Thursday, December 30, 2010

St. John's Epistle for December 30, 2010

Dear church members and friends of St. John's,

Lee fell and broke her hip and is now in Seven Acres for occupational therapy. Her grandson, Jonathan, is staying there with her each day to ensure she gets the treatment she needs. He says visitors are welcome from 1-4 pm. Lee's birthday is today and she will be 90 years old. Call the church office to get her room number if you'd like to visit her at Seven Acres.

Max had surgery Monday at St. Luke's and now is at home. The surgery went well and hopefully will provide some pain relief in his back.

Lelia remains in ICU at St. Luke's where she has been for some time. She anticipated a procedure that has been postponed until after the new year.

Speaking of which, Happy New Year to each of you! I hope this year will find you healthy and prospering physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially, and especially in your relationships with family and friends.

Thanks to Bob for posting a recording of Alina's impressive offertory from last Sunday. You may hear it online at We appreciate Alina sharing her musical gifts with our congregation.

All are invited to attend Sean's Court of Honor in Fellowship Hall, Thursday, December 30, at 7 pm.

The Christmas Eve Services were well attended and very fine this year. Our children and youth did a great job with the 6 pm service. The readings were uplifting and there was plenty of joyful laughter during the play having mostly to do with the two pink flamingo's. The brass band added a touch of class to the proceedings. Kudos to Mary and Dave and Aaron and all the participants. Immediately after the service there was a deluge of rain and the temperature dropped by double digits by the 11 pm service. That service was sacred with solos by Mark and piano by Alina and a guest Harpist. The readings were thoughtful and appropriate. We then had a good Sunday service on the day after Christmas. It was good to see Sue and her friend among the other guests at that service.

I get sentimental this time of year as I remember the year gone by and anticipate the start of the new year. Too often we mark the time of the days of our lives. We try to play it safe and fit in and go unnoticed. What if this year, 2011, we decided to be bold and decisive? I wonder what St. John's would look like if we agreed on a common vision for the church and took action and followed through on a strategy to realize our goals and dreams? These are questions for the new Session and each of us.

Mark Twain put my New Year's feelings succinctly when he wrote:

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

The good news for us is that we don't travel alone. Christmas reminds us that one of Christ's names is "Emmanuel," meaning "God is with us." God truly is with us as a comforter, guide and coach. Our best personal strategy will include some silent time with God so that the fruits of the Spirit such as love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, and self-control may take root in our hearts and bear fruit in our lives.

I appreciate the opportunity to walk this path with you into the new year. It is a privilege and honor to serve as your pastor. I don't take it for granted and I don't take it lightly. Even so, I find that laughter lightens the load. While I do take my work seriously I try not to take myself too seriously. That is not a bad place to start if you are in the market for a new year's resolution in these final days of 2010.


Jon B.

St. John's Presbyterian Church
5020 West Bellfort / Houston, TX 77035
T. 713.723.6262 / F. 713.723-4015 / Email:
Worship Service: Sunday, 10:30 am / Sunday School: 9:00 am