Wednesday, November 19, 2008

St. John's Holiday Schedule

St. John’s Church office will be closed Thursday, November 27, and Friday, November 28, for the Thanksgiving holiday. The staff of St. John’s wishes you a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration.

Jon Burnham to Preach at Community Thanksgiving Service

Rev. Jon Burnham came to Houston in 2007 to serve St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 5020 West Bellfort. A native of Mississippi, Burnham studied at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA. He has served churches in Kennett, MO, and Batesville, MS.

"I always wanted to live in a city," says Rev. Burnham. As a teenager he read the Cross and Switchblade and Run, Baby, Run by Nicky Cruz. When he was four, he dreamed of becoming a missionary to Africa. St. John’s Presbyterian feels right to Rev. Burnham. He values its diversity and the urban setting.

Rev. Burnham will speak at the Community Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, November 23, at 4 pm. The service will be held at Westbury United Methodist Church, 5200 West Bellfort at Willowbend.

"It is great to come together and meet other people of faith and to worship in different settings. It is both educational and inspirational," he says. "Houston has a lot to be thankful for. I hope our community will turn out for this celebration."

The service is sponsored by the Southwest Houston Ministerial Association. An offering will be taken to benefit Braes Interfaith Ministries.
— Printed from The Word, Newsletter Westbury United Methodist Church


Advent Celebrations - Mark Your Calendar!

Join us for one Sunday or all four!
Supper will be served each Sunday.

November 30, First Sunday of Advent
Hanging of the Greens Service, 5 pm

Learn why we hang garlands and wreaths and help decorate the Sanctuary for the Advent Season. Advent wreath kits (or replacement candles) will be available. St. John’s Advent Devotions books will be distributed. Children will receive an Advent guide just for them!

December 7, Second Sunday of Advent
Advent Festival in McPhail Hall, 5 pm

The Joy of Advent is thinking about others. We will do a service project for Small StepsNurturing Center and a service project for the Anchor House residents and shut-ins. Children will have a special activity area. Everyone will leave with at least one ornamentfor their tree. The evening will conclude with an Advent devotion time.

December 14, Third Sunday of Advent
Mini-Petting Zoo, 4 pm
Living Nativity Program on West Bellfort, 5 pm

December 21, Fourth Sunday of Advent
Lessons in Carols in Sanctuary, 5 pm

Join in the songs of the season and reflections on the Christmas Story.


Harvest Sunday - Sunday, November 23

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, St. John's members work with other area churches to fill the BIM (Braes Interfaith Ministries) food pantry for Thanksgiving. Please place your check in the offering plate made out to St. John's with BIM on the memo line. For every dollar you contribute, BIM can buy $27 worth of food from the Houston Food Bank.
Sunday, November 23, - Harvest Sunday – Bake Sale
9:00 am Sunday School
10:30 am Worship in McPhail Hall
11:45 am- Worship Committee to decorate Sanctuary
4:00 pm Community Thanksgiving Service, Westbury United
Methodist Church, 5200 Willowbend Blvd.
4:30 pm Centering Prayer will not meet today.
Everyone is encouraged to attend the Community Thanksgiving Service
5:00 pm Presbyterian Youth Fellowship

Monday, November 24
9:45 am “Growing Stronger Together”
6:30 pm “Walking Together”
7:00 - 8:30 pm Venture Scout Crew 688
7:00 pm Bell Choir
7:30 pm Outreach Evangelism Ministry Meeting

Tuesday, November 25
9:30 am Presbyterian Women's Activity Day
1:30 pm Staff Meeting
6:00- - 9:00 pm Elder training
6:30 pm “Stay Strong Stay Young” followed by St. John's “Walking Together”
7:30 pm Scout Troop 688

Wednesday, November 26
9:45 am “Growing Stronger Together”
6:30 pm St. John's “Walking Together”
7:30 pm Chancel Choir Thursday, November 27
9:30 am Community Bible Study
6:30 pm “Stay Strong Stay Young” followed by St. John's “Walking Together”

Saturday, November 29
8:00 am Women’s Bible Small Group

Sunday, November 30 – First Sunday of Advent -
9:00 am Church School
10:30 am Worship Service
4:30 pm Centering Prayer, Pastor's Office
5:00 pm Hanging of the Greens

The Epistle for November 18, 2008

Bearing Witness to the Christ in Us
Challenging Us to Be Christ to Others

Dear St. John's family and friends of the church,

My goal in these emails is bear witness to the Christ in YOU and in US at St. John's and to challenge us to BE CHRIST to others. For instance, last Sunday I recognized Christ in you in the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of the The Living Gift Market. What a treat to hear the Sudanese Choir sing a soulful hymn, to see the Appalachian deer head sling shot, to see the little toy tin man riding a bicycle from Ten Thousand Villages. And the taste of that soup (I tried every variety and was equally impressed with the quality of each one) was really noteworthy. I sensed the Holy Spirit in that place and I know some of you did as well because I have heard you say so. Thanks to Phyllis and John Freeman and the entire Outreach Ministry Team for going out of their way to make this event a great success.

We will have a special worship service on Harvest Sunday, November 23rd in McPhail Hall at 10:30 am. During the sermon time, you may share a brief testimony about what you are thankful for. Please let me know if advance if you plan to share a brief, 5 minute or less, reflection of what you are thankful for. The Ghanaian congregation will also joyfully worship with us. Be in prayer for this special service.  Also, plan to purchase some delicious cakes and pies from the Presbyterian Women's BAKE SALE. Look for their tables at the back of McPhail. These baked goods are in high demand and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, so get there early.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, St. John's members work with other area churches to fill the BIM (Braes Interfaith Ministries) food pantry for Thanksgiving. Please bring non-perishable food items this Sunday and these items will be placed on the alter. You may also put in the offering plate a check made out to St. John's with BIM on the memo line. For every dollar you contribute, BIM can buy $27 worth of food from the Houston Food Bank. What a deal! Let's take advantage of it.

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.

You are invited to the Community Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 4:00 PM at Westbury United Methodist Church, Willowbend at West Bellfort, next door to St. John's. This annual worship service is sponsored by the Southwest Ministerial Association of Houston and features a 50-voice Braes Interfaith Choir with Cantor Robert Gerber and I will give the message. Free childcare is provided and there is a reception following the service. (See the attached poster for more deatails) Centering prayer will not meet this Sunday so all may attend the Community Thanksgiving Service.

You are cordially invited to a memorial service for Frances Thomas at 10:00 AM this Saturday, November 22, FOLLOWED BY A RECEPTION in McPhail Hall. If anyone has a good short story about Frances, please phone Clayton's nephew, Rev. Ron Thomas, at (909) 260-2245 as he would like to hear personal stories and testimonies to share with the family. If anyone would like to visit Clayton before he moves to California this Sunday, you may visit him at Bayou Manor this week.

I leave you today with my reflection about Frances Thomas. She was a type of butterfly queen. She fluttered and flittered with joy. She and Clayton had a special relationship with St. John's Presbyterian Church. They were family to us and we were family to them. Some of you knew Frances longer than me but I still loved her too. These lyrics from Bob Dylan's song "I'll Remember You" catch the gist of my feelings about Frances.

I'll remember you
At the end of the trail,
I had so much left to do,
I had so little time to fail.

There's some people that
You don't forget,
Even though you've only seen'm
One time or two.

When the roses fade
And I'm in the shade,
I'll remember you.

Peace of Christ to you,
Pastor Jon Burnham


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Let's Pansy

Let's Pansy! This Saturday, November 8, from 8am - 12 noon.

Please email Murray Smith and assign yourself to one of the following teams. Or if you are shy about self-assignment, just let her know you want to help, and she'll find the job for you!

Food preparation - people willing to decide what to prepare and prepare it .
Food service - people who are willing and able to get the food into workers' hands.
Child Care/Safety - people willing to oversee the care of the children of the church who are present on Let's Pansy!
Day Child Entertainment - people willing to prepare and guide safe activities of the children of the church who are present on Let's Pansy! Day
Work Guides - people who are willing to be responsible for a particular area or flower bed - to tell others what needs to be done next.
Worker Bees - people who are willing to do what the Work Guides lead them to do.
Cheerleaders - people who can walk/wheel/amble among us and give us frequent words of encouragement and support

Please respond ASAP so that we can have a fun-filled and productive experience as we begin our Vision Quest! Call Murray at home (713-723-5285) to volunteer.