.

11:30 am NA Meeting


12:30 Stuart Circle
Lunch Meeting

5 pm Card Ministry

6 pm SJP


11:30 am NA Meeting

7 pm Choir Rehearsal


9 am Congregational
10 am Choir Rehearsal
11 am Worship
12:30 pm Confirmation Class

6 pm SJP

10 am Staff Mtg.

11:30 am NA Meeting

5:30 Search Team

5 pm Card Ministry

6 pm SJP


11:30 am NA Meeting

7 pm Choir Rehearsal


4:30 pm Wedding


4 pm Wedding

9:45 am Christian Formation
10 am Choir Rehearsal
11 am Worship


Office Closed
Memorial Day

6 pm SJP

10 am Staff Mtg.

11:30 am NA Meeting


5 pm Card Ministry

6 pm SJP


11:30 am NA Meeting

7 pm Choir Rehearsal
30 31

Birthdays This Month

8 Quinton Caraher
10 Cameron Higgins
12 Paige Amrhein
15 Mason Viergever
15 Trey Lyle
18 Katherine Davis
23 Sharon Voelcker
24 Carolyn Dunaway
24 Paul Walsh

25 Ginny Davis
26 Emilye Pittman
28 Don Stiegler
29 Elisabeth Burnette
29 Beth Stiegler
29 Lilyth Barrett
Summer worship time begins June 1