Act In Love: I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food

Rise Against Hunger: Packaging Meals for Those in Need – Saturday February 10
Several of us participated last year in a Boston Harbor Deanery mission event: packaging meals for Rise Against Hunger, an organization that provides food for emergency relief in times of natural disaster and places where there are severe food shortages. The mission of Rise Against Hunger is to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable people and creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.
Boston Harbor Deanery churches are invited to send volunteers to Church of the Advent, Beacon Hill, on Saturday, February 10, from 10am to noon. Children are welcome and encouraged to be volunteers!
 Packages of dry food, enough for one meal, are assembled by the volunteers. Forty volunteers are needed to help package 10,000 meals. Monetary donations will also be welcome.  Last year, Bev Anderson, Maureen Lavely, Bridget Nyhan and children, and Whitney Hayden and children were among our volunteers. Speak to them and find out how enjoyable their morning of mission was.
Please let Bridget Nyhan know if you want to register as a volunteer:
Monetary donations can be made by making a check out to Church of the Advent, and placing it in the offering plate or sending it to the church office.
Thank you!
Renewing Our Commitment to Harvest On Vine
Harvest on Vine is Charlestown’s Emergency Food Pantry, offering distributions of food twice a month, and on special occasions such as Thanksgiving, to Charlestown families in need. Adrienne Sweetser will be making regular deliveries from St. John’s to the Food Pantry, and we want to encourage everyone in the parish to consider bringing some food items on a weekly basis.
Currently, the needs are:
White Rice
Cans of  soup
Cans of  ravioli
Cans of beef stew
All items can be placed in the Harvest on Vine Basket – on the left as you enter the church. Let’s see if we will need to get a larger basket!

Support The Harvest on Vine Emergency Food Pantry Thanksgiving Basket Distribution

Harvest on Vine, Charlestown’s Emergency Food Pantry, will be distributing all the fixings for  Thanksgiving dinners to families in need on Tuesday, November 21 at 2 pm.  It costs $35 to create a dinner, and you are welcome to make contributions to Harvest on Vine for these dinners.  Donations of any amount are welcome, and checks can be mailed to: Harvest on Vine, 46 Winthrop Street, Charlestown, MA, 02129.


Campaign Update… Painting the Parish House

One of the first projects being undertaken with funds from our See God’s Beauty Capital Campaign is the painting of the Parish House. It has been a long time since the upper level has received a fresh coat of paint, and the project will include scraping, painting, and the repair of siding and trim. The Building Committee has been creating the specs for the project,  a so that bids can be made and work can progress soon.

The upper level of the Parish House was originally designed as a first floor chapel, by noted Victorian architects Ware and Van Brunt in the 1870’s. In 1900, the chapel was raised to create our current Parish Hall, and the classrooms, offices, and kitchen were created on the first floor.

Sara Chase, a historic preservation consultant, was hired to examine the woodwork to see if we could determine the original color scheme. While the original colors could not be discovered, Ms. Chase created three historically accurate schemes.  Below is a depiction of the colors chosen by the Vestry.  It is hard to see all of them in this one picture – larger samples of each of the colors will be on display in the Parish House for the next few weeks.






While we do not know the original colors, these colors will be similar to those Ware and Van Brunt might have chosen in their day  and will be a vibrant reminder to Charlestown that we are here and thriving in our own day.

Thanks to Mike Mickelson for taking a rendition of the Parish House created by John Freeman and “painting” it.

A Magical Evening

Amazing magic was part of the evening.

Magic was afoot on Saturday evening of June 3 at the parish’s Spring Fling. Thank you to all who donated food and beverages, who gave of their time and gifts, and to those offering dinners so that the fund of one evening can continue. We are grateful to our younger members who worked as servers, and wasn’t the magician amazing? To all who contributed in any way. We raised approximately $4000, and as is our custom, 10% of that will go towards mission in the community beyond us. This year, the 10% will be shared with Harvest on Vine Emergency Food Pantry, the Harvard-Kent Leadership and Scholarship Partnership, and the BSAFE program at St. Lucas/San Lucas Church in Chelsea.


Spring Fling!

Join us for an evening of fun, food, magic, and more!

This Saturday, June 3rd from  6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. is St. John’s Spring Fling.  It is shaping up to be a wonderful evening.  There will be an opportunity to sign up for “Breaking Bread” events — social gatherings and events throughout the year that various parishioners have kindly volunteered to host.  By way of example, if you would like to have brunch in Gloucester and see the schooners or have dinner at a wonderful home on the Training Field, don’t miss the opportunity to sign up on Saturday night.  Any profits we make on Saturday will help to offset our budget deficit and 10% will be shared with Harvest on Vine, The Harvard Kent Leadership & Scholarship Partnership and B-SAFE.


Charlestown Historical Society Church Tour

St. John’s will be one of four churches open to visit for the Charlestown Historical Society’s Church Tour on Saturday, June 3 from 10 am to 2 pm.

St. Francis de Sales, St. Mary’s, First Church, and St. John’s will all be part of the tour. It is suggested that people begin the tour at St. Francis Church, where brochures will be available. Lemonade and cookies will be offered at St. John’s at the end of the day.


EfM: Formation for Christian Leadership

From Left to Right: David Bresnahan, Kathleen Steen, Jane Struss, Alice Krapf

On Sunday May 21, four graduates of the Education for Ministry Program (EfM) were recognized at the 10 am service. Alice Krapf, David Bresnahan, Jane Struss, and Kathleen Steen each received their diplomas at the service. EfM provides adult Christian formation through a four-year curriculum that includes bible study, church history, ethics, worship, and theological reflection.

An EfM group has been meeting on Wednesday evenings at St. John’s, and will resume in September. We are currently seeking new participants. More information can be obtained by contacting the church office

Lenten Offering for Syrian Refugees

Donations for Nuday Syria before the altar

Our collection of craft and school supplies for refugees in Syria is growing. These Lenten offerings will be shipped by St. John’s Beverly Farms to the Nuday refugee Camp in Srria for those who have been displaced by the civil war there.

We have placed the donations in front of the side altar in the church. In the last few years, that altar has become a place of prayer and devotion when we have remembered those who have died from domestic and international acts of violence. With these gifts, we offer our prayers for those who are persevering and building their lives in the midst of great tragedy.

We welcome the following items:

-Book Bags for children
-School supplies, such as pencils, markers, and notebooks
-Yarn,  Fabric and Art Supplies: the women in the camp have expressed interest in making clothes, sweaters, and art projects with children
-Cash donations are also welcome; checks should be made out to St. John’s Beverly Farms

Your donations can be placed  in front of the altar.

Holy Week and Easter Schedule

Passion/Palm Sunday
Sunday, April 9
Services of Holy Eucharist at 8 am and 10 am
Blessing of the Palms and Reading of the Passion Narrative at both services, with festival procession at the 10 am service

Holy Week Evening Services
Monday, April 10

Tuesday, April 11
Wednesday, April 12
Services of Holy Eucharist at 7 pm
These contemplative service lead us through the week leading up to the time of Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion

Altar of Repose

Altar of Repose

Maundy Thursday Supper and Service
Thursday, April 13
Potluck Supper at 6 pm, with Holy Eucharist, Footwashing, and Stripping of the Altar
This much beloved gathering at St. John’s begins with a simple potluck supper at 6 pm. Traditionally, we bring olives, hummus, pita, and other simple foods, sharing supper and communion at our tables, as we recall Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. We process to the church for the ritual of foot washing, as Jesus invited his disciples to do to demonstrate their love for one another. That is followed   by stripping of the altar, reminding us of the desolation facing Jesus on the cross. The evening concludes with time before the Altar of Repose, where we are invited to watch and with with Jesus as he prays in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Good Friday Services
Friday, April 14
Children’s Service at 4:30
Prayer Book Service at 7 pm
The 4:30 service, a participatory service, is especially designed to lead our children through the story of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. At 7 pm, we hear the Passion of Jesus Christ  according to St. John. The service begins and ends in silence.

Holy Saturday
Saturday, April 15

The Altar Guild gathers to polish communion vessels and prepare for the great feast ahead. Join them at 10 am in this ministry as we anticipate the great joy of Easter.

The Great Vigil of Easter 
Saturday, April 15, 7 pm
We gather as night falls to light the new fire of Easter. In a darkened sanctuary, we listen by candlelight to the story of God’s redeeming work from the beginning of creation. We then gather round the baptismal font  for the baptism of a new sister in Christ, and renew our own baptismal vows. We then hear the first proclamation of Easter, and begin the Easter feast with the celebration of Holy Communion around the altar. It’s our first chance to sing “Alleluia” after the long Lenten fast. Bring bells of any shape and size to help ring in the resurrection news. A simple but festive reception follows, and you are invited to bring anything you would like, sweet or savory, to add to the table.

Easter Day at St. John's

Easter Day at St. John’s

Easter Day
Sunday, April 16
Service of Holy Eucharist at 8 am
Festival Service of Holy Eucharist with Choir at 10 am

The joy of Easter continues on Easter morning. Come for one of our services. After the 10 am service, we gather in front of the church for our traditional “parish photograph, and a bountiful reception follows in the Parish House. Our younger children will meet us for their Godly Play class, and there will also be be an Easter craft activity for them during Coffee Hour.

Vestry Update

The 2017 vestry met for the first time on Tuesday, March 21 at the Parish House. Here are some highlights from their meeting:

  • New vestry members were welcomed: Lorraine Gagnon, Rosemary Kverek, Catherine Womack, and Sarge Locke (Treasurer). Paul Newell, our new Clerk, could not join us for the meeting.
  • The vestry heard updates from the Building Committee and the Garden Group (copies of their minutes are available on the vestry bulletin board in the Parish House. They also had an update on the Capital Campaign from Fay Donohue, Cochair of campaign. The first two projects being undertaken with campaign funds are the drainage project in the Parish House basement and the painting of the exterior of the Parish House.
  • Tom Mousin and Doug Heim led a conversation about the planned sabbatical for Tom, which tentatively will start on August 1, with Tom returning in mid-November.
  • Maureen Lavely was elected as a delegate to Diocesan Convention.
  • The vestry approved a resolution to apply for grant money from the Wynn Casino mitigation funds for the painting of the Parish House.
  •  The vestry approved the rector’s recommendation to hire a bookkeeper for one to two hours a week to assist the treasurer and Parish Administrator in handling parish finances.