Happy Wednesday all. In my weekly reading, I ran across an interesting piece of research. There was an article reporting its findings in The Telegraph- which can be accessed here- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/17/one-six-young-people-christian-visits-church-buildings-inspire/
The meat of the research is summed up in this quote:
“Around 13 per cent of teenagers said that they decided to become a Christian after a visit to a church or cathedral, according to the figures. The influence of a church building was more significant than attending a youth group, going to a wedding, or speaking to other Christians about their faith.”
In modern times it seems there is a constant tension surrounding church buildings. One argument says that up-keeping and adorning them with very nice things is wasteful and should not be a high priority… there is the fear that people begin to worship buildings and neglect other ministries. Other arguments state that the building is not important at all, but rather the people comprise the entirety of the church.
And while I think there is validity to some of the things that are said in our modern day concerning church buildings, I think this research and article are very telling. That the church building itself is a witness to God’s love and mercy is not something about which we often think. And I am still trying to wrap my mind around the idea that a person can come to belief and faith by a visit to a church.
But, on the other hand, Churches are oft times thought of as ports of mercy in the community and as gateways to the Kingdom of God. They are holy places where the space between the Holy and the world is very thin indeed. Countless prayers have been offered… countless others have mourned and rejoiced… and still many more have received forgiveness and the Grace of God.
I will leave the rest for your thoughts and reflections… but we are the benefactors of a great gift from God and for this community… In what ways to we make the most of those gifts… and in what ways are we lacking?
See you around the parish,
P.S. Vacation Bible School is right around the corner and we need adult volunteers to help make this week possible. Please contact Shelby Gatewood to volunteer (601-433-7146). Help us make this the best week of summer for our children!
Vacation Bible School
‘MAKER FUN FACTORY’
CREATED BY GOD BUILT FOR A PURPOSE
July 10 – 14th
9:00 – 11:45 am
St. John’s Episcopal Church
- New friends
- Amazing experiments
- Creative Games
- Lip-smacking snacks
- Surprising adventures
- Incredible music
Call the Church Office for more information. Looking for ways to volunteer? Call, Shelby Gatewood 601-433-7146.
Invite your friends! Registration forms have been mailed to families with children in our parish and extra copies are available on the back table in the church and on the table by the parish office… or you can download one here: Download Registration Form
Honduras Medical Mission News
Applications are available for the 2018 Honduras Medical Mission and can be found on the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi website: http://www.dioms.org/Ministries/honduras.html
There are a few important dates to remember:
– The dates for the 2018 mission will be Saturday, February 10-Saturday, 17, 2018.
– Deadline for submitting applications is July 1, 2017.
– The team will be chosen and applicants notified in August 2017.
– There is a mandatory overnight team retreat at Gray Center Friday evening January 12, 2018, until Saturday after lunch January 13, 2018.
Individuals must pay their own team fees of $1500. The first $750 must be paid by September 15, 2017, with the remainder due December 1, 2017.
Anyone may apply – we always have a need for medical professionals including doctors, nurses, veterinarians, dentists, dental hygienists, optometrists, and pharmacists; however, no medical experience is required! There are also openings for general support for which no prior training is necessary! We always need Spanish-speaking applicants, but there are translators present for those who don’t speak Spanish. Everyone is encouraged to apply, regardless of your background!
Individuals who do not wish to travel, but who want to support the mission, there are two ways to do so:
1. Word of Mouth! Almost everyone knows a doctor, a nurse, a veterinarian, a dentist, a dental hygienist, an optometrist, a pharmacist, or someone who loves to travel! Please, ask them to get the word out!
2. Donations! While team members pay for their own expenses, the mission does fundraising to raise the money to purchase medicines, supplies, and tools needed to serve the team. We also offer small grants to the community for infrastructure, economic, and educational improvements.
Any support of these activities – either by individuals, vestries, or servant ministry groups is welcome. Donations may be sent to the Honduras Medical Mission c/o Sandra Perkins P. O. Box 2006 Tupelo, MS 38804.
From the Diocese
Mississippi Episcopal Cursillo
Cursillo Leadership Workshops
July 22, 2017
- Church of the Ascension, (Hattiesburg 3600 Arlington Loop)
- Church of the Resurrection, Starkville, (105 N. Montgomery Street)
- 9:00am until 3:00pm
- Much to be gained if interested in being a Weekend Rector or Head Cha Cha
- 5 Dynamic Topics
- Light breakfast (8:30) & lunch provided
- Donations accepted.
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Send your name and the parish you plan to attend.
- Cursillos in Christianity is a Movement which, by its own Method, attempts from within the Church, to give life to the essential Christian truths in the singularity, originality and creativity of the person. In discovering their potential and accepting their limitations, they will direct their freedom with their conviction, reinforce their will with decisiveness and direct their friendship with the virtue of constancy in their day-to-day life, personally and with others.
- Follow them on Facebook, Mississippi Episcopal Cursillo or look them up on the internet cursillo.dioms.org
2017 Flower chart
The Altar Flower Chart for 2017 is on the board in the Sacristy hallway and we need the faithful to sign up to take a Sunday in memory or thanksgiving of someone or an event. If you are unable to come to the parish to sign up, you are more than welcome to call the parish office with a date you would like and we will try our best to accommodate you. When a person takes a Sunday, they contact the parish to make known their thanksgiving/memorial wording for the Sunday bulletin. Mr. Randy Jackson of Flowertyme is a communicant, but you may choose which florist you would like to deal with, or you can make the arrangement yourself and place them in the sanctuary.
An Easy Way to Help St. John’s Day School
Start clipping BOX TOPS for Education! Hundreds of products participate in the program, and you probably already have several in your pantry, freezer and refrigerator. For every Box Top you clip, St. John’s Day School will receive 10 cents!!! That may not sound like a lot, but it adds up quickly. There are no limitations on the money’s use, so St. John’s can spend it as needed.
Grab your scissors and keep an eye out for the Box Tops for Education logo on the products you use every day. Once you have finished the product, clip the Box Top before you throw it away. Be sure to look over the whole box. There is a container labeled for your Box Tops on the table in the hallway.
We here at Saint John’s love reaching out to others and letting them know that they are loved by God, held in prayer and remembered. Our Pastoral Care Committee, E.Y.C. and Daughters of the King society would love to write notes of encouragement, send small care packages and simply let others know that they are prayed for and remembered. If you have a loved one who is shut-in, a college student or in the military, follow this link to fill out the form and let us stay in touch with them! The form is here:
|For the Year
||$ 3,049( 108%)
O God, our heavenly Father, make the door of this Church wide enough that all who need human love and fellowship and a Fathers care may find it, and narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride and uncharitableness. Here may the tempted find help, and the sorrowing receive comfort. Here may the careless be awakened to repentance, and the penitent be assured of your mercy. And here may all your children renew their strength in You, and go on their way rejoicing. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Saint Johns Episcopal Church
541 North 5th Ave./ P.O. Box 1766
Laurel, MS 39441