For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…. Ephesians 2:8
I can’t help it…this verse from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians gets me and probably always will. Most likely it’s all of those years being a Lutheran. Grace, the free and unmerited gift of God, saves us.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not always grace-full with others. Don’t we all want someone to “earn our trust?” It’s wise after all not to fully trust others. We live in a world where it’s necessary and prudent to place conditions on our relationships.
That’s why God’s unconditional relationship with us is so amazing and liberating. We always get another chance. We are loved because we are…. And because of that acceptance and love, we are changed and we change how we live in the world. We are generous. We are compassionate. We are forgiving. Our response to God’s unconditional love of us, is to be better people and to create a better world.
Blessings to you, beautiful creation of God, as you finish your week!
Rebecca will be in Lexington Tuesday and Wednesday and Corbin Thursday and Friday. Her Sabbath Day will be Monday. You can get a message to her by calling the church office at 606-528-1659 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Godly Play offered for children. All children are invited to participate in this special program of spiritual development.
Adult Forum During Lent, we are discussing various issues in Appalachia. This Sunday, Professor Joe Pearson will talk about “Why Appalachia got left behind – 1965 to present.”
The Vestry adopted the following Mission Statement for St. John’s Church: Proclaiming the Gospel, promoting justice, and preparing a diverse community of seekers to reflect the welcoming love of Christ.
What are our 3-5 goals for 2015? Vestry is considering various goals to reflect our mission statement. Ideas include sacristy renovation; support of LGBT people, possibly through a chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) or ongoing support of Union College’s Gay/Straight Alliance; Support for people dealing with addictions and their families; opening up the amphitheater and park to church bands; providing our parish hall to other religious groups; more ecumenical church services. What do you think we should be doing to put our mission statement into action?
Wednesday Evenings During Lent through March 25, 6:00pm, series on Appalachia. Plan to come on Wednesday evenings for a soup and bread supper, followed by a special series on Appalachia. Next Wednesday, Professor Jimmy Dean Smith will lead a discussion on the first half of the movie, Matewan.
The Grow Appalachia Committee will meet Thursdays through March 26. If you’re interested in planting your own garden, either here in St. John’s Park or in your own backyard, or helping with a community plot here in the park, please plan to attend these meetings.
Good Ag Practices (GAP) Certification class, Monday, March 16, 6pm, Laurel County Extension Office. This class is required if you’d like to sell items at the Farmer’s Markets.
Diocesan Convention has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 28, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Lexington. We need two new Deputies to attend on our behalf. Our elected Deputies are unable to attend on this date. Please let Rebecca know if you can attend.
Donations are being accepted until March 29, for flowers to decorate the church for Easter. Use the donation envelopes and write if the donation is “in honor of/in memory” of a loved one or a special occasion. Donations in any amount will be accepted.
Honor or remember a loved one through altar flowers. Please sign up on the Flower Donation Chart and let us know if you’d like the flowers to be “in memory of/in honor of” a loved one or special occasion. We suggest a donation of $20. Please place your donation in the envelopes provided.
The Altar Guild and Worship Committee will meet Friday, March 20, 4:30-6:00pm to plan for Holy Week and Easter. If you are able to assist with altar and worship preparation for this busy week of the Church year, please try to attend or let Rev. Rebecca know.
A Confusion of the Spirit: Holy or Distilled? Saturday, March 21, 10am – noon. The Rev. Dr. Stuart Hoke, a priest in North Carolina and one of Rebecca’s professors at General Seminary, is coming to Corbin to raise our community’s awareness about addiction and recovery. As a recovering individual himself, Stuart is very much involved in helping churches, congregations and individuals deal with the disease of alcoholism and addictive illness. He will also preach at the Sunday service.
Make a Covenant with St. John’s! God has made unconditional covenants with us that God will always be with us, always be our God. Likewise, through our annual pledge, we state our promise and obligation to the mission and work of the people of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Our mission and work not only includes our worship, Grow Appalachia, and family game nights, but also God’s work in our region through our Diocese and in our nation and world through The Episcopal Church and The Anglican Communion. If you’d like to make a covenant with St. John’s through a pledge, please see Rebecca or Gay Nell Conley.
Reading Camp Meeting, March 26, 10:15am. The Reading Camp Group is working on raising $2,000 to support five children at the Pine Mountain Settlement Reading Camp, July 12-18. If you are interested in helping recruit children, mentor children, volunteering for Reading Camp, or raising funds, let Rebecca know. St. John’s has committed to raising $400.
Schedule for Holy Week and Easter Services, Monday, March 30 – Friday, April 3
- Monday through Thursday, 10am, Morning Prayer
- Wednesday, April 1, 6:00pm – Stations of the Cross
- Thursday, April 2, 7:00pm – Maundy Thursday Service with Eucharist, Washing of the Feet, and Stripping of the Altar
- Thursday, April 2, 8:30pm – Friday, April 3, 6:00am – Prayer Garden Vigil
- Friday, April 3, 6:00am – Morning Prayer with consuming Reserved Sacrament
- Saturday, April 4, 7:00pm, Easter Vigil followed by Champagne and Chocolate Reception
- Sunday, April 5, 11:00am, Easter Day Celebration, followed by Easter Egg Hunt for the Children