Newsletter - St John's Episcopal Church

life NEWS
No No matter where you are on your journey of faith, you are always
welcome at St. John’s Church, and most importantly at God’s table.
Rector Ruminations
Pg 2
St. John’s Episcopal Church
Annual Meeting
January 25, 2015, 9:00am in the Church.
Associate Rector
Pg 3
Music Notes
Pg 4
Welcome Director of
Youth Ministry Pg 5
Kid’s Church
Pg 6
Annual Pledge
Pg 7
Pgs 8 & 9
Memorial Flower List
Pg 10
Parish Life Pgs 11-15
Staff & Vestry
Page 16
Rehearsals begin Wednesday, Jan 14th
MARCH 15, 12PM
See page 11 for more details.
january 2015
Rob‘s Ruminations
The Reverend Robert E. Stevens, Jr., Rector
I must confess (although as I have chatted with a few of you I realize I am not alone in this confession) that I
am not a fan of January. It is cold, it is dark, we have just come off the mountaintop of an extraordinary
Christmas season and the work of a priest in January usually has more to do with budgets and business meetings than it does with being a pastor. However, this January feels very different to me.
Perhaps it is that I am more reflective since I have just celebrated my 10th Christmas season in this community,
or that we have a full staff leading into the new year for the first time in many years, or that we are almost to
our pledge goal, or that this community is reaching out more and more with less concern for self and more
concern for others. I imagine it is all of these things and more. I also am aware that it can be tempting to
take a deep breath and think “we made it!”
In my life I know that if I even think those thoughts that God has something big in store…and its usually surprising. St. John’s is far from perfect and we have much to learn and to live into as a community of faith, yet
we are a vibrant community that seeks to share God’s love with the world on a daily basis. So the question
that I have for all of us is, ”What is the one thing that we are about this coming year?” In a community that
does so much I think it is increasingly important to wonder about and articulate what it is that we are committed to as a community. The staff is pondering this question as well as the vestry and others.
I also offer this question to you as an individual or family as you begin this new year. What are you about?
What one thing draws you close to each other as family? What one thing reminds you that you are a part of
something larger than yourself and uses your passion to create purpose?
My other confession is that it would be easy for me to look around and see what is happening here at SJC
and take a deep breath and say…”this is good enough” but God invites us to more to abundance to excellence and health in all things. We have work to do friends, and it is sweet work. I am so grateful that we get
to do this work together.
As we wonder about what adventure God has for us I direct you to the prayer that helps me remember our
posture as we seek to live a life of faith.
A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis pg. 833 The Book of Common Prayer
Lord, make us instruments of your peace,
where there is hatred, let us so love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are
born to eternal life. Amen
Associate Rector‘s Reflections
‘Overwhelmed by joy’*
The Reverend Anne C. Williamson, Associate Rector
It is January, the days are getting longer, if not warmer, and we have entered a new church season –
the season of Epiphany. The word ‘epiphany’ comes from the Greek epiphaneia, and means to show,
make known, or reveal. In the Christian context The Epiphany celebrates the revelation of Jesus, God
the Son, beyond Israel to all the nations. The season of Epiphany begins with The Feast of The
Epiphany on January 6 and lasts through Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday - February
18 this year). During this season, we remember the story of the magi, those wise ones from the East
who followed a celestial sign (a star we are told) to Bethlehem, and were ‘overwhelmed with joy’*
when they arrived at their destination, and encountered the child, Jesus. They had been seeking ‘the
child who has been born king of the Jews’* and they found God.
The founder of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, Father R. M. Benson, in his work ‘Spiritual
Readings for Every Day’ reminds us that every encounter with God changes us. In his meditation on
the Wise Men after their encounter with Christ at Bethlehem he notes:
None can come to Christ at Bethlehem and go away as they came….Our coming to Christ changes
everything, and therefore even to the old scenes we return with changed hearts and new powers….It is
indeed a greater thing to return to the old world by a new and heavenly life, and to live therefore, in
the world as those who have been with Jesus, than it is to enter upon new spheres of life but with an
old heart. That would be to set about new things in the old way. The necessary thing for us is to set
about old things in a new way. (R.M. Benson: Spiritual Readings for Every Day: Christmas; pp 260261)
After the magi paid homage to Jesus, they offered their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrhh. Then
we read ‘they left for their own country by another road’.* Their coming to Christ changed everything - they travelled a different road. That is the invitation and the opportunity of the season of
Epiphany – to encounter Jesus and allow that encounter to change our hearts and our lives. That encounter might even happen in church…but not necessarily! The magi expected to find the King they
sought in a palace, but their expectations were confounded, and then exceeded.
May we be open to meeting God in any and all places, in the people and the situations of our daily
lives, that we too might be ’overwhelmed by joy’ as we encounter God in all things.
Epiphany blessings,
*Matthew 2:1-12
Music Notes
Horses and wolves and eagles, oh my!
Margaret Harper, Director of Music
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do
Martin Luther King, Jr. first spoke these words during a Christmas sermon in 1957 at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. To this day, they hold a powerful message.
King spoke of the responsibility of all people to combat hatred
and evil in the world. His message was not a new one – as far
as history can see into the past, the world has been filled with
violence and prejudice.
The book of Habakkuk features a conversation between the
prophet and God that foretells the Babylonian conquering of
Israel. In the first chapter, Habakkuk expresses horror at the violence of Babylon: “Their horses also are
swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves… they shall come all for violence…
and they shall gather the captivity as the sand.”
This text was set to music in 1914 by Charles Villiers Stanford, one of the greatest English composers of sacred music
in his generation. For Stanford, this text had a clear parallel
to the horrors of modern warfare in the outbreak of the
First World War. Lines like “They fly as an eagle that hasteth
to devour, they come all of them for violence; their faces are
set as the east wind, and they gather captives as the sand”
certainly have military implications.
The same text is strikingly appropriate for the suffering of
minorities in our own country. For centuries, even to this
very day, our laws – and those of many other countries – have sanctioned the oppression of large groups
of people. Certainly, there are many ways in which we take what is not ours and fail to see the suffering
of people all around us.
The words of Habakkuk within Stanford’s anthem remind us that in the end, “the earth shall be filled with
the knowledge of the glory of God.” This music, which the choir will sing on January 18th in celebration
of MLK Jr. Day, reminds all of us to be aware of our actions and how they affect people around us. It reminds us to be agents of change in the world and to strive for love and kindness to be the foundations of
our society.
Welcome Lizzie Bristow,
Director of Youth Ministry
I feel very appreciative to be writing to you as the mouth. My work these past months with the Rite
new Director of Youth Ministry — I look forward 13 group has served as a reminder of the imto meeting all of you over the next few months.
portance of faith and a sense of spirituality in
people’s resiliency and ability to hold on to a
I have lived on the Seacoast for 10 years and
sense of hope. In a world filled with much chaos
been a part-time parishioner
and noise, both literal and figof St. John’s during this
urative, I feel endowing our
time. My parents have been
children and youth with the
active members of St. John’s
significance of the sacred, and
for nearly a decade, and it is
a place for reverence and
through their relationship that
contemplation is incredibly
I have been blessed to get to
important. This being said, I
truly know this community.
think just the name “Sunday
School” can fill a middle and
My father became sick last
high schooler with dread — if
winter and passed away in
anything, the youth program
March, and just as we are
at St. John’s is meant to be a
taught, on the other side of
place where we don’t take
darkness is light. It was St.
ourselves too seriously, get to
John’s that helped me find my
have some fun, while experiway through my grief. I beencing the support and love
gan volunteering for the
of being a part of a faith comCommon Table in the spring,
where there is so much hope
and love, and in the fall Rob asked me to join
I live in Rye with my husband Shawn, and 13 year
several other adults to lead the middle school
old daughter, Hannah.
Rite 13 group. From this I had the opportunity to
go with the youth on retreat to Merrowvista in
I look forward to your thoughts and ideas, to
the fall, and by then I was really taken with the
meeting and getting to know you and your famiidea of the whole youth ministry program. I be- lies, and to the privilege and adventure of worklieve God sends us what we need when we need ing with the St. John’s youth. You can find me in
it, and here I now sit, in the beautifully renovated the Tebbetts House on Mondays, Wednesdays,
Tebbetts House.
and sometimes Fridays or via e-mail at
[email protected]
I have a graduate degree in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University, with a part-time private
psychotherapy practice on The Hill in Ports-
Nursery opens at 9AM
Kids Church begins at 9:30AM (PreK through 5th grade)
11-Jan ~ Kids Church Covenant & Baptisms
18-Jan ~ The Season of Epiphany (lesson) & Godly Play story with Ashley
25-Jan ~ ANNUAL MEETING ~ 9:00AM Movie Morning in Choir Room!
1-Feb ~ Who Does Jesus Say He Is? (lesson) & The Parable of the Good Shepherd with Ashley
8-Feb ~ Who Does Jesus Say He Is? (lesson) & Anna Kay Vorsteg, Senior Warden, guest speaker
15-Feb ~ Who is my Neighbor? & The Parable of the Good Samaritan with Ashley
22-Feb ~ NO KIDS CHURCH (vacation week) Nursery open
1-Mar ~ The Season of Lent (lesson) & The Mystery of Easter story with Ashley
8-Mar ~ The Man Born Blind (lesson) & Youth Music
15-Mar ~ Jesus Brings His Friend Lazarus Back to Life (lesson) & MUSICAL!!
22-Mar ~ Jesus’s Hour Has Come; He Prepares His Disciples at the Last Supper (lesson) & Faces of
Easter with Ashley
29-Mar ~ Jesus’s Hour Has Come; He Prepares His Disciples at the Last Supper (lesson) & Faces of
Easter with Ashley
5-Apr ~ EASTER SUNDAY, No Kids Church, Easter Egg Hunt after 9:15 Service
12-Apr ~ Jesus is Alive! (lesson) & Faces of Easter with Ashley
19-Apr ~ Jesus is Alive! (lesson) & guest speaker TBD
26-Apr ~ NO KIDS CHURCH (vacation week)
3-May ~ The Risen Jesus Comes to Dinner (lesson) & The Good Shepherd and World Communion
with Ashley
10-May ~ Jesus Helps Catch Fish (lesson) & guest speaker TBD
17-May ~ Jesus Helps Catch Fish (lesson) & The Circle of the Holy Eucharist story with Ashley
~ We follow the Weaving God’s Promises curriculum in coordination with supplementary Godly Play
stories to help support the many different ways children learn. We continue to encourage discovery
and wonder about God, love, our church community and the world.
~ Leaders are not called “teachers” because we don’t want to imply that we have all the answers.
Leaders are often learning as much (if not more!) than the children who they serve. Leaders serve on
rotating schedules to ensure that their spiritual health is protected and because we all have busy
lives! This team approach has built a wonderful ministry group – if you’re looking for a place to
serve, you might consider joining us! We meet for conversation and fellowship once a month during
coffee hour.
~ Please email [email protected] with any questions!
Annual Pledge Campaign
St. John's is wrapping up a successful pledge drive. So far, 245 parishioners have pledged $488,540 our best year ever and only $11,460 shy of our goal of $500,000! In 2014, we had $454,000 in pledges and in 2012, $399,000.
Our participation goal this year has been 300 pledges. Last year, 267 parishioners pledged. If you
haven't pledged, won't you consider it? We would love to tell our whole community at the annual
meeting this month, "we did it!"
Who's been helping make all this happen? Special thanks to Joanne Ferguson in the church office,
vestry members Jean Lincoln, Tim Platt, Anna Kay Vorsteg, Mell Boesch, and Lacey Bangs who addressed both 8 o'clock and 10 o'clock services. Also, all of our canvassers listed below. Each canvasser called on four parishioners. And thanks to everyone who welcomed a visit from a canvasser and
made time for a conversation. Each of our canvassers is a bright light in our community and together, they've been beyond brilliant! We also had a very special anonymous donor who offered a
$15,000 pledge if matched by another anonymous donor. They both have made miracles happen.
This year 34 new parishioners pledged, and 83 increased their pledge. Our hearts are filled with joy
and gratitude for the work and generosity of everyone. If you haven't pledged...there's still time to
be counted!
Our Canvassers!
Pat Baker
Andy Bangs
Neely Barnhardt
Charlie Bickford
Jody Blouch
Bob Brookhouse
Randy Carey
Rick Considine
Wendy Cote
Jim Dean
Kathy Flygare
Carol and Tom Gruen
Kathi Hardy
Carl Eric Johnson
Jean Lincoln
Brad Lown
Bob Mennel
Suzi Raeside
Liz Richards
Dick Rozek
Kathryn Saunders
Ann Schwartzwalder
Chris Sieve
John Tabor
Anna Kay Vorsteg
Tell White
1/4 9am, Philbrick Room
A discussion around the Gospel reading for the following Sunday
Mark 4: 4-11
1/11 9am Philbrick Room
A discussion around the Gospel reading for the following Sunday
John 1: 43-45
1/18 9:00a, Philbrick Room
A discussion around the Gospel reading for the following Sunday
Mark 1: 14-20
1/25 9:00a, Philbrick Room
Annual Meeting
4 8a
11 8a
18 8a
25 8a
Rite I
Parish Choir
6p - EfM
7p - FA
Gospel Chat
Kids Church/Youth Grps
Rite II
Coffee Hour
St. J Singers
Rite I
Parish Choir
6p - EfM
Gospel Chat
7p - FA
Kids Church/Youth Grps
Rite II
Coffee Hour
St. J Singers
Rite I
Parish Choir
6p - EfM
Gospel Chat
7p - FA
Kids Church/Youth Grps
Rite II
Coffee Hour
Musical Rehearsal
Rite I
Parish Choir
6p - EfM
7p - FA
Kids Church/Youth Grps
Rite II
Coffee Hour
1 New Year’s Day
10:30a - Women’s
Book Group
4:30p - Organ Rehearsal
7pm - AA
10:30a - 2:30p
ES Baking
4p - YOC Meeting
6:30p - Spiritual Book
6pm - Youth AA (TH)
7a- Men’s Bk Grp
9a - Economy Shop
10:30a - Bible Workbench
12:30p - Staff Meeting
1p - Cooking for CRH
6:p - St. John’s Night
9:30am - Healing Service
10:30a - Centering Prayer
10:30a - Econ Shop
12pm - Common Table
5p - Organ Lesson
7pm - NA
10:30a - Women’s
Book Group
3:30p - Salvation
Army cooking
4:30p - Organ Rehearsal
14 9a - Econ Shop
10:30a - 2:30p
ES Baking
6pm - Youth AA
7p - Vestry Meeting
10:30a - Bible Workbench
12:30p - Staff Meeting
1p - Knitting
3:30p - Cherub Choir
4:00p - Musical
6p - St. John’s Night
9:30am - Healing Service
10:30a - Centering Prayer
10:30a - Econ Shop
12pm - Common Table
5p - Organ Lesson
7pm - NA
10:30a - Women’s
Book Group
7:30a - Pancake
4:30p - Organ Rehearsal
7pm - AA
21 7a- Men’s Bk Grp 22
10:30a - 2:30p
ES Baking
6pm - Youth AA
9a - Econ Shop
10:30a - Bible Workbench
12:30p - Staff Meeting
3:30p - Cherub Choir
4:00p - Musical Reh.
6p - St. John’s Night
9:30am - Healing Service
10:30a - Centering Prayer
10:30a - Econ Shop
12pm - Common Table
5p - Organ Lesson
6:30p - Spiritual Bk Group
7pm - NA
10:30a - Women’s
Book Group
7pm - AA
28 9a - Econ Shop
10:30a - 2:30p
ES Baking
6pm - Youth AA
10:30a - Bible Workbench
12:30p - Staff Meeting
1p - Knitting
3:30p - Cherub Choir
4:00p - Musical Reh.
6p - St. John’s Night
9:30am - Healing Service
10:30a - Centering Prayer
10:30a - Econ Shop
12pm - Common Table
5p - Organ Lesson
6:30p - Spiritual Bk Group
7pm - NA
7pm - AA
4:30p - Organ Rehearsal
10:30a - Women’s
Book Group
7pm - AA
4:30p - Organ Rehearsal
Bill Adams
William & Carrie Adams
Hannah Allinson
Hazel & Orville Allinson
Laurie Jeanne Allinson
Muriel Allinson
Richard & Jeanne Allinson
Mary E, Andrews
Lynn Austell
Jim & Shirley Barakis
Hazel & Howard Barr
Grace Edith Bassford
Marshall Clark Bassford
Ernest & Ruth I. Berry
Gloria Berry
Marion Berry
Rev. George Blackman
Odeo & Bertha Blanchette
Paul E. Blanchette
Ted Blood Jr.
Elizabeth Brewster
Mary & Wylie Brewster
Thomas J. Brewster
Charles & Rieta Brothwell
Penn Brown
George & Ruth Byam
Frank Butterworth Jr.
Dante Caminatti
Frances & Don Cheatham
Alfred H. Chick
Alex Christy
A. Taylor Christy
Nathan Christy
Earl Clough
Leslie Clough
Marian Allinson Colburn
Mildred & Omer Comeau
Capt. Matthew L. Cote’
Christopher John Spencer Crawford
Josephine & William Craven
The Crowley Family
Richard “Nick” Csernelabics
Dorothy A. & Newcomb L. Damon
Rev. Edward Merrill Dart
Ann S. Davidson
Lois S. DePolo
Brian Dixon
Junior & Jimmie Dixon
Albert & Ruth Dixon
Stephen Dooda
Maurice & Anna Drake
Wilma & Carl Duemling
Merton & Ida Edwards
Alice Stewart Fenwick
Eliot & Hazel Fernald
Jessie L. Fernald
Helen & Edwards Flynn
Maurice E. Frye
Terry A. Gettelman
Jackie George
Alice B. & James R. Goodwin
Lilian & Henry Grigg
Margaret Hackewicz
Arthur & Anne Haesche
Jim Hamill
John E. Hayes
Hugh Hencken
Thalassa Cruso Hencken
Leo Herman
Diana F. Hersey
Lisa Bassford Herzog
Nancy Hobbs
John Holland
Luke David Robert Howe
Ray P. Jones
Willie Ray Jones
The Joyce Family
Helen Downs Kane
David Kelly
Laurel Dixon. Kent
Norman & Mildred Kent
Norman F. C. Kent
Paul, Anita & Joyce Kent
Georgette Kulickowski
Vincent & Rose Kulickowski
Carol Ann Gilbert Lincoln
Ernest & Judith Maby
Shirley MacCormack
The Rev. Joseph. E. MacGinnis
David E. Maxam
John T. McCarty
Julia McIlwaine,
Katharine B. and Henry Margeson
Daniel Lee Miller
Jane N. Moore
Lillian & Charles Moore
R. Barbara Moore
Timothy D. Moore Sr.
Nichole Nelson
The Nicholas Family
David O’Connor
Gertrude V. O’Donnell
Katherine Orne & family
Lothar Patton
Gloria Pearson
Faith Pendleton
Raymond & Bertha Perkins
Dorothy Philbrick
Frank & Sarah Philbrick
George Pierce Jr.
George & Edith Pierce Sr.
Ella Rand
Andrew & Martha Raeside
Douglas & Gladys Raeside
Nellie Randall
David K. Rocray Sr.
Kimberly Rocray
Brandon M. Rogers
Laura & William Rose
Marvis Rose
William & Irene Rose
Charles & Alice Rowe
Charles F. Rowe Jr.
Edwin & Evelyn & Alma Rowe
Roland & Mary Rux
C. Roy Sabean
Donald & Denise Sabean
Margaret G. Schneider
Mary & Harry Schwartz
Merritt & Marion Shapleigh Sr.
Merritt Shapleigh Jr.
Nancy Shevelin
Kathy Smith
Mildred A. Strachan
Kenneth “Ken” J. Staulcup
Paul Staulcup
Betty Alaine Sjurson
Margaret Tebbetts
Charles & Winfred Tinckam
Gerald L & Enda M. (Leith) Todd
Vincent & Hazel Todd
Charles & Mabel Travis
Declan Tremblay
Pearl Downs Tucker
E. Richard “Dick” Unruh
Lydia Isabelle Valdez
Stephen & Dorothy Vickery
Angela Wakefield
Mary Wakefield
Varrell Wakefield
The Randolph Walker Family
Randolph E., Mildred A.,
George O., Querida B.,
Randolph J. and Jestina M
Thomas & Isabelle Walsh
George B. Ward
Bradford & Dorothy Waterman
Anne G. Watkin
Virginia & Ted Weaver
The Rev. Charles & Nancy Webb
Elsa Wendell
Barbara Willey
Florence & Robert Witham
Justin Witham
Richard Witham
Simon & Audrey Young
In Honor of:
Charles W. Andrews
Ted and Marion Andrews
Capt. Pierce F. Cote’
Anne Dewees Rich
In honor of Sarah Fincke and
Giuliano Anderes - Bologna marriage
Millylou D. Morse
S/Sgt. Ryan H. Sylvester
Parish Life
Deepen Your Faith – Join a Book Group
Consider reading Annie Lamott’s new book, Small Victories with the
Thursday night women’s book group. We will read Small Victories in
two evening sessions- Thursday, January 22nd and February 5th. At that
point we will begin reading Mystical Hope: Trusting in the Mercy of God
by Cynthia Bourgeault. Both books are available on Amazon. The group
meets at 6:30 pm.every other Thursday in the Philbrick room. Please
join us.
Any questions please call or email Conni White- 603-498-7605 or [email protected]
Rehearsals for SEUSSICAL begin Wednesday, Jan 14th
1/14, Wed – Youth (3rd grade and up) 4:30-6:00
1/18, Sun – Youth 11:30-1:30
1/21, Wed – Youth 4:30-6:00
1/28, Wed – Cherubs (K – 2nd grade) 3:30-4:00
– Youth 4:00-6:00
Contact [email protected] for a complete rehearsal & performance schedule.
You do NOT need to be a member of St. John’s to join the musical cast. All are welcome.
Not interested in the limelight? There’s still a place for you backstage! We will be in need of artists to help build
sets, and backstage managers to help keep the show running smoothly. Let Ashley know if you’re interested in a
role like this. (Adults are welcome to volunteer, too!)
While we do not hold traditional auditions, members of the St. John’s Youth Choirs will be considered first for
Legacy Giving
Ensuring the continuation of the
St. John’s mission through a
planned, future gift.
Over the course of St. John’s long history, approximately 85 individuals (that we know of) have made
bequests to St. John’s through their will or estate plan. These legacy gifts range from income from the
sale of property, cash donations, trusts/funds established in St. John’s name, etc. Legacy Gifts are the
core of our Endowment Fund that assist to ensure a sustainable, financial foundation for St. John’s that
preserves the future health of the church, its ministry and the sharing of God’s love with others.
St. John’s currently has seven active funds/trusts/gifts managed by various financial intuitions.
The John Christie Fund, established with a bequest of $1,000 in 1895, is managed by the NH Diocese.
The Fund is currently valued at approximately $16,500 and St. John’s receives quarterly dividends of
approximately $190.
The Cornell Franklin Fund, established with a bequest of $3,000 in 1901, is managed by the NH Diocese. The Fund is currently valued at approximately $19,000 and St. John’s receives quarterly dividends of approximately $230.
Bequeathed in 1950 by an anonymous donor and managed by US Trust/Bank of America, St. John’s
will receive a share of the established trust, currently valued at approximately $173,000, after all other beneficiaries are deceased.
In 1998, Doris Goodwin willed $20,000 to St. John’s through a fund managed by Piscataqua Foundation.
In 2003, an anonymous donor set up a Charitable Trust with St. John’s as the beneficiary. Managed
by Edward Jones, St. John’s receives annual dividends totaling approximately $900.
An anonymous donor named St. John’s in their will as a beneficiary. Established as a Wells Fargo
Advantage Fund, the current value of the gift is approximately $15,000 with the dividends automatically reinvested.
In 2014, an anonymous donor included a $1,000,000 donation to St. John’s in her will.
If St John’s is in your will/estate plan, let us know so we can celebrate your generosity in a way that is
comfortable for you. And as you make plans, please consider what a long-term impact a legacy gift, like
those named above, will have.
Joanne Ferguson in office at 603-436-8283, or [email protected]
The Rev. Robert E. Stevens, Jr. (Rob) at 603-436-8283 x111, or [email protected]
Parish Life
There is no knowing what will appear in the St. John’s archives. My latest
find is a 2-page description of our grim guardians. They were painted by
Mr. D.M. Shepard of Salem, Massachusetts in 1848, together with many
other shadow paintings.
The following is a quote from an unknown source, written in the late
“I draw your attention to the panels painted on either side of the four
windows on both sides of the gallery. You will see branches with gracefully curling acanthus leaves, climbing serpent- like up the sides of the
panels, to join in classical profusion over the rounded top of each arch.”
“The first time one enters St. John’s this juncture of leaves is just that. If one studies it carefully,
however, it becomes a stern and watchful face. Thereafter, whenever one comes into the church,
close scrutiny is unnecessary! A grim all-seeing face stares down with purposeful glare from the top
of each panel.”
Mr. Shepard came from Salem, formerly a center of witchcraft and demonology. These cults had
long been submerged by Christianity, but never quite forgotten. Perhaps Mr. Shepard inherited from
some priestess ancestor her magic powers. If so he could have used them to protect and preserve the building that housed his master work, the decoration of a Christian church”
The writer refers to the two serious thefts at St. John’s. One was the Vinegar bible in 1970, which
was mysteriously recovered and returned several months later. Then in 1972 some silver pieces and
a lace credence cloth disappeared from the sacristy and were later returned. The writer attributes
these miraculous recoveries to the watchful eyes of the grim guardians.
Sarah Hamill, From the Archives
Saturday, January 17th
7:30am to 10:00am
Thaxter Hall
Kids: $3.00
Seniors: $4.00
Adults: $5.00
Parish Life
Here is a way to support Common Table and to enjoy many tasty dishes.
American Culinary Federation's
Great Chef's
Tasting Party
Sunday, January 25
Doors open at 5:00 pm
The Regatta Room
Rt. 236 in Eliot, Me.
For every ticket sold by us, Common
Table receives money towards the
free lunch program. Last year Common Table received $1000. Scholarship money is also given to culinary
If you would like to join the fun, we
have tickets. They are $30. each, it's
for a good cause and the food seems
unlimited with different chefs offering
meat, veggies, appetizers, desserts
and a cash bar. There are also door
prizes, a raffle and a live auction featuring various chefs who will prepare
a meal in your home.
Checks are made out to the ACF Piscataqua Chapter. Any questions or for
tickets,, please call Judy Roberts. 7782357, or Margaret Sofio at 431-6363.
Joanne also has tickets at St. John's
Parish Life
Do you enjoy Coffee Hour at St. John's? Have you thought about volunteering for
Coffee Hour and just haven't gotten around to it? Please consider gathering a group
of friends together to host, set up, and clean up. Many hands make light work! Maybe
your group would like to choose several Sundays this winter/spring. If you are new
and don't know too many people, we'll put you together with several others to host.
It's a great way to get connected! Or perhaps you could choose a certain Sunday to
host in honor of a birthday, anniversary or in memory of a loved one. Working in the
kitchen can be a great way to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.
Please take notice of the Coffee Hour sign up sheets on the wall to the left of the
kitchen. There are many slots to fill in 2015. Lent this year begins Feb 18th. It has been
our custom during Lent to have lighter, simpler coffee hours to honor the time of year
and many people's Lenten disciplines.
*The kitchen will be stocked with staples: regular/decaf coffee, tea, cups, napkins. We
ask hosts to provide snacks and half & half. Coffee making instructions are on the wall
next to the coffee pots. We are also happy to give a coffee hour tutorial to anyone interested.
The kitchen is not a sacred place at St. John's…ALL ARE WELCOME!
Thank you for your help in making this ministry of hospitality at St. John's possible.
101 Chapel Street | Portsmouth NH 03801 | 603-436-8283
Church Office Hours: Monday – Thursday 9:00 am until 3:00 pm
Address Service Requested
The Rev. Robert E. Stevens, Jr.
Rector, ext. 111
[email protected]
Lory Pratt
Bookkeeper ext. 153
[email protected]
The Rev. Anne C. Williamson
Associate Rector, ext 125
[email protected]
Joanne Ferguson
Office Administrator
[email protected]
Margaret Harper
Director of Music, ext 114
[email protected]
Andy Ritzo
[email protected]
Ashley Wade
Director of Children’s Music and
Ministries, ext 116
[email protected]
Priest Associates:
The Rev. G. Richard Siener
The Rev. Gail Avery
Lizzi Bristow
Director of Youth Ministries
[email protected]
St. John’s Vestry Members
Anna Kay Vorsteg, Sr. Warden
Kathryn Saunders, Treasurer
Laura Ludes, Jr. Warden
Marian Ellis, Clerk
Pat Baker
Lacey Bangs
Lee Baxter
Randy Carey
Marian Ellis
Jean Lincoln
Tim Platt
Ann Schwartzwalder
Peter Tarlton
Contact the Vestry at
[email protected]