NOVEMBER 2015

Volume 29.11

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,
I write this having just returned from
a week of continued education. I
first went to Yale and was
surrounded by some wonderful
scholarship and people who I have
known since I was a student at
YDS. Our speakers challenged us
to think about preaching differently,
being aware that our listeners tend
to be more visual all the time. How
religion interacts with the state
department was another lecture as
well as a panel on what’s next in the area of LGBTQ human rights. We prayed
together, ate together, and spent time talking about our lives. It was a nourishing
time for me.
I left there and went on to a Dream Builder experience where I not only spent time
on my dreams, but getting help with how to help us as a congregation truly dream
into existence the church we imagine St. John’s to be in the future. I spent some
time getting clearer on the Prosperity Plus curriculum that we will be using come
January. I heard the testimony of a church that has just completed building a new
church building using Prosperity Plus. Members of the staff helped me think about
what a full vision might include at St .John’s.
I am getting excited for our event on the 7th. So I invite YOU to start priming your
pump for the 7th. Imagine that you have just been given a magic wand and
everything has worked out perfectly (no editing to what you think possible for now) at
St. John’s and now it is 2019. What does St. John’s look like? What is worship like?
What ministry is St. John’s doing in the world? What are you doing when you come
to St. John’s and what makes you want to be here? How do you experience God
through St. John’s? How have you grown and changed as a result of being part of
this church? Go on! Be wild! Dream your greatest version of St. John’s!
Following our Summit on the 7th we will gather for our Sunday worship to celebrate
Stewardship Sunday...a time to dedicate to God the resources we promise to give to
create that church we have dreamed up together. If you notice this year we are not
only looking for money resources but gifts of time and talents. How are you going to
give of yourself for the ministry of St John’s?
The following Sunday we will welcome 5 new members into our fellowship and then
on the 22nd it will be time to give thanks for all our work and gifts as we have our
harvest lunch. After lunch we will ready the sanctuary for Advent.
It is a full November ahead here at St John’s. This is an amazing church and I give
thanks for all the ways we are continuing to reach and grow.

Published monthly
© 2015 St John’s UCC

With love and prayers,
Pastor Linda

2

The Messenger / NOVEMBER 2015

Dreaming our future

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7
9:30 AM - 2:00 PM
THE FELLOWSHIP HALL @
1ST CONGREGATIONAL UCC
4310 COURTHOUSE RD.

LIGHT BREAKFAST
LUNCH
CHILD CARE
Listening to each other ~ Speaking from the heart
What do we see as the future for St. John’s UCC?
We encourage everyone to attend!
It would assist with planning if you RSVP to 358-9291

The Messenger / NOVEMBER 2015

November 15, 2015

immediately following worship

To approve the 2016 budget and any other business necessary

Sunday, November 15
During worship

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4

The Messenger / NOVEMBER 2015

We will have a Congregational meeting on Nov. 15th to vote
on our 2016 budget and other church business as needed.
In October, the Council spent a great deal of time evaluating
our 2016 budget. We have reduced the budget in a number
of areas. Even with our efforts our operational costs are
exceeding our income by approximately $100,000. We are
working with the same level of deficit this year. We are
fortunate to have an endowment fund that we can leverage
to cover our deficit. Still, as you learned at our Stewardship
Breakfast in October, this heavy reliance on the endowment
fund isn’t a sustainable for us.
At our August 30th Congregational meeting, we talked about
our opportunities to restore, refresh, and revitalize St.
John’s. In early October we shared our history with one
another at our Homecoming Celebration. We learned that
we have supported social justice causes throughout our
time, we have overcome challenges and we have physically
moved our congregation as the need required. We will
“Dream our Future” at our Nov 7th visioning session. Each
year we have an opportunity to thoughtfully consider how
much we will pledge and soon we will have an opportunity,
in early 2016, to consider how we may grow into our vision
and better utilize our assets.
We have much for which to be thankful and I believe our
path forward will become clearer as we define our vision for
the future.
Peace
Desiree McNeice (Council Chair)

Are you our next Treasurer?
With the announcement of Fritz's retirement, we are seeking
someone to step in as our new Treasurer. The Treasurer is
an Officer of the Church and will be a sitting member of
Council. The responsibilities of the Treasurer will be to
manage the church budget, prepare monthly financial
statements and reports, bank statement reconciliation and
possibly Payroll. If you are interested in being our Treasurer
please contact Desiree McNeice or Elisabeth Burnette.

Committees
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.

Mark your calendar
Visioning (Dreaming our Future) session - Sunday
Nov. 7th. Please refer to Linda’s message.
Stewardship Sunday - Nov 8th.
Congregational meeting - Nov. 15th.
St. John’s Players production of Godspell November
6 – 21st.

Quick updates
Council continues to search for solutions to our elevator, front door and air conditioning issues
We have received the final proposal for our operational audit. We anticipate we will kick off the
audit in November.

Pastoral Relations Committees
In October, the Pastoral Relations Committees for Linda
and Julia kicked off with a training session on October
18th. The Pastoral Relations Committees are standing
committees that will serve as a liaison between Pastor
Linda and the Congregation and Julia and the Congregation. The committees will serve to keep open communication between the Pastor and the congregation. They
will also function as a sounding board and offer support
and feedback to the Pastor. Linda’s Pastoral Relations
Committee consists of, Kristina Gilbert, Scott Siefert,
Lynn Snyder and Don Stiegler. Julia’s Pastoral Relations
Committee consists of Charlotte Quick, Lex Tartaglia and
Abby Ward. Please feel free to reach out to any of these
people to learn more about the role of the Pastoral Relations Committee. They will be happy to share your feedback with either Linda or Julia.
Committee

Chair

Worship and Music
Facilities
Finance

Jeff Hetzer

Audit

Chris Ward

Congregational Life and
Care
Christian Formation

Scott Siefert
Kristina Gilbert

Admin/Personnel

Elisabeth Burnett

Mission and Outreach

Don Warren

The Messenger / NOVEMBER 2015

ADULT STUDY OF JUDAISM
On November 1st, 9:45 am, we continue our study of Judaism with
guest speaker Dr. Leah Sievers, an expert on the Holocaust and JewishChristian relations. Dr. Sievers will talk about current events in
Israel-Palestine and Jewish perspectives on contemporary faith
and social justice.
Dr. Sievers is currently an adjunct professor at Union Presbyterian
Seminary and the University of Richmond. She actively serves on
committees at the Richmond Jewish Foundation and the University
of Richmond’s Weinstein-Rosenthal Forum on Faith, Ethics, and
Global Society, and is a past board member at the Beth Ahabah Museum &
Archives and the Virginia Holocaust Museum. Leah is a graduate of Yale
University, Harvard Divinity School, and the University of Virginia.

ADULT STUDY OF THE MUSLIM FAITH

On November 8th, 9:45 am our own Rev. Steve Plymale will begin our study
offering an overview of the Muslim faith covering some of the tradition’s, history and
contemporary beliefs and practices.

On November 15th, 9:45 am we will continue the study of Islam with guest
speaker Dr. Andrew Sharp of Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Sharp will
talk about the shared characteristics of Abrahamic religions, prophecy in Islam as
compared with Judaism and Christianity, and the understanding of Muhammad
and Jesus in Islam.
Dr. Sharp is Affiliate Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at VCU and
Associate Editor of the Christian-Muslim News Digest for the Network for Interfaith
Concerns. He is an expert in Islamic studies, Muslim-Christian relations, and Eastern
Christianity. His book, Orthodox Christians and Islam in the Postmodern Age, was
published in 2012. Andrew is a graduate of the University of Birmingham, UVA and
St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary.

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR BIBLE FOR ADULTS
On November 22, 9:45 am,

Rev. Steven Plymale will again take the lead as he
gives us Part II of Bible basics adult class at 9:45 a.m. in the Pastor’s Study. Themes will
include how the Bible is relevant for today and how we decide what the ancient writers
meant when they told the stories of our faith.

All classes meet in the Pastor’s study
9:45 am until 10:40 am on Sundays.

THIRD MONDAY AFTERNOON GREENFIELD BIBLE STUDY
The Rev. Steve Plymale continues to lead a monthly Bible study at Greenfield Senior Living. The group, which now will be
studying the Ten Commandments, meets on the third Monday of each month – in November, that’s the 16th – from 1:30 to
2:30 p.m. Contact Steve or Julia for more information.

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The Messenger / NOVEMBER 2015

Advent begins Sunday,
November 29th, and so
does St. John’s Advent
programming.
This year, we will be
gathering all ages
together from 9:45-10:40
a.m. each Sunday to
learn about the
Christmas story and
work on Christmas
crafts.
First Sunday of Advent (November 29):
We will meet in the Pastor’s Study to learn about and make Chrismons
(symbols of the season) decorated in white and gold. Children will also
have an opportunity to make a Christingle, a Christmas craft made
from an orange that symbolizes God’s love for the world.
Second and Thirds Sundays of Advent (December 6 and 13):
We will make Christmas cards and explore a variety of nativities from
around the world and make one of our own.

Planning for your Holidays
November is here and if you do not plan now your holidays
will be created by default rather than your choices.
I invite you to stop right now and dream about how you
would wish to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas……....
Maybe the kids are getting older or have added family
members so it is the year for a change.

Maybe YOU have changed and what would feed your
soul is different this year.

I invite you to think about what you want and have the
discussions now with your family to create the moments that
would feed your soul.
If this is a year you do not have blood family to share the
holiday with around you here in Richmond please let me or
Julia know. We are a church family and I know we would all want to include anyone who is alone in our celebrations.

Pastor Linda

The Messenger / NOVEMBER 2015

7

Poinsettia
Order Form
Each year we have lovely poinsettias on display in the chancel
area during the Christmas Season. If you wish to order a
poinsettia in memory of or in honor of a loved one, please
complete this form and drop it by the church office, place it in
the offering plate, or mail it to the church office. The cost is
$12.50 per plant, and you may take it home after the
completion of the Christmas Eve Service.

Ordering Deadline: Sunday, November 29

□ In memory of □ In honor of
Name ___________________________________________
Given by:_________________________________________

□ In memory of □ In honor of

Name ___________________________________________
Given by:_________________________________________

□ In memory of □ In honor of

Name ___________________________________________
Given by:_________________________________________

□ In memory of □ In honor of

Name ___________________________________________

NOVEMBER 1

45th CROP Hunger Walk. Join us! New walk route! We
start and end in Byrd Park, in the grassy area in front of the
Carillon.
This year, 25% of the
funds will go to local
organizations that
provide hunger relief;
CARITAS, VA Food
Bank, 31st St. Baptist
Church, Nutrition Center
and Shalom Farms. The
other 75% will go to
Church World Services
to be used to stop hunger within the U.S. and
around the world.
Please come walk with us
on November 1. Donate online by visiting
www.therichmondcrophungerwalk. Registration will be at
1:30pm and the walk will begin at 2pm.

Given by:_________________________________________

Thank You!
Your name _______________________ Phone: _________
Number of poinsettias ordered ___________
@ $12.50 = $________________
(please attach payment with this order and mail to St.
John’s UCC~503 Stuart Circle~Richmond, VA~23220)

Ordering Deadline: Sunday, November 29

Thank you St. John’s for supporting our October special uniquely UCC - mission offering, Neighbors In Need.
Through the Neighbors in Need offering, the church
expresses a common commitment to justice and
compassion throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
You have generously offered $1,026.05 toward this mission
offering.

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The Messenger / NOVEMBER 2015

November Worship Schedule
DATE

SCRIPTURE

THEME/Sermon Title

HYMNS

Nov. 1

Ruth 1-8
Mark 12:28-34

Grief and Love

295
461
299

Nov. 8

Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17
Mark 12:38-44

What are You Willing to Give ?

448
370
377

Nov. 15

Samuel 11:4-20
1 Samuel 12:1-10

Crying Out in Prayer

25
505
475

Nov. 22

Joel 2:21-27
Matthew 6:25-33

Trust and Gratitude

421
419
422

Nov 29

Luke 1:1-4,26-37

The year of Luke

All Saint’s Day November 1
We will be celebrating this day with
a service to remember those who have
died. There will be time in the worship service for people to come forward and place
a flower in a vase as we remember the
saints who have gone before. This is a
special time each year to heal our hearts
as we remember people we have lost in
our lives not only this year but whose loss we continue to feel. I hope
you will join us for this service of memory and healing.

Stewardship Sunday
November 8 This is the day
after our visioning event and as part
of our dream we will be asking for
the commitment of time and money
to move from where we are to the
church of our dreams. Please come prepared to turn in your pledge
cards (if you already haven’t done so) during the worship service.
You can receive an extra pledge card and envelope from an usher.

SUNDAY

Greening of the
Church

Thanksgiving
Worship and
Greening of the
Church - Nov. 22

On Nov. 22, we will
worship with joyful
Thanksgiving for all of
God’s blessings, After worship we will enjoy our covered
dish Thanksgiving Lunch followed by the greening of the
church.

Worship is central to the
life of our faith
community, and
extravagant welcome is
at its core.

The Messenger | NOVEMBER 2015

St. John’s Financial Picture YTD as of 9-30-15
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

$82,500
$8,250
$92,664

$74,136
$10,600
$90,931

$248,200

$0
$183,414

$0
$175,667

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

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

144,343
20,764
87,904
7,125
4,650
264,786

126,382
20,778
92,649
5,209
4,650
$0
249,668

Income/Expenses Total
surplus (deficit)

(100,721)

(81,372)

(74,001)

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.

Please turn in
your pledge
cards any time
between now
and
Stewardship
Sunday,
November 8.
Extra cards
and envelopes
are available
in the office
or from an
usher.
Thank you.

STEWARDSHIP SUNDAY
November 8, 2015

9

10 The Messenger / NOVEMBER 2015

St. John’s United Church of Christ
2016 Ministry Plan Expenses
2015

Personnel Support
$187,846
Pastor Salary
Pastor Housing, Benefits, Taxes
Pastoral Associate Salary
Pastoral Associate Benefits and Taxes
Interim Pastor Salary
Interim Pastor Benefits and Taxes
Administrative Assistant Salary (part time)
Nursery Worker Salary
Guest Minister and Organists
Accounting Services

2016

$193,754

Estimated sources of revenue:
2015

2016

Pledge Support
$110,000
$110,000
▪ Your generous and faithful pledges of support
Other Offerings
▪ Cash collections
▪ Benevolences,
▪ Unrestricted gifts

Committee Support
$27,685
$21,370
Working Committee Allocations for Committees
Committees include Youth, Mission and Outreach, Christian
Education, Worship and Music, Stewardship, Congregational Life
Operations
$66,240
Utilities
Office Equipment and Office Supplies
Insurance

$68,690

Maintenance
$49,900
Repairs and Upkeep
Custodial Services and Supplies
Parking Lot maintenance and Snow Removal
Lawn Services

$48,000

$19,750

$19,350

Other Income
▪ Parking lot rental,
▪ Weddings
▪ Fund raisers

$33,450

$32,800

Revenue Subtotal

$163,200

$161,950

Development Fund Drive (2015-36,000) $0

$0

Dedicated Endowment Support

$85,000

$85,000

Revenue Total

$248,200

$247,150

Excess/ (Deficit) Revenue to Expenses
($100,721)*

($101,414)

* Prior Approved Endowment Loan to Cover this Deficit =

Local Benevolences
$7,650
$7,150
Support to Local Groups and Benevolences in the Community:
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS)
Circle Center
ACTS (Easter)
Memberships
Stuart Circle Parish
Potomac Assn.
Conference and National

$9,600

$9,600

Total

$348,921

$348,564

Budgeted Expenses

St. John’s United Church of Christ
2016 Ministry Plan Revenue

PROPOSED
2016

$50,000

* Assumes the St. John’s Endowment Board will approve a loan increase
to $101,414 to cover the 2016 deficit.

The Messenger | NOVEMBER 2014

11

November 22

We gather together in the Fellowship Hall on Sunday, November 22nd after worship for
a Thanksgiving meal and to celebrate the ministries of St. John’s. We provide the turkeys,
dressing, gravy, and beverages. We are asking you to bring a favorite Thanksgiving dish
to share under the following categories:
If your last name starts with:
A-G
H-N
O-S
T-Z

Bring a fruit salad or ambrosia
Bring dessert (pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheese cake, apple pie, etc.)
Bring a vegetable (green beans, creamed spinach, salad, etc.)
Bring a starch (bread, potatoes, yams, rice, etc.)

Please contact Diane in the church office at 358-9291 and let her know what you are
planning to bring and RSVP so we will have enough turkeys!

THE FELLOWSHIP

Greening of
the church
After our THANKSGIVING MEAL on November 22nd, stay a while
longer to participate in the HANGING OF THE GREENS as we
decorate the church for Christmas. This St. John’s tradition is always
a fun event. We are calling all our men-folk to show off their muscle
as we hang the greens! There will be children’s activities and fun for
every member of the family. See you there!

The Fellowship will be going to :
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
on November 12.
Mark your calendars!
We will meet in the church parking lot at 10:00 am.
Speak with Lynda Merry for more information.

12 The Messenger | NOVEMBER 2015

Godspell
Volunteers needed
We need volunteers to be ushers at any
performances of Godspell. Also, we need
volunteers to help serve dinner the night
of November 7 at the Dinner Theatre
performance. If you would like to help in
any of these ways, please speak with
Betsy Bighinatti as soon as possible.

National Youth Event
WHAT IS IT?:
UCC youth and families from around the
country will gather at Disneyworld to learn and
have fun together.

Tickets are now on sale!

See Tony Sharpenstein, visit our website, or call the church
office today!

PLANNING:
Youth and their parents are invited to join Julia
after worship on Sunday, November 15, to
learn about the 2016 National Youth Event in
Florida next July 26-30.
SUPPORTING:
St. John’s youth and families will be fundraising
in preparation for making the trip. Please
support these efforts in any way you can.

Nov. 1

Nov. 8

Nov. 15

Nov. 22

Nov. 29

Welcome
Team
Leader

Lynn Snyder

Lynn Snyder

Bill Watson

Bill Watson

Doug Waldrop

Sound
System

Chris Ward

Acolyte
Crucifer

Chris Ward

Hank, Cammie Hank, Cammie
and Eddie Allen and Eddie Allen
Sal Anselmo

Hank Harman

Sal Anselmo

Mark Atkinson

Mark Atkinson

Jeff Michel

Altar Guild Coordinator:
Sonny Darnell 743-7528

Savannah and
Ashley Quick

Savannah and
Ashley Quick

Bryan Etter

Sal Anselmo

Sal Anselmo

Sal Anselmo

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!

To volunteer to fill any of these open positions
of serving, please speak with Sal Anselmo on
Sunday mornings,
or call him a 358-1696

Fellowship
Hosts

Don and Beth
Stiegler

Nursery
Helpers

TBA

Abby and Chris
Ward

Laura Totty

TBA

Martha Cook

Jeff Michel
Denise Martin

Jeff Michel
Denise Martin

Bud Higgins
Scott Siefert

Bud Higgins
Scott Siefert

Sonny Darnell
Dorothy Cook

Joe McGregor

Joe McGregor

Bill Watson

Bill Watson

Bud Higgins

Facilities

Altar Guild

Flowers

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

Lay Readers Cheryl Goode

Tellers

Fellowship Coordinator:
Sal Anselmo 358-1696

Erin Burnette
Georgianna
Stinnette

Cheryl Goode
Arthur Dewey

Dorothy Cook
Sonny Darnell

Johanna Gilbert
Bryan Anderegg

Sonny Darnell
Charlotte Quick

David Craig

Tony and Anita
Sharpenstein

Elisabeth
Burnette

Chris and Abby
Ward

Poinsettias

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.

2015
1
ALL SAINTS DAY
9:45 Faith Formation
11 am Worship

2
5:30 Finance Mtg.

3
11:30 am NA Meeting

7-10 SJP

8

9

9:45 am Faith
Formation
11 am Worship

6:30 pm Church
Council

15

16

10
11:30 am NA Meeting

3 pm Godspell

1:30 pm Greenfield
Bible Study

12:30 NYE Meeting

.

22

23

3 pm Godspell

9:45 Faith Formation
11 am Worship
NOON Harvest Lunch

Greening of Church

29

5

6:30 pm Cong. Life Mtg

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

7-10 SJP

NO Choir

7-10 SJP

1:30 CROP WALK

9:45 Faith Formation
11 am Worship
Noon Cong. Meeting

4

6
Office
Closed

7
9:30 Vision
Event

8 pm Godspell

8 pm Godspell

14

11

12

13

10:00 am Staff
5 pm Card Ministry
5:30 By Laws Mtg
6:30 The Way of Prayer
.

10:30 The Fellowship

Office Closed

11:30 am NA Meeting
6:30 pm Digital Ministry
7:00 pm Choir

8 pm Godspell

8 pm Godspell

17

18

19

20

21

10:00 am Staff

5 pm Card Ministry

11:30 am NA Meeting

OfficeClosed

8:00 am Indian Orthodox

11:30 am NA Meeting

7:00 pm Choir

8 pm Godspell

24

25

26

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

5 pm Card Ministry

Office Closed
Thanksgiving

8 pm Godspell

27
Office
Closed

30

9:45 Faith Formation
11 am Worship
First Sunday of Advent

NOVEMBER BIRTHDAYS

1
3
5
6
9
10
14
14
14

David Craig
Dallas Henderson
Jerilyn Monts
Matthew Gilbert
Mac Taylor
Kevin Hetzer
Laura Totty
Jewell Haake
Burton Unger

15
16
17
26
28
28
30

Kathy Smith
Bob Corby
Gary Beasley
Nat Taylor
William Oxenham
William Voelcker
Mark Atkinson

28