Friday, October 31, 2008

BIM food pantry seeks volunteers

Volunteers are needed at Braes Interfaith Ministries (BIM) in the food pantry area unpacking boxes, filling grocery bags, and stocking shelves. If you can help, give your name to Vivian in the church office or any of the BIM volunteers -Vera Newell, Helen Roby, Georgiana Simmons, Simone Westmoreland, Elaine DeSouza, Dee Dennis to name a few. Men are especially needed for this work.


Sunday, December 14, 2008, Living Nativity Scene

Volunteers and actors are needed to assist with the living nativity scene for this evening's program. We need help with scenery, sound, lighting, costumes, animals, a narrator and actors. If you are interested, please contact Jeanne Leach (713)524-8605.


Haiti Clothing Drive

St. John's Outreach Ministry is sponsoring a clothing drive for all ages. Please bring your gently used clothing labeled for Haiti to the recycle room in McPhail Hall. 


Reception and Pounding for Mary Sterner

Sunday, November 9

McPhail Hall, after worship

Welcome Welcome Mary Sterner
Our new Director of Christian Formation

pounding is the southern custom of giving groceries, etc., 
with each participant giving a pound. Today the custom also includes gift cards.


Braes-Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, November 23, 4:00 pm

This year the service will be at Westbury United Methodist Church (5200 Willowbend Blvd.) and Pastor Jon will preach the sermon. 


Living Gift Market on Nov 16

Come to the Living Gift Market, Sunday, November 16. Come and shop at our annual  Christmas gift market, in McPhail Hall after worship. Give a gift that keeps on giving. A highlight of this year will be a performance by the Sudanese Choir.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Special Invitation to St. Johns

We are invited to share a dinner of
traditional Turkish quisine at the new

Turquoise Center
9301 Bellfort

Sunday, November 9th
6:00 PM

The members and volunteers of the institute
of Interfaith Dialog (IID) invite us to share
a meal and have conversations together to
advance understanding, friendship, respect,
and harmony between our faiths.

We will have the opportunity to give a presentation
of our Presbyterian fiath and also hear about IDD
and the Islamic tradition in Turkey.

Last fall members of IID brought "Noah's Puding"
to share with us, and their Vice President,
Dr. Aslandogan, spoke about he Islamic dialogs.

RSVP to Phyllis Freeman
by Wednesday, November 4th
November 4th


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pastor's Epistle from St. John's / October 28, 2008

Dear church family and friends of the church,

We had a great Stewardship Dedication last Sunday with a powerful worship service and a delicious barbecue brunch after worship. Thank you to all who have indicated what you think you will give. We are still looking for pledges and will put the amount received in the weekly bulletin for the next several weeks.

We are having a Blood Drive at St. John's this Sunday from 7:45 AM until 1 PM in the Scout Room in Building 1.

This Sunday is All Saints Day. During communion we will toll a bell for all church members who have died in the past year. All Saints' Day last year was November 4. The members that have died since that date are: Ed Clover, Ruth Davis, Abel DeSouza, Vera Hensley and Evelyn McLean.

This Sunday is CROP WALK Sunday. Youth and all walkers will gather at the church at 1:30 PM for the walk and will be finished about 4:00 PM. There will be no other PYF activities this Sunday. CROP Hunger Walks help to support the overall ministry of Church World Service, especially the grassroots, hunger-fighting development efforts of partner agencies in some 80 countries. See for more information.

Our Director of Christian Formation, Mary Sterner, will be officially installed into that position during worship on November 9. A reception for her, including a "pounding" for her and her family (husband - Sean & puppy - Magnum) will follow in McPhail Hall. Let's be generous and creative in our "pounding" gifts to Mary. Gift cards are always an easy to buy and fun to receive. The Session has also scheduled a congregational meeting on Sunday, November 9, during worship, to hear a report from the Nominating Committee.

We've been listening to Moses in the past weeks sermons. This Sunday we will consider Deuteronomy 34:1-12. I wonder how the people of Israel were doing at the time of Moses death? Were they energized and ready to claim God's vision and move forward into the Promised Land? Or were they fatigued, worn out from wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, and needing rest and new energy before they could continue to claim the vision? Congregations go through life cycles. I wonder where St. John's is today? Are we ready to move forward with God's vision or are we exhausted and in need of a vacation before we are ready to move forward? I would not be surprised if this congregation needs some rest and rejuvenation considering all the pain and tragedy you had experienced recently. You have fought some hard battles the past several years. But we may now be getting ready to move forward. That is the feeling I got during the recent Vision Brunch. I got the feeling that the congregation is ready to move forward again. I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings about this. You may email me your response or phone me or speak to me next time you see me.

In a sense, timing is everything in God's timeless kingdom. This is expressed in the passage from Ecclesiastes that is often read at funerals:

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with."

There really is a time to mourn. And there does come a time when mourning ends.

"Moses was one hundred twenty years old when he died; his sight was unimpaired and his vigor had not abated. The Israelites wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the period of mourning for Moses was ended." -Deuternonomy 34:7-8

What time is it for St. John's? Is it time to mourn? Or is it time that the period of mourning ended? Neither answer is right or wrong.

Ponder these questions as you experience the sights and sounds of Halloween this week.

Peace of Christ be with you,
Pastor Jon Burnham

Monday, October 27, 2008

Shearn Elementary Mission Project Update

Aaron Jacobsen, David Wintersgill
and Marco Pina participated in the Shearn Elementary workday on Sat Oct 18. A larger scale work day is planned for the Spring. St. John's is also planning to participate in a mentoring program at Shearn. Stay tuned for more details.

Dear Gary and all members of Mission Houston,

I will send this properly in paper form but I wanted to tell you and your congregation a couple of things about your work here at ShearnElementary School.

On Monday when I got out of the car I smelled the mulch. The wonderful smell of working with hands, gardening, growing. Everything here feels softer, gentler. Most of our students have relatively hard lives. They live in apartments without yards, plants, and nature. All the greenery you put in has shifted the color of our place, and the "People" you put in are shifting the color also.

The volunteer mentors are giving our kids some connection to other adults who are awesome role models, good citizens, good listeners and people of faith. They see that inner strength, that peace that leads us to reach out. We do that because of God at work in our lives. The volunteer who helps me in the Library, Jean, provides me a chance to breathe by helping check out books and restoring books to their shelves. She is a little bit of the "cool waters" He provides.

One of my favorite quotes is by St. Francis of Assisi. He said "I always preach the Gospel, sometimes I use words." What you do for the least of these is surely a blessing. That work for an hour a week reverberates throughout each school day, each school hour and then…….it goes home. It will begin to work in so many ways and so many lives that the ripples will pass our horizon, certainly.

I thank you for your dedication, your time, for I know it is precious, your love.

Many blessings,
Catherine Nelson, Teacher, Shearn Elementary School


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Welcome New Members

We welcome these new members who joined St. John's on October 19, 2008.

William, Suzana, Yor & Atillio


Kevin, Deborah, Kaelan & Gabriel

Samuel & Hamat

Marco & Mary


Monday, October 20, 2008

“For Everyone” Bible Study Class: The Gospel Of John

Date   Assignment  Facilitator  

Sept 28  1:1-18; 19-28   Suzette    

Oct 5   1:29-34; 35-42  Bill 

Oct 12   1:43-51; 2:1-12  Fran 

Oct 19   2:13-25; 3:1-13  Suzette      

Oct 26   3:14-21; 22-36  Ann       

Nov 2   4:1-15; 16-26   Kathie 

Nov 9   4:27-42; 43-54  Evan      

Nov 16  5:1-9a; 9b-18   Kathie  

Nov 23  5:19-29; 30-38  Suzette   

Nov 30  5:39-47; 6:1-15  Mindi 

Dec 7   6:16-25; 26-35  Evan  

Dec 14  6:36-46; 47-59  John F 

Dec 21  6:60-71; 7:1-9  Ann 

Dec 28  7:10-18; 19-30  Leonie


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Shearn Elementary Workday – This Saturday, October 18

Volunteers are needed to clean up Shearn Elementary from Hurricane Ike damage.  A larger scale workday is planned for the Spring.  If you can help this Saturday or are interested in learning about future opportunities at Shearn, please contact Marco Pina at 713-283-6051.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blood Drive - Sunday, November 2


8 AM - 12 NOON


St. John's Breakfast - Saturday, November 1

St. John’s Breakfast club will meet Saturday, November 1. Bring a couple of friends and your appetite. A delicious breakfast is served at 8 am. Our speaker will be one of the Houston police officers assigned to the Mounted Police Division. We have it on good authority that one of the "equine officers" will make an appearance. Bring carrots!

Trunk-or-Treat - Sunday, October 26

Join the fun on October 26 from 5 to 7:30 pm in St. John’s parking lot. The activities will include face painting, bobbing for apples, pumpkin toss, cookie decorating and more. Admission is one can of food. Invite your neighbors and friends, there will be fun for all ages! Please come in costume (but no masks!).
Also, we need adults who would like to host a trunk. Call David or Christine Nelson at 281-438-9586 to choose from our list of activities or come up with one of your own.

Braes Resale and Consignment Store: Grand Opening

Braes Interfaith Ministries is proud to announce the grand opening of their resale store, Braes Interfaith and Consignment Store, located at 10319 S. Post Oak Road. Please stop by and celebrate this special day.

Presbyterian's Women Program and Luncheon - Tuesday, October 21

Please join us as at 9:30 am on October 21 as we welcome Sister Sara Kay Thompson of Magnificant Houses, Inc., an organization established in 1968 and serves the inner city. Lunch is served after the program. Please come - no reservations required.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Join us at St. Johns - Week of October 12

St. John's Calendar
Sunday, October 12 – Teacher Dedication Day
9:00 am Church School; Inquirer's Class, Pastor's office
10:30 am Worship Service
1:00 pm Christian Formation Ministry Meeting
4:30 pm Centering Prayer, Pastor's Office
5:00 pm Presbyterian Youth Fellowship (PYF)

Monday, October 13
9:45 am Growing Stronger Together
6:30 pm Walking Together
7:00 - 8:30 pm Scout Troop 688
7:00 pm Bell Choir

Tuesday, October 14
9:30 am Presbyterian Women's Activity Day
1:30 pm Staff Meeting
6:30 pm “Stay Strong Stay Young” followed by St. John's “Walking Together”
7:30 pm Venture Crew 688
7:30 pm Outreach Ministry Team Meeting
7:30 pm Night Circle

Wednesday, October 15
9:45 am “Growing Stronger Together”
6:30 pm St. John's “Walking Together”
7:30 pm Chancel Choir Thursday, October 16
9:30 am Community Bible Study
6:30 pm “Stay Strong Stay Young” followed by St. John's “Walking Together”
7:30 pm Session Meeting

Saturday, October 18
8:00 am Women’s Bible Small GroupSunday, October 19 –
9:00 am Church School; Inquirer's Class, Pastor's Office
10:00 am Called Session Meeting, Room 209
10:30 am Worship Service
4:30 pm Centering Prayer, Pastor's Office
5:00 pm Presbyterian Youth Fellowship (PYF)

Vision 2009 Presentation Brunch - October 12

Mark October 12 on your calendar and plan to come to worship and stay for brunch. Childcare will be available. Come join us in the process of discerning God’s vision for St. John’s Presbyterian Church. God will use this process to produce a common vision for our congregation. Come and share in the excitement. Come help shape the vision. Come and see the Spirit present the vision through us and to us!

We will leave the brunch with a vision that the Session will use to determine our vision budget for 2009. The vision budget will be presented to the congregation in a series of "Minute for Missions" during worship on the Sundays after the Vision Presentation Brunch.
We have prayed and sought God’s will for this stewardship season. "And this is what the Lord has said to us: "And the Lord answered me, and said, ‘Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables.’" (Habakkuk 2:2)

We hope you will participate in the Vision 2009 Brunch on October 12. That is when, calling upon the Christ in each of us, we will write the vision and make it plain upon the tables. The Session will then lead the congregation toward achieving this vision. The October 12 Vision 2009 Brunch will not replace the Stewardship Dedication Barbecue but will be in addition to it.

Evening Circle - New Date

Please note the change of date!

The October Evening Circle will meet one week later, on October 14.

Work Day at Shearn Elementary - October 18

Save this date! Calling all painters and all people who care about our neighborhood schools! St. John’s is joining together with other area churches to give a face-lift to Shearn Elementary, a neighborhood school with a significant at-risk population. Our project is to paint a science classroom. More details to follow.

Trunk-n-Treat - October 26

Join the fun on October 26 from 5 to 7:30 pm in St. John’s parking lot. The activities will include face painting, bobbing for apples, pumpkin toss, cookie decorating and more. Admission is one can of food. Invite your neighbors and friends, there will be fun for all ages! Please come in costume (but no masks!).
Also, we need adults who would like to host a trunk. Call David or Christine Nelson at 281-438-9586 to choose from our list of activities or come up with one of your own.