February 2016

Volume 30.2

St. John’s
United Church of
Christ
St. John’s is a community
of faith centered in Jesus
Christ, seeking guidance
and direction through the
Holy Spirit, and
demonstrating God’s love
to all people in words and
deeds.

An Open and
Affirming
Congregation
503 Stuart Circle
Richmond, Virginia 23220
Telephone: 804.358.9291
Email:
office@stjohnsrichmond.org

Web Site:
stjohnsrichmond.org

Dear All,
Ash Wednesday is just around the corner, February 10, which begins our season of LENT.
Now as most of us know the best way to fail at anything is not to plan. With this in mind, I am
inviting you to take a moment now and plan for a meaningful lent.

P lan for a Meaningful Lent
Lent is a time when we stop to deepen our relationship with God.
 Some choose to do this by giving something up...calling themselves to prayer when they
would normally do that which they are giving up
 Others take on a discipline such as reading the Bible or a devotional.

I invite you to stop now and think about what action you feel
called to do this Lent to deepen your relationship with God.
Here at St. John’s there will be a number of opportunities:
 Devotionals
 adult education opportunities
 Serving others through CARITAS.
But no matter how many opportunities we provide, until you decide what YOU feel called to
do, none of these will serve your journey. Therefore, I invite you to read through this
Messenger and mark down what speaks to you. Decide what you plan to do and put it on
your calendar. If I can help you personally in any way to plan and keep your LENT, please
ask. Maybe you want an accountability partner or are looking for a particular opportunity you
do not see in this newsletter. Whatever it is please reach out.

Published monthly
© 2016 St John’s UCC

Our relationship with God like our relationships with all our best friends: to be planned for in
a way that holds our time with them as sacred.
Holding each of you in prayer,

Pastor Linda

2

The Messenger / FEBRUARY 2016

Hello All,
We began our new year with a great turnout for our January 10th Visioning Session. I want to thank everyone who participated and
a special thanks to Linda for leading us throughout the day. At the conclusion of the session we agreed on more than a dozen
values, three vision statements and two pictures which we felt closely represented St. John’s today and in the future. For those
who were unable to attend, you can find the meeting results posted throughout the parlor. Let me share with you what we will do
with the outputs from our Visioning Session.
Two small groups have been formed to consolidate the three vision statements into a single statement and to create one vison
picture. The picture and the statement will be presented to Council for review. After the Council reviews, the picture and statement
will be reviewed with the Congregation in four small group meetings facilitated by the Congregational Life and Care Committee as
well as members of the Revitalization Taskforce. The Congregational Life and Care Committee will host these meetings over the
next few months. At these meetings you will have an opportunity to provide your feedback on the vision statement, vision picture,
and help us to narrow down the dozen or so values we identified. You will also have an opportunity to talk about how you see
St. John’s living into our vision. By that I mean – what should St. John’s focus be; what types of missions or programs do you feel
will serve us and our community; etc.?
If you refer to our Revitalization picture below and follow the red Vision arrow you will see that the results of the Heritage meeting
(held in October), the Visioning Session and the upcoming small group meetings will all contribute to our discussion during our 2016
Congregational Retreat.
A few updates on the blue State of the Property arrow, (also reflected in the Revitalization picture below) the architecture and
engineering assessment is underway. The assessment will help us understand potential alternative building uses, the full
extent of our building repairs and an estimated cost to remodel the building. The information provided from the architecture and
engineering assessment will also contribute to our discussion during our 2016 Congregational Retreat. I also wanted to remind you
that Facilities is moving forward with addressing the five urgent repairs we approved in December.

If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to any member of the Council or the Revitalization Taskforce.
Peace,
Desiree McNeice
(Council Chair)

3

The Messenger / FEBRUARY 2016

The Revitalization Taskforce:
Revitalization Taskforce members consist of Pastor Linda,
Julia Eliades, Desiree McNeice (Council Chair), Elisabeth
Burnette (Council VP), Helena DeLigt (Council Secretary),
Beth Oxenham (Endowment Chair), Rob Osborn (Trustees
Chair), Karen-Marie Yust (Facilities Chair), Jeff Hetzer
(Finance Chair) , Scott Siefert (Congregational Life and Care
Chair) and Kristina Gilbert (Christian Formation Chair).

CONGREGATIONAL RETREAT
2016 Congregational Retreat:
The retreat will be Friday evening May 13th and Saturday May
14th. Specific times, location and agenda are forthcoming. At the
retreat we will review the results of both the Vision and State of the
Property efforts and together decide how we will move forward. Our
goal is to address the difficult questions we discussed during our
November Congregational meeting. As a reminder, the difficult
questions we first spoke about during the November Congregational
meeting are listed below.

Pastoral Relations Committees:
The Pastoral Relations Committees for Linda and Julia are
now up and running. The committees will serve as a liaison
between Pastor Linda and the Congregation and Julia and the
Congregation. They will help to keep open communication
between the Pastor and the congregation. Please feel free to
reach out to any of these people to learn more about the role
of the Pastoral Relations Committee. They will also be happy
to share your feedback with either Linda or Julia.
Linda’s Pastoral Relations
Committee
Kristina Gilbert

Julia’s Pastoral Relations
Committee
Charlotte Quick

Scott Siefert

Lex Tartaglia

Lynn Snyder

Abby Ward

Facilities Fund Drive:

Don Stiegler

We are making very good progress with the Facilities Fund Drive. At
this point we have collected just over $30,000. We are 60% closer
to meeting our goal. Thanks to everyone.

Mark your calendar:

Congregational Retreat –May 13 and 14
Feb. Congregational meeting to vote in a Treasurer – stay tuned
for details

No-

Committee Chairs:
There are still many opportunities to share your gifts of talent
and time on any of our committees. If you are interested in
participating on a committee please contact the Committee
Chair or myself.
Committee

Quick updates:



Our Operational Audit with Lane and Associates, P.C. is
underway
The Architectural and Engineering assessment is underway
We transitioned payroll for our staff members to SurePayroll
We continue to narrow in on our selection to outsource our
bookkeeping functions

Chair

Worship and Music

Vacant

Facilities

Karen-Marie Yust

Finance

Jeff Hetzer

Audit

Chris Ward

Congregational Life and
Care
Christian Formation

Scott Siefert

Admin/Personnel

Elisabeth Burnett

Mission and Outreach

Don Warren

Kristina Gilbert

4

The Messenger / FEBRUARY 2016

Church
eeCouncil
Church Council is currently seeking selfnominations and recommendations for new
members. If you think you might be called to
serve, or know someone else who might have
gifts for leadership. please fill in the form found
in your bulletin this month, or call or write the
church office.
The Church Council, according to our
Constitution, has many tasks. Among
them are:

Encouraging the spiritual life and
welfare of the congregation

Evaluating the effectiveness of St.
John’s ministries

Engaging in short and long range
planning

Calling Celebrated
Fritz Will, IV
35 Years of
Sharing His
Gifts in
Ministry

Thirty-five years ago, a young
man, who grew up at St.
John’s UCC with a very long
family history , agreed to take
over as the Treasurer of the church. Fritz Will, IV is the fourth
generation in his family to serve St. John’s.
The Will family has been instrumental in the long and rich history of St.
Johns. Today, there are members of St. John’s who remember Fritz’s
grandparents and many members who remember his mother and
father. Betty Will, Fritz’s mother, was the first woman President of
Church Council and held many offices over her years. She passed
away several years ago and his father, Fritz Will, III resides in a
retirement home in Richmond being in his late 80”s.
Fritz as a young man answered the call to serve his church in a way
that at the time was a large task and responsibility and he didn’t
realize at the time that his commitment would last 35 years. He took
on this responsibility with a generous heart and a complete
commitment. Fritz graduated from University of Virginia and is
married to Dr. Mary Witt Will.
Over the years, Fritz has worked with five different pastors and many,
many Council Presidents and Finance committees. St. John’s has
been extremely fortunate to have such a person, who carried out his
responsibility with honesty and integrity. St. John’s always knew that
their finances and fiscal state were in good hands. Fritz with his
knowledge as a Certified Public Accountant kept our church finances
in outstanding condition. Fritz was always available to staff and
committee members with questions and answers concerning our
budget and his finance reports.

We are going to miss his quiet ways and commitment to the job at
hand. We hope that releasing Fritz from these duties will allow for
time to enjoy retirement and time with Mary.

SPECIAL CALLED MEETING
SUNDAY, February 14, 2016
NOON
For the purpose of voting on
Adrienne Dery filling the position
of CHURCH TREASURER

As a congregation, we give thanks for Fritz’s ministry as Treasurer by
making a donation in his
honor to the Alzheimer
Association and the Circle
Center Adult Day Services.
And out of respect for
Fritz’s wishes, a small
luncheon was held in his
honor.

5

The Messenger / FEBRUARY 2016

Help Take Care of Our Historic Building:
Maintaining an old building takes lots of time and attention from many people to keep
up with needed small repairs. Facilities Chair Karen-Marie Yust invites all those with
even a little aptitude for odd jobs to join in a Building & Grounds Workday on
Saturday, February 20, 9:30-12:00 (bad weather fallback date: February 27). We will
tackle tasks of all sorts (from no experience needed to handyman skills required),
including some landscaping cleanup if weather permits. Tools and materials provided,
although those with a favorite tool belt or portable tool box are encouraged to bring
their own if preferred. Contact Karen-Marie via email (kmyust@upsem.edu) or cell
(804-380-8670) for more information or to indicate you plan to attend.

Saturday, February 20

Facilities Updates/Repairs:
Several building projects have been completed in the last three months:
 New wireless smoke detectors were installed shortly before Thanksgiving
 The handwashing sink in the Fellowship Hall kitchen was replaced
 The old drinking fountain in Fellowship Hall removed during December
 The door to the courtyard off the Fellowship Hall was replaced and a new rain canopy installed above that door in January
 A Nursery light fixture was reseated (thanks, Joe McGregor, for your skillful drilling and mounting)
 And a few other minor repairs to door latches and hinges in the Nursery and a bathroom were scheduled for late January
In addition, Facilities, with the approval of the Church Council, has contracted with D.P. Stairlift
Company to install two chairlifts on the stairways leading from the first floor to the basement level
near the church office. These chairlifts will have key lock controls for safety and new electrical
outlets will be installed to support the system.
Work cannot begin until the City of Richmond inspection office signs off on the work. Our
contractor is working hard to obtain the necessary city permission and permits; he hopes to
complete the installation in February if their are no delays by the city.

November
Additional 15,
major 2015
Facilities projects are in the queue - watch the Messenger for future updates.

immediately following worship

To approve the 2016 budget and any other business necessary

On Valentine's Day we show we care o those we love both here and there.
To kin we say our love once more, we never, never close the door.
Tho friendless some we pass may be -- we value them and let them see
Our smile will let them know we care, it costs not anything to share.
Our Maker made us that way so we spread our love as on we go.
His light will shine on yours and mine, and we'll all be a valentine.
— Rosella Roff

6

The Messenger / FEBRUARY 2016

LENTEN BOOK

CHILDREN

In February, children will continue their journey with Jesus, exploring
various stories from his life and ministry. They will discover that
Jesus liked to tell parables, stories that take everyday events and
turn them upside down. Parable stories will be the focus in both
Faith Place and Church School most Sundays.

On February 7, the Church School lesson will focus on
Islam and children will hear a Muslim story. They will return to the
sanctuary for communion after this brief session.

On February 14, children will use the Church School time
to decorate the Fellowship Hall for our CARITAS guests. They will
prepare valentines to show their love and care.

This year’s Lenten devotional booklet is
Growing a Rule of Life.
DIG DEEP
DREAM BIG
LIVE WITH INTENTION
LIVE WITH PURPOSE
LIVE IN THE MOMENT
A weekly reflection guide, Growing reminds that God is the
Chief Gardener of our soul and invites us to dig deep and
dream big about ways to live into a more abundant life with
Christ. As the guide explains, a Rule of Life allows us to live
with intention and purpose in the present moment. It helps us
clarify our most important values, relationships, dreams, and
goals. It is meant to be simple, realistic, flexible and achievable. It is a purposeful tool to help us grow into a more meaningful life with God.

ADULTS
February 7, 9:45 am
We have invited back Andrew Sharp to speak on February 7th. Dr.
Sharp is an expert in Muslim-Christian relations and has been a
popular speaker previously in the class. He teaches at VCU.

During Lent: Sundays 9:45 am
Our Lenten education programs will focus on forgiveness. On
Sunday mornings, we will explore
biblical concepts of forgiveness
and think about how they relate to
real-like situations. Each class will
take up a different theme: beginning to forgive, self-examination,
honesty, repentance, forgiving,
and beginning again. Participants
are welcome to come every week
or just those weeks they are able.
This study meets from 9:45-10:40
a.m. in the pastor’s study.

During Lent: Wednesdays 6:00 - 7:30 pm
On Wednesday nights, we will explore forgiveness as a gift rather
than a duty. This study includes short videos by Barbara Cawthorne
Crafton, an Episcopal priest and spiritual director who served as a
chaplain at Ground Zero following 9/11. Come once or every week;
this study meets from 6-7:30 p.m. in the pastor’s study.

The booklet can be used alone or with a daily video provided
online (www.SSJE.org/growrule).

Booklets will be available
Sunday February 7.

7

The Messenger / FEBRUARY 2016

ANGEL TREE
THANK YOU
TIME FOR AN EXTRAVAGANT
WELCOME FOR OUR CARITAS
GUESTS
We will be serving as the intake center for the CARITAS
women’s group beginning February 13, 2016 and continuing
nightly through April 15, 2016.
First English will be taking Monday and Tuesday nights so we
have a need for members of St
Johns to serve as hosts for
Wednesday through Sunday
nights – please see the board in
the parlor to sign up.
We will be serving approximately 40 women and want to greet
them with an Extravagant Welcome. As they won’t have
supper until somewhere between 7:00 and 8:00 pm and lunch
was many hours earlier we would like to serve a “substantial
snack” – something sweet (cookies, brownies, cupcakes, etc),
something not sweet (chips with salsa & queso for example)
and something healthy (fruit, veggies, etc).
There will be a list with the sign up sheets of nonperishable
items that we will need. Any non-perishable items we’d ask
that either you bring with you that evening or contact Don or
Julia if we need to make sure we have something on hand.

We are also working on an idea to serve a light supper, soup/
salad & sandwiches, on Saturday nights to assist other
congregations on the day they move between churches.
Look for more information on this on Sunday mornings. If you
have any questions please see Don or Julia. Thank you for
your support in this important outreach event.

To volunteer, please
sign-up on the
board in the Parlor !

Here is a “thank you note”
from the mom of the
family we helped with our Christmas Angel Tree:
I was going through the motions of Christmas. I
was completely unprepared for Christmas and I had
not done anything that I should have done as a
mother of 4.
After seeing what the Church had provided it took
away the guilt I had and it allowed me to experience
the joy I saw in my children's’ faces. We are immensely grateful and words cannot touch how we
feel. The fact that their clothing drawers are full, it
takes away another worry/stress of providing.
Thank you for all of your kind hearts. Our family
hopes that your good deed is returned times 10.
We hope you had a merry Christmas and we wish
you love and joy in the New Year.
Jenn and Family

ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING
OFFERING—FEBRUARY 2016
One Great Hour of Sharing® is the Lenten Offering of the
United Church of Christ that supports disaster, refugee, and
development actions.
We are encouraging every family to use the OGHS February
Calendar (attached to this Newsletter) and the OGHS coin boxes
(our children will pass they out to
everyone in worship on Sunday,
February 7) at home every day
during the month. The OGHS
Calendar this year invites you to
decide what unit of money best fits
your family for the suggested
offerings (a penny, a dime, a quarter, etc). Use the calendar
to discuss and pray for the needs in the world and fill your
coin boxes. We will collect
all of the coin boxes and
other OGHS offerings on
SUNDAY, February 28
during worship

8

The Messenger / FEBRUARY 2016

February Worship Schedule
DATE

SCRIPTURE

THEME/Sermon Title

HYMNS Responses

Feb 7

Exodus 34:29-35
Luke 9:28-36

Mountain Top Moments

584
182
183

Introit: 742
Offering: 785
Peace: 775

Feb 14

Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Luke 4:1013

Ways of Prayer

205
517
211

Introit: 742
Offering: 785
Peace: 775

Feb 21

Philippians 3:17- 4:1
Luke 13:31-35

Strong and Gentle

209
493
212

Introit: 742
Offering: 785
Peace: 775

Feb 28

Luke 13:1-9
Isaiah 55:1-9

Open Invitation

18 or 19
23
553

Introit: 742
Offering: 785
Peace: 775

LENTEN WORSHIP PLAN
ASH WEDNESDAY
Wednesday February 10 Ash Wednesday Worship at 7pm . The service will include the
opportunity for the imposition of ashes, to be marked as God’s own as we start our Lenten journey
and to be fed at the table by the celebration of communion.
PRAYER
February 14 Our worship will include opportunities to explore different ways to pray.
WORSHIP
February 21 & 28 as well as March 6 & 13 Our worship will follow the lectionary readings.
PALM SUNDAY
March 20 Palm Sunday will include the Palm Sunday Parade and our worship will focus on the
liturgy of the Palms
MAUNDY THURSDAY
March 24 Maundy Thursday will begin with communion around a simple meal in the parlor
followed by Tenebrae in the sanctuary.
EASTER
March 27 Easter Sunday worship will include special music, communion and conclude with the
singing of the Hallelujah Chorus. Monument. Easter Parade.

9

The Messenger / FEBRUARY2016

Year to date ending
December 31, 2015
2015 Budget

Budget YTD

Actual YTD

Income
Pledge Payments*
Cash Offerings
Other Income
(Endowment Contributions
Parking Lot Rental, Wedding Income, etc.)
Development Fund-$36,000 (not implemented)
Total Income

$110,500
$11,000
$126,700

$110,500
$11,000
$126,700

$109,412
$16,593
$126,255

$248,200

$0
$248,200

$0
$252,260

Personnel
Committees
Operations/Maintenance
Local Benevolences
Other
Development Fund
Total Expenses

187,846
27,685
116,140
7,650
9,600
348,921

187,846
27,685
116,140
7,650
9,600
348,921

167,251
29,835
119,012
6,235
9,300
$0
331,633

Income/Expenses Total
surplus (deficit)

(100,721)

(100,721)

(79,373)

Expenses

NOTE:
1. Income includes a total of $85,000 annual contribution from Endowment Fund ($7083 monthly)
2. Annual Deficit to be covered by Endowment Fund
3. 2015 Pledge Budget is $110,000. 55 pledges for $118,000 Were pledged.
4. Development Fund was not implemented in 2015 as planned and is no longer shown as a YTD Income and Expense.
Did You Know!
A. Pledge income covers only 32% of planned expenses
B. Personnel expense is 54% of planned expenses
C. Operations/Maintenance expense is 33% of planned expenses
Please turn in
D. Gas, Water
and
Power expense is $34,000 or $2,833 per month
your
pledge
cards any time
between now
and
Stewardship
Sunday,
November 8.

SPECIAL FACILITIES FUND
Extra cards
We are making
very good progress with the Facilities Fund Drive. At this point
and envelopes
we have are
collected
just over $30,000. We are 60% closer to meeting our goal.
available
Please continue
to
use the Green Special Facilities Envelopes to contribute to
in the office
or from
this fund that
is to an
be used to do much needed repairs to our facilities.
usher.

Thank you.

$50,000 -

$37,500 -

$25,000 -

SPECIAL
FACILITIES
FUND

10 The Messenger / FEBRUARY 2016

Have you considered joining St. John’s?
If you are considering joining our church family
as a member you are invited to an inquirer’s
class following church on FEBRUARY 7. We will
meet in the pastor’s outer office. Come and
explore the mission and history of St. John’s, the
United Church of Christ and your faith questions.
We will then set a date to meet with consistory
and a day for joining that fits the schedule of
those interested.
Please call the church office 358-3855 and let us
know you plan to come so we can make up the
appropriate number of packets.

2016 Worship Flower Calendar
The new sign-up calendar
for 2016 worship flower
arrangements has been
posted on the bulletin board
outside Pastor Lind’s office
door. Please sign up soon
if there is a special date
that is important to you. To order fresh flowers to be
placed on the altar in honor of a special occasion or
person or in remembrance of someone, use this
chart, or contact Sonny Darnell at 743-7528 or
kenandsonny@comcast.net . The cost is $45.00 for
two beautiful bouquets.

visioning
Snowy
Weather
Should we get winter weather
and are forced to cancel worship, please
watch for our listing
on channel 8 TV,

or
call the church’s main phone number at
(804)358-9291
and listen to the recording,

or
check your email for an E-blast.
Even if we do not cancel services, we
encourage everyone to use their best
judgements to ensure their own safety and
well-being.

at
st. john’s

BE INVOLVED IN A
SMALL VISIONING
GROUP:
GROUPS OPTIONS ARE:

Thurs. February 11, 10:30 am till Noon
(lunch provided)
Wed. February 17, 6:00 pm till 7:30 pm
(desserts provided)
Sun. February 21, 12:30 pm till 2:00 pm
(lunch provided)
Sun. March 13, 9:00 am till 10:30 am
(breakfast provided)
Sign up on the sheet in the Parlor.

Fellowship Coordinator:
Sal Anselmo 358-1696

Welcome Team
Leader

Sound
System

Feb. 7

Feb. 14

Feb. 21

Feb. 28

Richard
Bighinatti

Richard
Bighinatti

Lynn Snyder

Lynn Snyder

Tellers Coordinator:
Bud Higgins 301-5059
Lay Readers Coordinator:
Sal Anselmo 358-1696
Altar Guild Coordinator:
Sonny Darnell 743-7528
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!

Richard
Bighinatti

Richard
Bighinatti

Chris Ward

Chris Ward

Richard
Bighinatti

Richard
Bighinatti

Joe McGregor

Joe McGregor

Erin Burnette

Cheryl Goode

Dorothy Cook

Johanna Gilbert

Altar

Georgianne
Stinnett

Arthur Dewey

Sonny Darnell

Bryan Anderegg

Flowers

Tellers

Liturgists

Facilities

Altar Guild

Fellowship
Hosts

Flowers

Chris and Abby
Ward

To volunteer to be a Liturgist or
Fellowship Host sign up on the sheet in
the Parlor!

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 Pastor’s Office or contact
Sonny Darnell at 743-7528 or
kenandsonny@comcast.net

2016
1

7
9:45 Faith Formation
11 am Worship

8

2

3

4

10:00 am Staff

5 pm Card Ministry

11:30 am NA Meeting

11:30 am NA Meeting

6:00 pm Adult
Bible Study

5:30 pm Worship &
Music

9
10:00 am Staff

6:30 pm CHURCH
COUNCIL

10

11:30 am NA Meeting


12:30 New Members

7:00 pm WORSHIP
COMMUNION
IMPOSITION
OF ASHES

5
Office Closed

11

12

10:30 Small Group
Visioning

Office Closed

9:45 Faith
Formation
11 am Worship

15

16

17

10:00 am Staff

5 pm Card Ministry

11:30 am NA Meeting

Noon Congregational
meeting
CARITAS

CARITAS

CARITAS

21

22

23

9:45 Faith Formation
11 am Worship

10:00 am Staff
Meeting

12:30 pm Small Group
Visioning

CARITAS

28

CARITAS

11:30 am NA Meeting

CARITAS

6:00 Small Group
Visioning

CARITAS

13
8:00 pm NA Event

11:30 am NA Meeting
5:30 pm Worship &
Music

CARITAS

7:00 pm Choir

14

6

18

19

20

11:30 am NA

Office Closed

8:00 am Indian Orthodox

9:30 am Work Day

7:00 pm Choir

CARITAS

CARITAS

CARITAS

27

24

25

26

5 pm Card Ministry

11:30 am NA Meeting

Office Closed

6:00 pm Adult
Bible Study

7:00 pm Choir

CARITAS

CARITAS

CARITAS

CARITAS

29

9:45 Faith Formation
11 am Worship
One Great Hour of Sharing
Offering

CARITAS

CARITAS

February Birthdays

5
7
10
10
12
11
17
17

Sean Barbour
Griffin Allen
Kristina Gilbert
Helen Voelcker Barrett
Brent Trefsgar
Dan Trent
Helena DeLigt
Brody Davis

18
21
24
25
26
27
29

Linda Stiegler
Bryan Totty
Bud Higgins
Shirley Townsend
Cheryl Goode
Bettie Staton
Chris Ward