Today the Church remembers the martyrdoms of SS. Peter & Paul.  According to pious legend they were martyred in Rome under the emperor Nero in the year 64AD (although accounts vary).  Paul, being a Roman citizen, was beheaded with a sword, which was seen as more merciful.  Peter, not a citizen, was crucified.  It is of note that he is said to have been asked to be crucified upside down so that he could gaze into Heaven and place his eyes on his Lord as he die.  So, in many churches where Peter is remembered, there can be found an upside down cross, remembering the manner of his crucifixion.
Most probably these two Apostles died on different days, but yet the faithful remember them on the same day, adding emphasis to the mission of Christian unity.  Peter being the primary shepherd (bishop) who was bidden by our Lord with the words- ‘You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church.’  And also to ‘feed His sheep.’  At the end of Peter’s days, he was shepherd of the Church in Rome.
Paul on the other hand, was arguably the greatest preacher and teacher.  The goodly portion of the New Testament contains his letters and teaching.  And much of Christian doctrine and ethics comes out of his legacy.  These two are giants upon whose shoulders the Church stands.
It is also of note that they were not always of one accord, and had to overcome differences and difficulties.  But overcome they did, solidifying the Church and leading its spread across cultures and peoples.  So, for that reason they are remembered as having a unifying effect as well.
In our own time, the Christian Church is bitterly divided, infighting, and losing credible witness in our world.  In my opinion, our divisions and fighting are at the heart of this lose of credible witness.  So, it is ever important to pause and remember SS Peter and Paul, and pray for Christian unity, remembering that one of the last prayers of Jesus was ‘that they all may be one.’
My prayer on these feast day is that we all do what we can to heal divisions, and those hurt by them, and that we remember the life and witness of these two giants of our faith.

The Collect for the Feast of SS. Peter & Paul:

Almighty God, whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul glorified you by their martyrdom: Grant that thy Church, instructed by their teaching and example, and knit together in unity by thy Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, which is Jesus Christ our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
now and for ever. Amen.
See you all around the parish-

Children’s Sunday School

Children’s Sunday School will NOT be held this Sunday, July 3rd.  Fr. Jeff’s Adult class will be held as usual in the parish hall with a nursery provided for those needing child care.

Saint John’s Episcopal Church

Children’s Ministry

We are collecting stuffed animals for local paramedics 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.”

Fall Youth Events
Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi
(Adults Working With Youth) at Gray Center
September 23-25 – Sr. High DOY Retreat
(Division of Youth) 9th – 12th Grades at Camp Bratten-Green
October 21-23 – Happening #84 Staff Training at All Saints’ Tupelo
October 28-30 – Jr. High DOY Retreat
(Division of Youth) 6th – 8th Grades at Camp Bratten-Green
November 11-13 – Happening #84
10th-12th Grades at All Saints’ Tupelo
Registration forms and more information is available at or contact the Diocesan Youth Coordinator, Whitney Robinson, at

Honduras Medical Mission Information

Applications are available for the 2017 Honduras Medical Mission and can be found on the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi website:
There are a few important dates to remember:
·         The dates for the 2017 mission will be Saturday, February 18- Saturday 25, 2017.
·         Deadline for filing the application is July 15, 2016.
·         The team will be chosen and applicants notified in August 2016.
·         There is a mandatory overnight team retreat at Gray Center Friday evening January 13, 2017, until Saturday after lunch January 14, 2017.
Individuals must pay their own team fees of $1400.  The first $700 must be paid bySeptember 15, 2016, with the remainder due December 31, 2016.
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.
If anyone does not wish to travel, but wants to support the mission, there are two ways for you to 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 fund raising to raise 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 St. Andrews Cathedral, PO Box 1366, Jackson, MS 39215.

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
  • To everyone who helped with Vacation Bible School.
  • To everyone who has given a stuffed animal for our Teddy Bear Program.  We will be wrapping this ministry up in August so you still have time to get your stuffed animal to the parish if you wish.
For the Year Actual Budget Over/Under
Pledges $ 146,351 $ 164,712 $  18,361(89%)
Plate $ 17,091 $ 27,044  $ 9,953(63%)
Other $ 42,086 $ 32,362 $ 9,724(130%)
Total $ 205,528 $224,118 $  18,590(93%)
Expenses $221,222 $ 218,011 $ 3,211(101%)
BUDGET TOTALS $ 15,694 $ 6,107 $ 21,801
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 © 2016 Saint John’s Episcopal Church, All rights reserved.