My sisters and brothers in Christ:
We also invite all current and former Girl and Boy Scouts and current and former Scout leaders to be at church by 9:45 a.m. on Sunday, in their uniforms as practicable, to form a welcoming honor guard. We’ll ask our Scout community to come forward at the end of the service for a prayer and photo.
All that youthful energy will carry us right through to Shrove Tuesday, Feb. 9, when all are invited to our annual pancake supper at 6 p.m. in the multipurpose room. It’s free and open to the public, especially your family members, friends, and neighbors. We’ll enjoy supper (thanks to the hospitality of the St. John’s men’s group), sing and worship a little, and watch with intense curiosity as the children depart for their solemn annual duty of burying the “Alleluia.”
Also, please mark your calendars for an important, timely event: A speech and book-signing featuring Col. Bill Russell Edmonds, author of a critically acclaimed book about moral injury and modern warfare, God Is Not Here. Free and open to the public, the event is on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center in Rancho Santa Margarita. The afternoon is sponsored by the Higher Calling Council of Saddleback Valley (a new nonprofit community outreach organization based at St. John’s) and Strength in Support, which offers mental health services to veterans and their families. Please join us, and tell your friends (especially the vets!).
Yours in Christ’s love,
P.S.: Our “Epiphany Search for God at the Movies” concludes this Sunday, Feb. 7 at 9 a.m. in the Bishop’s Room, when Andy Guilford will lead a conversation about “A Man For All Seasons.” You can watch it on Amazon for as little as $2.99 by following this link:
P.P.S.: Beginning next Sunday, Feb. 14 (the first Sunday in Lent) during the 9 a.m. Christian formation hour and continuing through Lent, we’ll read and discuss Practicing Compassion by Dr. Frank Rogers, Jr. of the Claremont School of Theology. “Compassion is the heartbeat of humanity,” Dr. Rogers writes. “We are most fully human, most fully ourselves, when we see someone in the truth of his or her experience and are moved to respond with kindness and care.” At the first class on Feb. 14, Mo. Martha and I will offer free copies of the book to the first 19 participants who make a commitment to participate in the five-week conversation (as schedules permit). On Wednesday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m., Dr. Rogers will be our guest at St. John’s for dinner and more conversation, so mark your calendars. Lenten blessings!