My sisters and brothers in Christ:
Sometimes it’s good to meet together and talk about what troubles us. If you agree, join us this Sunday (Nov. 22) at 9 a.m. in the Bishop’s Room for a special installment of our Christian ethics discussion series, this time entitled “What Does A Christian Do: About ISIS?” Our series began on Oct. 11 with a conversation about how people of faith conduct gracious, frank debates about controversial subjects. Attached to this message, you’ll find a summary of our inaugural class as drawn up by co-facilitator Pam Kelley. This Sunday, we’ll go over our rules of the road and then dive into our back-and-forth about the issue that has prompted so much outrage, especially after last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris and the Oct. 31 bombing of a Russian airliner over Egypt: The movement in Iraq and Syria known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh. See you there.
On behalf of your parish leaders, thank you to all who have submitted 2016 pledge cards. So far, 57 St. John’s households have pledged. In 2015, our number was a record-setting 139. We’ll need at least that many to meet our ministry goals in the new year. If you’ve misplaced your pledge card, please let me know by return e-mail, and we’ll send you one. You can also pick one up this weekend at church.
Thank you, too, if you decide to invite a family member, friend, or neighbor to church as part of your stewardship commitment. The easiest way to keep your promise is to invite your guests to our Thanksgiving Eve Holy Eucharist service next Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 6:30 p.m. and the free informal pizza feast that follows in the Cardinal Gym. You can let us know how many will be in your party (we have to make sure we order enough pizza!) by signing up in the narthex or e-mailing Sandy in the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org. And while you’re at it, let Sandy know if you’d like to sign up for Kathe Hayden’s annual Advent wreath workshop after the second service next Sunday, Nov. 29. Just $10 per family per wreath brings calming Advent light to your table at home.
And if you’d like to attend tomorrow morning’s men’s breakfast from 8-9:30 a.m. in the Bishop’s Room to hear Jules Miller talk about “Christians in Commerce,” but you haven’t yet signed up, it’s not too late. Just drop a line to George Colborn at email@example.com.
Yours in Christ’s love,
P.S.: We will not offer our Tuesday Tuneup ministries on Nov. 24.
P.P.S.: As always, the new church year will bring lots of news from the Diocese of Los Angeles that you won’t want to miss, including its weekly Episcopal News e-mail. Would you like to receive it? If so, do nothing, and we’ll provide the communications office with your e-mail address. If you would prefer not to receive diocesan e-mails, please let me know by return e-mail. I’ll ask the same question again next week. Thank you!
P.P.P.S.: Kathy O’Connor and I look forward to meeting with our fabulous St. John’s Twentysomethings at 11:45 a.m. this Sunday at the Lowe’s Center Starbucks. We’ll be discussing our plans for the equally fabulous winter retreat in January.