Dear St. John’s,
One of the delights of spring is seeing green shoots poke up from the soil, the first crocuses open their flowers and buds swell on leafless branches with the promise of new blossoms and growth. The earth’s yearly awakening after the dormancy of winter is a visual reminder of the spiritual path we trace through the quiet days of Lent and the somber days of Holy Week to the joyful celebration of Resurrection on Easter.
Outdoors, the signs of spring seem to accelerate as the days grow warmer. Here at St. John’s, things seem to be speeding up, too, as we prepare for our April 1 Black Poster Project event, the Stations of the Cross exhibit and six worship services from Palm Sunday through Easter.
I’d like to highlight two upcoming volunteer needs:
1. St. John’s is hosting the Saturday Luncheon Social next week, on April 1. We anticipate we may have more guests than typical because of the Black Poster Project program that afternoon. Please let Sharon Liparini know if you can help.
2. Volunteers are needed to open the parish hall and greet visitors to the Stations of the Cross. Multiple people are welcome to volunteer at each time, but we need at least one greeter per time slot. You can sign up online here: https://tinyurl.com/thestationsarttinyurl.com/thestationsart
Also, don’t forget to RSVP to me or the parish office if you are interested in participating in the painting workshop at 2:30 on April 1. Debra Cook, a talented artist from Grace Church in Nutley, will provide all supplies and instruction. Cost is $40. (All other activities on that day are free of charge.)
Dear St. John’s,
Being of Irish heritage, I made sure to wear a bit of green on Friday.
I’ve also been celebrating a different sort of green: The COVID tracker for New Jersey shows
Morris County, and indeed all of North Jersey, consistently and solidly in the green. This means
that the infection rate and COVID hospitalization rate both have dropped and are remaining low.
At church, this means that mask wearing now is completely optional. For now, I will continue to
wear a mask while presiding at the altar and distributing Communion as an extra precaution.
Let us give thanks that this public health crisis has finally subsided, and let us pray that New
Jersey’s COVID map keeps wearing the green.
A few notes for Sunday:
Good day, all!
It's hard to believe we're only a couple of weeks away from Holy Week! Where does the time go?
Tomorrow, Saturday March 18th, I'm trying to get a clean-up crew together to dust and clean our church sanctuary in advance of Holy Week, and the Black Poster Project. We'll be cleaning the pews and floors and dusting away the cobwebs!
We'll begin at 10:00 A.M. and wrap up by 1:00 P.M. You don't need to stay for three hours if you only have one to spare. Many hands make light work, so if you have a little time, please come by and lend a hand.
Many thanks to all for all you do for our little church!
Dear St. John’s,
If you look at the service music on the first page of your bulletin on Sunday and think, “It’s Greek to me!” – you’ll be exactly right.
During Lent, many churches switch from singing the celebratory Gloria to the petitionary Kyrie. This is an ancient prayer of the church that translates to: “Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.”
The editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica tell us, “The word Kyrie is used in the Septuagint, the earliest Greek translation of the Old Testament, to translate the Hebrew word Yahweh. In the New Testament, Kyrie is the title given to Christ, as in Philippians 2:11.”
So when we sing this prayer, we will be joining our voices with Christians who have prayed using these same words for centuries.
A few other important notes for Sunday:
Dear St. John’s,
When I started seminary, one of the professors spoke at orientation about diversity and the value
in getting to know people different from us. She encouraged us, for example, to sit at meals with
people of other races or cultures. Following that advice turned out to be fun and the foundation
of new friendships, as well as an educational experience.
On Saturday, March 25, we will host a group of Turkish-American Muslims from the Peace
Islands Institute. This non-profit group promotes peace and understanding through interfaith
dialogue and friendship. Perhaps you met two of their members who recently attended one of our
Institute members will provide us with a delicious Ramadan iftar feast and an informative
program at 6:30 p.m. in the parish hall. We are hoping the two Afghan refugee families will
participate as well. And we are inviting members of some of our other regional churches to join
This evening will allow us to eat and talk together and learn about each other. I encourage you
all to come. Please let me or the office know if you can attend, so we can let the institute
members know how many people they are cooking for.
Articles are posted by the Communication team, Rev. Sharon and others.