News from St. John’s Church June 2017

We are a welcoming summer chapel, living out Christ’s love. A beacon to fellow pilgrims, the foundation, and traditions of St. John’s inform our spiritual journey. We seek to provide an inclusive, open and dynamic ministry to impact the Fishers Island community across all seasons, dedicated to nurturing spiritual life through hospitality and outreach.

Confirmation anyone?
CONFIRMATION this August ~ We are pleased to offer the opportunity for confirmation here at St. John’s on August 6. The Rt. Rev. Lawrence Provenzano, Bishop of Long Island, will visit at that time and receive anyone who would like to be confirmed in their affirmation of faith. Confirmation classes will be held in advance of this date, once a week, during the months of July and August. Anyone thirteen and older is eligible to be confirmed in the Episcopal Church. If you, your child, or grandchild are interested, please contact Rev. Spencer ( Classes will begin on Friday, July 7.

Scholarships Awarded
Scholarships to Fishers Island High School students were awarded at the graduation ceremony this past week. Six graduates of Fishers Island School and two island residents who graduated from other high schools received awards to support up to six years of education. The Fishers Island Community Scholarships from St. John’s Church will support 25 students this year who will receive $66,000 in scholarships. Since 1983, we have contributed to and managed these Community Scholarships – they were a signature part of our Capital Campaign over 7 years ago. People from the church and the island community contributed generously. The result is a truly remarkable scholarship program providing assistance for up to six years of higher education – scholarships for every Fishers Island student graduating high school including scholarships for magnet students from off-island, and scholarships for Fisher Island residents attending high school on the mainland. A graduate who lives on the island receives 4,000 a year and a graduate who lives off the island receives 2,000 a year. At a minimum, over 6 years, Island resident graduates will receive 24,000 in scholarship aid and off island graduates will receive 12,000 in aid. This is our most significant outreach effort and a very visible sign of our commitment to our mission: “to impact the Fishers Island community across all seasons.”

Altar Guild Help Needed
Our beloved Sara Rafferty is stepping down as head of the altar guild after years of faithful service caring for church with so many other faithful members. Being on the altar guild is a ministry of presence and care. The altar guild literally sets the table for worship, ensuring that the sacramental ministry each Sunday is carried out with integrity and reverence. We are looking for additional volunteers for the altar guild this summer AND hopeful that one person might step forward to organize this ministry of care and presence. If you are interested, please speak with Rev. Spencer.

This Summer at St. John’s

BOOK GROUP begins on Friday, July 7. We will meet at the Rectory on Peninsula Road at 11:00 a.m. This summer we will be reading Krista Tippett’s book, On Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living and Frederik Backman’s novel, A Man Called Ove. “In Becoming Wise, Krista Tippett has created a master class in living for a fractured world. Fracture, she says, is not the whole story of our time. The enduring question of what it means to be human has become inextricable from the challenge of who we are to one another. She insists on the possibility of personal depth and common life for this century, nurtured by science and “spiritual technologies,” with civility and love as muscular public practice.” (NY Times Book Review). Backman’s novel tells the story of a curmudgeonly man who heals and is healed by the power of community.
Please join us each week to share wisdom, laughter, reflection, and joy.

VESPERS ON THE BEACH begins on Thursday, July 6 at 6:00 p.m. at South Beach next to HH Golf Course. A service of readings, meditation, and natural beauty. Come as you are: our Founder often wore sandals!

Summer Bible Study: God and Government: A Sacred Conversation
We believe in the separation of church and state, but how much can we really separate religion and government? In our 5 weeks together we will discuss specific scriptures that help us form a faithful Christian response to citizenship in the United States. All are welcome! Mondays, July 10, 17, 24, 31 and August 7, 4:00-5:00 pm at the Union Chapel parsonage.

THE ANNUAL MEETING will be held after the 10:00 service on July 23.

IN THE PULPIT ~ on Sunday, July 9, we welcome The Rev. Buddy Stallings, Rector (retired) of St. Bart’s Church, NYC. On Sunday, September 9, we will welcome The Rev. Daniel Heischman, Executive Director of the National Association of Episcopal Schools.

BLESSING OF THE PETS will take place on Sunday, July 23 at 5:30 p.m.

The Meditation Garden is now completed. Please stop by and enjoy the beauty of the new landscaping. Many thanks to Tom Parker and Ace Ahrens who shepherded this process and to Gerrit Goss who graciously provided his time and expertise on landscaping and design.

Think On These Things:

Quote for the Week: (selected from Rev. Spencer’s sermon this past week):

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.”
These are not comfortable words. The reality of gospel life is laid out with brutal honesty. Jesus speaks about division and discord – inescapable parts of the human condition.

And yet, Jesus also says this in the gospel for today:

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

There is discord in this world. But God steps into the middle of it to stretch out his arms, to suffer this pain, and to redeem it with his love. Cross and resurrection. This is the foundation of our faith. May we continue to move forward. Do not be afraid. You are of great value.

With peace and blessings I am, faithfully yours,

St. John’s Church
Fishers Island, NY

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