Hello all:
We have gotten off to a very good start this academic year.  Sunday school is going very well, and our first few offerings and events have been well attended and people seemed to have a very good time.  And we’ve got a lot more to come!  Read below to see what is on the horizon- something I’m very excited about is our Back to Church weekend… we have a special liturgy, Ice Cream Social, brunch and workshops that explore our worship and help folks better serve the parish.  We also have some new things, like the Men’s Breakfast.  So, take the time to read what is going on and sign up to take part!
On other fronts, we need to discuss finances and giving.  I write/speak about this quite a lot, but it is a constant thread in our common life.  The situation: the parish is getting closer to the point of not having the funds to pay our bills.  As of this week, we have spent about $40,000 more than we have collected.  If you look at the Report of the Treasurer toward the bottom of this email, you will find that we are very close to having spent what we budgeted to spend, but that pledged giving is around $32,000 behind what it is projected to be. Pledged giving is derived from the total amount of money that folks pledge by writing down what they think they will give in a year on a pledge card and turning it in towards the close of a financial year.  So, the majority of our issue stems from pledged giving.  If you have forgotten to give, or have been out of town, or for whatever reason have not been supporting the parish, would you consider doing so now?  I will remind all that we do not have any other sources of income… our ability to operate is entirely dependent on the common efforts of the people who call our parish home.  I will also remind you that the money we give is an offering to God- “All things come of Thee O Lord, and of Thine own have we given Thee”… giving is an act of faith, and a spiritual discipline.  Giving to your church and to your community by acts of charity with money, time and effort forms a very large part of the spiritual life, and if we are neglecting these things, it effects all other aspects of our life.
See you around the parish!

Click on the picture to sign up!!!

Our Newcomers Ice Cream Social is open to all who have recently begun attending St. John’s AND those who have been here for years who would like to welcome new faces to St. John’s.  Join us for an evening of food, fun and fellowship.  Come meet new friends and re-connect with old ones.   R.S.V.P to the parish office or by signing up on the sheet in the sacristy hallway or by clicking on the above picture.  Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 9th
Session I – 9:00 – 10:00
Session II – 10:00 – 11:00

Our Liturgical Exploration Workshop is fast approaching and NOW is the time to sign up.  Please read through the description of what is offered that weekend, sign up for those that interest you, and make your plans to attend now! 

2nd Tuesday Men’s Breakfast
MEN!! We have begun a new exciting Second Tuesday  Men’s breakfast. The men of St. Johns (and guests) will gather on the Second Tuesday of every month in the Parish Hall for about a 5 minute thought for the day, followed by breakfast. This is a great way to kick off your day and also a great time to invite some friends to come see why St Johns is such an exciting place to be. The FIRST day of our year will begin on Tuesday, September 12th and held from 7:00am-8:00am. We want this to be a great time for the men to get together and have a very relaxed time. Invite all your friends to come out. Sign up today on the sign up sheet on the bulletin board in the sacristy hallway, call the parish office or click on the photo and sign up.  We will see you there!

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, http://stjohnslaurel.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u%3Df5768cfac38f008e905d10f14%26id%3D8427df06cc%26e%3Da29378324b&source=gmail&ust=1500383934402000&usg=AFQjCNFFblTyjMfsVuG8y4U74ZC5VkqN9Q” href=”http://stjohnslaurel.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=f5768cfac38f008e905d10f14&id=8427df06cc&e=a29378324b” target=”_blank” style=”mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #2BAADF;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;”>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 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 Ministry

We are collecting stuffed animals for local law enforcement officials to use to help comfort children involved in traumatic situations. You can participate by bringing new, cuddly stuffed animals (WITH THE TAGS ON THEM) and help us fill our “Teddy Bear Cave.”  We will distribute our stuffed animals to our officers during our Michaelmas celebration on Wednesday, September 27th.

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.

From the Diocese

There is a lot happening in  the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi:

* GEE’S BEND QUILTING RETREAT – November 1-5, 2017.  Information can be found at geesbendquiltingretreats.com
* CAMP ABLE WEEKEND at Camp Bratton-Green, November 15-17, 2017.  To register go to www.graycenter.org or call 601-859-1556
* EYC FRIGHT NIGHT at Camp Bratton-Green, October 6-8, 2017.    Information at www.graycenter.org or call 601-859-1556
* FALL FISHING AND FOOTBALL WEEKEND at the Big House at the Gray Center, October 6-8, 2017.  Information available at www.graycenter.org or by calling 601-859-1556

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:http://stjohnslaurel.com/?page_id=2037″ target=”_blank” style=”mso-line-height-rule: exactly;-ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;-webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;color: #2BAADF;font-weight: normal;text-decoration: underline;”>  http://stjohnslaurel.com/?page_id=2037</span>

A Tip O’ The Biretta
  • To Carolyn Ruth and Hugh Stancill for the beautiful floral arrangements and table decorations for our Marymas and Blessing of the Backpacks celebration. 
  • To the men of the parish for providing the delicious meal for our Marymas and Blessing of the Backpacks parish dinner.  You guys did an amazing job!
  • To Lori Burson for chairing our Foyer Group program again this year.


A remembrance of our EYC pilgrimage to Santiago.

Report of the Treasurer
Actual Budget Diff
Pledges $ 190,664 $223,332 $ 32,668
Plate $25,091 $ 36,668 $  11,577
Total $ 262,216 $310,526 $ 48,310
Expenses $302,981 $ 310,271 $ 7,290
Total $40,765 $ 255 $41,020

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

Copyright © 2017 Saint John’s Episcopal Church, All rights reserved.

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