Sunday, March 30, 2008

Knit for Kids

"The sweaters are more than just a source of warmth…they carry the message of your caring and the grace of God to the children. Each stitch is a prayer for the cold and needy." ―B.W., Sweater Distributor

Knit for Kids is a volunteer effort that connects knitters and crocheters from all over the world with the thousands of children in need who receive their gifts. Since this unique ministry was launched in 1996, more than 500,000 beautiful, warm sweaters have been distributed to kids of all ages and all sizes, who might otherwise go without warm clothing to survive bitter winters, devastating hurricanes, earthquakes and whose families would not be able to afford them. The sweaters have been shipped throughout North America and as far away as Australia, Nepal, China, Honduras, India, Romania, Haiti, Kosovo and other locations.

St. Johners have shipped over 800 sweaters to Knit for Kids since 1998.

Ways to Help:
1. Knit/Crochet patterns (beginner and advanced) are available at or can be picked up in Room 208.

2. Don’t know how to knit? The solution is simple: Talk to Betty Nelson and schedule knitting lessons! Yarn and needles will be supplied.

3. Donate yarn and needles anytime.

Confirmation Sunday - April 6

Our 2008 confirmands are Sean Coughlen, Patrick Harrel, Mitch Sawyer, and Zach Sponberg. Parents provided lunch, and the class met each Sunday after worship from February 3 until March 2.

The confirmation class will be examined by the Session, received into membership, and recognized during worship on the morning of April 6. Lynn Hargrove and Jon Burnham team-taught the confirmation class around these questions: Who is God? Who is Jesus Christ? What is a Christian? What is the Presbyterian Church and how do we worship? What are my spiritual gifts? Following are some quotes from their papers that will give you some idea of the thoughtful and committed young confirmands here at St. John’s:

"I have experienced several different worship types but I think that the Presbyterian Church is going to help me and will help me more than any other religion." — Sean Coughlen

"Christians are people that put themselves last and others first." — Patrick Harrel

"The church should not be limited to just Sunday morning from 9-12 am. It should be a religious state of mind that stays with you all week."— Mitch Sawyer

"To me worship is the ability to sacrifice your time to come together with another person and not to be selfish and skip out on worship and the church service." — Zachary Sponberg

Braes Interfaith Ministries (BIM)

BIM (Braes Interfaith Ministries) served 928 clients in February 2008. Of this number 508 were adults and 420 were children.

St. John's Breakfast - Saturday, April 5

Breakfast is served at 8 am with the scheduled program beginning at 8:30 am.

Our speaker is Mary Kate Flanagan of Houston’s Therapeutic Equestrian Program SIRE (Self Improvement through Riding Education.) The mission of SIRE is to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities through therapeutic horseback riding and related activities. These disabilities include cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, multiple sclerosis, intellectual disabilities, developmental delay, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.

We hope to see you there.

Circles - Tuesday, April 1

St. John's Presbyterian Women Circles will meet on Tuesday, April 1:

Circle One, Connie Brown chair, will meet at Connie's house at 9:30 am.

Circle Two, Marjie Knight chair, will meet at St. John's at 9:30 am

Night Circle, Vivian Ivy chair, will meet at Pansy Meyer's at 7:30 pm.

Call the church office (713-723-6262) for directions.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Good News from Presbytery


                   Wednesday, March 26, 2008


                   Minister-members and Clerks of Session

                   The Presbytery of New Covenant

                   Synod of the Sun

                   Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.


Dear Friends,


On behalf of the General Council of the Presbytery of New Covenant, I want to share with you some news that represents a victory for all of us. We are 8 months into our fiscal year, and our Operating Fund is at a break-even point.


This means two things are happening, both of which are extremely important. First, the expenses are being held at or below budget, which demonstrates fiscal responsibility. Second, our local churches are faithfully making their contributions in a timely manner.


As a colleague in ministry, I extend my heartfelt thanks, and that of the General Council.  Who you are and what you are doing is making a difference for the kingdom of God.


I hope that this good news and our gratitude will be shared broadly among the congregations of New Covenant.  Thank you for your partnership in the ministry of God's kingdom here in southeast Texas.




                   Wayne  Eberly


Reverend Wayne C. Eberly

Chair, General Council

The Presbytery of New Covenant


Friday, March 14, 2008

Volunteers Needed, Astros Game - Saturday, April 12

Everyone is invited to participate in a fund-raising event sponsored by the Houston Astros. We will be handing out Oswalt Bobble Heads to Astros Fans. All volunteers will be issued a free SRO ticket for the main concourse. Funds will be targeted for St. John’s 2008 mission trip.

The Necessity of Interfaith Dialog - April 6, 13 and 20

The Necessity for Interfaith Dialog Series Returns in April
with Focus on Eastern Religions

Interfaith Dialog Sundays @ 6 pm

Sunday April 6
Rev. Hui Yong Shih
from the Jade Buddha Temple

Sunday April 13
Ajit Giani
from the Houston Baha’i Center

Sunday April 20
Ranjana Narasiman
from the Sri Meemakshi Temple

Special Invitations
Saturday April 12
Guided tour of the Jade Buddha Temple
Saturday April 19
Guided tour of the Houston Bana'i Center
(Carpooling from St. John’s parking lot at 9:15 am)


Lord's Supper - March 30

Due to the confirmands joining the church on April 6, we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the last Sunday in March rather than the first Sunday in April.

Recipe Cookbook Deadline - March 30

Would you like to share your favorite original recipes with other St. John’s cooks? Then don’t miss this opportunity! St. John’s is collecting recipes for a mini-cookbook. Please submit your favorites to Dave Nelson at If e-mail is not possible, put your recipe in Dave Nelson’s box in the mail room.

Sunrise Service - March 23, 7 am

Come celebrate the joy of Easter at our annual youth-led Sunrise Service at 7 am in the courtyard (weather permitting). There will be a continental breakfast following the service.

Easter Egg Hunt - Sunday, March 16

St. John's youth sponsored Easter Egg Hunt will follow our Palm Sunday service. There will be
designated age areas and refreshments will be served. Following the egg hunt there will be supervised games. Friends and family are welcome. BYOB: Bring your own basket

Blood Drive - March 16

Please help save lives.

Come to Building I
8 am - 12 Noon
Sunday, March 16


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Maundy Thursday

Come celebrate communion and a tenebrae service on Maundy Thursday, March 20, at 7:00 P.M. in the sanctuary. Tenebrae (Latin for shadows) is a religious service celebrated by high church elements of Western Christianity, including the Roman Catholic Church, The Episcopal Church, Anglican Churches, Lutheran Churches, United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), and United Church of Christ.

The Maundy Thursday Tenebrae Service will include a celebration of the Lord's Supper and the stripping of the altar. The stripping of the altar involves the removal of any decorative elements, such as any cloths on the altar, candles, or removable devotional objects. The stark appearance of the church mirrors the silence maintained at the end of Tenebrae. Come experience this powerful service this Thursday, March 20, at 7:00 P.M. in the sanctuary.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Session Ministry Teams for 2008

Shirley (2008) & Barbara (2009) / Christian Formation Ministry Team (Formerly called Christian Education Committee)

Marie (2009) & Dave (2010) / Congregational Life Ministry Team (Formerly called Caring Committee and Fellowship Committee)

Wright (2008) & Suzette (2009) & Lauren (2008)  / Mission Ministry Team (Formerly called Evangelism & Outreach)

Bob (2008) & George (2010) / Property Ministry Team (Formerly called Building & Grounds Committee)

Jo Ann (2008) & Brad (2010) / Support Ministry Team (Formerly called Administration Committee, Budget Committee, Finance Committee, Stewardship Committee)

Katie (2009) & Charlene (2010)  / Worship Ministry Team (Formerly called Worship Committee)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Presbyterian Night at the Astros

This year's Presbyterian Night with the Astros will be Saturday, May 24, at 6:05 p.m. with the Astros vs Phillies. See the attached flyer for more details and log on to (password: church) to purchase discounted tickets. For group tickets (20 or more), contact Cody Arnold 713-259-8315. $2 from each ticket sold will benefit the Presbytery of New Covenant. See below for more information.

Log on to
Password: church
Presbyterian Night
Special Fundraiser Pricing! Minute Maid Park
Saturday, May 24th
Field Boxes - $21.50
Bullpen Boxes - $15.00 Game Time 6:05p

$2 from each ticket sold will benefit
The Presbytery of New Covenant

Mezzanine - $12.00
View Deck I - $9.50 
Oswalt Bobblehead
presented by
Bank of America
(1st 10,000 Fans)
View Deck II - $8.00

Log on to church
Internet order deadline is 2 hours prior to game time.
Offer not valid at MMP Box Office and this offer can not be
combined with any other ticket offer.  Tickets are subject to
availability.  All sales are final, no refunds or exchanges.
For group ticket purchases of 20 or more, contact:
                                        Cody Arnold at 713.259.8315 or                                       


Monday, March 10, 2008

PYF Workday - Saturday, March 15

St. John's youth are invited to the Easter Egg Hunt Workday this Saturday, 10 am. Pizza will be served.

One Great Hour of Sharing - March 16, 23 & 30

One Great Hour of Sharing offers an opportunity for each of us to share with people in need around the world. The offering is divided between the Presbyterian Hunger Program, Self Development of People and the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA).

Bible Study for Everyone

“For Everyone” Bible Study Class:
2 Timothy & Titus Schedule

2 Timothy

March 23: Easter - No Class – Enjoy time with your family
March 30: 1:1-7; 1:8-14 (Suzette)
April 6: 1:15-18, 2:1-7 (Evan)
April 13: 2:8-13; 2:14-19 (Mary)
April 20: 2:20-26; 3:1-9 (Charlene)
April 27: 3:10-17; 4:1-5 (Leonie)
May 4: 4:6-8; 4:9-22 (Bill)


May 11: 1:1-4; 1:5-9 (Suzette)
May 18: 1:10-16; 2:1-10 (Evan)
May 25:* 2:11-15; 3:1-8a (Mary)
June 1: 38b-15; wrap-up (Kathie)

*Memorial Day weekend


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tre Ore (Three-Hour) Service on Good Friday, March 21, at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church

You are invited to a Tre Ore (Three-Hour) Service on Good Friday, March 21, from noon to 3:00 p.m., at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church (4930 W. Bellfort Ave. at South Post Oak).

The service, an ancient and moving liturgy of the Church, conducted during the traditional hours before Christ's death, is in seven parts. It focuses on Jesus' words from the cross. Worshipers may come and go between the parts.

Area clergy offer meditations on each word.

The schedule:

NOON -- Introduction and "Father, forgive them..." -- The Rev. Todd Ferguson (Associate Pastor, Willow Meadows Baptist Church)

12:30 -- "Today you will be with me..." -- The Rev. Galen Knutson (Interim Pastor, Faith Lutheran Church)

12:55 -- "Woman, here is your son..." -- The Rev. Romonica Malone (Associate Pastor, Westbury United Methodist Church)

1:20 -- "My God, My God..." -- The Rev. James L. Berggren (Pastor, Holy Cross Lutheran Church)

1:50 -- "I am thirsty." -- The Rev. Jon Burnham (Pastor, St. John's Presbyterian Church)

2:15 -- "It is finished." -- The Rev. Herbert Palmer (Interim Synod Staff, Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod)

2:35 -- "Father into your hands..." -- The Rev. Carole Blaine (Rector, St. George's and St. Patrick's Episcopal Church)

Salem is located less than a minute from the southwest bend of Loop 610, on West Bellfort just west of South Post Oak.

Purchase Lilies

Purchase an Easter lily for $9.00 to beautify the sanctuary on Easter Sunday, then enjoy it at home after the service. To purchase your lily sign up on the poster in the Narthex, placing your check in the envelopes on the bottom of the poster. Make out your checks to St. John’s with “lilies” written on the memo line. Our lilies are from Brookwood Communty.

Don't Forget to Set Your Clocks!

Spring Forward. . . Fall Back
Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, March 9, at 2:00 am.

St. John's Book Group - March 11 @ 7:30 pm

St. John’s Book Group offers an opportunity to socialize with other book lovers and join in the discussions the stories inspire. You will be amazed at the differing viewpoints which emerge! The short story, “Notes of a Native Son” by James Baldwin, from Volume 4 of Listening for God will be reviewed. The book can be purchased in the church office.

St. John's Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Egg Hunt
March 16
Following Service

Designated Age Areas
Refreshments, Games, Prizes
BYOB: Bring your own basket

Friends and Family Welcome


Blood Drive - March 16

The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center will be in Building One
8 am – 12 noon.

Donate Blood – It Saves Lives


Sunrise Service - Easter Morning

Come celebrate the joy of Easter at our annual youth-led Sunrise Service at 7 am in the courtyard (weather permitting). There will be a continental breakfast following the service.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Become a Buddy at Small Steps Nurturing Center

You are invited to become a "buddy" at Small Steps Nurturing Center ( Small Steps is a privately funded, Christian early childhood program for economically at-risk children and their families in inner city Houston. Small Steps operates two campuses (First Ward and Fifth Ward), and serves over 100 children (ages two-six) living in poverty.  Buddies play with a Small Steps student once a week for 20-30 minutes, and quickly develop relationships 

Here are some of the children who need buddies:

  • "Dianna," age 4, is playful and imaginative, and always ready to learn.  She is in her second year at Small Steps.
  • "Angie," age 3, is one of a set of twins at SS who also has a younger set of twins at home! She would benefit from having that special buddy coming once a week to share time with her.
  • "Rayna," age 3, started at Small Steps in December.  This her first experience in the big, wide world.  Her first language is Spanish.
For more information on becoming a buddy, or on other ways to help, please contact Kathie Hartzog, Small Steps Program Director, at 713-236-0330 or Suzette Harrel, Small Steps board member and volunteer, at 713-666-6218.