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At St. John’s Church, we are learning what it means to love God and to love our neighbors. As heirs of the Anglican tradition, we have been given many beautiful tools to help us do this.

We use liturgy to help us do this — because we have found that ancient forms of Christian prayer help us order our thoughts and feelings before God.

We use music to help us do this — because we want to offer our whole selves to God in worship, including our minds, including our bodies, including our voices.

We use the sacraments to help us do this — because we believe that Jesus makes himself very present to us in the bread and wine of the Eucharist.

We use the fellowship of our community to help us do this — because we believe that Jesus makes himself very present in the body of his faithful people.

We use service and works of mercy to help us do this — because we believe that Jesus makes himself very present to us in our neighbors.

Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome here.

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Midweek E-blast  Our Newsletters

A Message from Bishop Jeremiah

This week, as the world turns and folks live out the ordinariness of life, we will follow Jesus through the streets of Jerusalem. Many in our nation, this week, will simply scan the internet for political headlines or tune into college basketball. We will offer our feet for washing and our hearts to the painful memory of the Cross. In a culture in which many have walked away from the Church, we will immerse ourselves in the ancient liturgies of Holy Week and Easter.

It is a strange and beautiful rhythm. This week in our churches our many and varied ministers will submit their energies and schedules to the demands of the Church calendar. Musicians will intensely rehearse; altar guilds will set up and clean up; acolytes and chalice bearers will don their robes; ushers and vergers will tidy our sacred spaces; church staff members will pray for the copy machines; clergy will plan and write and pray. The ministers of the Church, lay and ordained, will prepare and gather during this Holy Week to remember holy stories and experience holy mysteries.

We do this because we are Christian. We invest our time and efforts because we have vowed to “continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers.” We participate because we understand that it is historically and personally important.

But also we arrange this complex week of services because we know that the worship of this week transforms lives; the stories become the point of our stories. The passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus gives our lives meaning and purpose and hope. Because these liturgies have changed our lives, we know they have the power to change other lives as well. And so we make the space during this Holy Week for others to encounter Jesus in profound ways.

One year, following the Great Vigil of Easter, a young woman approached me and explained that her nephew chose to join her at the liturgy that evening. He was not an Episcopalian; I don’t think he was even churched. At one point in the service, this lady looked over at this 11-year-old and saw tears falling from his eyes. She asked him about the tears and he replied, “I don’t know why I am crying; it’s just so beautiful.”

This week matters. It matters that you set out the basins of warm water on Maundy Thursday. It matters that you kneel before the Cross on Good Friday. It matters that you gather in the darkness of the Great Vigil of Easter. It matters that you belt out “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” on Easter morning. We are the ones who tell the stories and keep the traditions. This Holy Week and Easter you will again meet Jesus. And because of you and your church, someone else will too – maybe for the very first time.

Your companion in Christ,