My sisters and brothers in Christ:

We worship on the 14th Sunday after Pentecost at 8 and 10 a.m., when we’ll hear Jesus berated for healing a woman who had suffered with a painful disability for 18 years. Luke tells us that she was “bent over and quite unable to stand up straight.” Our LORD’s critic, the leader of the synagogue, said he shouldn’t have done such scandalous healing work on the Sabbath. But what better time to be relieved at long last of an agonizing affliction? What better day for such grace than God’s appointed day of rest and reflection?

Do you ever feel as though your own perspective is constrained by circumstance or as though you’re pressed down by the weight of the world? Like the woman Christ healed, do you spend far more time than you’d like looking at your feet, fixed resignedly on the patch of dirt where your next few steps will fall? Think of Sabbath as a day for straightening up and gazing at the sky — for looking straight into the smiling, reassuring face of God.

Also on Sunday, we’ll bid farewell to the Rev. Martha Johns, our associate vicar since November 2014, a dedicated priest of God who has touched us all with her gracious ministry. In September, she continues her vocation in new work as associate for community life at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Phoenix. The essence of our faith invites us to leaven our sadness at Mo. Martha’s departure with thanksgiving for the work to which God has called her in the beautiful Grand Canyon State. Please come Sunday and help us say au revoir.

Please remember that the Saturday evening service is on hiatus during August.

image001 (2)This Saturday, Aug. 20 at 10 a.m., all are invited to a celebration of the life of our Rhona England, who died peacefully last Thursday evening as the result of a heart condition. Rhona is the mother of Tim, our longtime bishop’s warden. She is shown with her family at granddaughter Taylor’s recent graduation from the University of Virginia. After the service, Tim and Dina will host a reception at their home, 5 Serna, Rancho Santa Margarita. Give rest, O Christ, to your servant, Rhona, with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.

Taylor’s graduation felt like it was just yesterday. And now so many of our young people are heading back to school before Labor Day. It’s August, and they’ve got homework already!

So too in the church, if we’re going to keep up. Yes, my friends, it’s still August, but it’s already the season to fall for St. John’s.

As a matter of fact, you and I already have. That’s why we’re here! But what about all the folks living in our neighborhood, many of them within walking distance, who don’t know about the friendly, welcoming, faithful, people-serving, love-spreading church right around the corner?

If we want someone to come over to the house for dinner, we have to invite them. It’s the same with church. So after the second service on Sunday, Aug. 28 and again on Sunday, Sept. 11, we’ll head into the neighborhood with colorful door hangers for all the friends we haven’t met yet, inviting them to give St. John’s a try. No door-knocking required! The wonderful St. John’s youth are helping, but we need more volunteers. If you’re willing to join us – if you want to help us #spreadsomelove by and for and about St. John’s — please let coordinator Eleanor Salvanera know at

Also this Sunday, grab a brochure and sign up for the men’s retreat,FridaySunday, Oct. 7-9 at Old Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside with our own Wayne Kempe, mentor for our EfM students, as retreat leader. We’ll also be taking potluck signups for the annual Welcome Home and Thank You BBQ on Sunday, Sept. 18 and signups for the next newcomer brunch (one of the ministries Mo. Martha helped launch) on Sunday, Sept. 25.

Yours in Christ’s love,
Fr. John

image003P.S.: Speaking of our neighbors, they can sure use you help this week (Thursday, Aug. 18) at theRancho Santa Margarita food pantry, behind The Bridge Church at 30162 Tomas Ave. St. John’s ministers are needed anytime between noon and 5 p.m., even for 45 minutes if that’s all you have. Questions? Please contact Roger Bradshaw (that’s he, at right!), parisbradshaws@me.comor 949-505-4663.