We worship as usual this weekend: Our convenient community Holy Eucharist service today (Saturday, Oct. 3) at 5 p.m. and tomorrow, the 19th Sunday after Pentecost, at 8 and 10 a.m.

rafaelandtimThe readings include Jesus Christ’s teaching in Mark’s gospel about marriage and divorce. I write from Pacific Palisades, where some of the men of St. John’s (including Rafael Acosta and Tim Grogan) are halfway through our annual retreat. For our retreat reading, our gracious teacher, the Rev. Scott Richardson, chose 1 Corinthians 13, a favorite at innumerable wedding ceremonies. The theme of our weekend is that faith, hope, and love, which bolster all healthy marriages, are also vital to the future of the church.

Retreats such as ours give us time to dig a little deeper in our walk with God and one another. We’ll have another chance this Thursday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Bishop’s Room as our new “Storytellers” ministry continues with a brand-new program called “Rhythm.” What do you believe about God’s work in your everyday life? What does it mean to be in or out of tune with God? Join facilitator Mitch Garcia and me as our group addresses these questions and others using music, poetry, film, art, scripture, and the stories of our own lives.

Autumn is also a good time to dig deep in the closet and garage for things we don’t need anymore, if only because the abundance of Christmas is coming fast. The new St. John’s Treasures Exchange — that’s a rummage sale to you and me, friends, with all proceeds benefiting the St John’s women’s group — will take place on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 8 a.m.-noon in the Cardinal Gym. You can drop off your donations at church on Sunday morning, Oct. 11; Friday, Oct. 16 from 4-7 p.m.; and on the morning of the exchange (Oct. 17) between 7-8 a.m. We’ll give whatever we don’t sell to the American Cancer Society. And please, tell your family, friends, and neighbors that they’re welcome both to donate and to buy.

And speaking of digging deep, it’s stewardship time again. We’ll have more details about our 2016 campaign in the days ahead. For now, please mark your calendars for one of our stewardship meetings: Sunday, Oct. 11 and Sunday, Oct. 25, both taking place in the multipurpose room after the 10 a.m. service. As usual, your parish leaders will review the last year, provide a financial report, offer our vision for the year to come, solicit your ideas, and distribute pledge cards. Each meeting, including a light lunch, will take about 45 minutes.

Yours in Christ’s love,
Fr. John