Mary's Birthday

After church on Sunday, August 3, St. John's had a birthday party for one of our favorite parishioners, Mary Leach. It was the complete birthday experience, a surprise with cake, candles, decorations, a funny hat and presents. This was Mary's first birthday party and a good time was had by all.

Mary learned this week that she has been put on the list for a liver transplant and we all rejoice with her and look forward to her next birthday.

 The birthday girl opens her gifts.

The birthday girl opens her gifts.

Social Media Sunday

Parishioners at Episcopal churches across America are tweeting and posting today in a group effort at evangelism. St. John's is happy to participate and tell our friends and neighbors about our wonderful parish and how it supports and nourishes us as Christians. We were even given special dispensation to tweet discretely during the service!

 Passing the peace at St. John's on Social Media Sunday.

Passing the peace at St. John's on Social Media Sunday.

Out for repairs

Hoefer Custom Stained Glass of Hutchinson came to remove one of our beautiful stained glass windows on Friday so damage from a recent hailstorm can be repaired. It was nerve wracking to watch as Scott Hoefer and Curry Wells removed decades-old putty and lead around the perimeter of the window and gently lifted it out of its frame.

They will also be replacing the storm window glass in the other window that was damaged. The repairs are an opportunity to add venting to these south facing windows so they don't warp from heat buildup.

We will miss our lovely old window while it's away from home.

 Curry Wells removes putty around the damaged window.

Curry Wells removes putty around the damaged window.

Totes Adorbs

In case you're not up on internet/pre-teen jargon, "totes adorbs" means totally adorable. It's a very appropriate way to describe the participation of one of our littlest parishioners at Wednesday night's Prayer & Praise Potluck.

Jamming out on the maracas as her grandfather played the guitar and her grandmother signed the words of The Butterfly Song (If I Were a Butterfly), this four-year-old carried on the traditions of her musically gifted family.

Everyone enjoyed her spontaneous contribution to the praise portion of the evening and looks forward to repeat performances.

 Charles and Kathy Volland make music with their granddaughter.

Charles and Kathy Volland make music with their granddaughter.

Classes Scheduled Before the Bishop's Visit

Bishop Wolf's Visitation to St. John's is scheduled for Sunday, August 17. In preparation for his visit, classes will begin on Sunday, May 11 and run for 12 Sundays. These classes are for those who choose to be confirmed in the Episcopal Church or be received into the Episcopal Church and anyone who desires to renew their baptismal vows in the presence of the Bishop.

They will begin at 9:00 am and meet in the Priest's study. Their text will be the Book of Common Prayer and our syllabus is the Outline of the Faith, also known as the Catechism. Contact Fr. Jerry Rankin for additional information.

(Please note: The Bishop's visit has been rescheduled for Sunday August 10th.)

 Right Reverend Dean Elliott Wolfe, D.D., Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas lends his mitre and crozier to a small protégé.

Right Reverend Dean Elliott Wolfe, D.D., Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas lends his mitre and crozier to a small protégé.

Double Our Pleasure

In a small church, baptisms aren't an everyday occurrence so two on one day is pretty exciting. Last Sunday, St. John's welcomed identical twin brothers into the family of God. The boys, along with their parents, grandmother, and friends joyously participated.

The brothers were presented with handmade baptismal shawls and everyone was invited to sign the back of their baptismal certificates. As you can see, though they received a pretty thorough wetting, they took it all in stride.

 Baptized on April 27, the twins seem to find being the center of attention to their liking.

Baptized on April 27, the twins seem to find being the center of attention to their liking.

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

St. John's recently purchased a small lot adjacent to church property. It came with a couple of derelict buildings. The plan is to use the property for more off-street parking.

Junior Warden Dana Jackson had people in to salvage as much as possible prior to demolition: wood, doors, hardware, windows, bricks, etc. Some parishioners even dug up daffodils, naked ladies, and grape hyacinths from the yard.

On Friday, Paul Hettenbach, an artist with a backhoe, skillfully cleared the property while keeping all the debris inside the confines of the narrow lot. His equipment looked more than a little like Tyrannosaurus Rex as it bit into the building, leveling the garage, house, and tree stumps in only a few hours. The eyesore buildings are gone and Abilene looks a little nicer today.

The Flowering Cross

As we do each year, St. John's decorated a cross with fresh flowers at the beginning of our Easter Sunday service. Parishioners were asked to bring flowers from their gardens and the church supplemented since spring is late this year and there isn't much in bloom at the moment. The parish children especially enjoyed poking their flowers into the foliage and being a part of the service.

Afterwards, our Flowering Cross was placed in front of the church on the busiest street in Abilene for passersby to enjoy and be reminded "Jesus Christ is Risen Today."

Flowering Cross

The Way of the Cross

St. John’s participated with other member churches of the Abilene Area Ministerial Alliance in a special Good Friday service. We processed down Abilene's main street led by a large cross and remembered the love of Christ on the cross in prayer, scripture and song.

The Way of the Cross started at St. John’s Episcopal Church, continued down Buckeye Avenue to Grace United Church of Christ and ended at the Abilene Brethren in Christ Church. Approximately 100 people participated in the service.