Click on the event link for more information.
The Rev. Nate Frambach will be serving as supply this Sunday, July 9. Thank you, Nate, for your presence and service.
The Sunday, July 16, picnic service tentatively planned for Jackson Park has been cancelled. We shall have our regular Sunday service in the church at 10 a.m. Kent Anderson will be our supply priest.
These are all grand-daughters of Janet and Corky Vance Sr.
The St. John’s Episcopal Church Profile and Portfolio are available online. Read it. Pass it along to friends and families. Be sure to send the link to anyone interested in the position of St. John’s rector!
Here is the link: http://www.iowaepiscopal.org/Bishop/deploymenttransitions.html
Join Bishop Alan Scarfe and hundreds of other Episcopalians at the Iowa State Fair!
We will gather for a Revival Worship Service on August 12 at 5:30 pm at the Polk County Farm Bureau Shelter House, located behind Pioneer Pavilion.
This fun event will feature
* live music
* dance performance
* prayer stations
* activities for kids
* a chance to invite ALL to experience the love of The Episcopal Church
T-shirts can be purchased online at https://www.booster.com/revival2017.
Tackling the difficult subject of death and dying is something we tend to avoid as long as possible. This is not the case at New Song, Coralville. There, in your welcome packet, as a newcomer to the Church, you will find information about Honoring Your Wishes, a ministry of the congregation started by their Rector Emeritus, Elizabeth Coulter in 2011. Honoring Your Wishes is about planning in advance for those difficult days that come to all families. It helps people think about death when not in a crisis and can acquaint people with what “extraordinary measures” involve. Receiving such information while you are healthy might very well assist you to determine if such measures would add to your sense of quality of life when you or a loved one faces a catastrophic illness.
The Book of Common Prayer invites the clergy to “instruct the people, from time to time, about the duty of Christian parents to make prudent provisions for the well-being of their families, and of all persons to make wills, while they are in health, arranging for the disposal of their temporal goods, not neglecting, if they are able, to leave bequests for religious and charitable uses” (445). Advanced care planning is another element of that prudence.
This is one of the topics treated by the Older Adult Ministry Development Team in their workshop which I attended on Faith and Aging at this year’s Summer Ministry School and Retreat in Grinnell. They have posted an extensive collection of resources on the newly revamped “Iowa Share” website (IowaShare.org).
When did you last engage in conversation as a congregation on choices around death? How many of us with adult children have sat them down and talked over our wishes if we should face a difficult death? Do those closest to us, including our clergy, know our preferences for our own funerals? I once sat down with my own father and said that with someone in his condition, if he was my parishioner, I would be beginning such a conversation. He took my awkward opening in stride and started out with what he didn’t want – a viewing. “I don’t look good at the best of times,” he added! Then we moved on to brass bands playing, and if possible my leading things. “If you are not up to it, I won’t be mad,” he offered.
The aspects of considering issues of death and dying involve discerning what is of value to us. What speaks to us of living well? We need to work hard to define what living well means to each of us, and to make decisions about our care that express that definition.
Stacey Gerhart, a long-time hospital chaplain, explained that she had never met a person on their death bed who did not know that they were dying. The issue tended to be avoided by those around them. Having such a hard conversation ahead of time can be a pastoral gift to relatives and neighbors alike. It is a vital (living) part of the Church’s mission, appropriate for those who state their belief in the One who says “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”
In general, conversations can be started when a person is in the hospital as you invite them to reflect on how life is going. We can be bold enough to share our thoughts with a friend in regular conversation, and ask them “what about you?” Sometimes it is easier when doing something with a person side by side–jogging or driving or working together–and not looking at one another.
We should be grateful for the group of people who, in forming the Older Adult Ministry Development Team, are bold and open to entering into such conversation and inquiry. The presenters at Summer Ministry School and Retreat–Warren Frelund, Diane Eddy, Stacey Gerhart, Judith Crossett, Kelly Shields, Lori Erikson and Bob Sessions–are all eager to help us develop our ministries with seniors. For many of our congregations, seniors are a large percentage of the membership. Seniors fall into three categories: young seniors (65-75), middle-aged seniors (75-85) and older seniors (85+). Each category brings its own vocational and spiritual development needs. Along with the focus on death and dying, the group explored ministry opportunities in retirement; the evangelistic challenge of boomers examining their lives and reflecting deeper about them; seizing the opportunity to see church as coordinating centers of concerns among the community; and seeing Senior Centers as components of the Church.
Finally, I found the concept of “eldering” very powerful. Eldering needs a community to flourish while at the same time elders help a community flourish. Together we spoke of elders as people who are growing in spiritual maturity, people who do their spiritual homework and move beyond their egos. They are people who build up larger identities to carry the concerns of the community and to offer service. They are people in mission with Christ through each and all. (Where have I seen that phrase before?)
In the peace and love of Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Alan Scarfe
Bishop of Iowa
Be with us and guide us, Holy Spirit of God, as we seek your will for the future of our parish. Help us to discern the needs and hopes of your people at St. John’s Church, so that our search for a rector may proceed with clear vision and joyful obedience to your call to us. We pray though our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen (From Christ Church, Westerly, RI)
O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.