Notes from Patmos…Hot off the press!
In reading the journal of priest’s from generations gone past- in many regards so much has changed in the operation and management of parish churches in the past few decades.  Things like printing and communication are now done in house and electronically whereas in days gone by there were many steps and groups involved- now one person can do the job of several with higher quality results.  We can produce videos, audio and podcasts and all other sorts of media with very little effort.  Other things have changed as well. Communication is instant, and I can stay in touch with over three hundred people with little difficulty.  I have a journal of a priest who used to make great efforts to gather the entire parish and the process of holding an annual meeting was months long.  He would also have to take the better part of a day to visit one person, only finding out about illness or difficulty through letter or word of mouth.  It is mind blowing how much more efficient parish operations have become and the ease at which things flow.  Some aspects of my job would be unrecognizable to priests in days gone past… information and innovation flow freely.
And generally I love the ease of these things… I take pride in the fact that things are so much more efficient and that my work now includes so many different and varied things- all thanks to technology.
But I was taken aback on Monday morning as I came across a smartphone app.  It’s called “Plantsnap” and it claims to be able to identify and describe any plant by simply pointing the camera in the plants direction.  As some of you know one of my degrees or areas of study is in taxonomy of flowering plants… and I spent years learning how to identify and describe the attributes of every plant in the Southeast and beyond.  Untold hours of study and work… with chemical and pharmaceutical companies funding the study and research of taxonomists.  It was a thing in which I took great pride… it was a tremendous amount of work and effort.  And Monday I found that the majority of my efforts and education had been replaced by a smartphone app.  Information and innovation freely flow indeed.
There are other aspects of my vocation as priest that cannot be streamlined or put into a smartphone app.  Things like prayer take time… obtaining wisdom take work… developing a relationship with Jesus is a thing that must be nurtured and cultivated with time and effort.  Worship takes time and presence and can’t be replaced by an app.  These things haven’t and can’t at their heart change.
Information, innovation and technology drive the world… but let us not forget that there are some things that are ancient and unchanging… things like prayer, worship and building our relationship with Jesus Christ.  Becoming holy is a life-long process that requires hard effort and time.  In our world that is all about bigger, better, faster- do not forget that God doesn’t work that way and requires our time and attention… Our love for God requires ancient wisdom and the gift of our time and attention.
See you around the parish,

Buy a Saint John’s tumbler!
The Altar Guild is comprised of a group of individual who are in the service of the Altar and who serve at the pleasure of the priest.  The “normal” care and replacement of altar items are included in our annual budget each year.   Yet, there are special “extras” that may not be in the budget and as a group the Altar Guild would love to be able to provide for the church in special ways.
With this in mind, The Altar Guild is selling stainless steel tumblers as a fund-raiser.  These high quality mugs are perfect for outdoor activities and travel.  Color engraved with Saint John’s Episcopal Church, the Episcopal flag and Laurel, Mississippi they are selling for $25.00 each.   Contact any of the Altar Guild members or the church office while supplies last.  Supply is limited.
Make checks payable to:    SAINT JOHN’S ALTAR GUILD

Lauren Rogers Museum Offering Art in the Annex
The museum is offering Art in the Annex on the first and third Monday of each month from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., and it’s free and just for the fun of it. A still life set up is provided to draw or paint, without instruction, using materials brought from home. High school age students and adults from St. John’s Church are welcome. Participants need to call Elizabeth Patterson at the museum, 601-649-6374, to register before attending.

Upcoming at St. John’s
Downtown Church’s Vacation Bible School @ First Methodist – June 18 – 22


The Altar Flower Chart for 2018 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.

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.

A Tip O’ The Biretta
Last week’s Collection- $ 3,759

For Year Actual Budget Diff
Received  $ 176,141  $ 194,764  $ 18,623
Spent $ 188,047  $  190,184 $    2,137
Net  $  11,906  $   4,580 $   16,486
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 © 2018 Saint John’s Episcopal Church, All rights reserved.