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The Fourth Sunday of Advent
____________________________________________________
December 20, 2020
 
Dear Friends,

This season of expectant waiting is nearly over as we prepare ourselves for the Feast of the Incarnation later this week.  I love this ancient name for Christmas, because it is a more radical reminder of the miracle that God entered our world, as one of us, to draw us back into closer relationship with God and all Creation.  This is the heart of the Gospel message, that God desires we all recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit among us, stirring all around us, using us, and dwelling within us.  This is the message Jesus proclaimed, that God's kingdom is here with us, now, if only we open our eyes to see, and our hearts to experience, and our hands to participate with God in the joy of incarnational living.  We are used to language calling the way of Jesus resurrection living, when we realize the hope that we too will one day be resurrected with Jesus into eternal life.  The challenge is that when we only speak of resurrection living, we tend to look at our faith from a future-not-yet perspective and can easily be fooled into thinking that how we live this life, here in the present, is of little consequence beyond getting us to heaven.  This is the reason that Christmas, the Feast of the Incarnation, is so important, because when we recognize that God's incarnation (literally God's enfleshment) means that in creation God filled all things with the Holy Spirit, and live lives of faith that embody God's indwelling within us, we are suddenly no longer living a faith that looks to the future, but one in which we are called to bear God's love, grace, mercy right now, here in our world.  

My prayer for each of us as we finally make our way to the manger, to witness the miracle of God's incarnation in the infant Jesus, is that in witnessing this miracle yet again we will also recognize God's indwelling within each of us.  With this awareness, we can ... we will ... we must ... be agents of change and reconciliation in a broken world desperate to know the Good News of God's love.  

Grace & Peace,
Fr. Jeremy
 
2021 Pledge Appeal

Stewardship is an act of Worship by which we are given the opportunity to give thanks for all the blessings God has given us by returning a portion back to God for the work of God's Church.

Our budget has not yet been passed by the Vestry, and we are optimistic and hopeful that additional pledges and sources of income will come available in the next few weeks, however, as of today, St. John's only has about $38,000 in unrestricted reserve funds (funds that have not be designated for a specific purpose), so passing another deficit budget is no longer an option.  

In order to pass a balanced budget for 2021, the following budget cuts must be considered:
  • Eliminating the open Music Director position for 2021;
  • Reducing the Rector to a half-time position;
  • Reducing the Parish Administrator to a half-time position;
  • Reducing the Parish Office hours to two days a week;
  • Eliminating funding for all Parish outreach and programs;
  • Eliminating current janitorial service and relying on volunteers to clean the church buildings and restrooms.
Of course none of these cuts would be easy and each one would impair the mission and ministry of St. John's for the coming year, but we have an ethical obligation to be faithful stewards of the resources we have been entrusted with.  

Please keep the Finance & Stewardship committee in your prayers as they meet on January 14 to make their final budget recommendations to the Vestry.    And please pray for your Vestry as they meet on January 20 to pass the final 2021 Budget.

If you have not yet pledged, please prayerfully consider doing so today.  If you have pledged, and you have been blessed with the resources to increase your pledge, please prayerfully consider that option as well.  

You may either return your physical pledge card to the church, or go to the Stewardship page of our website and complete your pledge card online.  If you would like to see a summary of St. John's Budget (current as of October 31) and to see the initial draft of our 2021 Budget please click here.


And, especially, if you have any other suggestions for increasing parish income, please speak to Fr. Jeremy, the Parish Treasurer, Laura Brady, or anyone on the Vestry or the Finance & Stewardship Committee.   
Did you miss church this weekend?  Watch last Sunday's, 11:00 a.m. Mass here.
Upcoming Worship

Sunday, December 20
Holy Eucharist at 11:00 a.m.  (Livestream)

Thursday, December 24
Christmas Eve Mass at 7:00 p.m. (Livestream)

Friday, December 25
Christmas Day Morning Prayer at 10:00 a.m.  (Zoom)
Please click here to access Zoom Morning Prayer.

All Masses will be live-streamed.  Follow us on Facebook to receive notifications when our services are being streamed, or visit the homepage of our website to watch the service there.
Sacred Ground is a film- and readings-based dialogue series on race, grounded in faith.  Small groups are invited to walk through chapters of America’s history of race and racism, while weaving in threads of family story, economic class, and political and regional identity.
The 10-part series is built around a powerful online curriculum of documentary films and readings that focus on Indigenous, Black, Latino, and Asian/Pacific American histories as they intersect with European American histories.

Sacred Ground is part of Becoming Beloved Community, The Episcopal Church’s long-term commitment to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice in our personal lives, our ministries, and our society.  This series is open to all, and especially designed to help white people talk with other white people.  Participants are invited to peel away the layers that have contributed to the challenges and divides of the present day – all while grounded in our call to faith, hope and love.  

We already have one Dialogue Circle meeting, and there is room to add others.  If you are interested in participating, please e-mail Fr. Jeremy at frjeremy@mysje.org.  

Please click here to learn more about Sacred Ground from the Episcopal Church's website.
Angels on Assignment at Guardian Angel Community Services

In lieu of the ReVive Christmas Basket program this year we have decided to direct our generosity to the Angels on Assignment at Guardian Angel Community Services. This is a safe, non-contact way to help families in need have a great Christmas. Please read below to see how you can spread Christmas cheer throughout our local communities.

Angels on Assignment is Guardian Angel Community Services’ (GACS) holiday giving program. This heart-warming GACS holiday tradition is made possible through months of careful preparation between GACS staff members, families receiving services by any of the agency’s 7 programs, and our generous community donors.  GACS staff members, across all 7 programs, ask their clients to fill out a “Wish List.”  The items listed on those wish lists are coded and compiled (to protect the confidentiality of those families served by our programs) into a big master list, that can be accessed by donors via Amazon at the following links:
 

Amazon Angels on Assignment Wish List - https://a.co/7PgIQ78
Amazon Wish List General Agency Needs - https://a.co/aOmANKX
 
All items purchased will be shipped directly to GACS’ Main Office for distribution.  Please note that the Amazon Wish Lists are a new platform for us as of 2020, and Amazon does not provide the buyers information to us.  Therefore, if donors would like to receive an acknowledgement letter for tax purposes, they must include their name and mailing address or email address in the thank you note section during checkout. 
 
As always, GACS is so very grateful for the generosity of our community during the holiday season and year-round.  Please contact our Development Staff with questions:


Jane Ukleja at 815-729-0930 ext. 1235 or jukleja@gacsprograms.org
Valerie Pastwa at 815-729-0930 ext. 1233 or vpastwa@gacsprograms.org


 
This Week's Lessons

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26
Romans 16:25-27
Luke 1:26-38


Visit lectionarypage.net to read this week's lessons.
Collect for The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

In addition to online giving there is also a text option.
Text "SaintJohn" to 73256 to give using your mobile device. This number will never send unsolicited texts to you. To cancel further messages, text STOP. If you need assistance with text giving, text HELP. Standard text message and data rates may apply.

What if you had a way to give free money to the work and ministry of St. John's?  Well there is!

By signing up with Scrip you can do your shopping (at most of the stores you are already shopping at) with prepaid cards and Scrip offers a percentage of what you spend back to St. John's.  There is NO cost to you.  

This is also a great way to purchase all those gift cards you will want to give as Christmas gifts this year.

Please go to the scrip page of our website for more information.

If you have any questions, please contact Pat Smith-Huntoon at sjescrip@gmail.com.  

The next Scrip order will be submitted at 7:00 p.m. Sunday, December 20.
Bible Study will resume on January 7th, 2021

Need a little midweek spiritual socialization pick-me-up? Join us for Weekly Bible Study! Thursdays at 5:00 we will gather via Zoom to continue the study of the book of Matthew.
Click here to enter Zoom for Bible Study
THANK YOU!!!!!

For those of you who have been keeping your pledges current and those who have given extra to support the work of St. John's, THANK YOU!
We understand that the last several weeks have been challenging for many people, so if you have found that you need to adjust your commitment to the budget of St. John's, please let Sarra in the Church Office know.  

We are confident that God will see us through the challenges that lie ahead and that we will come out of this being a stronger and more faithful community because of it.  

Please continue to share your generosity by mailing a check to:

St. John the Evangelist
P.O. Box 25
Flossmoor, IL 60422

Of by setting up automatic bill pay through your bank (this is a free service of most banks).  Or by clicking on the "Online Giving" button below.  If you give online, please consider clicking the box that allows you to add 3% to cover the processing fees from the credit card companies.  
Parish Cycle of Prayer
 
Kathy Basil
Brandon Basil
Matthew Basil


Father in Heaven, this week we lift up in prayer: The Basil family.  Please bless them with an abundance of peace and an overflowing cup of joy. Bring comfort to them in their time of need and help them to seek You in all that they do. Please Lord, act as their shield  from illness, both mental and physical.  All this we ask in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ.
Amen 
 Birthdays & Anniversaries

December 19: Eric & Cynthia Turnquest


 Heavenly Father we are so thankful for this week's anniversary celebrants, Eric & Cynthia.  Lord, we ask that You please bless them with another year of marriage filled with joy and contentment. Please keep them safe, mentally and physically healthy, and on the path that leads to love and life eternal.
  In Jesus' name we pray.
Amen
Coming Up This Week:

Sunday, December 20
11:00 am - Holy Eucharist, Rite II
Livestream on our website.

12:00 p.m. Zoom Coffee Hour
Click Here to Join

Wednesday, December 23
7:00 p.m.  AA (Undercroft)

Thursday, December 24
7:00 p.m Mass via Livestream

Friday, December 25
10:00 a.m. Morning Prayer (Zoom)

Please pray for those seeking God’s healing: Alexa; Alice & Anna; Amy; Annie B.; Bessie; Bonnie; Carolyn; Hank; Jacques; Jay; Jessica; John; Kelly; Kim; Larry; Laura; Laura; Linda; Lynn; Marcia; Marcy; Margret; Michael; Mike; Ralph; Rich; Sadie; Theresa; Tony; Vince; Marsha Acheson; Pr. Dave Adams; Lynn Ahearn; Kennith Allen; Joyce Aryee; Nancy Barys; Shannon Benaitis; Carmen Bernal; Iris Bestow; Ken Blackburn; Millie Boggs; Joe Boland; Deacon Mike Bond;  Ela Bujak; Phil Calvin; Jim & Arlene Carr; Janelle Carrier; Rob Carrier; Carol Cerullo; Sabina Childs; Denise Coffman; Alice Creason; Jennifer Cummins; Alex Deniston; Claudette Doyle; Katherine Doyle; the Englewood community; Ethan Eisenberg; Paul Eisenberg; Ruth Frank; Valorie Franklin; Anita Frigo; Janet Froyen; Grace Gaskill; Laura Gorski; Kathi H.; Marie Haar; Mary Harrison; Kojo Hayford; Marilyn Hurt; Buddy Johnson; Ken Johnson; Stewart Keene; Judy Kiedaisch; Brenda Knight; Cyndie Knoll; Anne Knuth; Bill Knuth; Paul Koch; the Koswenda family; Kelli Lange; Scott Lauterbach; Alex Lawler; Greg Lawrence; Elizabeth Lee; Charles Lind; Shawn Lobaugh; Mary Long; Richard M.; Jerry Mabry; Jacob MacDonald; Terri Martin, Ino Martinez; Rev. Annette Mayer; Ginny McCollum; Susan McKeever; Kelly McLaughlin; Katelyn Moore; Lita Morgan; Ann Moser; Sharon Moxley; Carol Mullings; Michael Mullins; Terry Needham; Alex Nettey;  Audrey Ongman; Elaine Ooms; Jake Peckel; Patty Portrey; Anthony Raimondi; Shirley Reilly; Damen Ressel; Bob Rhoads; Pat Rhoads; Julie Rinkenberger; Lois Rinkenberger; Bella Rodrigues; Stephanie Rogers; Laura Rossen; Roger Rossen; Don Rubins; Karen Scherrer; Mark Scott & Family; Stewart Scott; Karen Scheffers; Julie Seely; Blake Sheffer; Doris Sheffer; Diance Smith; Thomas Smith; The Rev. Tom Smith; Bob Stevens; Jamie Stovall; Ginny Summers; Leslie Tatum; Phyllia Tettey-Enyo; Shanti Thayil; Bishop Robert Thompson; Tawny Triebold; Emilia Turner; Lee Turner; Joan Unterberg; Roman VanSwol; Cora Watson; Erna Watson; Bob Weinman; John Whennen; Jim Whitfield; Terri Whitfield; Austin Widner; James Woods; Vonda Young
 
Please pray for those seeking God’s guidance: Alicia; Angel; Bonnie; Brianna; David; Debbie; Don; Glenda; James; Linda; Marcy; Mary; Nora; Polly; Rich; Stephanie; Terri; Victor; Bishop David & Mrs. Bailey; Marilin Brown; Norval Brown & Family; Freeborn family; Arifa Brookins Hinton; Gregory Brookins Hinton; Mike Mabry; Nancy Mulcahy; The Diocese of The Navajoland; the Seelaus family; the Stevens family; Jessica Wetzel; The Wetzel Family; James Woods; Bill Sole; Staci Young.
 
Please pray for our members serving in the military and their families: Christina Bembenic; Kevin Cunningham; John O’Brien; David Trier; Darius Webb.

Please pray for all First Responders, especially, Austin Corydon; Amy Vitulli; Sarah Lawrence

Please pray for the faithful departed: Tim Brenner


In the Parish Cycle of Prayer: Please pray for Kathy Basil, Brandon Basil, and Matthew Basil

In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, Pray for mission agencies and their ministry throughout the Anglican Communion, including the Mothers’ Union around the world.

In the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, We pray for the youth in our cities and communities affected by violence, and the perpetrators of violence in our communities. May they find peace..

Do you know anyone in need?

Please let the Church Office know if you are aware of anyone in our Parish who is ill, in the hospital, or in any other need.  Please do not assume that we are already aware, because we may not be.  Please call (708) 798-4150 and leave a message for Sarra, or email the Church Office at office@mysje.org.  Thank you for keeping an eye out for each other.   
The Fine Print
The weekly e-vangelist is distributed (usually) on Thursdays via e-mail subscription.  You may subscribe by submitting your request (including your e-mail address) to office@mysje.org.
 
If you would like to submit material for the weekly e-vangelist, please e-mail to office@mysje.org.  Or you may phone the parish office at 708-798-4150.  Please limit announcements to 100 words or less.  Graphics or photos may be submitted and will be included at the editor’s discretion.  The deadline is Noon on Thursday.
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Copyright © 2020 The Church of St. John the Evangelist, All rights reserved.

Contact us:
The Church of St. John the Evangelist
2640 Park Drive
Flossmoor, Illinois 60422
(708) 798-4150
office@mysje.org
http://www.mysje.org

The Rev. Jeremy C. Froyen, CFC
Rector
frjeremy@mysje.org
To schedule an appointment with Fr. Jeremy,
please call the Parish Office. 

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Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist · 2640 Park Dr · P O Box 25 · Flossmoor, IL 60422-1228 · USA

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