JUNE 2016

Volume 30.6

St. John’s
United Church of
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

An Open and
503 Stuart Circle
Richmond, Virginia 23220
Telephone: 804.358.9291

Web Site:

Published monthly
© 2016 St John’s UCC

Just when you thought the transitions
and changes were over here we go
again. This week the council received
two letters of resignation. Julia’s
which we shared with you in the
mailing and Diane’s. Diane is
planning to retire once we have found
a replacement and she has helped us train that person. She hopes to be done before the end
of July. Both of these wonderful, spiritual people have been glue holding things together
through the interim time and my first year. All of us cannot thank them enough for the work
they have done for St John’s. We will spend time thanking them as they go into the next
chapters of their lives. The Council approved an updated job description for Diane’s position
on Monday night and now will start the process of posting, receiving resumes and
interviewing so we have the skills we need in the office. Julia’s position will be discussed at
the retreat in the fall and as a community we will decide how to fill roles that she held.
I know that change is always difficult and that the church has experienced many transitions
over the last few years. The constantly changing seasons maybe part of how creation
reminds us that change is part of life. We say goodbyes and welcome new people into our
lives throughout our lives. Being a city church, near a university we will experience more of
the coming and goings than a church out in a rural area where there are less options and
people tend to live for a longer time. So here are some facts as we take in the losses we are
experiencing in these two gifted people.
 We are a church of just under 150 members. This puts us squarely in the category of a
pastoral size church, around 250 one moves to the category of a program size church.
That is the point when churches normally consider having more than the equivalent of
one full time pastoral staff member. So, though St John’s has had an associate it is not
unusual for churches our size to be healthy, growing churches with less staff. Many
churches our size have very limited other help as well with congregants doing everything
from cleaning to writing newsletters etc. Different people sharing their gifts for the good
of the church.
 Yes the church needs stewardship in terms of monetary tithing but a church our size
needs people giving of their TIME AND ENERGY in other ways as well. We need the
wonderful gifts of those who teach children and
adults, volunteers in the choir, greeting,
running the sound board, opening and closing,
folks who take care of websites and
technology, just to name a few. This is a good
time to start thinking about your gifts and
talents and what you have to give to the church
beyond money. It is also time to think about
how we simplify our life at St John’s a bit so we
do not exhaust ourselves trying to keep everything as it was, but have energy and excitement to be a sign of God in the world.
In this newsletter you will see some ideas for movement in these directions. A BOOK
GROUP to see how other churches have done it. A SOCIAL ACTION SERIES of sermons
and talk backs so we can explore ways to serve here in Richmond. And just as importantly a
number of opportunities to be TOGETHER AS COMMUNITY to have fun and get to know
each other better.


The Messenger / JUNE 2016

Join us each
Sunday (starting June 5)
at 10:00 am for

We will celebrate the friendship,
love and service of

Julia Eliades
Sunday, June 26
Please watch for all the details
and make sure you save the date and plan to attend!


The Messenger / JUNE 2016

SJUCC Financial Forum
June 19, 2016In the Fellowship HallRight after the Sunday Service!


You are invited to
a St. John’s Financial
Forum on Sunday June 19.
This is an opportunity to hear
information and have questions
answered on:


Our Budget Process
An Update on Our Current Financial Status
Future Challenges, and
Positive Actions for Meeting These Challenges

These are important times for St. John’s and this information will help with discussions during the
upcoming Congregational Retreat in September. See You there!
St. John’s Finance Committee


The Messenger / JUNE 2016

On May 8, 2016, the
congregation, in a special
Called Meeting, approved
the following Church
Council Recommendation:
"To amend the
Constitution, Article III (The Church Council), Section 2
(Membership), to state “The Church Council shall
consist of nine (9) members, 18 years of age or older
elected by ballot from the membership at the annual
meeting, and the Minister (s) then in service to the
This purpose of this change was to reduce the number of
members needed to serve on Church Council from twelve
(12) members to nine (9) members

Church Officers and Leaders:

Church Council

Two Year Term: June, 2016— May, 2018
Adrianne Dery
Vicky Lyle
Laura Totty
Chris Ward

On May 22,
2016, the
accepted the
nomination of
the following

Congratulations Graduates!
Hank Allen
Hank will be graduating from The Center for Information Technology
at Deep Run High School.
He will be attending VCU’s School for the Arts in the fall!

Zavi Harman
Zavi graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with honors
in December 2015.

Kristen Lennox
Kristen received a Master of Social Work degree from Virginia
Commonwealth University in May, 2016.

Savannah Quick
Graduating from High School this month and plans to attend the
University of Virginia in the fall!

Michael Yust
Michael is graduating with a BS in civil engineering with honors from
Lafayette College.
He will begin a PhD in geotechnical engineering at the
University of Texas in Austin in the fall!

Church Officers
One Year Term: June, 2016— May, 2017
President: Elisabeth Burnette
Vice President: Scott Siefert
Church Secretary: Chris Ward

Endowment Fund Board
Three Year Term: June, 2016— May, 2019
Dorothy Sealey Cook
Elisabeth Burnette
Jeff Hetzer
Don Stiegler

Board of Trustees
Three Year Term: June, 2016— May, 2019
Sarah Allen

Our roof being
repaired the week
of May 23!


The Messenger / JUNE 2016

We Give Thanks or Our Teachers
We have enjoyed a wonderful year in our Christian Formation classes exploring
faiths from around the world, topics of interest such as evil, forgiveness, and the
trinity, and sharing God’s stories with our children. Please join the Christian
Formation ministry in expressing appreciation and gratitude to our gifted
teachers for their faithful service. Our teachers give tirelessly of their time and
talents. These teachers come to church with a lesson plan prepared, lead our
children and adults through the intricacies of the stories in the Bible, share their
knowledge and expertise, pray with and for their students, and encourage and
care for their students even beyond the classroom.

Kristen Lennox cares for our youngest in the nursery.

Kristen recently
received her MSW in social work and is here every Sunday with a smile. She
always gives more than is asked. She is beloved by our children and their parents.

Karen-Marie Yust gives generously of herself and her time sharing her expertise and experience in Christian Education.

She helps in the planning and preparation of quality programs and teaches most Sundays either in the children’s or adult classrooms
– and sometimes both! She is a gifted teacher and students are engaged in learning when she is teaching! We are grateful!

Sarah Allen has shared her gift of teaching for many years and enjoys teaching our older children and youth although this

year she has helped us with the primary children too. She will be one of the chaperones along with Pastor Linda who will be attending the National Youth event in July.

Kristina Gilbert serves not only as a teacher but also as the chair of the Christian Formation committee.

Kristina brings her

expertise, energy and enthusiasm and to share with her students and every week.

Please let these teachers know how much you appreciate them!

Third Wednesdays
Three months
Three great books
Let’s read and gather to discuss some books this summer! This is an opportunity to
gather for a light nosh and discuss some books that will help us as we move into our
new vision of St John’s. For these gatherings we will meet at Linda’s new home
2928 West Stony Hill Court, apt1B, Richmond VA 23235

JUNE: Real Good Church by Molly Baskette.
We will meet 6:30-8 on June 15
JULY: Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger.
We will meet 6:30 -8 on July 20
AUGUST: Beyond Resistance by John Dorhauer (the new president
and General Minister of the UCC)
We will meet 6:30-8 Aug 17


The Messenger / JUNE 2016

The Worship and Music
Committee at St. John’s UCC
continues to meet and work on
the continuing plans for our
Sunday services and events that inspire our membership
throughout the year. As the many blessings that seem
to be coming our way embellish our hopes and answer
our prayers, we continue to face the growth, changes
and events that make up St. John’s and
our church family.
Thanks Sal !
Sal Anselmo has asked
to be relieved of his
duties procuring readers
for our Sunday Morning
worship services and also
his greeting of our visitors
by handing out St. John’s
bread. We want to offer
our sincere thanks to Sal for his dedicated service to our
church over the past years. As blessings happen, we
have a new volunteer to begin the service of assigning
readers for the Call to Worship and the scripture each
Sunday. Barbara Etter has stepped up and will be
coordinating this part of our worship program. Barbara
will also be recruiting volunteers to set up and prepare
for our fellowship time after worship: “Cookie Church”!
The sign up lists will continue to be posted in the parlor
and remain there for you to choose those times when
you wish to volunteer. You may contact Barbara
directly on her mobile phone: (804) 543-1543 or by
e-mail: better66@gmail.com

Social Action
On June 5 Pastor
Linda will preach on
Social Action and
care for our

July 10
July 10th Kim Bobo from Virginia Interfaith Center for Public
Policy will preach and then welcome questions at a forum
following worship.

July 17
July 17th a member of RISC, Richmonders Involved to
Strengthen our Communities will preach and be open to
discussion at a forum following worship

August 21
August 21 RVA Rapid transit will be welcomed to our pulpit
with a forum following worship.
These preachers will bring ideas to us of how we can be
effectively involved in bringing social justice in our
community. Many of our small groups mentioned social
justice in their vision for St John’s so we will use the
summer to explore some opportunities.

Although Summer may become a time when our
attendance drops down as we all move more into the
realm of vacation, cook outs and time outside; with Pastor Linda, Worship and Music is planning events that will
bring us together during these relaxed times. Stay tuned
and catch up with the ongoing plans listed in THE MESSENGER.

June 5
We will be observing Communion. The sermon will be
Choose Justice.

We really do not wish to set up a committee just to
dust the benches that stay empty.

June 12
Hymn Sing/ laity Sunday so come prepared with your
favorite hymn numbers

When the winds of change blow, some people build
walls, and others build windmills.
Chinese Proverb

Sonny Darnell and Beverly Lindsey, co-Chairs


June 19
Our sermon will be Tired and Lost and we will have a
Financial Forum
June 26
We will celebrate Julia Eliades


The Messenger / JUNE 2016

St. John’s
Mission of the Month for June
Church World Service was born in 1946, in the
aftermath of World War II. Seventeen denominations came
together to form an agency “to do in partnership what none
of us could hope to do as well alone.” The mission: Feed
the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the
aged, shelter the homeless.

Advocacy: Addressing the policies and prejudices that keep the world’s vulnerable in poverty.
Emergencies: CWS provides help in crises, immediately and in the long term.
Global Development: Helping communities to address access to food, water and other

Refugees and Immigrants:

Accompanying those who are searching for a safer, more
secure home in: Africa, Europe, Middle East, North Africa, Latin America, Caribbean, North
America, Asia.


to watch
a youtube video:

St. John’s participates in the CROP Hunger Walk - sponsored by Church World Service.

Additionally, this month, we will be taking up a “bucket collection” on June 5 for CWS and we encourage you to give to CWS anytime the month of June. Our offering will be used for the TOOLS OF HOPE through Church World Services.
Please check out this web page for more information:



The Messenger / JUNE 2016

St. John’s Players
St. John's Community Players wants to thank all those that
attended the 8th Annual Cabaret on April 23-24. A special
thanks to all those that worked behind the scenes, cooked and
serve dinner and most especially to Anita and Tony
Sharpenstein along with the very special cast who work so
hard and love what they do for St. John's UCC and the
surrounding community. This production each year has been
a fund raiser for the church. They are happy to say that
$1500.00 will be donated to the general fund from the 2016

The Return of the
Glass Slipper
Presented by:
The St. John’s
Community Players
Youth Theatre

June 28, 29, 30 @ 10 am & 1 pm
July 1 @ 10 am & 6 pm
$5 Adults ~ $4 Students

The Congregational Life
and Care committee has
been working to re-shape
and simplify the covenant
care groups into a network
of care designed to offer
help and support to those
in need. We are asking
everyone to be a part of
the network and want to encourage you to participate.

The coordinators are Scott Siefert, Jeff Jacobs, Betsy Bighinatti,
Cheryl Goode, and Helena DeLigt. We are asking you to contact
one of these individuals or Linda or Julia when you or someone
you know would benefit from words of encouragement, a helping
or a pastoral
As part of this ministry we are also asking you to donate soup or
different kind of comfort food. We have already received a
number of donations of soup, and we thank those individuals
who have lovingly prepared soup for this ministry. Donations of
food items will either be delivered to individuals or kept frozen in
the freezer in the kitchen. Containers can be found the Parlor.
Please talk to Scott Siefert for more information.

Please note! You, any member of your family, friends, or neighbors are encouraged to take food as needed. The comfort is
there for you – please take it with our prayers. For more
information about this ministry, please speak to Scott Seifert,
Julia or Pastor Linda.

Box Office: 358-9291

Small Group Fellowship
We will be holding small group dinners this summer for fun and fellowship! Richard and Betsy
Bighinatti, Adrianne Dery, Jeff Jacobs, Sonny Darnell, and Elisabeth Burnett and June
Smyth have agreed to host a dinner. If you would like to be a host, please contact Scott Siefert or
Julia Eliades. Sign-up sheets for the dinners will be posted in the Parlor and we invite you to pick
the date and time that works best for you. You can contact the church office to sign-up as well!

A Picnic at the Dell
On Friday evening, June 24th, all are invited to bring a picnic dinner and
lawn chair and head to Dogwood Dell for
their production of “Arsenic and Old Lace.”
We will start gathering at 7 pm. The
performance starts at 8:30 pm and is free. Come and enjoy this
opportunity to be together.

Fellowship Coordinator:
Sal Anselmo 358-1696

June 5

Richard Bighinatti

June 12
Lynn Snyder

Lynn Snyder

June 26
Bill Watson

Tellers Coordinator:
Bud Higgins 301-5059
Lay Readers Coordinator:
Barbara Etter 543-1543
Altar Guild Coordinator:
Sonny Darnell 743-7528


David Pittman

Chris Ward


Jeff Jacobs
Bud Higgins

Jeff Jacobs
Bud Higgins


Sonny Darnell
Karen-Marie Yust


Altar Guild

Chris Ward

Mark Atkinson

Worship &

Rob Osborn
Bryan Etter

June Smyth
Elisabeth Burnette

Richard Bighinatti

Joe McGregor

Joe McGregor

Bill Watson

Erin Burnette

Arthur Dewey
Cheryl Goode

Dorothy Cook
Sonny Darnell

Johanna Gilbert
Charlotte Quick

Vicky Lyle

Lynda Merry
Dorothy Cook

Elisabeth Burnette

Fellowship The Gilbert family


June 19

Sonny Darnell

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

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

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
$45.00 for two beautiful bou-

10 am Worship
Installation of Officers


10 am Worship
9:00 AM

10 am Worship
Noon Financial


6:00 pm Reiki Share

5:30 Worship & Music




Craft and
Yard Sale





5 pm Card Ministry

11:30 am NA Meeting

Office Closed


6:15 pm Cong. Life


Office Closed

11:30 am NA Meeting


6:30 pm Council


6:00 Revitalization







10:00 am Staff

5 pm Card Ministry

11:30 am NA

8:00 am India Orthodox

11:30 am NA Meeting

Office Closed

6:30 pm Adult
Bible Study @ Pastor’s

Newsletter Articles Due









5 pm Card Ministry

11:30 am NA Meeting

Office Closed

10:00 am Staff
11:30 am NA Meeting


7:00 pm Picnic
at the Dell



Arsenic and Old



10 am Worship
Julia Eliades
Recognition day

11:30 am NA Meeting

10:00 am Staff
5:30 pm Finance

Noon Parent Meeting


5 pm Card Ministry




10:00 The Return of
the Glass Slipper

10:00 The Return of the
Glass Slipper

10:00 The Return of the
Glass Slipper

1:00 pm The Return of
the Glass Slipper

11:30 am NA Meeting

11:30 am NA Meeting

1:00 pm The Return of
the Glass Slipper


5 pm Card Ministry

June Smyth
Savannah Quick
Georgia Pollard
Beth Oxenham
Peggy Ford
Phil Jones
Paula Yust
Tony Sharpenstein
Joe McGregor
Thomas Viergever

1:00 pm The Return of
the Glass Slipper


Helen Bunch
Jack Short
Thomas Pridgen
Terri Harper
Ray White
Matthew Walsh
Barbara Etter
Joseph Walsh
Kylie Caraher