“Guide us waking, O Lord and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.” - from the Service of Compline (BCP page 134)
Dear Friends in Christ,
The service of Compline is a beautiful lullaby in which we say our final prayers of the day and invite God into our presence before bedtime. At the end of the Compline service, we hear the words of Simeon who, with Anna, waited their whole lives to meet the infant Jesus. The words shared above reflect this couple’s patience and trust in the Lord.
These very same words have been my prayer for St. John’s this past 18 months. Guide us O Lord and guard us all as we live in this community, as people of faith. September kicks off a brand-new worship and program year for our St. John’s community! Several familiar offerings are returning to our weekly schedule, and you’ll see that we have added some exciting new opportunities for your faith to be renewed.
As we begin this program year, I am delighted to share some good news! Caroline Devitt has accepted the call to be St. John’s new Interim Director of Youth Ministries. Caroline is a recent graduate of the University of Florida and a lifelong Episcopalian. She has been serving as a Youth Ministry Intern at Church of the Redeemer, Sarasota (her home church). Caroline was also very active in the campus ministry at UF, where she earned a degree in communications and enhanced her passion for ministry. You’ll be able to meet Caroline on her first Sunday – September 12.
And in October, the Rev. William Trexler will begin assisting our clergy team monthly on Sundays. We’re eager to welcome Fr. Bill and learn from his preaching and teaching!
Mark your calendar for the following, taking place from mid-September through mid-October.
September 12 – WORSHIP ADDITIONS
A brand-new 5:30 p.m. Service of Holy Eucharist is joining current Sunday worship offerings. This service will be held in the church and will feature St. John’s parishioners sharing stories weekly about where they have experienced God amid their faith journeys. Our Service of Compline, a sung, candlelit opportunity for prayer and contemplation, also resumes on September 12. It will be held weekly in person at 7:30 p.m., in the church.
September 12 – YOUTH KICKOFF
Youth will get to know Caroline Devitt at outdoor kickoff event. Please Note: programming for ages 12 and under (Sunday School and Music Ministry events for our youngest parishioners) will wait to start fall activities until at least the beginning of October, but we encourage you to pre-register now for all three ministries.
Mid-September – SMALL GROUPS BEGIN
If you signed up for a group this fall, stay tuned for a call from your group leader!
September 18 – ENNEAGRAM WORKSHOP with Fr. Wallace
This event kicks off The Front Porch, a Spiritual Life Center, St. John’s new hub for learning about the spiritual awareness and the intersection of faith and life. Register for the workshop today and help us kick off The Front Porch!
September 26 – FAREWELL TO FR. WALLACE
Wish Wallace well on his final Sunday! We’re grateful for his three years of ministry at St. John’s and wish him much success as Rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Thomasville.
October 3 – BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS
Our annual pet blessing will be back at Cascades Park again this year. Mark your calendar for 3-4 PM so you can bring your furry and feathered friends!
October 16 – BRIAN MCLAREN VISITS
Acclaimed author and speaker Brian McLaren will visit St. John’s to speak about his most recent book, Faith after Doubt. McLaren’s talk is presented by The Front Porch, and it will be streamed live. Please join our notification list so we can you apprised of possible changes to the meeting location and format.
While the past year and a half has been challenging, St. John’s continues to share the light of Christ in familiar and modified ways. Your leadership team is in ongoing consultation with our COVID-19 Task Force and other medical professionals, for guidance on St. John’s path and assurance that we are protecting all those who might visit the St. John’s campus.
Guide us waking O Lord that awake we may watch with Christ. In this season of in between, we look forward to continuing our faith journey and growing in knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I look forward to seeing you soon!
The Rev. Abigail W. Moon