Dear Friend in Christ,
We pray that you and your loved ones had a safe summer. On behalf of our staff and parish, we miss seeing you in person very much. This has not been an easy time, but you and the people of St. John’s are weathering this storm with grace and patience.
We write with good news: St. John’s will offer outdoor, in-person Communion, as well as outdoor children and youth ministries.
While we are not yet moving to Level Two in our Regathering Plan, we are doing our best to balance pastoral needs with guidance from our medical professionals and local government. We are aware that online worship and gatherings are not appealing to everyone, yet during this time of limited togetherness, we are confident that we can provide offerings to meet you where you are on your spiritual journey.
What speaks to you right now?
Below are ways you can BELONG, GROW, SERVE and CENTER this fall:
Beginning Sunday, September 13, St. John’s will offer Communion in the Garden from 2-5:00 p.m. every Sunday. All are invited to come and receive Holy Communion from the Reserved Sacrament, which will be consecrated during the 10:00 a.m. online service. Each individual or family will receive the Sacrament (Bread only) and have time for prayer and conversation with a clergy person. Enter through the Calhoun Street doorway and make your way to Eve’s Garden, where you will find two Communion stations. Please wear a mask and rest assured that social distancing and other safety practices will be observed. If mobility is an issue, you can also receive Communion from your car in the newly renovated entry plaza.
In addition, clergy will be available to celebrate outdoor Neighborhood Eucharists (limit 25 people, social distancing, masks worn, no singing) at the homes of St. John’s members. This is a wonderful opportunity to invite fellow St. John’s members, family, friends, and neighbors to come and worship with you. To host a Eucharist (available Thursday evenings or Sunday mornings), please sign up in advance online or contact Deborah Dugger in the church office for assistance.
Children and families can look forward to Beatitudes by Car and other outdoor gatherings. Our youth will also begin to meet outdoors for fun and games in various locations. We will communicate details about these activities soon.
We are also excited to start a new Small Group ministry. Eight to 12 individuals will gather as a group and meet once a month. Initial meetings will take place online. Jesus selected a small group to accompany him during his ministry because such groups are the perfect size for spiritual growth and holy relationships. We offer groups for various stages of life, whether you are single, married, or an empty nester. We also offer groups that meet at particular times of the day (morning or evening) to accommodate everyone’s busy schedules. We invite you to sign up online by Wednesday, September 16.
We will be partnering with the Kearney Center to create Welcome Home Baskets for those who are moving out of permanent homelessness. Stay tuned for more details and how you, too, can be a part of the “Welcome Home Team.” Clergy and lay leaders in our community are coming together in new ways, as part of Capital Area Justice Ministry, to address the root causes of poverty in our community. On October 21, you can join us for a city-wide Bible Study, during which you will be invited to work for justice in our community.
When we commit ourselves to serving God and our neighbors, it is vital that we make time to be still and center our souls in God. Recall the pattern of Jesus’ ministry: he preached, taught, and healed constantly, but he also got up early in the morning to pray in solitude. Right now, in the midst of this pandemic, we are all running a marathon. It is very important that we pace ourselves and rest in God’s love. Later this fall, you can look forward to the return of Sung Compline. These online services will be held on Sunday evenings. We also have a Music and Meditation event on the calendar in November, featuring the words of African American theologian Howard Thurman. Remember, St. John’s offers online Centering Prayer every Monday evening—give it a try!
We will make it through this challenging time together. We are so proud of you and the people of St. John’s who have never, not even for a second, stopped being the church. We believe that this experience will strengthen our faith in the long-run and make St. John’s even more committed to loving and serving Christ and our neighbors in Tallahassee and the world.
The Rev. David C. Killeen, Rector
The Rev. Abigail W. Moon, Senior Associate Rector
Doug Sessions, Senior Warden