January 2016

Volume 30.1

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

A new year...
A new Year is dawning and many of
you may be setting intentions and
goals for the new year. Imagine now
that life goes exactly as you would
have it, what would you be
celebrating as you end the year?
What would your relationships look
like including your relationship with
God? Your health? Your career or
creative expression in the world?
Your money, time, flow? Take a
moment and imagine the end of the perfect 2016 and write down your vision as if it is now as
you want it. I suggest you start with the words I am so grateful and happy that… and end
your vision with this or something even better yet. Get a clear picture of what you intend to
create in your life in 2016 for the only way to create the life of your dreams is to have a clear
vision and then each day do the one step you can do today with what you have to move closer to your vision.

January 10… Setting the Vision
On January 10th we will come together to set intention for the next chapter in the life of
St. John’s. We are a congregational polity church so we must set the vision together or there
is no vision and no goal. We are a community with a history, just as your dream of next year
it is built your best experiences we will build on the best of St. John’s to set a vision together.
We know that as a community we have a number of large discussion and decisions ahead of
us. Our event on the 10th will help us have a framework for the decisions we are going to
make. The question of does this help us live our values as we define them at that meeting
and move us toward the vision we articulate will become a framework for prioritizing and
decision making in the short and long term.

Schedule for the 10 of January
th










Published monthly
© 2016 St John’s UCC

Note: No 11 am Worship on our
day of visioning Jan. 10

9:00- 9:30 Opening Worship and Intro
 Council & Revitalization
9:30-10:30 interviews
Committee will supply
10:30- 12ish bringing our ideas together and prioritizing
beverages, bread, deserts
12 Lunch
12:45 Guided Mediation
 everyone else bring a crockpot
1 creating a picture of our dream & coming to consensus
of your favorite soup or chili to
2ish moving to words
share so it can be ready when
2:30 Finishing up and plans forward
we are ready to break for lunch.
2:45 closing worship
3ish departure
The children below middle school will
have a simplified process in child
care so they can have input as well.
All others will join the adults.

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The Messenger / JANUARY 2016

Dreaming our future

SUNDAY, JANUARY 10
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
ST. JOHN’S UCC
Note: No 11:00 am Worship on our
day of visioning Jan. 10

Council & Revitalization Committees will supply
beverages, bread, deserts
everyone else bring a crockpot of your favorite soup or
chili to share so it can be ready when we are ready to
break for lunch.

The children below middle school will have a simplified
process in child care so they can have input as well. all
others will join the adults.

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The Messenger / JANUARY 2016

NOVEMBER CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
During the November 15, 2016 Congregation Meeting, we voted to
accept the 2016 budget showing a $101,414 deficit. In December,
Endowment agreed to cover half of the deficit and challenged the
members of St. John’s to come up with creative ways to finance the
remaining deficit.
Also during the November Congregation meeting, two
recommendations were presented:
 The Trustees recommended we initiate an Architectural and
Engineering assessment of our property, which will provide a
list of needs and opportunities, related to the future use of the
sanctuary and education buildings.
 Council, on the advice of the Facilities Committee, recommended the need to address urgent building repairs.
DECEMBER CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
December 6, 2015 the congregation voted to approve the two
recommendations presented at the November meeting. As a result,
a letter was mailed to the congregation initiating the Special
Facilities Fund Drive to fund the urgent building repairs.
It’s easy to get bogged down by the business and everyday
issues that pop up in an old building like ours.
There will always be something to repair or replace or renew.
However, there is so much more to St. John’s than
the building!

OUR TIME TOGETHER IN 2015
Began the Visioning process during our Homecoming
with a potluck lunch ~ Creating our historic timeline ~
Fellowship meetings, including the Christmas Tea ~
Re-launched the Men’s Fellowship ~ Held the Women’s
Retreat ~ Youth Retreat ~ Lenten Season studies ~
Bible studies ~ studied healing prayer through Reiki ~
Formed two Pastoral Relations Committees for Linda
and for Julia ~ decorated the sanctuary and the church
buildings for Christmas ~ Confirmed four youth ~
Welcomed new members ~ Created an internal photo
directory and updated the membership roles ~ Attended
the Potomac Association and Regional Conference
Meetings ~ Provided funeral services and reception
space for our members ~ Explored creative options and
enhancements to worship ~ Shared many meals and
refreshment ~ Our youth worked to raise money during
the Christmas parade to support their trip to NYE in
Orlando in 2016.
CHURCH BUSINESS IN 2015
Installed updated smoke detectors ~ Created the
Revitalization Committee ~ Updated and enhanced the
website ~ Increased visibility on social media ~
Continued to review and revise the Constitution and By
Laws ~ Worked around barriers such as the broken
elevator demonstrating resilience and creative
inclusivity ~ Initiated an operational audit ~ Reviewed
insurance policies ~ Review of assets and facilitated the
Architectural and Engineering assessment ~ Began the
Special Facilities Fund Drive.

2015 ACCOMPLISHMENTS AT ST. JOHN’S
During the December Council meeting we reviewed our
accomplishments for 2015. Here are some of the highlights we
discussed:
COMMUNITY ~ MISSIONS ~ OUTREACH IN 2015
Family Celebration Day welcoming families ~ Sponsored a
table at PrideFest, ~ Welcomed the community during the
Monument Avenue 10 K, The world during the UCI Road
World Championship ~ Participated in the Stuart Circle
Parish Palm Sunday Parade ~ Basement sale to raise
money to support the Fellowship’s missions ~ collected
over 200 pounds of food for the Central Virginia Food
Bank ~ provided the intake site for the women’s program
with CARITAS in the late winter and early spring ~ Hosted
40 women in the CARITAS program for a week (healthy
meals, a safe place to sleep, fellowship - converted a
storage closet into a shower and dressing room for our
guests ~ productions by St. John’s Community Players:
Cabaret in March, Rockin’ Tale of Snow White in June and
Godspell in November ~ welcomed over 1000 guests
during weddings held in our sanctuary ~ involved the
children in mission through the bucket brigade ~ provided
Christmas gifts for two families.

Throughout all of the above…


we welcomed Roger, our interim interim
called and installed Linda as our Senior Pastor
and held weekly services.
We’ve been busy!
But we still have much work to
accomplish. There are many opportunities
to share your gifts of talent and time on
any of our committees.

Many thanks to the committees, Council
members, church members, and friends of St. John’s for all the
hard work throughout the year. And many, many thanks to Julia
and Diane for providing consistent support during our pastoral
changes and keeping us together. Thanks to Desiree McNeice
and Betsy Bighinatti for their present and past leadership as
Church Council President in 2015. Lastly, thanks to Fritz Will, IV
for his dedication and hard work as St. John’s Treasurer for the
past thirty-five years.
The Peace of Christ be with you, Elisabeth Burnette
(Council Vice Chair)

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The Messenger / JANUARY 2016

Visioning (Dreaming our Future) session – Sunday, January 10.



Our Operational Audit is expected to conclude the end of January
Smoke detectors have been installed throughout the building. The addition of the
smoke detectors will not only keep our building and those in the building safe,
it will also give us an opportunity to lower our insurance premium in 2016
Beginning January 1st we will outsource the payroll component of the Treasurer
role to SurePayroll - a division of Paychecks for $660/year
The Chair Lift will be installed by the end of January.

Committee

Chair

Worship and Music

Vacant

Facilities

Karen-Marie Yust

Finance

Jeff Hetzer

Audit

Chris Ward

Congregational Life and
Care
Christian Formation
To approve the

COMMITTEES

November
15, 2015There are still many opportunities to share your gifts of
Scott Siefert

talent and time on any of our committees. If you are
immediately following worship

Kristina
Gilbert
2016
budget
and any other business
necessary
interested
in participating on a committee please contact

Admin/Personnel

Elisabeth Burnett

Mission and Outreach

Don Warren

the Committee Chair or myself.

Linda’s Pastoral Relations Committee

Julia’s Pastoral Relations Committee

Kristina Gilbert

Charlotte Quick

Scott Siefert

Lex Tartaglia

Lynn Snyder

Abby Ward

Don Stiegler

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The Messenger / JANUARY 2016

Connect with St. John's UCC and the United
Church of Christ
One important function of Congregational Life and Care is effective communication.
We have created a subcommittee to help with our digital communications, Digital
Media Ministry. We wanted to let you know of our different media platforms and how
to access.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO STAY CONNECTED WITH ST. JOHN’S UCC:
Website:
http://stjohnsrichmond.org/
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/SJUCC.Richmond/
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/Stjohnsucc
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/stjohnsucc_rva/
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO STAY CONNECTED WITH THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST:
Website:
Facebook:
Twitter:
Instagram:

http://www.ucc.org/
https://www.facebook.com/UnitedChurchofChrist/
https://twitter.com/unitedchurch
https://www.instagram.com/unitedchurchofchrist/ or
hastag: #unitedchurchofchrist

Arn Lou Mutia has done a wonderful job rebuilding our website. It is very attractive and is much more user friendly including a calendar
of events. We look forward to adding more enhancements in the near future.
Bud Higgins and Jennifer Martin have done great work with our Facebook page. We have gone from a handful to over 250 likes in a
very short period of time. If you would like to post or add pictures through St. John's then please contact Bud or Jennifer.
If you have any questions or need help to access any of these please contact any member of the Digital Media Ministry for help.
Scott Siefert: sesiefert@gmail.com
Arn Lou Mutia: kalovski@gmail.com
immediately following worship
Jennifer C. Martin: jennbo@gmail.com
approve the 2016 budget and any other business necessary
Bud Higgins:Tobudmanh@aol.com
Richard Bighinatti: grandude42@aol.com

November 15, 2015

We are excited to be able to enhance our communication with the congregation and the wider world. If you have questions or would like
add your talents to our team, please feel free to contact me at any time.
Scott Siefert

Stay

St.
John’s
UCC

Connected

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The Messenger / JANUARY 2016

CHILDREN

ADULT EDUCATION

JANUARY 10: VISIONS & DREAMS
On January 10th, our congregation will
participate in a day of visioning and
dreaming our future. We will begin with
worship at 9:00 am. Children will join
Kristen and a helper for activities in the
nursery and primary classrooms. They
will be interviewed just like the adults,
and they will join the congregation to
sing a song of preparation as we bless
our midday meal.

For the first two Sundays of the New Year, our focus will be
DREAMING AND VISIONING:

JANUARY 3: EPIPHANY
On January 3rd our children will learn
about the visit of the Magi to the infant
Christ child in Bethlehem and explore the
meaning of the Christian celebration of
Epiphany. Through drama, they will tell
the story of the wise kings bringing gifts to
Jesus and they will present, as the kings,
our offerings in the Sanctuary on Sunday
Morning.

JANUARY 17, 24, 31: STORIES OF
JESUS
January 17th, 24th, and 31st Our focus
for the other Sundays in January will
be on the early life of Jesus, his time
in the wilderness, returning to his
home town, his transfiguration and
the telling of the parable of the
mustard seed. Each Sunday,
children in Faith Place and Church
School will engage in telling and retelling a bible story, prayer in our
prayer room, and other hands-on
activities that help children
experience and remember the bible story. Faith Place is
open for all each Sunday morning, 9:45 – 10:40 a.m. The
church school class begins at 11:15 a.m. (after the children’s
moment).

Sunday Mornings 9:45–10:40 a.m.

Jan. 3 – Dreaming a New Year – Linda Higgins
Jan. 10 – Visioning Sunday – Linda Higgins
For the next three Sundays, we will return to our study of
WORLD RELIGIONS:

Jan. 17 – Neo Paganism – Karen-Marie Yust
Jan. 24 – Islam – Andrew Sharp
Jan. 31 – Intro to Hinduism – Karen-Marie Yust

CONFIRMATION CLASS BEGINS
In 2016, we will begin a new confirmation class. Confirmation
classes cover a wide range of topics: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit,
basic theological beliefs, statements of faith, Christian
practices, and the history and heritage of UCC. Have you
wished you had a place to explore different theological ideas to ask questions about basic Christian beliefs –to learn more
about baptism and communion? Then this confirmation class
could be the place for you. Anyone can be confirmed or
reaffirm their beliefs. If you are interested in learning and
participating in confirmation classes, please speak to Linda or
Julia.

Wednesday Nights 6:00–7:30 p.m.
Beginning January 13 and each Wednesday thereafter,
gather in the Pastor’s Study for an exploration of the age-old
question of evil and why the innocent and good suffer even
when they have done nothing wrong. Our resource for this
study will be Adam Hamilton’s Why? Making Sense of God’s
Will, a video and book curriculum that addresses the difficult
topic of evil in the world.

7

The Messenger / JANUARY 2016

Circle Center Adult Day Services
In December, through the wonderfully generous support of
St. John’s congregation, $915.34 was raised for Circle Center
Day Services. If you would still like to make a donation, we
are continuing to collect funds for the center through January
3. St. John's played a founding-role for the Circle Center,
which provides day services to frail and elderly adults while
their caregivers go to work; they also help to educate and
support the caregivers. $50 provides a lunch for one person
for a month, $60 provides 5 showers for those who are no
longer able to shower at home. Checks can be made
payable to St. John’s UCC (Circle Center in the memo line)
and can be placed in the offering plate or mailed to St. John’s
Thank you again for your support

CARITAS Here Soon
Our congregation has once again agreed to be an INTAKE
CENTER for CARITAS February 1st through April 15, 2016.
The CARITAS guests will be gathering in our Fellowship Hall
every evening (approx. 4-7pm). We will need lots of
volunteers to accomplish our mission of extravagant
welcome to these, our neighbors. Watch for more
information and sign-up sheets.

Generous Response to Angel Tree
Thank you for your most
generous response to the
Angel Tree requests for gifts
for our adopted St. John’s
families this year. Those who
received your donations want
to express their deeply felt gratitude for your giving. Their
appreciation will last long after the Christmas season is
over.
Again, thank you!

Christmas Fund
We are continuing to collect funds through January 3rd for
our Veterans of the Cross. Funds are used to provide
supplemental monies for pension and health insurance
premiums to low-income retirees as well as emergency
assistance to clergy and lay employees and their families
throughout the year. Please consider giving a gift to help
care for those who have cared for us during their lifetime of
ministry to our churches.

January 10, 2016 Reminders
a

Visioning Event Begins at 9:00
with Opening Worship

a

No 11:00 am worship today!

a

Lunch at Noon
 Everyone needs to bring a crockpot
of favorite soup or chili
 Bread, beverages and dessert will
be provided

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The Messenger / JANUARY 2016

January Worship Schedule
DATE
Jan 3

Jan 10

Jan 17

Jan 24

SCRIPTURE

THEME/Sermon Title

584
164
160

Offering:157
Vs 4
Peace: 522
Vs 4

584
311
308

Offering:157
Vs 4
Peace: 522
Vs 4

Discovering our Gifts

584
164
172

Offering:157
Vs 4
Peace: 522
Vs 4

One Body

584
163
177

Offering:157
Vs 4
Peace: 522
Vs 4
Offering:157
Vs 4
Peace: 522
Vs 4
Offering:157
Vs 4
Peace: 522
Vs 4

Matthew 2:1-12
Isaiah 60:1-6

Following the Light

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Visioning and Baptism
NO 11:00 am Service

John 2:1-11
1 Corinth 12: 1-11

Luke 4:14-21
1 Corinth 12:12-31a

HYMNS Responses

Jan 31

Jeremiah 1:4-10
1 Corinth 13:1-13

The Greatest is Love

584
165
170

Feb 7

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

Mountain Top Moments

584
182
183

January 10
NO
11:00 am
Worship
Service!

9

The Messenger / JANUARY 2016

Our Church is blessed to have a wonderful and historic building and grounds to serve as our place of worship and related Church
activities. The Church building is close to 100 years old and, as you know, is requiring more and more maintenance. In recent
years, there have been many improvements to the facility, everything from painting and roof repairs to boiler replacement. As with
any aging facility, there is a continuous need for maintenance and improvements to keep the building an effective place to worship
and conduct Church activities.
At the November 15th Congregational Meeting, the 2016 budget was approved, and the visioning process and role of the
Revitalization Taskforce were discussed. Our visioning process will help define long term space needs and guide us in the difficult
decisions that we must make as a Congregation.
The Facilities Committee, Board of Trustees, and Church Council have been working to identify the immediate and long term
maintenance needs of our building and property. The immediate needs that should be acted upon now and were approved by the
congregation at its December 6th meeting are:
 Installation of two chairlifts as a temporary solution to our broken elevator to provide accessibility between the Sanctuary and the Fellowship Hall. ($10,500)
 Limited roof and gutter repairs to fix several known locations on the roof that have created water leakage in the
Sanctuary, music office, and nursery. ($12,000)
 Repairs to interior wall damage created by these leaks.
($2,500)
 Replacement of the main exterior doors to the Sanctuary.
($10,500)
 Repairs to the A/C chiller compressor unit. ($12,000)
The total cost of these immediate needs is $50,000, which includes a
$2,500 contingency. In order to cover these costs, a Special Facilities
Fund drive is being implemented effective today. All of us are asked to
make a direct contribution to this Fund in order to pay for these urgent
repairs. Your contribution will go directly to support these repairs and
can be provided/designated in the standard white envelope as a special
offering or in the new green envelopes labelled specifically for this Fund. Once final costs are determined and work is underway,
any remaining contributions will be held for unexpected or future facility needs.

Please turn in

OFFERING ENVELOPES FOR 2016
Please pick up your 2016 offering envelopes in the Parlor as soon as you are able. If you have not
pledged yet for 2016, there are pledge cards located in the Parlor. You may place your card in the offering plate or in the mail slot in the Office door.

2015 FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
The last day to make a 2015 contribution is January 3, 2016. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR CONTRIBUTION IS CLEARLY
MARKED AS A 2015 OFFERING AND YOUR CHECK DATED IN 2015. If there is no indication on your envelope/check, all
monies received on January 1, 2016 and forward will be credited for 2016. Monday, January 4, we will close the 2015 books.
Your 2015 giving statement will be mailed out no later than January 18, 2016.

10 The Messenger / JANUARY 2016

2016 Worship Flower Calendar
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 January 24. 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.

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.

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

Welcome Team
Leader

Jan. 3

Jan. 10

Jan. 17

Jan. 24

Jan. 31

Lynn Snyder

Bill Watson

Bill Watson

Doug Waldrop

Doug Waldrop

Fellowship Coordinator:
Sal Anselmo 358-1696
Tellers Coordinator:
Bud Higgins 301-5059
Lay Readers Coordinator:
Sal Anselmo 358-1696

Sound
System

Chris Ward

Mark Atkinson

Mark Atkinson

Jeff Michel

Jeff Michel

Altar Guild Coordinator:
Sonny Darnell 743-7528

Acolyte

Cammie Allen

Savannah and
Ashley Quick

Savannah and
Ashley Quick

Bryan Etter

Bryan Etter

Tellers

Tony
Sharpenstein

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!

Abby and Chris
Ward

Laura Totty

Bill Watson

Bill Watson

Rob Osborn

Liturgists
Nursery Helpers

Cammie Allen
Eddie Allen

TBA

Martha Cook

Altar Guild

Facilities

Flowers

Fellowship
Hosts

Kristina and
Johanna Gilbert

Bud Higgins

Bud Higgins

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
$45.00 for two beautiful bouquets.

2016
3

4

5

NO Faith Formation

Office
Closed

10:00 am Staff

11 am Worship
Communion
Epiphany

10
9:00 AM
VISIONING

EVENT
17

6:30 pm Church
Council

8

9

Office Closed

5 pm Card Ministry
11:30 am NA Meeting

5:30 pm Worship &
Music
.
7:00 pm Choir

12

13

14

15

16

10:00 am Staff

5 pm Card Ministry

11:30 am NA Meeting

11:30 am NA Meeting

Office Closed

8:00 am Indian Orthodox

6:00 pm Adult
Bible Study

7:00 pm Choir

18

19

20

21

22

23

11:30 am NA Meeting

Office Closed

10:00 am Staff
Meeting
11:30 am NA Meeting

24

7
11:30 am NA Meeting

.

9:45 Faith Formation
11 am Worship

9:45 Faith Formation
11 am Worship
Noon New Member’s
Class

2

6

6:30 pm Revitalization
Committee

11

1
Office
Closed

25

5 pm Card Ministry
7:00 pm Choir
6:00 pm Adult
Bible Study

26

27

28

29

10:00 am Staff
Meeting

5 pm Card Ministry

11:30 am NA Meeting

Office Closed

6:00 pm Adult
Bible Study

7:00 pm Choir

11:30 am NA Meeting

31
9:45 Faith Formation
11 am Worship

JANUARY BIRTHDAYS
3
6
8
8
9
10
10
14
25
25

Rick Pearman
Frieda Walsh
Kathy Freise
Linda Higgins
Georgianne Stinnette
Judy Brown
Stephanie Workman
Hank Allen
Joachim Altenkirch
Charlotte Quick

26
14
20
21
23
24

Bruce Miller
Suzanne Foltz
Fritz Will, IV
Maude Ganzert
Vicky Lyle
Bryan Etter

30