Tuesday, February 26, 2008

St. John's Breakfast - Saturday, March 1

Come visit us on March 1 for a delicious breakfast at 8 am in McPhail Hall. This will be followed at 8:30 am with our program. Our own Benjamin Carrettin will be our speaker, discussing his career in mental health issues.

Chili Cook-Off -Sunday, March 2 @ 11:45 am

Bring your homemade chili (and your recipe if you are willing to share it) to McPhail Hall for the great St. John’s Chili Cook-Off contest. Come and enjoy the amazing variety of chili’s and vote for your favorite. Prizes will be awarded.

Friday Night at the Movie - March 6 @ 7:30 pm

Showing on the BIG screen in McPhail Hall will be Jesus Christ Superstar (1973). This Oscar-nominated film adaptation of the rock opera is about the last seven days in the earthly life of Christ as reenacted by young tourists in Israel. Pizza, popcorn and drinks will be served.

DayLight Saving Time - Sunday, March 9

Daylight Saving Time begins on the 2nd Sunday in March when clocks are set ahead one hour at 2 am. Don’t forget.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Upcoming Events

*Confirmation Class: February 3 - March 2, 11:45 AM - 1:15 PM / Confirmed during worship on April 6

*Centering Prayer Lenten Study: February 10 - March 16, 4 - 5 PM

*Maundy Thursday Service: March 20, 7 PM

*Easter: March 23

*New Adult Class: Lynn Hargrove will teach a class on the Apocrypha from March 30 - May 18

*Caring Dinner: Sienna PLantation Club House in Missouri City, Thursday, April 10

*Session's Next Meeting is March 27, 2008


St. John's to host Scouts Twilight Camp

The Session has approved a request for use of our church facilities to host the Scouts Twilight Camp for the Golden Arrow District during weekday evenings from June 2-6 and from June 9-13 this summer.

The Golden Arrow District covers the majority of the SW side of Houston.  Based on prior years attendance, we should have between 350 - 500 cub scouts attend this event over the two weeks.  As part of the Districts outreach program, they provide camperships for approximately 15-30 Cub Scouts from the Gulfton Project.  These Scouts are part of their non-traditional unit, their families are primarily Hispanic, at our below the poverty line, and transient in nature (live in apartments and move every 6-12 months).  There are over 2,000 Scouts (Cub and Boy Scouts) in their Gulfton Project.  Scouting is provided to them as part of an outreach program in HISD. Twilight Camp is run by approximately 50 volunteer staff members and 100 adult volunteers.  We anticipate over the duration of Camp that approximately 1,200 - 1,300 people will be at St John's.

Twilight Camp is run in two sessions:  June 2-6 and June 9-13.  Staff will need access to the site the weekend before and after camp for setup/breakdown.  Twilight Camp runs from 5:30pm - 9:00pm.  Since this is such a large event, this will mean that St John's will be offline for any large night time events during camp.  This is a Cub Scout event (1st -5th grade boys).  Twilight Camp also uses Boy Scouts (11-18 years old) as volunteer Den Chiefs.  This allows the Boy Scouts to get service hours towards rank.

Here are some bullet points about Twilight Camp (TC) provided by James Ragan, who serves on the camp staff:

1.      Twilight Camp is run in two sessions:  June 2-6 and June 9-13.  Staff will need access to the site the weekend before and after camp for setup/breakdown.  TC runs from 5:30pm - 9:00pm.  Since this is such a large event, this will mean that St John's will be offline for any large night time events during camp.  This is a Cub Scout event (1st -5th grade boys).  TC also uses Boy Scouts (11-18 years old) as volunteer Den Chiefs.  This allows the Boy Scouts to get service hours towards rank.

2.      TC should have no impact to events held prior to 5:30pm during the week.  TC will have no access the site on Sundays between 6:00am and 1:00pm.  Any event that normally falls on a weekday night (hand bells, choir, Troop and Crew Meetings, Sub-committee meetings etc...) will have the small parking lot located next to the sanctuary reserved for church use only.

3.      TC will have no access to Building I or II.  They will need access to McPhail Hall every night for two reasons.  One, McPhail Hall will be TC emergency evacuation site should their be inclement weather, and they are planning on  teaching the Showman pin for the Webelos, which they would like to use the stage for a puppet show.  McPhail Hall access will be limited only to the large common room.  TC will have no access to the kitchen or library.  TC is an outdoor event and will utilize all of the green space that St John's currently has, as well as the green space at Westbury Methodist.

4.      TC will remove their trash offsite every night.

5.      Approximately ten (10) port-o-lets will be provided by TC.

6.      Storage of all camp materials will be stored and secured in a 10'X20' roll off container every night.  During the day, the only TC related materials visible from the street besides the port-o-let and storage container will be 3 flag poles, canopies, and center stage (which is planned to be a pirate ship).     

7.       The Boy Scouts of America will provide St John's with a liability insurance policy naming the church as an additional insured during the duration of the event.

8.       TC will make an appropriate donation to the church to cover the electricity used in McPhail Hall.

9.      All adult volunteers participating in TC are required by BSA to attend a mandatory four (4) hour training session specifically related to the TC operations and safety procedures, be a registered member of BSA, pass a background check, and complete youth protection training.

10.     TC will be inspected by BSA during the camp to verify that it is being run under the current National Camp Guideline and possible by the State of Texas.  For the last six (6), TC has been certified as a National Accredited Camp, based on each year's inspection.  TC has side letter agreements with HPD, HFD, and the closest Hospital advising them of the times, location, and type of event that is being held.  All attendees, children and adults, are covered under BSA medical insurance for this event. 

11.     TC also has a MD on call and has a first aid station that is manned by an RN onsite during the event every day.

We look forward to hosting the Twilight Camp and appreciate the great exposure it will give our church!


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Politics and Religion

A new blog on religion and the 2008 election campaign (www.Spiritual-Plitics.org) has been launched by the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Spiritual Politics will "provide daily tracking of the way religion seems to be enhancing, disturbing, and otherwise interacting with the 2008 election cycle," says Mark Silk, director of the Greenberg Center. "We are trying to do this in a reasonably nonpartisan way, though not without attitude," he adds. (Christian Century, February 12, 2008)

The faithful around the world

2,231,421,000 Christians

1,412,301,000 Muslims

887,991,000 Hindus

391,122,000 Buddhists

14,044,000 Jews

Source: International Bulletin of Missionary Research/Sightings cited in Christian Century, Feubrary 12, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Solo Viola Performance


On Living and Dying

Randy Pausch reprising his inspirational and moving "Last Lecture" on living and dying (Oct 22, 2007). See the full-length Carnegie Mellon University version. Randy is a virtual reality pioneer, human-computer interaction researcher, co-founder of CMU's Entertainment Technology Center, and creator of the Alice software project. High-resolution downloadable versions of Randy's videos, including a longer version of this TV appearance, can be found here. Click the "Play" button in the image above to view this video.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Participating with Divine Love

The Father of Centering Prayer, Thomas Keating, contributes a bit of wisdom to our interfaith dialogue and speaks about the need for a contemplative experience that draws us toward participating with Divine Love in the betterment of humanity.

Click the "play button" in the video box below to watch this presentation.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Scout Sunday | Feb 17, 2008

This Sunday is Scout Sunday at St. John's. All Scouts are invited to wear their uniform and they will be recognized during the 10:30 A.M. worship service. Special awards will also be presented to a few adults. See you on Scout Sunday, February 17, 2007.


Living Gift Market – We Need You!

This year's Living Gift Market (November 16) will be made possible by a team of leaders.  Please come be part of the leadership team and join us on Sunday, March 2, after church (and after you've had your chili) at 12 noon in the High School room for a brief organizational team meeting.  Bring your ideas and your passion.  Let's make this Living Gift Market the best ever!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Conference on Meditation

On the weekend of February 22-24, Father Laurence Freeman, OSB, spiritual director of The World Community for Christian Meditation,  will present a conference entitled Transparency: Meditation and Learning to See at the Dominican Sisters Meeting Room, 6501 Almeda, Houston, Texas 77021. This conference will explore Meditation as the daily practice that purifies our seeing and so transforms our whole way of living, and will include lecture, discussion, meditation, and liturgical celebration. For registration, fees and other information, please contact Claudia Morgan at 713.668.1209, Email:  claudiamorgan@comcast.net  or see : www.wccmtexas.org.


Welcome New Members

We welcome these new members who joined St. John's on February 10, 2008. Both Souad and George are neighbors of Mindi and Bill Ehrenstrom and have been attending worship with them for some time. We give thanks to God that both George and Saud have now decided to become members of St. John's and we welcome them into our Christian fellowship.

Mrs. Souad Khabbaz Asmar
(You may call her "Sue Sue") joins by reaffirmation of faith. Saud and her husband live with their daugher's family near the church. She is originally from Lebanon.

Mr. George McDowell joins by transfer of letter from ChristChurch in Bellaire. George is retired from the military and has a family real estate business in Houston.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Christian Sympathy

Our deepest sympathy is with Tony and Sue Benn upon the death of their daughter, Patricia (Trish) Plant, who passed away on February 5, 2008, at 7 am, after a long battle with cancer. Funeral services are planned for Houston and Jamaica. Tony and Sue appreciate your prayers.