APRIL 2016

Volume 30.4

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

Hard to believe that by the time
you read this Easter Day will have
come and gone. Luckily Easter is
not actually a day but a season.
Easter starts on Easter Day and ends
on Pentecost, which this year is May
15th. That means we have 50 days
to get our hearts and heads
focused on resurrection.

We have celebrated Jesus’s death and resurrection and as
Christians have practiced dying with him so we can be
resurrected. What does that mean in our life today? Well,
what do you know you need to let die in your life? We
know that it is safe to let it die because we know that each
little death in our life leads to resurrection. An example of
living in this hope of resurrection would be my friend’s in
Easton who have come to know that their home, that they
love, is too much for them and the steps no longer work for
them. They have decided to let their life in that place die
trusting that the life they will create in a new. Smaller, more
manageable home will give them new life, resurrection.
Only you know what you are called to let go of so you can
have a resurrected life, but I invite you to use this 50-day
season of Easter to let go of that which is ready to fall
away, and truly celebrate the joy of resurrection.

Published monthly
© 2016 St John’s UCC

To a truly Resurrected Living,
Pastor Linda

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The Messenger / APRIL 2016

Symbols of Resurrection
We often talk of symbols in nature of resurrection
like spring and butterflies. But
did you know that the white face
clown is also a symbol of
resurrection? The white face
was the death mask in early
theater and the colors of the
rainbow laid on top are the
signs of resurrected life.
Many clowns include a tear in their makeup as well
as a large smile to remind everyone that life
includes tears and joy, even
resurrected life.

Holy Humor Sunday
April 3
April 3rd is a special worship.
Like many American churches we are resurrecting an old Easter custom begun by the early Greek Christians --- "Bright Sunday"
or "Holy Humor Sunday" celebration on the Sunday after Easter.
For centuries in all Christian faith traditions, the week following Easter Sunday was observed by the faithful as "days of joy and
laughter" to celebrate Jesus' resurrection.
We will be worshipping with joy and laughter as we remember that the resurrection turns everything upside down by having our
service order go in reverse. We will sing Christmas carols with Easter words share some church-y knock-knock jokes and try on
acting like resurrected people!

You are even encouraged to come to church with your clothes on inside out!

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The Messenger / APRIL 2016

Hello All,

St. John’s 2016
Congregational
Planning Retreat
Friday, May 13 ~ 6-8:30 pm
(buffet dinner)

Saturday, May 14 ~ 9 am-3:30 pm
(breakfast & lunch)

1. What do we envision for our future?
2. How do we get there?
3. What do we need to do?

Spring is upon us and our 2016
Congregational Planning Retreat is around
the corner. We will be holding the Planning
Retreat at St. John’s in the Fellowship Hall on
both Friday May 13th and Saturday May 14th.
Friday we will begin at 6:00 PM and go until
8:30 PM. We will have a buffet style dinner
beginning at 6:15. On Saturday we will begin
at 9:00 AM and conclude at 3:30PM.
Continental breakfast and lunch will be
included on Saturday. The Retreat will be
broken into three segments; 1) What we
envision for our future, 2) How we might get
there and 3) What we need to do to realize
our dream.

To gain a collective understanding on what
we, as the Congregation of St. John’s,
envision our next chapter to be, we will spend
time discussing the results from our Jan 10th
Visioning Session and the four small group vision sessions. During this first segment we will also talk about the things we want to
continue, the things we want to stop and the things we want to change.
We will then spend time understanding how we can move forward in our next chapter. For this segment of the Retreat we will
discuss the Operational Audit findings and recommendations provided by Lane and Associates, P.C. We will discuss how we could
use our building more effectively and what the effort and estimated cost will be to ready our property for potential new uses. This
property information will result from the Architectural and Engineering Assessment which is being led by our Trustees.
In the final segment of the Retreat and where the work really begins, we will develop intentional and actionable steps for how we will
realize our vision for the future.
I am very excited to participate and work with each of you as we together define our future. The Retreat is two short months away.
If you have any questions about our intentions for the Retreat, please reach out to me, Linda or Julia, or anyone of the members of
the Council and Revitalization taskforce.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to any member of Council or the Revitalization Taskforce.
Peace
Desiree McNeice (Council Chair)

Mark your calendar

Congregational Planning Retreat –May 13 and 14.
Congregational Meeting to vote in new Council members – May 22

Quick updates

Our Operational Audit with Lane and Associates, P.C. is underway.
The Architectural and Engineering assessment is underway.
The new term for Council begins June 2016. We are looking to fill a couple of
seats on Council. Each term is a two year term. If you are interested in sharing your
gifts and talents as a member of Council you can fill out one of the nominating
forms located in the pews or speak to either Desiree McNeice, Elisabeth Burnett or
Helena Delight or to any member other member of Council


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The Messenger / APRIL 2016

The Revitalization Taskforce:

Facilities has been busy with several projects, the most
significant of what are:

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).

Accessibility - The City of Richmond has granted us the

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

Don Stiegler

necessary permits to install two chairlifts for access between the
first floor and the Fellowship Hall levels. Work was scheduled to
begin the last week in March and will continue in the first two
weeks of April. If all goes as planned, the chairlifts should be
operational by Sunday, April 17. Each lift will be outfitted with a
lock to prevent children from activating the equipment.

Roof Repairs – Watch for a large lift to make an
appearance outside St. John’s in early April. It will be the sign
that workers are repairing our roof so that several water leaks
can be plugged and gutters reaffixed. The work will take several
days; our own Dale Totty will serve as general contractor to
make sure everything is handled well.

Back Door Replacement – Workers will also
upgrade the back door and replace much of the doorframe this
month, resulting in more reliable security and appropriate fire
safety features for that exit. The current keypad and code will
remain the same after the door replacement, but the deadbolt
lock will change. The office will notify the congregation when
and how new keys will be available when the time comes.

CO Alarms – At the request of our new insurance
adjuster, carbon monoxide alarms have been installed in the
boiler room and kitchen near the dishwashing room. This alarms
are electric (plug-in) with battery backup; please help to keep
the kitchen monitor functional by leaving it plugged into the
socket near the handwashing sink.

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

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

Parking Lot – We are continuing our efforts to determine
who has been granted permission to use the church parking lot.
Some renters have permits for 8-5 on weekdays, and others
(mostly Metro Property tenants) have 24/7 access seven days a
week. We have notified some businesses that have been using
our lot without a
rental contract that
they cannot park
here, even if they
had permission in
the past. As parking
contracts come up
for renewal, we will
make adjustments
to ensure that
enough spaces are
available for those
participating in
worship at
St. John’s on
Sunday mornings.

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The Messenger / APRIL 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.

On March 27, 2016 we welcomed the following new members into our congregation:

Thomas
Pridgen
~
Agapito RuizMillan
~
Ann Osborn
~
Kate Schaefer
~
Travis
Schaefer

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The Messenger / APRIL 2016

Adult Forum (Sundays, 9:45-10:40 a.m.)
During April, the Sunday
adult forum will return to the
topic of world religions and
interfaith cooperation. April
3 and 10, Karen-Marie will
facilitate continued
conversation about
“Embracing Interfaith
Cooperation” using the Eboo
Patel video series.
April 17, Andrew Sharp will return for a Q&A session on Islam; all
are invited to bring questions about how Islam is seen in the world
today and anything else you might be wondering about this often
misunderstood religious tradition.
24th

April 24 Come to a special adult forum on Sunday, April
led by
our own member, Rev. Dr. Lex Tartaglia. Lex serves as co-chair of
the VCU Medical Center Ethics
Committee and is the Senior Assoc.
Dean for the School of Allied Health
Professions. In the last phase of our
"End of Life
lives, every person and family
Ethical
member seeks peace and dignity,
Dilemmas”
and an understanding of what is fair to
expect from the medical community. Lex will lead us in a discussion
of end of life ethics and help us learn more about steps we may take
to prepare ourselves and our family members. All are invited and
encouraged to come and participate.
May 1, Michael McLaughlin of St. Joseph’s University will be our
guest speaker for a session on Buddhism. (More details in the May
Messenger)

Wednesday Night Study (6:00-7:30 p.m.)
Have you wondered about what it means to believe in the Trinity?
Do you sometime get the
impression that people read
the bible in different ways?
Do you wonder what makes
the bible relevant today
and why there are so many
different kinds of
theologies? If any of these
questions have crossed
your mind, join other inquiring minds on Wednesday
evenings to explore what
Christians have said about
who God and Jesus are and what the Holy Spirit has to do with
them. No theology degree required, just questions and an open
mind. Led by Julia Eliades.

Children’s Faith Formation
During Eastertide, children in Faith Place and Church School
will explore stories of the resurrection and the early church,
as well as tales of peacemaking from the Hebrew Bible (Old
Testament). Here’s the April lineup:

Faith Place
Sundays, 9:45-10:40 a.m.
April 3 – Easter symbols and activities
April 10 – The Road to Emmaus
April 17 – The Good Samaritan
April 24 – Sisters Solve a Problem

Church School
Sundays, 11:15 a.m.
April 3 – African Traditional Religions
April 10 – CARITAS activity
April 17 – Stephen and the Early Church
April 24 – Abigail Prevents a War

National Youth Event Fundraising
The National Youth Event (NYE) is held every four years for
the youth in the UCC and Disciples of Christ. You may
remember that a group went four years ago with Pastor Jon
and Elisabeth to the NYE at Indiana University. This year,
the NYE will be held for the first time not at a university, but
at Disney World in Orlando! We have five youth signed up to
go this year, and we are having several fundraisers to raise
money for the transportation costs there and back.
We would greatly appreciate any financial donations you
would like to give to our efforts. We believe this will be a fun
and spiritually enriching learning experience for all of us that
we will be happy to share with the congregation when we
return. Donations may be given to any of the youth, Pastor
Linda, Julia, or the church office. THANK YOU!!!
Josh, Bryan, Cammie, Ashley, and Eddie

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The Messenger / APRIL 2016

40 YEARS OF SERVICE
TO THE COMMUNITY
Forty years ago, St. John’s United Church of Christ, along
with other Stuart Circle Parish Churches (The Cathedral of
the Sacred Heart, First English Evangelical Lutheran, Grace
Covenant Presbyterian, St. James’s Episcopal), began to look
at the needs of the elderly in their church, neighborhood and
community. They noticed their elder members were no longer
able to attend church, or if they did attend, they learned there
were other issues that concerned them: isolation, no family
nearby, health, safety, and meals. The men and women of
these churches did not just talk about the issues, they formed
an alliance and came up with a plan to help Richmond’s elderly population. Stuart Circle Center opened in 1976 with six
participants and two staff in the education building at First
English Lutheran.
Today, Circle Center Adult Day Service supports 80+ elders
per day providing care six days per week and is located at
4900 West Marshall Street, across from Willow Lawn in a
modern, handicap-accessible facility. Programs are designed
to help with cognitive, physical, social and medical issues of
the elderly, as well as support for their caregivers. In the next
few weeks, you’ll be hearing more about this amazing program and how your donation of Forty Dollars for Forty Years
can help fund scholarship support for those men and women
who came before us. Circle Center is always seeking volunteers and is open for tours – come see the Center that you
helped build. Call 804-355-5717

CARITAS
HAVE YOU SIGNED UP TO ASSIST WITH OUR CARITAS MISSION?

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

Equality Virginia Dinner April 16th
As in previous years, St. John’s is sponsoring a table at this
year’s Equality Virginia Commonwealth Dinner, which honors
the LGBT community and particular individuals and organizations throughout Virginia who have promoted LGBT
equality. The event includes a pre-dinner reception (cash bar),
a silent auction, the dinner, and after-dinner dancing. This
year’s dinner is the evening of Saturday, April 16th at the
Convention Center. The cost for a non-profit such as St.
John’s is $925 for a table of 10, or $92.50 per ticket, instead of
the regular price of $125 per ticket. If you are interested in
attending, please contact Jeff Jacobs, at
jjacobs@dtiglobal.com or (202) 361-9887.
One Great Hour of
Sharing is an offering
that makes the love of
Christ real for
individuals and
communities around
the world who suffer
the effects of disaster,
conflict, or severe economic hardship, and for those who
serve them through gifts of money and time. While specific
allocations differ in each denomination, all use their One
Great Hour of Sharing funds to make possible disaster relief,
refugee assistance, development aid and more. Thanks to
your generosity, St. John’s will be give $1,221.66 to the One
Great Hour of Sharing Ministry.

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The Messenger / APRIL 2016

March Worship Schedule
DATE
April 3 - Holy Humor
Sunday
(Special worship)

SCRIPTURE

THEME/Sermon Title

HYMNS

Psalms 150
John 20:19-31

Holy Humor

All inserts

John 21:1-14
John 21:15-19

A Chance to Respond

April 10

171 or 172?
250
493

Psalms 23
John 10:22-30

Are you willing to be a sheep?

April 17

479
252
247

April 24 - Linda away
Guest preacher

John 13:31-35
Revelation 21:1-6

Insert C494
388
396

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The Messenger / APRIL 2016

2016 St. John’s Financial Picture
Year to date February 29, 2016

2016 Budget

Budget YTD

Actual YTD

Income
Pledge Payments*
Cash Offerings
Other Income
(Endowment Contributions
Parking Lot Rental, Wedding Income, etc.)

$111,000
$11,000
$125,150

$18,500
$1,833
$28,649

$17,939
$3,331
$28,570

Total Income

$247,150

$0
$48,982

$0
$49,840

Personnel
Committees
Operations/Maintenance
Local Benevolences
Other

193,754
21,370
116,690
7,150
9,300

Total Expenses

348,264

34,425
3,562
21,717
2,667
62,371

32,037
2,818
14,848
2,835
$0
52,538

Income/Expenses Total
surplus (deficit)

(101,114)

(13,389)

(2,698)

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

Did You Know!
A. Pledge income covers only 32% of planned expenses
Please turn
in
B. Personnel
expense
is 54% of planned expenses
your pledge
C. Operations/Maintenance
expense is 33% of planned expenses
cards
any
time
D. Gas, Water and Power expense is $34,000 or $2,833 per month
between now
and
Stewardship
Sunday,
November 8.

$50,000 -

$37,500 -

Extra cards

SPECIAL
FACILITIES FUND
and envelopes

are available
in the office
or from
an good progress with the Facilities Fund Drive. At this point
We are making
very
usher.

we have collected $33,908. Please continue to use the Green Special
Facilities Envelopes
Thank you.to contribute to this fund that is to be used to do much
needed repairs to our facilities.

$25,000 -

SPECIAL
FACILITIES
FUND

10 The Messenger / APRIL 2016

GUIDED

April 4, 2016
St. John’s Reiki Room
Available for anyone who has completed Reiki I training

THE ST. JOHH’S FELLOWSHIP

JOIN THE FELLOWSHIP
ON A TRIP TO MONTICELLO
Meet at church at 10 am to carpool

THURSDAY, APRIL 14
Call Lynda Merry (756-0270) if you
are interested in joining in the fun!
Reservations required for Lunch.

Don Warren plans to be at our church
on Saturday, April 12 for this event to
open the doors as a hospitality to
those in attendance! Let Don know if
you would like to join him in this
ministry to our community.

Fellowship Coordinator:
Sal Anselmo 358-1696

April 3
Welcome
Team
Leader

Richard Bighinatti

April 10
Richard Bighinatti

April 17
Lynn Snyder

April 24
Lynn Snyder

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

Sound
System

David Pittman

David Pittman

Chris Ward

Chris Ward

Tellers

Jeff Michel
Denise Martin

Jeff Michel
Denise Martin

Sonny Darnell
Dorothy Cook

Sonny Darnell
Dorothy Cook

Liturgists

Erin Burnette
Arn Lou Mutia

Sal Anselmo
Jeff Michel

Facilities

Richard Bighinatti

Richard Bighinatti

Joe McGregor

Joe McGregor

Altar Guild

Erin Burnette
Georgianne Stinnett

Arthur Dewey
Cheryl Goode

Dorothy Cook
Sonny Darnell

Johanna Gilbert
Bryan Anderegg

Fellowship
Hosts

Chris and Abby
Ward

Vicky Lyle

Jennifer and Daniel
Martin

Flowers

Sonny Darnell

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!

Sarah Allen

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
$45.00 for two beautiful bou-

2016

3
9:45 Faith Formation
11 am Worship

4
6:00 pm REIKI share

11:30 am NA Meeting

6:30 Church Council

6:00 pm Cong. Life

CARITAS

10
9:45 Faith Formation
11 am Worship

5

11
6:30 pm Council

CARITAS

9

6

7

8

5 pm Card Ministry

11:30 am NA Meeting

Office Closed

6:00 pm Adult
Bible Study

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

CARITAS

CARITAS

Monument 10 K

CARITAS

CARITAS

14

15

16

Office Closed

8:00 am Indian Orthodox

11:30 am NA Meeting

19
10:00 am Staff
Meeting

6:00 pm Adult
Bible Study

CARITAS

1:00 pm SJP

CARITAS

CARITAS

6:00 pm Equality VA
Dinner

23

20

21

22

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

3 pm CABARET

CARITAS

10:00 am The Fellowship to Monticello
11:30 am NA
7:00 pm Choir

18

25

CARITAS

13

17

24

1:00 pm SJP

5 pm Card Ministry

CARITAS

9:45 Faith Formation
11 am Worship

Office Closed

12

CARITAS

11 am Worship

2

10:00 am Staff

CARITAS

9:45 Faith Formation

1

CABARET

Dinner 6 pm
Show 7:30 pm

30

26

27

28

29

10:00 am Staff

5 pm Card Ministry

11:30 am NA Meeting

Office Closed

11:30 am NA Meeting

6:00 pm Adult
Bible Study

7:00 pm Choir

1
2
16
20
23
29
30
30

CABARET

6 pm Dress Rehearsal

Rene Chrysler
Dale Totty
Desiree McNeice
Charlotte Ford
Huldah Anderson
Ann Osborn
Betsy Bighinatti
Jerry Simonoff

6:00 pm NA Party