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“But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.”(Jonah 3.8)
In the book of the Prophet Jonah, a strange thing occurs- The King of Nineveh proclaims a fast that unto which even the animals must adhere… he goes farther and clothes them all with sackcloth and ashes.  Many people often chuckle at the thought of covering the cats and dogs and sheep and cows with ashes and sackcloth… it seems ridiculous and illogical.  But for the King of Nineveh, it was the greatest sign he could show to the Almighty that he was serious, and so he commanded a fast and signs of repentance be shown to all living things within his command.
There are numerus stories… too many to number in the record of Holy Scripture where folks take action to show God they are serious… Abraham gives tithes of the spoils of war in Thanksgiving… offers up Isaac, and on and on and on.
I often wonder if in our own time, the idea of showing God our thanks… showing God we are serious, is a lost art.  I wonder because perusing through the history of Christian commentary, it is only in the last generation that anyone thought to laugh at the King of Nineveh… it is arguable that only recently, the actions of that king became fodder for humor.  Time and history have viewed his actions as one of the greatest acts of repentance the world has ever known, and our generation views him as laughable.
The faith we have shows through in our actions.  The thanksgiving and awe we hold in our hearts for Jesus show through in the actions of our lives… in things like works of mercy, living lives of virtue, our love and care for others… and specifically in worship and alms giving.
While many folks believe the worship of the Church exist for the benefit of the worshiper, it is in truth the other way around… the worship of the Church exists as an act of faith from the faithful offering praise and gifts to God.  When we come to worship, it is an act of faith and belief in God… and in worship we offer God our love, thanksgiving, and the fruit of our labours in the same way the king of Nineveh did… albeit to a much lesser extent.
Do not be fooled by the laughter of the world… or by the voices that proclaim the king of Nineveh a fool… if we do not make the efforts to show God we are serious, and that we are thankful in tangible ways, our faith will suffer and wilt away- if you think I am off base or wrong, try doing nothing to show your family and friends you love them and see what the lack of action and effort yields.
On other fronts, our Children’s Prayer Partner program is a very long way from having enough adults to begin, so please consider you involvement and take an interest in the children of the parish.
And as always, please pray for the victims and families of those effected by the shooting in Las Vegas, and by the natural disasters around the world, not forgetting the souls of the departed.  May they Rest in Peace.
See you all around the parish,

Blessing of the Pets Sunday, !
Sunday, October 8th at 4:00pm

Sunday, October 8, at 2:00pm. we will once again celebrate the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi by hosting the annual Blessing of the Animals on the front lawn of the parish grounds.  The Blessing of the Animals is a wonderful rite that acknowledges the love we have for our animals and the love God has for all His creation.  During the service Fr. Jeff will lead us in prayer and then offer each animal present an individual blessing.  One of St. John’s outreach ministries is helping to support the Animal Rescue League; we will take up offerings of pet food and also monetary donations to support the spay and neuter efforts of the ARL.

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!

Small sizes of the following products are needed for this year’s Honduras Medical Mission.  Please bring your donations to the parish office:
Ibuprofen 200mg tablets, acetaminophen 325mg tablets, diphenhydramine 25mg capsules (Benadryl), topical antifungal cream, topical antibiotic cream/ointment, hydrocortisone cream, dry eye drops, antacid (Tums), bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol), guaifenesin/dextromethorphan (Q-Tussin DM) or guaifenesin (Q-Tussin), children’s Tylenol (acetaminophen suspension), children’s Benadryl (diphenhydramine suspension), diaper rash cream/ointment.

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
  • To Lori Burson, Wendy Herring and Gina Gatewood for their help with the parish dinner.
  • To everyone who brought stuffed animals to give to the Laurel Police Department for children involved in traumatic situations.  The Officers were thrilled with our donation!
A remembrance of our EYC pilgrimage to Santiago.
Report of the Treasurer
Actual Budget Diff
Pledges $ 230,826 $ 253,050 $ 22,224
Plate $   30,516 $  41,547 $ 11,031
Total $ 308,782 $ 350,945 $ 42,163
Expenses $ 358,014 $ 350,285 $  7,729
Total  $ 49,232 $ 660 $ 49,892
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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