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Today is the Feast Day of The Right Reverend Jackson Kemper. Bishop Kemper could be thought as the founder of our parish family and the almost 175-year legacy that is St. John’s Episcopal Church. Dubuque was made a missionary station at his request in 1836. He visited Dubuque several times, laboring for the official incorporation of the parish in 1845.
Bishop Kemper was the first missionary bishop of the Episcopal Church. Many congregations in the Midwest trace their spiritual lineage to his tireless efforts at planting churches in what was then, a formidable frontier. The baptismal font at the entrance to the main church was consecrated by Bishop Kemper. It humbles me whenever I make use of the font, to bless myself, to bless water, or to baptize. In our increasing secular age, we have much to learn from our founder. We must learn, yet again, what it means to be missionaries of the Gospel. North America is now considered the third largest mission field in the world. Dubuque, for all its religious heritage, has thousands of people who are not actively part of a church. This is a challenge but is also a great opportunity for us at St. John’s, as we labor together to realize our mission of becoming a renewed church.
Our three-fold mission at St. John’s is to “Love God. Love Others and Make Disciples.” Our vision statement, the picture of the kind of church we are hoping to become, speaks of “being active in our neighborhood” and that we will “demonstrate the Great Commandment through outreach to those in need.” For many years, St. John’s has demonstrated Jesus’ Great Commandment to “Love God and Love Neighbor” (Matthew 22:35-40) by hosting the Fifth Sunday Dinner. During Lent, we challenged everyone to attend the fifth Sunday dinner to get to know our neighbors in a spirit of fellowship.
We conducted a survey of participants in the 5th Sunday Dinner on March 31. We gleaned much from the survey, but the Fifth Sunday Group were keen that the rest of the congregation hear some of the positive feedback. This gives us a sense of how we are already realizing our vision, even as we identify a long way ahead toward its full realization:
“You are doing a wonderful job. So many volunteers for coffee and helping.”
“You make people feel welcomed and good inside.”
“Family atmosphere, God’s here.”
“You do awesome things for people.”
“It’s my favorite church everyone who serves the meal are very special to me. I just want to say thank you for spending time with us.”
Please mark your calendars for the next 5th Sundays: June 30, September 29, & December 29.
We’re in need of 5th Sunday Coordinators who organize the event and 5th Sunday Cooks who plan the main meal and much of the preparation on the day of. We also need general volunteers to help with set up, clean up, serving, and more. Our Coordinators (thank you!), Haley Lammer-Heindel, Christine Darr, and Derrick Clark, are more than willing to help people know the details, what needs to be done, and more. If you are interested in coordinating, cooking or volunteering, please contact them or contact the parish office.
Contact Kathe Richardson about joining this team. They will meet at 5:30 pm in the Ruete Conference Room.
12:10 pm at the Parish House, Flockhart Chapel.
10am-2pm. Last year our first parish retreat was very well attended. Many of the ideas expressed at that retreat have begun to be implemented (reimagining our Parish House, for example) and others are part of our ongoing plans. We’ll be looking at where we’ve come and where we still have to go. We’ll also begin discussion about reimagining our church space. The retreat will be from 10 am to 2 pm with lunch served. Register with Susan Meyers at the Parish Office.
The Dubuque Food Pantry appreciates our generosity. Thank you for the sharing you do.
A brief memorial service will take place following coffee and fellowship on Sunday, June 2nd, in the Lady Chapel. Phyllis died Sunday, May 19, 2019 and was a long-time member of St. John’s. Those who wish to honor her, remember her, and offer her life to God are invited to attend. Pray for her children Michael (Janet) Bishop and Edward (Heaweon) Bishop.
Enjoy lunch at House of China this month at 11:30 am. Female fellowship and laughs while dining. What could be better?
Join us for the third great festival of the Christian Year. Wear red or white, the historic colors of celebration in the Church. Potluck to follow. This will also be Kevin Powell, our seminarian’s, last Sunday with us. However, we are hopeful Kevin will be with us in the fall for his second round of field education.
Pray for the leaders of St. John’s as they meet at 6:30 pm in the Parish House, Ruete Conference Room.
For the past 30 years Episcopalians in Iowa have gathered for a summer weekend to learn church leadership skills, explore personal spirituality or just find Sabbath time. For more info and online registration go to: www.iowaepiscopal.org.
Our new mission partner, St. Mark’s Youth Enrichment will be hosting their 4th grade summer program in Our Parish House June 17-August 2. They are in need of volunteer readers. They provide the books. The reading takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00-9:15 am. If you are interested in reading, contact Ron Paar from St. Mark’s at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the St. Mark’s Youth Enrichment office at 563-582-6211.
Jeremiah Cawley, our choir director is wanting to compile a listing of the congregation’s favorite hymns. Please submit these in writing or via e-mail to the Parish Office at email@example.com by Monday, June 17th.
The guild is happy to welcome its newest member – Deb Davis.
As the flowers in your garden start to bloom and/or you visit farmer’s market, please remember flowers for the altar. Just choose a Sunday you want to bring flowers and reserve that date on our calendar. The flower calendar is located beside the elevator on the main floor. How wonderful to have flowers on God’s altar that you picked from your garden or purchased at market!
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Dubuque, IA, is seeking an organist to play on Sundays and occasional other services (e.g. Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, etc.) The organist will also support the St. John’s Choir on Sundays and preferably in weekly rehearsals. Experience in liturgical worship necessary, Episcopal experience a plus. Pianists with interest/enthusiasm for organ study (which St. John’s may supplement for the right candidate) are encouraged to apply. Organ experience and competency highly desired. Stipend negotiable based on experience and ability. For more information send cover letter, resume, and references (or general questions) to St. John’s Episcopal Church, “Organist Search”, Attention: Father Goodrich, Pastor, 1458 Locust Street, Dubuque, IA or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Ministers: The People of St. John’s
Senior Warden: Susan Forshey
Junior Warden: John Stewart
Clerk: Pam Van Vleck
Treasurer: Bill Richardson
Vestry Members: Joe Hickey, David Kendall, Haley Lammer-Heindel, Ally O’Rourke, David Roberts, Corky Vance
Organist: David Pitt
Parish Administrator: Susan Meyers
Priest-in-Residence: The Rev. Dr. Kent Anderson
Rector: The Rev. Dr. Kevin Goodrich, O.P.
Bishop: The Rt. Rev. Alan Scarfe, D.D.