Notes from Patmos…Hot off the press!
Attitude is everything…

We all have chores and responsibilities in our lives.  One of my weekly choirs is mowing my lawn. My lawn is not a large palatial greensward that takes hours of maintenance, in fact, I can mow, blow and weed eat in about an hour.  I say all of this to point out the fact that it is not overwhelming or particularly arduous, but yet, it is a thing that I wrestle with from time to time.  There are some weeks in which the completion of the chore finds me very angry, and others find me with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.  That is to say, that by the end of the lawn mowing, there are times that I am mad at the world, and other times it is well with my soul.
And that difference has everything to do with attitude… with my state of being.  After so many years, you would think this would not surprise me, but yet it does time and time again.  Our attitudes have a tremendous amount of influence over us. Our attitude towards things can make them feel rewarding and life-giving, or crush us with bitterness, anger and jealousy.  For the Christian, our attitudes have everything to do with virtue.  Virtues are things like humility, charity, patience, kindness, persistence and the like.  When I get out of sorts with an activity such as mowing the lawn, it is a good bet that I am lacking in virtue.  The most tried and true manner to reclaim virtue is prayer, prayer and then prayer through our actions.  The most fitting prayer is one of thanksgiving- taking an inventory of your blessing and things for which you are thankful, and then offering that to God.  Or taking inventory of your kindness to others- how have you been charitable, or kind to others, and how have you not… in what ways have others shown you kindness and charity?  It’s always a good idea to go through this exercise and it is essential to our health, well-being and spiritual life.  When you find the everyday things making you angry, bitter or jealous, maybe its not those everyday things… maybe it is you.  The grass is there week after week, my attitude determines how green it appears.
See you around the parish,

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).

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 One Classroom Children’s Sunday School programming continues with exciting lessons planned with stories, activities and crafts and we would love your children to be a part!  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.

Liturgical Arts Conference
Gray Center
November 10 – 15, 2017

Come away to relax and renew while taking classes in Iconography, Vestment Making, Praying the Rosary, Mandalas, Walking the Labyrinth, Needlepoint, Congregational Song, Flowers, Children in Worship, Prayer Shawls, and Stations of the Cross. More information can be found at

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
  • To Maranda McLaughlin, Heath Ginn and Pam Oglesby for teaching our One Classroom Children’s Sunday School during the summer.
For the Year Actual Budget Over/Under
Pledges $ 168,141 $190,012 $ 21,871(88%)
Plate $27,515 $ 31,198 $  3,683(89%)
Other $43,708 $ 43,998 $  290(99%)
Total $ 239,364 $265,208 $ 25,844(90%)
Expenses $271,607 $ 265,407 $  6,200(102%)
BUDGET TOTALS $ 32,243 $ 199 $ 32,044
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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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