My sisters and brothers in Christ:
We worship as usual this weekend: Our convenient community Holy Eucharist service at 5 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 19) and on Christ the King Sunday (Nov. 20) at 8 and 10 a.m. We’ll be startled by Luke’s account of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and his killers’ sarcastic taunt in the form of the inscription they mounted on the cross reading “King of the Jews.” The feast of Christ the King is a relatively new wrinkle in the long history of the Church. Pope Pius XI instituted it seven years after the end of World War I, which was broadly understood to be the worst, bloodiest failure so far in the history of human governments. The feast is the church saying, “Put your trust not in kings or princes, prime ministers or presidents, but in the Lord of all, the true sovereign of justice, righteousness, peace, and love.”
As we prepare for the season of Advent (when we get ready for Christmas as well as the second coming of Christ our King), mark your calendar for a different Christian formation class on each of the Sundays in Advent, all at 9 a.m. in the Bishop’s Room: Nov. 27: I’ll reprise my program on the Advent numbers in Handel’s “Messiah.” Dec. 4: Our own Pam Kelley will lead a discussion of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Dec. 11: Pam and I will lead a discussion of Denis Villeneuve’s amazing film “Arrival,” now in theatrical release. We suggest you see it as soon as you can (and maybe see it twice!). Dec. 18: “What Would You Preach?” Since those attending the 10 a.m. service on 4 Advent won’t hear the usual scripture readings because of the annual children’s Christmas pageant, we’ll spend the hour discussing how each of us would interpret them if we were offering a sermon.

What does it mean to have sovereignty over creation? That’s been our focus in “To Serve And Guard The Earth,” our creation care series this month facilitated by Beth Bojarski, executive director of Camp Stevens. You won’t want to miss the last installment this Sunday, Nov. 20 at 9 a.m. in the Bishop’s Room. Our conversation-based class explores the relationship among humanity, God, and creation. Beth is using the creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2 to help us hear God’s call to love creation, act with justice, and respect the wisdom that comes from science and our own experience. We’re also learning about practical applications of creation care in home, school, and office. All voices and perspectives (such as the comment Steve Green is shown making in last week’s class at right) are welcome. Please join us.

Speaking of presidents, on behalf of president Dot Leach of the Interfaith Council of Greater Rancho Santa Margarita, I invite all the people of God to a council-sponsored concert this Sunday, Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. at our neighboring Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints entitled “Let Us Listen With Grace And Gratitude.” Members of the St. John’s Choir will be among the ensembles performing. Refreshments will follow. All the details are in the attached flier.
Finally, speaking of true democratic decision-making, on behalf of men’s ministry coordinator Gene Giordano, the men of St. John’s are invited to an informal planning meeting this Sunday, Nov. 20 at about 11:30 a.m. around the fountain to discuss the future of men’s ministry — with special focus on whether and how to set up a regular men’s Bible study.

Yours in the name and the love of Christ the King,

Fr. John

P.S.: Our thanks to all who have submitted their 2017 pledges. If you have not yet done so, we will joyfully accept them in church this weekend. Just ask the ushers for a pledge card….Be sure to sign up for next Wednesday’s (Nov.. 23) Thanksgiving Eve service and pizza feast. It all starts at 6:30 p.m., and everyone in your family and neighborhood is invited….We’re also taking signups for Kathe Hayden’s world-famous Advent Wreath Workshop next Sunday, Nov. 27 in the Art Lab right after the 10 a.m. service. Kathe will supply all materials for a $10-per-family fee (that’s one wreath per family), payable that day. For the Thanksgiving feast and the Advent wreathes, you can sign up in the narthex or just by replying to this message! Be sure to let me know how many are coming.