Notes from Patmos…Hot off the press!
A very happy Wednesday to one and all!

In the blink of an eye, summer is over, and the parish is ramping back up for a new academic year.  Last Sunday, the choir returned, and we were joined by special guest and friend of the parish, Mr. James Carr, of the Staatsoper Berlin- whose Offertory anthem brought several to tears and made us all want to stand up and cheer.  It is a special and rare treat to have such a talented, dynamic and lovely choir, and the best part is that they are back for the Fall!!! Yay!!!!
This Sunday, August 13th we begin Sunday School for all ages.  Our teachers are ready and excited, the classrooms prepared to welcome the kids back, and we are really excited and ready to see all of the young and smiling faces once again!  We have new lesson plans for the younger students, and for our Jr./Sr. high class Melanie Follis has an exciting and timely study entitled “#Stuggles” which examines the struggles of a faithful life in a social-media drenched world.  The tagline from the study “following Jesus in a selfie-Centered world.”  Parents, get your children out of bed and down to the parish this Sunday morning!
My adult Sunday School continues on without fail. Each and every Sunday we present and discuss the lessons that are read in Church.  I’ve been at that for over nine years now, and while people come and go, and there is always something new to be learned, I think it might be helpful to branch out a bit as well.  Some topics that folks have asked for are things like navigating social media, relationships, and personal spirituality.  Let me know if there is something you would like to explore in the adult class and we can try and make it happen!
Finally, we have started a new endeavor on social media.  Saint John’s Instagram feed
and Facebook page
are going to be updated throughout each week with bits of information and the symbols found on our building and unique things to our parish.  So, keep your eyes peeled.
See you all this Sunday for the start of Sunday School!!!
Wednesday after the Feast of the Transfiguration MMXVII

Marymas & Blessing of Backpacks

The Feast of Saint Mary (Marymas),  Wednesday evening, August 16th at 5:30pm. This is our annual ‘back to school mass’ wherein we bless the children, their backpacks ALL teachers, (including our Sunday School teachers), local schools and bless medallions for the children to affix to their backpacks   After the mass we will gather for a parish dinner in which the men of the parish will provide hot dogs, hamburgers and all the ‘fixings’.  This evening is a great way to begin a new school year and to ‘catch up’ with friends old and new after our summer adventures and travels.  (Nursery will be provided).

The Chronicles of the EYC Pilgrims 

The EYC has released their latest video which chronicles their pilgrimage to Santiago, Spain and the tomb of Saint James.  Check it out here 

Children’s Prayer Partner Program

But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them;
for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19.14)
With the coming of the new school year we want to continue to deepen and enrich our children’s lives.    One way we would like to continue in that outreach is with our our Children’s Prayer Partners program.  This program proved to be a huge success last year and was very meaningful to our children.   This is a ministry in which anyone and everyone can become involved.  The idea is a simple but important and meaningful one- we want to our adult parishioners to pray for the children of the parish. More specifically, we would like our adult members the opportunity to ‘adopt’ a child and let the child know they are being prayed for by writing letters encouraging and letting the child know that they are being prayed for (ideally at least once a month). While a simple act, it is one that reaps substantial rewards- and it is awesome and the kids and adults alike will love doing it!  So, we invite you to sign up to ‘adopt’ a child, either by using the sign up sheet on the bulletin board, or electronically here.  Once there are adults for every child, the office will place and adult with a child and give them the name and mailing address of the child.  Once the children and adults are matched, let the prayers, encouragement and letters begin!  Other churches who have done this have seen that is rewarding and consequential and I know we will as well!

Foyer Groups are Forming NOW
Sign up here!

Foyer Groups are small groups of 8-10 persons sharing simple meals and fellowship.  The intention is to have fun and provide an opportunity for us to meet each other and/or become better acquainted.  Each group meets once a month for a simple meal and relaxed conversation in the homes of members.  Foyer Groups are not intended to “do” anything, but simply to “be” what Christians are:  groups of people who gather together and love one another.  Foyer Groups provide time to be with one another so that friendship may grow.  Each month, two of the members host a gathering.  They convene the group and welcome all into their home.  Foyer Groups are not a study or prayer group.  They have no agenda other than spending time with one another, which is important for the building of Christian community in our parish.
If you are interested in being part of our Foyer Group program, please sign up on the sheet in the sacristy hallway, follow this link, or contact Lori Burson.

Adult Sunday School

This Sunday Lectionary Class is a Christian Education offering for adults that meets every Sunday morning, year round, in the parish hall and is lead by Fr. Jeff.  The gathering features a presentation on selected texts from the scriptures appointed for the day’s liturgy, followed by lively discussion as the class wrestles with the readings to find meanings for today.  The presentations and discussions aim to be enlightening, nourishing, challenging and entertaining as well.  We would love to have you join us at 9:30 in the parish hall.  Coffee and dough-nuts are provided.

Children’s Sunday School News
This Sunday our regular programming begins!  We are excited to welcome Elizabeth Toche, Joanna Kairdolf, Allison Albritton and Daphne Johnson to our group of teachers!  These ladies will be team teaching the K/3 – K/5 class.  Welcome aboard ladies!!  Sunday School begins at 9:30 and you are invited to join us early for coffee and doughnuts.

Delegates Needed for Annual Council
Each year the Vestry of Saint John’s has to elect folks to represent our parish, and nominations are now open for next year’s council- so if you would like to represent our parish, please contact the parish office or let a vestryman know you would like to be considered.  Next year’s council will be held at the Landers Center in Southaven, MS, beginning on Friday, January 26, 2018 and concluding on Sunday, January 28th.

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.

Sign up to feed our E.Y.C.
We need your help feeding our E.Y.C. members on Sunday evenings.  Their meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. at the parish.  There is a sign up sheet located on the board in the sacristy hallway with dates that are available.  For more information, contact the Parish Office.

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.

Connecting Ministry
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:

A Tip O’ The Biretta
For the Year Actual Budget Over/Under
Pledges $ 180,009 $201,719 $ 21,710(89%)
Plate $24,544 $ 33,120 $  8,576(74%)
Other $43,934 $ 46,292 $ 2,358(100%)
Total $ 248,487 $281,131 $ 32,644(88%)
Expenses $290,302 $ 281,170 $  9,132(102%)
BUDGET TOTALS $ 41,815 $ 39 $ 41,776
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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


601.428.7252 Office
601.422.7388 Mobile

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