The vestry administered a survey during summer 2010 to guide us as we look forward to calling a new rector and to allow us to reflect as a community on where we are as a church. The response was quite robust. A total of 73 individuals submitted surveys – 57 adult members of St. John’s, 8 youth members, and 8 friends of the parish. Below is a link to the report on the survey results (pdf file, open with Adobe Reader):
Julianne Hanavan presents these survey results during sermon time at 8am and 9:30 services on Sunday, Nov. 14. Please join in a discussion of the results following the 9:30 service on Nov. 14.
Many, many thanks to Julianne for leading the Vestry in the creation of the survey questionnaire and in compiling and interpreting results.
Dear Parishioners and Friends of the Chapel of St. John the Divine,
I write to you to thank you for your hard work and financial commitment to securing the future of St. John’s. A year-and-a-half ago, the Chapel was in danger of financial collapse. Today, we can say the Chapel is financially viable. This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of the Save the Chapel Committee: Betsy Ray, Empie Davis, Linda Rockwell, Annie O’Neil, and Maggie Kemp, and all the people who rallied around them in support of our cause: keeping St. John’s a self-sustaining parish in the Episcopal Diocese of RI, and preserving this sacred space in the neighborhood of Saunderstown Village. This energetic quintet, with support from the Vestry and members of the parish, raised a substantial amount of money from private donors, put on two successful and delightful garden parties, oversaw the conversion of the church rectory building from office and classroom space to an income-generating rental residence, created a workable office for church administration in a small space between the chapel and the parish hall, and enlivened a fundraising program of engraving bricks for the church’s garden walkway.
There is new life in the Chapel! Our outreach activities, particularly the Soup Troopers (thanks, Ken Cahill) and Food Pantry operations (thanks, Empie Davis), continue unabated. And with the help of our youth and their parents, we even took on a few new projects this year, collecting donations for the Jonnycake Center and raising funds to support earthquake victims in Haiti. Our Sunday hospitality has been great under the leadership of Jen Rake. We have a dedicated pastoral care team of laypeople (Julianne Hanavan, Jaye Cunningham). Jean Bowerman and Locke Webster are helping us confront our deferred maintenance issues. St. John’s continues to have a dedicated choir and great music Sunday mornings under the inspired direction of Judy Stickney. Our Sunday School attracted several new families this past year (thanks, Gigi and Olivia Edwards, and others). Six teens and two adults were confirmed in May; two adults were received. Their pre-confirmation enquirers’ classes attracted several other teens and adults, some of whom intend to be confirmed in the near future; others were already confirmed but simply wanted to join the discussion. (Thank you, Hays Rockwell, Gigi Edwards, and Narragansett Deanery clergy.) Many others have contributed in large and small ways to the sense of new life in the parish.
During the past year-and-a-half, parishioners have stepped up their volunteer service to do jobs at the church that were formerly performed by paid staff. We are sad to see the departure of Lori Jackson, whose other job has placed increasing demands on her, but the office is in the capable hands of Pat Williams, who is working eight hours per week. Previously we paid an administrator for twenty hours. Thanks, Kathy O’Neel-Webster, for coordinating these volunteer efforts.
We have thrived learning to follow the Spirit, relying on clergy only for services on Sunday mornings. We are in a very different, much more positive place from where we were two years ago. We have learned that the church is us, much more than the building.
And it is important to note that through our difficult times, there has been no interruption of the financial support that we are obligated to give to the Episcopal Diocese of RI, and we did not engage in any deficit spending. Through our careful spending (budgets with surpluses this year and in 2009) and the outstanding Save the Chapel fundraising efforts, we are working our way towards meeting the Diocesan financial requirements to engage in a search for a half-time rector. We are just a few thousand dollars short of that requirement at the time of this writing.
Therefore, it is now the Vestry’s intention to move ahead to complete our parish profile (the document that lets candidates for rector know who we are). With your help, and with the help of the Diocesan Congregational Development Office and the national Congregational Deployment Office, we hope by early next year to be in a position to search for and call a half-time rector to join us on our spiritual journey here in Saunderstown.
In the next few weeks, a survey will be distributed asking your thoughts and feelings about St. John’s. It is critically important that every member answer this survey prayerfully and thoughtfully, and we would be most grateful for input from all friends of St. John’s. The usual return percentage for these surveys is 30% but we are working to make that 100% at St. John’s.
We hope to see all of you at the Ice Cream Social on Wednesday, July 7, and at the Church Fair, Saturday, August 7! And please join us for worship Sunday mornings. We have an outstanding roster of clergy visiting us this summer.
I am full of gratitude for St. John’s and for all of the wonderful efforts towards preserving and growing God’s place in Saunderstown!
Yours in Christ,
John P. Edwards
SAVE the CHAPEL GARDEN PARTY- Sunday, June 20th at 4pm! Large & small donations are needed for the auctions. Donations can be as small as a good bottle of wine or a gift certificate to a local restaurant. Thanks for your support. Let’s make this a great day. Pickup donation forms at the church. All donations need to be received by June 16th, 2010.
The Soup Troopers (All 9 of them) have been steadfast in bringing soup to the Pt. Judith docks for over 9 years!! No matter the weather, the soup is always delivered. It would be great if some other St. John’s parishioners, who are for one reason or another, unable to participate during the year, come forward and volunteer to assist in one or two runs this summer. It is a super opportunity for the younger members of our “St. John’s Family” to get some community time in as well. The commitment is about 2 hours on any given Tuesday or Thursday. If you want to get more information on this, please contact Ken Cahill at coffee after service or through the church office.
Our hearts are full of gratitude as we celebrate the
confirmations/receptions this weekend of twelve people in our parish!
Confirmation Ceremony: Saturday, May 1, 10am, Cathedral of St. John,
275 North Main St., Providence
Celebration of Confirmands: Sunday, May 2, at and after the 9:30
service, Chapel of St. John the Divine, Saunderstown
Only one Service 9.00am Sunday March 28th Palm Sunday
HOLY WEEK SERVICES
PALM SUNDAY, 9AM one service only
MAUNDY THURSDAY, 7PM
GOOD FRIDAY, 7PM
EASTER SUNDAY, 8AM & 9:30AM
Press Release: Haiti Update & Benefit Invitation
The Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island
from the Diocesan Blog http://episcopalri.blogspot.com Check the blog for future updates
Episcopal Church in Haiti: Your Prayers and Aid Needed
Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Haiti who now need our aid more than ever, in the wake of Tuesday’s 7.0 magnitude quake.
Recent estimates indicate that the quake has affected one in three Haitians, or about three million people. Casualties are expected to reach the tens of thousands, possibly even the hundreds of thousands. Roads and other infrastructure of Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, including the cathedral and Diocesan offices, are in ruins and the situation on the ground is dire.
As Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said in a statement Wednesday morning, “Even under ‘normal’ circumstances Haiti struggles to care for her 9 million people. The nation is the poorest in the western hemisphere, and this latest disaster will set back many recent efforts at development”.
Haiti is also the largest and fastest-growing diocese in The Episcopal Church. There are over 83,000 Episcopalians, over 100 Episcopal Churches, and over 200 Episcopal schools in Haiti.
Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) has a long-standing partnership with the growing Episcopal Church there, and is committed to providing care to the Haitian people under normal circumstances, as well as in this new wave of devastation.
ERD has already disbursed emergency funding to help the diocese of Haiti meet immediate needs for shelter, food and water, and “stands ready to support their ongoing recovery as they rebuild their ministries” according to Rob Radtke, President of ERD. “As communication improves and recovery plans develop, Episcopal Relief & Development will continue to provide updates.”
So far we know the Episcopal Church in Haiti has lost a cathedral, the Society of St. Margaret Convent, Holy Trinity Complex, College St. Pierre, and a Jubilee Center. The Bishop is alive, but has no place to live. The four missionaries are all accounted for – Mallory Holding, Jude Harmon, Oge Beauvoir and his wife Serette. The three sisters of St. Margaret who were at the convent are also alive, unhurt, and doing what they can to help in the football field of what used to be College St. Pierre.
How can Rhode Island help?
* Join us for “Music and Prayers for Haiti; A Benefit for Earthquake Relief” at 4pm on Sunday January 24th at the Cathedral of St. John, 271 North Main Street, Providence, RI. The evening will include music from a variety of Episcopal Choirs and brief comments from two Haitian speakers. Donation offerings will be collected, make all checks out to Episcopal Charities, with “Haiti” noted on the Memo line. Email email@example.com for more information. All proceeds will go to the earthquake relief initiatives of Episcopal Relief & Development and the Society of St. Margaret in Haiti.
Recommended Places to Donate:
* Donate to Episcopal Relief & Development online at https://www.er-d.org/donate-select.php or by calling 800-334-7626 ext 5129. ERD has a four star rating on Charity Navigator and meets all 20 standards of the Better Business Bureau.
* Donate to The Episcopal Charities of Rhode Island’s Haiti Fund by calling (401)-274-4500 x234 firstname.lastname@example.org
* Donate to the Sisters of St. Margaret, http://www.ssmbos.com/Pages/Haiti.html or mail a check to The Society of St. Margaret, 17 Highland Park Street, Boston, MA 02119
Raise Awareness in your parish and beyond:
* Place a link to Episcopal Relief & Development on your congregation’s home page. http://www.er-d.org
* Check for updates on the Haiti page on Episcopal Relief & Development website http://www.er-d.org/HaitiEarthquakeResponse and our Diocesan blog http://www.episcopalri.blogspot.com
* Share this information on Sunday and in your bulletin inserts. Bulletin inserts from Episcopal Relief & Development are available in both Spanish and English. http://www.er-d.org/BulletinInsertsCT/
* Please do not encourage anyone to travel to Haiti, as priority must be given to first responders and a few relief agencies so as not to over-burden the already compromised infrastructure.
Thank you for all that you do in our Church.
The Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island
275 North Main St
Providence, RI 02903
The 34th Annual Meeting of the Parish will be on Sunday, January 31st following the 9:00am service, which will be the ONLY service that day.
IT’s time again to help stock the shelves at the NK Food Pantry! While we so much appreciate your generous donations in our Holiday Food Basket Drive, we again ask everyone to be mindful of those local families in need of our weekly collections. Next week’s item to donate:
SOUPS & CHOWDERS
[More suggested items are listed on the church web site
food pantry page.]