My sisters and brothers in Christ:

We worship as usual this weekend: Our convenient community Holy Eucharist service on Saturday (Dec. 10) at 5 p.m. and on the Third Sunday of Advent at 8 and 10 a.m. We’ll hear Jesus Christ describe John the Baptist (his cousin? friend? teacher?) as “a prophet…and more than a prophet.” Jesus speaks of no other living soul in such exalted terms. Studying their unique relationship, we can discern the intimate connection between the mind of Christ and the prophetic voice, which invites us to repentance, justice, and peace.
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All are invited on Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. John’s Church to a celebration of the life of our Kate Cook. Between now and then, and especially in the weeks and months ahead, please keep her devoted husband, Hugh, and their son, Quenten III, in your prayers.

Pam Kelley and I invite you to our conversation this Sunday at 9 a.m. in the Bishop’s Room about the spiritual dimensions of the film “Arrival.” Next Sunday, Dec. 18, Pam will lead a discussion of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Scheduled for last weekend, Charlie Brown’s class was postponed in favor of an impromptu round table about the bishop election.

Along those same lines, a brief word about what is changing – and not changing — at St. John’s.

As you probably know, at our Diocesan convention last weekend, I was called from among six candidates to be your bishop coadjutor. The ordination service will take place on Saturday, July 8 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles. I would assume the duties of the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, our Diocesan bishop and St. John’s rector, upon his retirement in early December 2017.

Despite inevitable Diocesan commitments, I expect that until May or June, most of my work will continue to be at our church and school. Should that situation change, I’ll be sure to let you know. There is also much to be discussed and decided about the process for the selection of your new vicar. Your parish leaders will keep you posted about those details as well.
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What’s not changing at St. John’s is the faith, creativity, energy, and love powering our dozens of active ministries — of worship, fellowship, Christian formation, and service to our neighbor. It’s hard for Kathy and me to imagine leaving, because we love the people of St. John’s so much and also because it’s so inspiring to be around such committed and faithful ministers of the risen Christ. St. John’s is an amazing place because of each of you. We’ll miss you more than we can say.

Yours in Christ’s love,

Fr. John

P.S.: Please note: Our Christmas Eve services at 4 p.m. (all about the children, boisterously retelling the Christmas story) and 9:30 p.m. (a moving mass of the Christ child) and on Christmas Day at 10 a.m….We look forward to receiving your instructions for Christmas flowers…Our Advent Quiet Time< this Saturday, Dec. 10 from 2-5 p.m.; please write Linda Allport at lsallport@cox.net for more information or to sign up… St. John's will be at Isaiah House in Santa Ana on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 9:30 a.m., offering breakfast and fellowship to the homeless. Write Emily Salvanera at er.salvanera@gmail.com if you'd like to help…St. John's members are entitled to specially priced tickets of $12 for the Festival Singers' annual Christmas concert, "The Sounds Of Winter," this Sunday, Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. at the Lake Forest Sun and Sail Club, 24752 Toledo Lane, Lake Forest. The Singers are celebrating their 35th season with a beautiful new CD, "Songs Of Winter." You'll be able to buy copies at Sunday's concert. It's a perfect stocking stuffer!