Notes from Patmos…Hot off the press!
From my spiritual reading this past week:

“A sure sign of the deadening of the soul is the avoidance of church services. A man who is growing cold towards God begins first of all to flee attending church. At first he tries to come to services later, and then he ceases altogether to visit God’s house…”  Barsanuphius of Optina

What is the deadening of the soul?  It is the hidden dying and death to things spiritual… to the things of God giving way to the growth and presence of material matters and concerns. One can think of it in this way.  When a person succumbs to a chronic illness, they become physically weakened, sometime it is so slow that is isn’t really noticeable… but eventually the illness grows to the point that there is no strength left in them at all.  It is the same with the human soul as it is dying.  If we are negligent in our spiritual life, and all the while faced with continual distractions, occasions to sin, selfishness, thinking of this life only… then our feelings for God’s teaching, the Gospel message, the grace that is found in the sacraments are deadened.  And while the things of God are just as present around them, they cease to exist in the person’s soul, and the person’s time and energy are given only to the cares of this world- to that which is material, temporal, empty and worthless in the realms of God.
This idea is a heavy one to be sure, but I believe it to be true.  If our first and best efforts are not given to God and our spiritual life… we begin to die inside.  If we concern ourselves only with material and fleeting things, we become numb to the life of virtue, peace and joy that is found in God.   And many is the time that this dying is so slow and invisible, that we don’t even realize how close we are to dying spiritually.  Ponder these things beloved, and do not neglect your soul and the spiritual life.
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.


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- $ 3,650

For Year Actual Budget Diff
Received  $ 201,875  $ 225,992  $ 24,117
Spent $ 215,801  $  224,835 $    9,034
Net  $  13,926  $   1,157 $   15,083
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.