Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Multicultural Worship Extravanganza

Sunday, May 4th, 2008
3:00 PM
5001 Bellaire
Bellaire, TX 77401

For more details please contact Nancy Diaz @


Friday, April 18, 2008

DCF Search Committee

The Session has elected the following people to serve on a Search
Committee for a Director of Christian Formation: Pastor Jon
Burnham, Ann Hardy, Jeanne Leach, Diane Ragan, Mindi Stanley and Brad
Urquhart. The Session also approved a job description developed by the
Christian Formation Ministry Team and authorized the search committee
to use it to begin the search.

Spirituality and Medicine - Sunday, April 27

Spirituality and Medicine:Frontiers of Care
Sunday, April 27, 2008,
2:00-5:00 p.m.
St. John’s Presbyterian Church

This forum is free and open to the public.
For more information, call Rev. Dr. James S. Currie, 713-965-0766.

Forum panelists include:Dr. Phil Johnson, Memorial HermannDr. Susan Lange, Interface Samaritan Counseling CentersRev. Cheryl Smith, First United Methodist Church, PasadenaRev. Dr. Steven Spidell, Presbyterian Outreach to PatientsRev. Dr. Pamela Taylor, Texas Children’s Hospital

Teacher Appreciation Sunday - April 20

Please join us in McPhail Hall on Sunday, April 20, following Worship, as we honor our teachers for their dedication and hard work.

Interfaith Dialog Series - April 20th




Looking ahead:
Visit to Sri Meenakshi Temple, Saturday, May 17 - 10 am


Monday, April 14, 2008

Vacation Bible School - July 13 -17

Plans are underway for Vacation Bible School 2008!
Mark your calendars for July 13 - 17 from 6 to 8 pm.

There will be fellowship and fun for all ages — preschool to adult.
Plan on dinner, bible study, crafts, singing and prayer to lift your spirits in the middle of the hot summer to come.

Don’t miss this special event!


Presbyterian Women's Bake Sale - May 4

Don’t miss this opportunity to stock up on delicious Mother’s Day sweets one week early. Visit Fellowship Hall on Sunday, May 4 between 9 am and 12 noon (or as long as the goodies last!).

Mayan Hands Craft Sale - May 18

Support a clean water system for the village of Yacheku, Mexico, and treat yourself to Mayan Crafts and Alternate Gift Cards.
Get a head-start on your Christmas shopping!

On May 18 St. John’s will host a Mayan Hands craft sale put on by ChristChurch. There will be a wide variety of interesting gifts: jewelry, woven baby blankets and bibs, purses and scarves, placemats, vases made from recycled glass, teak cutting boards, etc. These are fair-traded products made by Mayan women in Guatemala who have been weaving with the backstrap loom for more that 3000 years. 50% of the proceeds will fund the water purification installation in the Mayan village of Yacheku later this summer.

You will also have an opportunity to purchase parts for the water purification system itself such as PVC fittings for a dollar or so up to major parts such as the ozonator for $675 and even shares in the reverse osmosis unit for $24.

You can — buy a part and be a part —
of the pure water system for Yacheku, Mexico!

Come to the Mayan Hands Craft Sale, May 18 in the
walk-way before and after worship.


Living Waters for the World

Clean Water for All God’s Children

A child dies every eight seconds from a water-related illness. This is the leading cause of death among children throughout the world. A lack of clean water is the number-one health crisis in our world. St. John’s is doing something about it and you can help!

St. John’s has partnered with ChristChurch Presbyterian in Bellaire to install water purification systems and bring clean water use education to villages in Mexico. As you read this, Becki and Remi Van Campernolle from ChristChurch are in the Yucatan Peninsula working on a covenant agreement with a church in the Mayan village of Yacheku for an installation and education trip later this summer.

St. John’s can help by providing prayers, money and people. Space on the trip will be limited but there will be work to be done in Houston and a translator may be needed for the trip. Approximately $13,000 will have to be raised to pay for the equipment, a building to house the purification system and trip expenses. ChristChurch has been holding fundraisers and St. John’s will host a Mayan Hands craft sale on May 18 along with an opportunity to purchase parts for the purification system (see sidebar). St. John’s has budgeted $500 in the Outreach budget for this and funds collected at last year’s living gift market will also go for this project, but this is only a beginning.

Last year St. John’s contributed money, prayers and one team member for the water purification trip to Xmaben, Mexico. This installation paid unexpected dividends last fall when hurricane Dean swept across the Yucatan and our water system in Xmaben provided clean water for many people in the area left without water. This is a marvelous example of the global reach of St. John’s outreach and compassion, but the work is far from done. More support and prayers will be needed for this year’s trip. To help contact John Freeman.

Holly Hall Book Review Season

Season tickets are available now for the coming Holly Hall 2008-2009 Book Review Series. Season tickets are $25 for four book reviews. The first review will be presented on Tuesday, September 30, 2008. Reviewer Rose-Mary Rumbley will present Einstein, His Life and His Universe.

Proceeds raised from the sale of Book Review Series tickets are used to cover the "cost of care" for those residents of Holly Hall who over time may no longer afford to do so.

Contact Barbara Wade if you would like to purchase season tickets.

What is an "Accompanier" Program? - Sunday, May 4

All are invited to hear Dr. Phil Gates tell about his experiences as an "accompanier" with the Presbyterian Church of Columbia (IPC).

The situation in Colombia is grim. The country has lived through forty years of war. Today there are "armed actors" everywhere one looks: guerilla forces, paramilitary troops, police and soldiers and a government committed to "controlling the violence" through overwhelming military response. According to the U.S. Dept. of State, serious violations of human rights are commonplace. The IPC has courageously spoken out against the violence that is endemic in Colombia today. For this stand its members have endured arbitrary arrest and death threats.

The Presbyterian Church of Columbia has asked PC(USA) to serve as international "accompaniers" providing a measure of safety — international eyes for their work.
As a direct result of his exposure to wide- spread human rights abuse in Columbia, Bill Gates felt called to join with 15 others to engage in an act of civil disobedience by trespassing onto the Ft. Benning, Columbus, GA military base November 2006. This was in protest of the existence of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Economic Security (WHINSEC), better known by its former name, The School of the Americas (SOA), where the military personnel of Central America are trained. The General Assembly of the PC(USA) has called for the closure of this school. We will have the opportunity to view the 20 minute film,"Prisoners of Conscience."

Mark your calendars! Sunday, May 4, 5:30 pm

"The accompanier program provides an umbrella of safety which extends far beyond the Presbyterian Church...It helps all of us who seek to improve the lives of the poor and oppressed."

"Wonder Team" Sandwich Makers

Come to McPhail Hall at 6 pm, April 23, May 14 and 28, and help make 300 sandwiches which are combined with fruit, juice and chips and then distributed to preschool children for lunch. Volunteer and help feed local Houston children.

Spirituality and Medicine - Sunday, April 27

St. John’s will be hosting the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Houston Extension Program "Spirituality and Medicine" in McPhail Hall 2 - 5 pm. The forum is free and open to the public.

St. John's Hosts Austin Seminary's Spring Forum

Spirituality and Medicine:
Frontiers of Care

Sunday, April 27, 2008, 2:00-5:00 p.m.

St. John’s Presbyterian Church,
5020 W. Belfort Ave., Houston, TX
(just off Loop 610)

This forum is free and open to the public.
For more information, call Rev. Dr. James S. Currie, associate dean of the Houston Extension Program at 713-965-0766.

(click on Academics, Houston Extension)

Forum panelists include:
Dr. Phil Johnson, Memorial Hermann
Dr. Susan Lange, Interface Samaritan Counseling Centers
Rev. Cheryl Smith, First United Methodist Church, Pasadena
Rev. Dr. Steven Spidell, Presbyterian Outreach to Patients
Rev. Dr. Pamela Taylor, Texas Children’s Hospital

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pentecost Offering Received May 11

The Pentecost Offering is traditionally received on the day of Pentecost (May 11, 2008). It provides a direct way to meet the needs of children at risk, youth, and young adults. Congregations are encouraged to keep 40 percent of the Offering to support ministry with children at risk in their communities.

The General Assembly's portion (60 percent) provides leadership development opportunities for Presbyterian youth and young adults and supports children-at-risk programs at the national level. Since 1998, Presbyterians of all ages have raised over $7 million for these ministries that benefit younger members of God's family.

For more information about this offering point your web browser to

Session Highlights

At the Session meeting on March 27, the Session
  • received into membership Synthia Abiyah and approved her request for the baptism of her son, Shawn Kwende. Synthia comes by transfer of letter from the Presbyterian Church of Bamenda, Cameroon.
  • received a letter from Wayne Eberly of the Presbytery of New Covenant reporting that, after eight months of the fiscal year, the Operating Fund is at a break-even point.
  • approved a request from the Property Ministry Team to publish a wish list for individuals who would like to make a special gift either anonymously or publicly.
  • approved the re-formation of a Protection Policy/Response Team task force as is required in the Child Protection Policy
  • voted to write a letter from the Session to the congregation explaining why Lynn Hargrove concluded her service to St. John's as Interim Director of Children and Family Ministries on Easter Sunday, March 28, 2008.
  • approved recruiting a search committee for a Director of Christian Formation to include the pastor and one of the elders from the Support Ministry Team and Christian Formation Ministry Team as determined by the Session.
At their meeting on April 6, the Session received Sean Coughlen, Patrick Harrel, Mitch Sawyer, and Zach Sponberg as confirmed members of the church and approved the baptism of Zach Sponberg.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Confirmation Sunday - April 6

2008 Confirmands are Sean Coughlen, Patrick Harrel, Mitch Sawyer and Zach Sponberg. The confirmation class was examined by the Session and will be received as confirmed members of St. John's on Sunday, April 6. We are proud of these young men and welcome them as confirmed members of St. John's. A reception will follow in McPhail Hall.

Interfaith Dialog: Focus on Eastern Religions - Sunday, April 6

Interfaith Dialog April 6th Program

Rev. Hui Yong Shih - Jade Buddha Temple
McPhail Hall, 6 pm

Followed by a light supper for all

Tour the Jade Buddha Temple on Saturday, April 12, 10 am.
Please gather in St. John's Parking lot at 9:15 am for carpooling


"Wonder Team" Sandwich Makers - April 9

On Wednesday, April 9 please gather in McPhail Hall to help make 300 sandwiches for local children. On-site training is provided.

Astros Volunteers Needed - April 12

Everyone over the age of 16 is invited to participate in a mission trip 2008 fund-raising event sponsored by the Astros. Volunteers will be handing out Oswalt Bobble Heads. All volunteers will receive a standing room only ticket and a bobble head, which is delivered later. Meet at St. John's parking lot at 12:15 pm, and transportation will be arranged for workers choosing not to stay for the game. A sign-up sheet is in the office.

Church of the Millennium

George Dobbin and Wright Williams will be leading a new Sunday School class which began march 30 and will end May 25. The class will meet during the Sunday School hour in Room 210. The class will focus on the interface between faith and the future.

Newsletter Articles Due

Please deliver all Beacon articles for the April/May 2008 newsletter issue to or deliver to Room 208 or the church office. The last chance to be part of this issue is Sunday, April 13, at 12 noon.

St. John's Book Group - April 8 @ 7:30 pm

Meet in Room 203 at 7:30 pm. The short story "While I was Gone" by Sue Miller from Volume 4 of Listening for God will be reviewed. All are welcome. Books are available in the church office.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Spirituality and Medicine -- Frontiers of Care

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary's Houston Extension Program Forum will hold its program, "Spirituality & Medicine: Frontiers of Care," Sunday, April 27, from 2-5 P.M., in McPhail Hall at St. John's Presbyterian Church. The class will touch on Biblical and theological principles for healing and wholeness; the relevance of physician and patient spirituality in the treatment of illness; psychological resources for dealing with stress; congregational practices for healing and wholeness; and spiritual means and healing "walking the labyrinth." The program is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Don't Forget St. John's Breakfast - This Saturday

Breakfast is served this Saturday, April 5, at 8 am.
The scheduled program begins 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.

Interfaith Dialog: Focus on Eastern Religions - Sunday, April 6

Interfaith Dialog Begins Again
Sunday, April 6
Rev. Hui Yong Shih - Jade Buddha Temple
McPhail Hall, 6 pm
Followed by a light supper for all

Tour the Jade Buddha Temple on Saturday, April 12, 10 am.
Please gather in St. John's Parking lot at 9:15 am for carpooling.