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March 2012

Volume 26.3

Rev. Jonathan Heaslet

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

The Door Shall Be Opened When we began our reflection on the image of the door as an invitation to deepen our faith, we began by recalling the image of Jesus knocking at the door (from The Revelation to John 3.20 and the painting by Warner Sallman). Today, lets turn the tables and ask about those times when we knock on the divine door. How do we knock on this door? Well, certainly in worship. And certainly in those times when we pray. Joyce Rupp writes: Each time we turn our heart in trust toward our Constant Companion and acknowledge our need of divine assistance, we are knocking on the [divine] door. But what is it that we are to ask for when we come to the divine door and knock? It has been my experience that children and older persons are very uninhibited about their prayers. Its those of us in those in between years who seem to get tongue-tied, who struggle to make our prayers sound authentic and reasonable if not intellectually brilliant. Jesus simply encourages us to be honest with our requests, promising that we will find what we seek. The assumption often made, however, is that were referring to intercessory prayers, those things we ask God for to make life go the way we want it to go. (Dont you just love it when that parking space opens up on a rainy day right in front of the store?!) Consider, however, that Jesus may not be speaking about how we want to control our worldly circumstances as much as he wants us to have a deeper relationship with him. How do we knock on that door? And just how will it be answered? Irish singer Carmel Boyle performs a song titled My Souls Desire. Its dominated by questions of one on a spiritual quest: What is your longing? Your hope? Your yearning? What is your song? Your call? Your hurt? What is your healing? Your joy? Your wisdom? What is your truth? Your freedom? Your fire? These are not questions of the nature What can you do for me, God? Rather, they come from a much different perspective: How can I be for God?

An Open and Affirming Congregation

503 Stuart Circle Richmond, Virginia 23220 Telephone: 804.358.9291

Email: stjohns@stjohnsrichmond.org

Web Site: stjohnsrichmond.org

Published monthly for members and friends Rev. Jonathan Heaslet Senior Pastor

Now it should come as no surprise that we cannot be for God unless we know God. So, during the next 40-days, visit God often go and knock on the divine door. Have some good conversations. Consider what will you ask for that helps to deepen your relationship with God, that helps you grow in faith, that helps you be for God. Knocking with you,

2012 St Johns UCC

2 The Messenger | March 2012


There was a lot of excitement about the fellowship dinners in January that supported our CARITAS ministry, and anticipation of the dinners in March in support of ACTS. About 40 people attended the Dancing Under the Stars night on February 18th. We thank Arthur Dewey for leading folks of all ages in an evening of fun. Thanks Hank! Stephanie Workman was approved for ordination at the Potomac Associations Ecclesiastical Council on February 25th. Stephanie was accompanied by a cheering squad of eight. We are very proud of her accomplishments. She now plans an ordination service sometime this summer. Church Council Actions at February 13th Meeting Council approved retaining a general contractor to assist in evaluating the building needs for repairs and restorations. In March, we will rent a cherry picker to go around the outside of the building looking for leaks in gutters and windows and roofing. An inside walkthrough of the building has already been completed. From these investigations Council will prioritize needed repairs. Council approved calling a seminary intern to assist in our Christian education program for the school year 2012-2013. By having an intern on site in September, s/he can work with the Christian education committee and Linda Heaslet in advance of Lindas retirement in December. A special gift was made to pay the interns compensation for the fall semester. On February 5th we said Thank you to Pastor Harman who retired as our Visitation Pastor at the end of December. During worship we celebrated his ministry of visitation and a reception in his honor was held in the Fellowship Hall. If you missed the service or the opportunity to give him your thanks on February 5th, please send him a note in care of the church or at his residence at Imperial Plaza, 1717 Bellevue Avenue, Azalea Building # 615, Richmond, 23237

Inclement Weather Procedure

Should we get winter weather and are forced to cancel worship, please call the churchs main phone number at (804) 358-9291 and listen to the recording, or check your email for an e-blast.

Congregational Meeting
A brief meeting of the congregation will be held on Sunday, March 18th during the worship service to elect a trustee to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of Ken Westnedge. Church council has nominated Bert Brown to fill the vacancy. Bert is a longtime member of St. Johns, has served on church council, on the welcome teams, and has been chair of the facilities committee for many years. This serves as the official notice of the congregational meeting.

Church Council
Teresa Jolles, President Jo Ann Jellison, Vice President Betsy Bighinatti, Secretary Sarah Allen Bryan Anderegg Marjorie Barbour Gil Caldwell Helena DeLigt Billy Poarch Dreama Terrill Bill Watson Karen-Marie Yust

Church Council meets the second Monday of each month at 7 PM in the Guild Room. This month the meeting is on March 12. All are welcome to attend.

The Messenger | March 2012

By Jo Ann Jellison
Its Lent a time for reflection and spiritual practice. Unlike during Advent, there is not so much pressure from the shopping world. We can stop to consider Jesus journey and our own without drawing names and wrapping presents and trekking around to parties. Instead of tacky lights we have the Bradford pear trees which will blossom during the season to lift our spirits. We can look forward to Lent every year. There is always some good Christian education offering to participate in. We can revisit meaningful books we have read in the past, or explore a new one, or follow a Lenten booklet, or get serious about meditation or some other practice that we have let slip. It restores calmness after a season of anxiety Christmas shopping, New Years resolutions, and bracing for snowstorms. We have some wonderful worship services planned. Shirley has some great music planned for each week in Lent. Palm Sunday will bring a parade, a brass quartet, and the laying of palm branches. We will have a soup and bread supper and dramatic presentation on Maundy Thursday. St. Johns will host a Good Friday service (noon) in participation with several area congregations. The traditional and the creative will be a part of the season. Communion will be served at the Maundy Thursday service and on Easter. We will not serve communion on Palm Sunday, which falls on the first Sunday, deferring to Easter Sunday.

Sunday, April 1: Palm Sunday Parade. Gather at 9:30 AM @ First English Lutheran Church (across Stuart Circle from St. Johns). Thursday, April 5: Maundy Thursday supper and worship in the Fellowship Hall. Friday, April 6: Good Friday Service at Noon @St. Johns Sunday, April 8: Sunrise Service at 6:30 AM 2100 block of East Grace Street (at the bluff overlooking downtown Richmond just outside the gates of Richmond Hill Retreat Center.) 10:45 AM in the Sanctuary for special music that will prepare us for our Service of Resurrection.

Lectionary Readings
March 4, 2012 Second Sunday in Lent Genesis 17: 1-7, 15-16 Psalm 22:23-31 Romans 4:13-25 Mark 8:31-38 or Mark 9:2-9 March 11, 2012 Third Sunday in Lent Exodus 20:1-17 Psalm 19 1 Corinthians 5:18-25 John 2:13-22 March 18, 2012 Fourth Sunday in Lent Numbers 21:4-9 Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22 Ephesons 2:1-10 John 3:14-21 March 25, 2012 Fifth Sunday in Lent Jeremiah 31:31-34 Psalm 51:1-12 or 119:9-16 Hebrews 5:5-10 John 12:20-33

A Journey of Paradoxes
Our Lenten journey in worship will be guided this year by Parker Palmer and his book The Promise of Paradox. Dr. Palmer will help us explore some of our most challenging questions at the core of our spirituality: How do we live with the apparent opposition between good and evil? Scarcity and abundance? Individuality and community? Life and death? War and peace? The Season of Lent provides us with the opportunity to give honest voice to these very human questions. Instead of holding them apart as having either/or answers, can we hold them in tension as paradoxes and allow them to open our hearts and minds to new ways of seeing, new ways of being faithful in our Christian walk. Please come and worship as we consider the paradox of beginning our journey with the ashes of sorrow that we may be led to Easter and the promise of joy renewed.

4 The Messenger | March 2012

St. Johns Womens Group News!

We have not met as a group in some time. Lets get some meetings and events on the calendar for 2012. Anyone (women only!) interested in having a meeting to do some work on our calendar are invited to the home of Jo Ann Jellison on Saturday, March 3 from 11 AM to 2 PM. The usual plan bring some munchies to share will be in effect. We only need a small, nutritious snack; so small sandwiches, hummus and pita bread, cheese and crackers, deviled eggs, or other munchies of your choice will be great. Paper products and plastic-ware or even real dishes will be provided. Oh, and we will have our usual good time of sharing the Spirit with each other. Please e-mail joannjellison@yahoo.com or call (804) 937-1180 to RSVP and get directions. The address is 9410 Links Lane, Apt. H, Glen Allen, VA 23059. One caution: this is a second-floor apartment with only stairs for access. If stairs are difficult for you, you might think about bringing two strong men to sweep you off your feet and up the staircase. Jo Ann Jellison, Adrianne Dery, Helena DeLigt

The Fellowship March Meeting

March 8th at 10:30 am in the Fellowship Hall. Rev. Kenn Shirley - A Lenten Journey Lunch will be served. All are invited! We are still planning for the basement sale in June so please bring items and put them in the white elephant room in the basement.

Save the Date!

The church picnic will be held on May 19th from 4 to 8 p.m. It will be at Sunday Park in Brandermil on the Swift Creek Reservoir. It is located near the Brandermill Church at 4500 Millridge Parkway off of Hull St. Road. More information will follow. Please save the date and plan to attend.

In Memory Church Women United (CWU) Hosting World Day of Prayer at St. Johns By Dorothy Cook
On Friday March 2nd, St. Johns will be hosting the meeting for the CWU and celebrating World Day of Prayer here at St. Johns. Every one is invited. The service starts at 10:00 am. Light refreshments will be served in the Parlor. Following the service CWU will go to Richmond Hill for lunch. Jo Ann Jellison would like to express heartfelt thanks for the many prayers, cards, meals, visits and other expressions of concern and cheer during the past several months of surgeries and chemotherapy. The heart of God is beating in the hearts of St. Johns. I am so blessed. We are so blessed. Many thanks. We offer our prayers and condolences to the family of Cyrus Nicholas, partner of Henry Branch, who died on February 15. A service of thanksgiving for his life was held at St .Marks Episcopal Church on Monday the 20th.

Birthdays This Month

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 10 12 13 15 19 26 31 Teresa Jolles Ginny Etter David Townsend Aghavni Dalton, Sonny Darnell Rick Cook, Joan Cooper Theresa Christian Florence Cross, Jillian Amrhein Mary Ann Greenwalt Norma Westnedge, Thomas Naumann, Matthew Pecka Frances Smith Vass William Joseph Christian Gil Caldwell, Audrey Buchanan Sam Dalton Johanna Gilbert

The Messenger | March 2012

St Johns Players 3rd Annual Cabaret Im a little Bit Country and Im A little Bit Rock n Roll

Have Dinner with Friends and Support ACTS in March

The Congregational Life and Care committee is sponsoring a second Dinner with Friends in March. A Dinner Host will be calling you or you may contact the church office to be placed in a group. In January, you exceeded all expectations by donating items for our CARITAS ministry. In March, we are asking each dinner group to donate supplies for ACTS (see list below). Area Congregations Together in Service (ACTS) is a Greater Richmond interfaith mission providing support and resources during periods of financial crisis to prevent homelessness. ACTS vision is to the premiere faith-based organization working to prevent homelessness in the Greater Richmond Area, fostering a community that values and cares for persons in crisis. What to bring to the dinners: 1. Personal Care Items: Soap, shampoo, conditioner, tooth paste, tooth brushes, deodorant, feminine products 2. Paper Products: Toilet paper, paper towels 3. Cleaning Products: Dish Detergent, dishwasher detergent, sponges, laundry detergent, and household cleaners 4. Childrens Items: Diapers, wipes, toothpaste, tooth brushes 5. Misc.: Bus passes ($5 or $10 denominations), stamps, stationery, envelopes, pens, folders, and organizers

Saturday, April 21st at 7:30 PM ($10) Saturday, April 21st at 6:00 PM, Dinner Theatre ($20) Sunday, April 22nd at 3:00 PM ($10) The participants will be members of previous casts, members of St. Johns and members of our Childrens productions. If you would like to participate in the show itself, serving dinner, selling tickets, set-up or clean up, please talk with Tony Sharpenstein or Betsy Bighinatti. All proceeds go to the church annual budget. Please bring family and friends and offer your support of the ministries of St. Johns.

ACTS OF FAITH Join us for Jewtopoia

For a night of fun and fellowship, consider joining with your St. Johns friends on Saturday, March 10th at the HATTheatre (www.hattheatre.org) for the production of Jewtopia. Starring St. Johns Player cast member Chris Hester (Youre A Good Man, Charlie Brown). The show gives many wonderfully humorous insights into our Jewish and Christian cultures.

Lily Orders To order a Lily please contact the church office or complete a form found in the Parlor. Put the form in the basket by the church office, the offering plate, or mail it to the church office. The cost is $14.00 per plant. Ordering Deadline: Sunday, April 1 Following the Easter service, you can take your plant home.

Dancing Under the Stars

The Messenger | February 2012

Adult Education: Journeying through Lent

The season of Lent is an invitation to imagine what it would be like to walk with Jesus through the events of Holy Week. Join the Sunday morning adult education class in wondering about the significance of Lent and exploring the excitement of Palm Sunday, the predictions and uncertainties of Maundy Thursday, the pain and fear of Good Friday, and the loss of Holy Saturday. This Lent, discover how the ancient biblical story of Jesus death and resurrection remains truly relevant for contemporary lives. February 26, March 4, March 11, March 18 (roundtable), and March 25, 9:45-10:45 a.m.

Lenten Practices By Bryan Anderegg

Reflecting upon Lent, I believe this time of reflection and cleansing is to be journeyed both individually and collectively. Through this Lenten Season our bulletins will have inserts of spiritual practices for you to utilize on the journey. Together may we find afresh our community of faith here at St. John's United Church of Christ.

March Roundtable:

Stations of the Cross

For centuries, Christians have prepared for the celebration of Easter by reflecting on Jesus walk from Pilates court to Golgotha and his death on the cross. Adults and children have imagined how Jesus and his disciples felt on that sad and scary day by walking 14 stations of the cross, pausing at each one to reflect. Come, be part of a hands-on intergenerational exploration of some of these 14 stations and prepare your own heart for Easter joy. March 18th at 9:45 am.

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

Happy Lent to you all. If you detected the paradox in that greeting, then you are pointed in the right direction on our Lenten journey to life via the cross. A reminder to you all that Wednesday Evening Bible Study resumes next Wednesday, February 29th. We will begin to discuss the Psalms, sing the Psalms, pray the Psalms. The Psalms are Israels prayer book and hymnal. We are uplifted by many, embarrassed by others, while others leave us confused. We have our favorites, and we take care to avoid others. How do you receive the Psalms? Lets come together during Lent in prayer and song, in affirmation and avoidance in short, a paradoxical journey.

The ABCs of the Bible

Are you interested in learning more about the Bible the foundation of our faith? Do you seek understanding and answers to these questions: What is the Bible? How did the Bible come to Be? What is the Old Testament About? What is the New Testament About? How has the Bible been handed on and preserved through time? These are some of the questions we might explore in a study of the ABCs of the Bible. If you are interested in this study, please contact Bryan Anderegg, Chair of Christian Education or speak to Jon

March 11th Set clocks forward one hour.

The Messenger | March 2012 7

Children and Youth Church School for LentLearning About the Sacraments
On February 26, March 4 & 11 church school will have many hands on activities to learn about baptism. On March 11 Madeline Barbour will be baptized, on May 20 a confirmand will be baptized and we might be having an adult baptized, too. What is baptism and why do we do it? Families are encouraged to share family stories of baptism. On March18th and 25th, church school will explore many aspects of communion. We will end with a seder meal on April 1 (Palm Sunday). Jesus was celebrating the Passover meal when he gave the words that we use in our present day communion service. Adults are invited to participate in these fun learning experiences with the children at 11:20 am each Sunday.

Pastor Party
Pastor Jon invites all teens and children and their families to a PASTOR PARTY MARCH 31 3:30 5:30 PM Facts About the Mystery Guest Put in a basket and put in the river Becomes prince of Egypt Kills one of Pharoahs men Runs away to another land Gets married and has a family Sees a burning bush and talks to God Goes back to Egypt. 10 plagues...escapes...10 commandments Who says the Bible is boring?

Confirmation class learns about the UCC

Joseph: brothers forgive each other.

Creating your own family tree

Puzzle map - where was Joseph?

8 The Messenger | March 2012

One Great Hour of Sharing

The annual all church offering for disaster relief, One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS), will be received on Sunday, March 18th. QUESTION: How many disasters occur each year that require the healing presence of One Great Hour of Sharing? ANSWER: 146 (thats about one disaster every 2.5 days, nearly 3 each week!). One Great Hour of Sharing provides assistance in the areas of health, education, refugee resettlement, agriculture and on-site emergency relief services. Over the years OGHS has shared life saving, life giving support in the United States and 137 other countries. Watch for the bulletin inserts. Listen for the Mission Moments in worship. Pray about your ability to minister far beyond our Greater Richmond Comment. Then give generously on March 18th.

The Souper Bowl results are in. The hungry have won!
Congratulations to our St. Johns Youth for their efforts at feeding the hungry of Richmond at this years Souper Bowl offering. We raised $720 which surpassed our 2011 collection. These moneys will be forwarded to Freedom House and their feeding program.

William Byrd
Dont forget that on the third Sunday of each month, we receive contributions of non-perishable food items for the William Byrd Food Bank. Ask for a shopping bag with a shopping list attached from a member of the Welcome Team when you come to worship, and then bring your offering on the third Sunday of each month.

CARITAS Continues through March 30th

As an intake center, we offer hospitality during the hour before the participants are transported to another location where they are fed a meal and sleep the night. The sign up sheets are in the Parlor. We still have a number of slots to fill. your date to volunteer.

Stewards of Our Relationship with One Another No one can serve two masters... You cannot serve God and wealth. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:24, 21 The Rev. Dr. Richard D. Weiss observes that being stewards in the household of God is intensely counter-cultural in significant ways. We live in a society where we are taught explicitly and implicitly that to be truly human is to be self-sufficient, independent, protective, competitive, acquisitive, accumulative, a consumer. If you pay money, you should get something. There is no limit to the satisfaction of our desires. Our spirit is nourished and our worth is measured by what we possess. What are the marks of this counter-culture, the Household of God? We are interdependent and collaborative we need each other, others need us. We share surplus so each has enough. In order for all to live, each limits accumulation. Money is just another resource to be allocated to ensure shalom. Our spirit is nourished by living up to who God made us to be. Our worth is given by God. Churches have a unique ministry opportunity to liberate members to order their financial life according to their faith values. Laura Dunham wisely notes in Graceful Living: Every choice we make to spend, save, or give has an impact, creating a ripple effect. How each of us decides to live matters. A message from Stewards in the Household of God: a Resource for Holistic Year-round Stewardship available from United Church of Christ Resources. March 2012 God is still speaking,

MESSENGER March 2012

Welcome Team Coordinator

March 4
Bill Watson 873-2837
Quick Family

March 11 &18
Bob Corby
Etter Family Voelcker / Barrett Family Bryan Etter James Cook Dorothy Cook Betty Staton Laura Totty Kim Vann Desiree McNeice Doug Waldrop Jeff Michel Norm Pecka

March 25 & April 1

Richard Bighinatti 379-3572
Woods Family Gretchen Miller Family Lydia Woods

April 8 & 15
Justin Barbour 687-1460
Barbour Family Amrhein Family Jillian Amrhein

April 22 & 29
Adrianne Dery 262-7072
Allen Family

Welcome team captains

Families with children

Erkulwater/Trent Family Savannah Quick Ashley Quick


Hank Allen Cammie Allen Iola Miller Lynn Snyder Jerry Simonoff JoAnn Jellison Sharon Machrone Jeff Hetzer Bert Brown Bert Brown


Pam Miller Jeff Jacobs Dreama Terrill Denise Martin Bert Brown

Beth Stiegler Don Stiegler Chris Miles Betsy Bighinatti Phil Jones Mark Atkinson Richard Bighinatti

Cheryl Goode Billy Poarch Erin Burnette Vivian White David Pittman Bert Brown

Sound System Facilities

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!

March 4
Hospitality Coordinator Kenn Shirley Sal Anselmo 358-1696 Richard Yuk

March 11
Mike & Terri Woods

March 18
Charlotte Quick Betsy Bighinatti Mark Souza

March 25

April 1

April 8

April 15

April 22

Tellers Coordinator Bud Higgins - 301-5059 Altar Flowers $40 Church office 358-9291 Liturgist Coordinators Kathy Freise 448-9876 Sal Anselmo 358-1696 Nursery Helpers Coordinator Martha Cook 227-3466

Jeff Jacobs Dorothy Cook Sonny Darnell Allen & Theresa Caraher Helen Voelcker Barrett

Judy Brown

Betsy Bighinatti Mark Souza

Sal Anselmo

Bud Higgins Jo Ann Jellison

Betsy Bighinatti Billy Poarch Marjorie Barbour Helen Voelcker Barrett Marjorie Barbour

Vicky Lyle

Laura Totty

Vicky Lyle

Laura Totty

MESSENGER March 2012





11:30 am - NA 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS 7:00 pm choir

10:00 - 11:30 am Church Women United Noon - NA 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS

5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS

4 Communion
9:45 am Adult class & Choir 11:00 am Worship 11:15 am Children & Youth Programming 12:00 pm Fellowship 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS 11 Baptisms 9:45 am Adult class & Choir 11:00 am Worship 11:15 am Children & Youth Programming 12:00 pm Fellowship 12:30 pm Confirmation 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS

10:00 am staff mtg 11:30 am - NA 5:30 pm CE 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS

5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS 7:00 WEBS

10:30 Fellowship 11:30 am - NA 7:00 pm choir 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS

Noon - NA 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS

5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS Acts of Faith Jewtopia

5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS

5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS 7 pm Council

10:00 am staff mtg 11:30 am - NA 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS

5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS 7:00 WEBS

11:30 am - NA 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS 7:00 pm choir

Noon - NA 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS

5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS Dinner with Friends

18 Congregational Meeting One Great Hour of Sharing

9:00 am Breakfast 9:45 am Round Table Choir 11:00 am Worship 11:15 am Children & Youth Programming 12:00 pm Fellowship 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS

5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS



11:30 am - NA 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS 7:00 pm choir

Noon - NA 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS


10:00 am staff mtg 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS 11:30 am - NA 7:00 WEBS 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS

5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS

9:45 am Adult class & Choir 11:00 am Worship 11:15 am Children & Youth Programming 12:00 pm Fellowship 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS

5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS

10:00 am staff mtg 11:30 am - NA 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS

5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS 7:00 WEBS

11:30 am - NA 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS 7:00 pm choir

Noon - NA Last night 5:45 - 6:30 pm CARITAS

Pastor Party 3:30 - 5:30 pm

1 Palm Sunday No communion

9:45 am Palm Sunday Parade - no adult class 11:00 am Worship 11:15 am Children & Youth Programming- Seder Meal 12:00 pm Fellowship 8 Easter with communion No adult or children church school 10:45 am Worship 12:00 am Fellowship 12:30 am Egg Hunt

10:00 am staff mtg 11:30 am - NA

5 Maundy Thursday
11:30 am - NA 6:00 meal & worship

6 Good Friday
Noon - NA Noon Community Good Friday Service

WEBS Wednesday Evening Bible Study

NA - Narcotics Anonymous