parispeacesignGod of righteousness and love, Creator of light and life, we pray this morning for the people of Paris, those who were hurt in Friday’s attacks and those who mourn the dead. Banish the darkness that always tempts your people, and heal every heart that hates. Inspire the best in our leaders as they protect the innocent, bring the guilty to account, and labor on behalf of what you demand: Freedom, justice, peace, and mercy for all your people. Through Jesus Christ our LORD, Amen.My sisters and brothers in Christ:

We worship as usual this weekend: Today at 5 p.m. and on the 25th Sunday after Pentecost at 8 and 10 a.m. At all our services, we invite you to bring your pledge cards for 2016 to the altar of God. You should have received a pledge card at one of our stewardship meetings or by mail. If not, one will be waiting for you at church.

As I said in my stewardship sermon, in these early weeks of my 62nd year my annual pledge has finally reached $10,000, which exceeds the tithe (10% of gross income). There’s a time in my life when that would have been inconceivable. What’s inconceivable now, in this world of darkness always trying to overcome the light, is my life without the presence of Christ as I have experienced it at St. John’s and in his Church. On behalf of your parish leaders, thank you for all you do to manifest the light of Christ in our community and especially for your commitment this year to bring a loved one or friend to experience it with us.

storytellersBecause It’s just another busy light-making, darkness-defying weekend at St. John’s.  Twelve people from St. John’s and three from Faith Episcopal Church (some are shown here during Friday’s break time) are spending the whole weekend on our campus learning to be light-shining Godly Play storytellers.

St. John’s people are cooking this morning for homeless women and offering the light of fellowship at Isaiah House. Our “Autumn’s Abundance” Fellowship Dinner is tonight at 6 p.m. in the Cardinal Gym. (Have you just been inspired to attend? Hungry for a little more light? It’s not too late. Just write DJ Gomer at Your generous Thanksgiving gifts for the Rancho Santa Margarita food pantry have been piling up around church for days and are due this weekend at church or in the church office by Wednesday. (Suddenly inspired to spread a little light? Shopping lists will still be available at church this weekend.) And at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Pastor Lisa Rotchford will convene the last installment of “The Soul: Scripture, Tradition, and Reason,” meeting this week in the choral music room, past the Bishop’s Room and down the hall — just look for the candlelight!).There was no more wonderful sight than the light in the manger. You can see its reflection in people’s eyes, especially children’s eyes, whenever you want. We welcome children four years of age through fifth grade to participate in our Christmas pageant on Sunday, Dec. 20. For older children who want to be readers, practice begins on Nov. 22 during Sunday school. The whole cast is called for rehearsals during Sunday school on Dec. 6 and 13, with everyone required to attend a one-hour rehearsal on Dec. 13 after the second service. If a little light-bearer you love is interested in participating, please contact Sheryll Grogan at

And please be sure to sign up this weekend for Kathe Hayden’s Advent wreath workshop on Sunday, Nov. 29, right after the second service ($10 for materials per family per wreath is all you need to bring a little more holy light to your dinner table), the men’s breakfast on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 8 a.m. (Jules Miller of Christians in Commerce will talk about bringing the light of Christ into the workplace), and the Thanksgiving Eve service and pizza party on Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 6:30 p.m. (if you’re looking for a way to keep your stewardship evangelism promise and bring a friend to church, studies have shown that one of the best ways to share the light is to offer people free pizza).

Yours in Christ’s light and love,
Fr. John

P.S.: Please join us at The Palms at RSM on Tuesday, Nov. 17 from 4-7 p.m. for a fundraiser benefiting Relay for Life. Hamilton Oaks Trabuco Winery and OC Affairs are co-hosting this wonderful light-dappled evening of culinary delight. Tickets are $25 per person. The Palms is located at 22901 Santa Margarita Parkway in Rancho Santa Margarita.