Stewardship Reflection – by Fr. Wilfredo

Why I Pledge?

Being a member of the clergy, and the Priest In-Charge (PPIC) at Saint John’s Church, it is a natural expectation that I would pledge, and that I pledge with intentionality.  But is this the reason why I pledge?  The mission statement for Saint John’s Church reads as follows: “To Live the Love of God with hearts open to all, strengthened by joyful worship, inspired by the Holy Spirit and dedicated to serving Christ in the world.”  Serving Christ in the world is the mission of our parish, and contributing to its resources is a vital part of this mission.  Do I believe in this mission?  Am I committed to it?  When we seek to honor our baptismal covenant with the Eternal and Transcendent, we have no choice but to support the mission of God’s work, and we do this for the sake of a humanity transformed into the image and likeness of God in our midst.  In the process, we do this for the sake of our own transformation as servants of God, while discovering our truest self and identity.  One thing becomes clearer to me the older I get: I possess nothing, not even the body my soul embodies; I possess absolutely nothing. All that I enjoy in life is a gift!

When we tithe, or make the honest attempt to tithe, we’re simply giving back what already belongs to God, in the confident expectation that we will lack nothing.  Saint John’s Church is a charitable church, with significant outreach to the surrounding community, we are a parish very much in tune with the lives of many beyond our parish walls, we are generous, and this generosity comes from loving hearts who trust in the Lord.  On a personal note, I pledge because I am compelled by the Spirit of God to support the work of God’s Kingdom, as it unfolds in our midst, and I pledge from a place of gratitude for all the gifts that come in my direction. 

I hope and pray that you will join me in pledging as we enter 2020, in what I suspect for many, is the most turbulent, divisive, and challenging time we have ever faced.  Our work as a parish is more needed than ever.  Please join me in making real our mission as a parish family, and prayerfully consider your heart centered pledge for 2020.  The Journey ahead is full of twists and turns, all leading to God’s wonderful awesome grace, and Kingdom. We journey by faith!

Blessings and Grace,

Wilfredo Benitez+

The Rev. Wilfredo Benitez,
Priest In-Charge (PPIC)

Raising Children of Faith – Guest Preacher and Workshop – February 23

Sunday, February 23 – 10:15 a.m. worship + workshop
St. John’s sanctuary and library

Tain Gregory was present in his third-grade classroom on the morning of the Sandy Hook shootings. As part of the healing process for the community after the tragedy Tain was asked, “What’s the most important thing in the world to you?” His mother expected an answer about a video game or Pokémon trading card. Tain thinks for a moment then answers with one word. “God.” Taking the events of that tragic day, but also the years preceding it, and the days of recovery and healing that followed, Sophfronia and Tain share stories, experiences, and ideas to help parents get to the heart of the question: How do you help a child have faith — real faith that they own — in the challenging world we live in today?

Tain will be preaching on the lectionary during worship. Afterwards, Tain and Sophfronia will lead a workshop in the library about raising children of faith. Make a plate at coffee hour and come join! Please let me know if you and your children will join us!

Stewardship Reflection – by Beth Ford

Upon reflection of what “Stewardship” really means to me, I came across the biblical definition of “utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the Glory of God and the betterment of His creation.” I have witnessed a strong presence of stewardship in action over the past several years here at St John’s Episcopal Church. Becoming a member of the Vestry, has opened my eyes to the amazing gifts of gracious leadership, outpouring wellness programs, a sense of love for one another – a spiritual family that this church offers to its community.

I have truly felt the love, community, and overflowing support of our St. John’s Family over the years within Godly Play ministries, Confirmation programs, Outreach programs, Inspirica, the Christmas Nativity Productions and Christmas Village, the beautiful choir, and the meticulous care of our guilds, and the careful management of our awe inspiring church. I am proud to pledge our families support to our St. John’s family and to promote our stewardship efforts for the betterment of His creations! – Beth Ford

6th Annual Stephen Clapp Memorial Concert

Mark your calendars for St. John’s first concert of the new decade! The 6th Annual Stephen Clapp Memorial Concert!
The featured soloists for this beloved series are Jordan Hendy, violinist and former student of Stephen Clapp, and Sanae Kodaira, cellist, both Juilliard trained. They will be accompanied by Eduard Laurel on piano.
More information to follow in the new year but spread the word and we look forward to seeing you there!