My sisters and brothers in Christ:
On Sunday, Dec. 4 (the 2nd Sunday of Advent), we worship at 8 and 10 a.m., when we’ll hear John the Baptist prophesy the coming of Christ and sternly call the era’s religious authorities to repent. Knowing what we do about the aversion to criticism displayed by many who are proud and powerful, we can only imagine how poorly they received John’s words. We will not offer a service on Saturday afternoon so that your delegates (Melinda Freese, DJ Gomer, Andy Guilford, Lisa Sparks, and I) can complete our work at Diocesan convention (Dec. 2-3) in Ontario.

Speaking of convention, I attach the agenda for your information. Time is provided over the course of the two days for six ballots for election of Diocesan officers, including bishop coadjutor. To be called as your next bishop, a candidate will have to receive a majority of lay and clergy votes, counted separately. Depending on the mysterious will and work of the Holy Spirit, the election could be resolved by Friday, or it could take until late Saturday afternoon (or even beyond). If you’re on Facebook, you’ll probably be among the first to know how it turns out! Otherwise, we’ll have news in church on Sunday morning. For now, all of your candidates – Paul Fromberg, Rachel Nyback, Anna Olsoon, Pierre Whalon, Mauricio Wilson, and I – covert your prayers.

This Sunday at 9 a.m. in the Bishop’s Room, please plan to join Pam Kelley for an Advent conversation about “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Next Sunday, Dec. 11, also at 9 a.m., Pam and I will lead a discussion about the spiritual side of the critically acclaimed movie “Arrival,”now in theatrical release. Please see it twice if possible!

Yours in Christ’s love,

Fr. John

P.S.: A celebration of the life of our Kate Cook, who died on Sunday, will take place next Saturday, Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. at St. image003440John’s. You may also have heard of a service on Tuesday in Kate’s home town of Lompoc, where her parents still live. Kate’s devoted husband, Hugh, is planning the St. John’s service on Dec. 10 expressly for the sake of her many friends in our neighborhood. Through these difficult days and weeks and months, please keep Hugh and their 16-year-old son, Quenten III, in your prayers.

P.P.S.: In the spirit of the season, some community outreach notes and opportunities: Your Adopt-a-Family gifts are due in church this weekend…Please bring your food donations this Sunday and, if you can, plan to volunteer at the food pantry on Tuesday, Dec. 6 anytime from noon-5 p.m. at The Bridge Church in Rancho Santa Margarita… On Wednesday, Dec. 7 at Sparklean Laundry in Lake Forest, our monthly Laundry Love will be dedicated to Kate Cook, a supporter and volunteer since the ministry’s inception…And please e-mail ministry coordinator Emmily Salvanera at if you can join her and our other volunteers providing breakfast and fellowship to residents of Isaiah House on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 9:30 a.m.