What's Happening at St.  John's
4/2/2020 Thursday Weekly Epistle from Fr. Peter

April 2, 2020 Thursday Weekly Epistle from Fr. Peter
 
Dear Friends,
 
As we look toward this weekend and the week to follow, I hope that you will regulate your schedules to include some of our virtual offerings – familiar and new – during Holy Week. To help you prepare, and to keep you abreast on the goings on about St. John’s Lodi, you can read the weekly updates below.
 
Palm & Easter Sunday Worship – Your clergy, after running the idea by the Vestry, have decided that for the next to “big” Sunday Services we will join with the greater body of Christ – The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin (EDSJ) and virtually worship together at the Cathedral of St. James’s (Fresno) services at 10:00a.m. Not only do they have the ability through staff and volunteers to put together a smooth virtual experience, but they are also seeking volunteers from around the Diocese to service as lectors and Passion Gospel readers.
 
-Link to St. James Website (which will also be on our Facebook Page and Parish Website):
     https://www.stjamesfresno.org
-Link to St. James, Fresno – YouTube Page for Sunday Live Streaming:
     https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN8cw1JrGlr-BpzqrdskVkQ
-Link to volunteer to assist (due at the end of business today April 2) as a lector or Passion Gospel Reader at either
     Palm or Easter Sunday EDSJ Services is here: https://www.diosanjoaquin.org/covid-19
 
Palms, Palms, We Got Palms (And Easter Elves, We Have Them Too)! – Because we ordered them before the “shelter in place” order, we now have Palms for Palm Sunday. These will be placed outside our main church doors by me this coming Saturday (April 4) from Noon until 3pm. Additionally a couple of teenagers from our parish have volunteered to deliver some parishioners whom they know (probably today, Thursday). If you find a palm or three on your doorstep on Thursday, you will know why. Otherwise, if you want a few for your Sunday worship, come by the church on early Saturday afternoon to grab some. Please only come and gather Palms if you are not at risk, and are feeling well. If you drive by to take some, please remain six feet away from anyone else you encounter.
 
Easter Sunday Virtual Coffee Hour! – On Easter Sunday Fr. Peter, Deacon Tom, and the Vestry of St. John’s invite you to a celebratory online Coffee Hour following the streamed service from our St. James’ Cathedral in Fresno. My hope is that you will dress in your Sunday Best, including Easter Bonnet where applicable, and sit with a cup of coffee, and a treat over the computer or telephone and join us in a festive coffee hour as we gather together via Zoom. Codes to enter into this Easter Sunday Celebration will go out next week. My hope is that you will be able to participate in some way so that we can see and visit with one another.
 
Coming Soon! New Platform for Parish Pledge and Giving – The Vestry in a recent weekly checking meeting agreed to adopt a giving portal to assist people, especially when we are gathering virtually, to keep their giving up to date. There is an app called “Givelify,” which will also be adopted into a giving button onto our website. Through these areas, in addition to mailing in (or phoning the office for a self-addressed envelope), you are invited to continue to support your parish during this interesting moment of our faith journey together.
 
Salvation Army Assistance Not Needed At the Moment – To support the City’s Shelter in Place request, the Salvation Army has adjusted their manner of serving dinner to their guests, and do not need volunteers at this time. If something comes up, where they do need people to assist, we will advertise their need here.
 
Pray the Daily Office with a Priest or Deacon! Some do not have the time or ability to enjoy a service online. The beautiful thing about the Daily Office Services (in the Book of Common Prayer) is that they can be done by anyone, alone or in groups. Deacon Tom and I are more than willing to lead the appropriate service (Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer, or Compline) over the telephone with you. Feel free to reach out to either of us so that we can schedule that service (and it will be recorded in our Parish Records).
 
Help with Virtual Worship – Tom and I are in the planning stages, not only for upcoming Sunday services. If you can navigate to Zoom, either via a computer or phone, you can also serve as a reader or intercessor. Deacon Tom and I are happy to take the lead, but we enjoy having other voices!
 
May God continue to keep you and bless you and yours. May you and yours make smart choices, and may God keep us all healthy. Dear friends, you remain in my prayers.
 
Your Brother in Christ Jesus, Fr. Peter
 

3/30/2020 The Weekly Update

Happy Monday, Friends!
 
A lot is going on with our Virtual Church! Our own Sunday School Lady – Mrs. Ruth Diekman – has put together some “at home” packets for our parish children and their families. If you want more information, please call Mrs. Diekman at her home, or reach out to me (Fr. Peter).
 
Below these brief announcements are the Zoom gatherings for this week. Remember also that Sunday services and new information are shared to our page on Facebook (you do not need to have a Facebook account to access us). Our Facebook Page is “Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, Lodi, CA Facebook Page.”
 
Volunteers Needed - As we prepare for our Virtual Services, including Holy Week offerings – know that Deacon Tom is looking for volunteers to join us on Zoom (perhaps live, perhaps pre-recorded) to read lessons or serve as intercessors. Please reach out to him if you want to be involved.
 
Do You Want to Host a Parish Virtual Gathering? - Do you want to lead a Men’s or Women’s Meeting? A Coffee Conversation? What are your ideas? Please let me know and I will help you to get it up and advertised.
 
What Can We Enjoy This Week? Below are the offerings for this coming week. You can join either by following the link to go online with your computer, OR, with any telephone, call the number associated with the meeting, enter in the meeting identification code and you will be there with us. If you have a problem or concern, please reach out to Fr. Peter. And now, for this week……
 
Topic: St. John's, Lodi Group Check in and Prayer
Time:TUESDAY Mar 31, 2020 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
 
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/606001355
 
Meeting ID: 606 001 355
 
One tap mobile +16699006833,,606001355# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,606001355# US (Houston)
 
Dial by your location
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 301 715 8592 US
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 253 215 8782 US
Meeting ID: 606 001 355
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
 
Topic: St. John's LodI, Bible Study with Derek Jones
Time: WEDNESDAY Apr 1, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
 
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/373320998
 
Meeting ID: 373 320 998
 
One tap mobile
+16699006833,,373320998# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,373320998# US (Houston)
 
Dial by your location
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 253 215 8782 US
+1 301 715 8592 US
Meeting ID: 373 320 998
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
 
Topic: St. John's, Lodi - Noonday Prayer with Deacon Tom
Time: FRIDAY Apr 3, 2020 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
 
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/370260085
 
Meeting ID: 370 260 085
 
One tap mobile
+16699006833,,370260085# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,370260085# US (Houston)
 
Dial by your location
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 253 215 8782 US
+1 301 715 8592 US
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 370 260 085
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
 

3/26/2020

March 26, 2020 - Thursday Weekly Epistle from Fr. Peter
 
Dear Friends,
 
Blessings upon you as you receive and read this brief update. During this Covid-19 period of our lives I want to err on communicating often, while not constantly emailing you. This “Epistle” contains updates from the past week and a brief look into next.
 
Generosity bounds Part I – A big shout out to the Wilson family – Greg, Hannah and Holly who joined their mother, Penny (our Parish Administrator) in folding and preparing the April Newsletter for bulk mailing. The teens have also reached out and assisted at least one couple in the parish, and I understand that they are willing to do more. If you need someone to do that shopping run, please phone Penny in the parish office and she will see what can be done. If anyone else (driving teen on up) is willing to do errands in need, let Penny know and she will keep a contact list.
 
Generosity abounds Part II – During our online Vestry pandemic period weekly check in – Karen Olds let us know that a parishioner has an extra computer if someone needs one. With the fact that we are streaming services on Sundays and offering small group virtual activities during the week, if you can use one, and need one, please contact Karen.
 
Two Weekly Church Emails – While we are unable to meet in person, I decided to extend the communication emails that we will send out to parishioners each week to two. Thursdays you will receive this “Epistle” which serves as a sort of weekly during-the-pandemic mini newsletter. On Mondays, as happened earlier this week, you will receive a communication with links to the various extracurricular offerings from members of the parish. On Tuesdays I will host a check in and prayer time; Wednesday evenings is a bible study; and Friday at noon is the Noon Daily Office hosted by Deacon Tom.
      All you need to access these offerings are either a link if you are using a computer or a phone number (along with the meeting code) to be connected to the audio version. All of these options will be made available in that Monday communication. We have had parishioners use both ways to enter into these gatherings on the Zoom platform and it is a really nice way of connecting to others.
      If you have something you would like to do with other parishioners online please reach out to me (my cell phone is best) and we will see about setting it up and advertising the same.
 
Pray the Daily Office with a Priest or Deacon! Some do not have the time or ability to enjoy a service online. The beautiful thing about the Daily Office Services (in the Book of Common Prayer) is that they can be done by anyone, alone or in groups. Deacon Tom and I are more than willing to lead the appropriate service (Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer, or Compline) over the telephone with you. Feel free to reach out to either of us so that we can schedule that service (and it will be recorded in our Parish Records).
 
Parish Pledge and Giving – People are often reminded to give/pay their pledge, via worship services on Sunday. Without those in the formal way, some of us need a gentle reminder. The parish office is willing to mail you a Self-Addressed Envelope. All you need to do is write that check, pop it in, place a stamp and send it on its way. The Finance Committee reminded us that with salaries, bills, and more, the church budget relies on these gifts. Please take a moment to make yours as current as possible, and prayerfully consider, from a previous newsletter communication, if you might raise your 2020 pledge. As you can read, we continue to do God’s work together, and sustaining ourselves as a vibrant church is how we accomplish this work.
 
Salvation Army Assistance – As mentioned last week, we have three days per month where we serve food to the guests at the Salvation Army nightly dinners. Do you know that we are the only parish still able to send people to assist? Karen Olds reported to the Vestry that the Salvation Army personnel have instituted save and healthy distancing for the workers and guests into practice. Soon she will find out if they want us to “retire” for the period of the Covid-19 virus, or invite us to assist more often. If you are interested in the latter, please reach out to our Senior Warden, Karen Olds or her husband, Kelly.
 
St. John’s Facebook Page – Right now, this is where we are able to put up news and other information quickly. We also post offerings like the prayer list from last Tuesday so, though you may not have joined us on Zoom for that, you can, on your own time, pray over the same intentions that came forth from us who gathered there.
 
Help with Virtual Worship – Tom and I are in the planning stages, not only for upcoming Sunday services, but for Holy Week ones as well. If you can navigate to Zoom, either via a computer or phone, you can also serve as a reader or intercessor. Deacon Tom and I are happy to take the lead, but we enjoy having other voices, such as Tom’s wife, Hennie, who was our lector last Sunday. If assisting us interests you, please email Tom. Sunday services may be pre-recorded (see next article), but we would love to work with others as we worship God together.
 
Streaming of Worship Services – I will put the most embarrassing article last! Oh, what a wonderful sermon Tom preached last Sunday. The only problem was our streaming to the Facebook page was cut off during my reading of our Gospel! We did not catch that disconnect until the service was concluded. Oops! My favorite response on the parish Facebook Page was “what happened to the blind man!?”
     Thankfully, the difficulty was not on our end. It seems that many other churches had the same Sunday problem. Not wanting to bring to much upon you at once, I do not want to offer yet another page (YouTube) at the moment, but we are looking into how to best do these services so that they are uninterrupted. Learning as I go, I realize that for last Sunday I could have recorded the service, so even though we went offline on Facebook, I could have posted the full service there after we concluded.
     Because it is cost prohibitive for us to stream directly to our website, and because it is too early to train me and you on yet another platform, Tom and I are planning to pre-record our service (on Zoom) for this coming Sunday and post that on the Facebook Page by our 9:30a.m. worship time. All you need to do is go to our Facbook Page and click “play,” and enjoy! Perhaps as people get used to coming to our gatherings on Zoom, we might try holding a worship service there, where 100 screens/phones can join in with us, which we will record and later post on our Facebook Page. Trust me we are not the only clergy learning on the fly, but we hope you enjoy our efforts and experimentation as much as we appreciate offering them to you.
     Keeping a regular routine is a widely offered suggestion during this time that so many of us remain in the same locations. My hope is that our Worship of God together will remain a constant until we are reunited again under our great stained-glass window over the altar!
 
May God continue to keep you and bless you and yours. May you and yours make smart choices, and may God keep us all healthy. Dear friends, you remain in my prayers.
 
Your Brother in Christ Jesus, Fr. Peter
 
 

3/26/2020

March 26, 2020 - Thursday Weekly Epistle from Fr. Peter
 
Dear Friends,
 
Blessings upon you as you receive and read this brief update. During this Covid-19 period of our lives I want to err on communicating often, while not constantly emailing you. This “Epistle” contains updates from the past week and a brief look into next.
 
Generosity bounds Part I – A big shout out to the Wilson family – Greg, Hannah and Holly who joined their mother, Penny (our Parish Administrator) in folding and preparing the April Newsletter for bulk mailing. The teens have also reached out and assisted at least one couple in the parish, and I understand that they are willing to do more. If you need someone to do that shopping run, please phone Penny in the parish office and she will see what can be done. If anyone else (driving teen on up) is willing to do errands in need, let Penny know and she will keep a contact list.
 
Generosity abounds Part II – During our online Vestry pandemic period weekly check in – Karen Olds let us know that a parishioner has an extra computer if someone needs one. With the fact that we are streaming services on Sundays and offering small group virtual activities during the week, if you can use one, and need one, please contact Karen.
 
Two Weekly Church Emails – While we are unable to meet in person, I decided to extend the communication emails that we will send out to parishioners each week to two. Thursdays you will receive this “Epistle” which serves as a sort of weekly during-the-pandemic mini newsletter. On Mondays, as happened earlier this week, you will receive a communication with links to the various extracurricular offerings from members of the parish. On Tuesdays I will host a check in and prayer time; Wednesday evenings is a bible study; and Friday at noon is the Noon Daily Office hosted by Deacon Tom.
 All you need to access these offerings are either a link if you are using a computer or a phone number (along with the meeting code) to be connected to the audio version. All of these options will be made available in that Monday communication. We have had parishioners use both ways to enter into these gatherings on the Zoom platform and it is a really nice way of connecting to others. If you have something you would like to do with other parishioners online please reach out to me (my cell phone is best) and we will see about setting it up and advertising the same. Pray the Daily Office with a Priest or Deacon! Some do not have the time or ability to enjoy a service online. The beautiful thing about the Daily Office Services (in the Book of Common Prayer) is that they can be done by anyone, alone or in groups. Deacon Tom and I are more than willing to lead the appropriate service (Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer, or Compline) over the telephone with you. Feel free to reach out to either of us so that we can schedule that service (and it will be recorded in our Parish Records). Parish Pledge and Giving – People are often reminded to give/pay their pledge, via worship services on Sunday. Without those in the formal way, some of us need a gentle reminder. The parish office is willing to mail you a Self-Addressed Envelope. All you need to do is write that check, pop it in, place a stamp and send it on its way. The Finance Committee reminded us that with salaries, bills, and more, the church budget relies on these gifts. Please take a moment to make yours as current as possible, and prayerfully consider, from a previous newsletter communication, if you might raise your 2020 pledge. As you can read, we continue to do God’s work together, and sustaining ourselves as a vibrant church is how we accomplish this work. Salvation Army Assistance – As mentioned last week, we have three days per month where we serve food to the guests at the Salvation Army nightly dinners. Do you know that we are the only parish still able to send people to assist? Karen Olds reported to the Vestry that the Salvation Army personnel have instituted save and healthy distancing for the workers and guests into practice. Soon she will find out if they want us to “retire” for the period of the Covid-19 virus, or invite us to assist more often. If you are interested in the latter, please reach out to our Senior Warden, Karen Olds or her husband, Kelly. St. John’s Facebook Page – Right now, this is where we are able to put up news and other information quickly. We also post offerings like the prayer list from last Tuesday so, though you may not have joined us on Zoom for that, you can, on your own time, pray over the same intentions that came forth from us who gathered there. Help with Virtual Worship – Tom and I are in the planning stages, not only for upcoming Sunday services, but for Holy Week ones as well. If you can navigate to Zoom, either via a computer or phone, you can also serve as a reader or intercessor. Deacon Tom and I are happy to take the lead, but we enjoy having other voices, such as Tom’s wife, Hennie, who was our lector last Sunday. If assisting us interests you, please email Tom. Sunday services may be pre-recorded (see next article), but we would love to work with others as we worship God together. Streaming of Worship Services – I will put the most embarrassing article last! Oh, what a wonderful sermon Tom preached last Sunday. The only problem was our streaming to the Facebook page was cut off during my reading of our Gospel! We did not catch that disconnect until the service was concluded. Oops! My favorite response on the parish Facebook Page was “what happened to the blind man!?” Thankfully, the difficulty was not on our end. It seems that many other churches had the same Sunday problem. Not wanting to bring to much upon you at once, I do not want to offer yet another page (YouTube) at the moment, but we are looking into how to best do these services so that they are uninterrupted. Learning as I go, I realize that for last Sunday I could have recorded the service, so even though we went offline on Facebook, I could have posted the full service there after we concluded. Because it is cost prohibitive for us to stream directly to our website, and because it is too early to train me and you on yet another platform, Tom and I are planning to pre-record our service (on Zoom) for this coming Sunday and post that on the Facebook Page by our 9:30a.m. worship time. All you need to do is go to our Facbook Page and click “play,” and enjoy! Perhaps as people get used to coming to our gatherings on Zoom, we might try holding a worship service there, where 100 screens/phones can join in with us, which we will record and later post on our Facebook Page. Trust me we are not the only clergy learning on the fly, but we hope you enjoy our efforts and experimentation as much as we appreciate offering them to you. Keeping a regular routine is a widely offered suggestion during this time that so many of us remain in the same locations. My hope is that our Worship of God together will remain a constant until we are reunited again under our great stained-glass window over the altar! May God continue to keep you and bless you and yours. May you and yours make smart choices, and may God keep us all healthy. Dear friends, you remain in my prayers. Your Brother in Christ Jesus, Fr. Peter
 
 

3/23/2020 The Weekly Update

The Week of March 22, 2020
 
Dear Parishioners,
 
Before I share with you the exciting ways in which we can meet together this week I want to let you know what we are doing with our Facebook Page for St. John’s. There were some glitches on Sunday as we streamed worship live, we are preparing for next to go better. What we might do is record the worship service on Zoom ahead of time, and then post that onto our St. John’s Facebook Page. This will help us not to have glitches as one platform speaks to another.
 
Additionally, with the way our parish office works right now – for all parish emails, Penny needs to be at the office and can only send those out ten recipients at a time. It is an archaic way of doing it, which we will fix in the future. For now, please know that our parish Facebook Page is where we can communicate to you quickly, the most up to date information as it becomes available. As we all adjust in little ways during this time, I want to encourage you to looking at “The Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, Lodi, CA” Facebook Page a regular practice.
 
For parish wide information and worship we will use our Facebook Page, and for smaller gatherings, such as we are offering this week you will be given a link to a place called Zoom. You can go life with the host of the event either on your computer or by telephone.
 
For “Zoom,” all you need to do is to click the link or phone the number near the time of the “meeting” and you will be taken there by your phone or computer. See you there, friends!
 
Tuesday March 24 11am – Prayer with Peter (Fr. Peter)
 Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/765544476
Meeting ID: 765 544 476
Dial by your location
+1 253 215 8782 US
+1 301 715 8592 US
Meeting ID: 765 544 476
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- --------
Wednesday March 25 7pm – Bible Study with Derek and Marcia Jones (having a bible with you will be helpful, though not necessary).
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/391010039
Meeting ID: 391 010 039 Dial by your location
+1 301 715 8592 US
+1 253 215 8782 US
Meeting ID: 391 010 039
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- --------
Friday March 27 Noon – Noonday Prayer with Deacon Tom (having a bible and a Book of Common Prayer with you will be helpful, but not necessary)
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/198313504
Meeting ID: 198 313 504
Dial by your location
+1 253 215 8782 US
+1 301 715 8592 US
Meeting ID: 198 313 504
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
 
Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars across mobile, desktop, and room systems. Zoom Rooms is the original software-based conference room solution used around the world in board, confer... Remember, Facebook Page is for our large/corporate gatherings, and Zoom will take you to our smaller, more intimate ones. Please hold each other in prayer, and remember that we are all doing the best we can with what we have. Remain non-anxious if you can, and be kind to one another. In that realm we will experience God’s grace together.
Your Brother in Christ,
Fr. Peter
 
 

3/18/2020 St. John’s Weekly Update During the Pandemic

St. John’s Weekly Update During the Pandemic (from Fr. Peter and Parish Admin, Penny)
 
For now this email will serve as a weekly communication, sent by Thursday afternoon, to keep all lay ministers, and congregants up to date on parish goings on, needs, and services during this time.
 
Dear Friends, Hopefully you saw Bishop Rice’s message from last Tuesday, the 17th of March - (https://www.diosanjoaquin.org/covid-19 ). Per his pastoral directive we are ceasing all public events, meetings, classes, and gatherings, including worship, through Easter Sunday, at least.
 
Tom and I will continue to offer worship services online, and we are already at work creating a virtual Holy Week experience. At the moment online streaming, and video messages take place through our Facebook page “Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, Lodi, CA” (https://www.facebook.com/stjojnslodi/ ), and our Vestry is working on seeing if we can also stream through our website. Until then, know that you do not need to be a Facebook member to access the page, and all you need to do is decline “logging in / signing up” when those windows appear Tom and I are not the only ministers serving at this time. Our Vestry members are meeting with us weekly via an online meeting chat room. Each week that is not our regular monthly meeting, we will check in together and discuss what is before us, pertaining to our parish as we move spiritually through this interesting time. As I am doing now; outcomes from our meetings will be shared as a part of this Thursday Letter.
 
Exercising their Leadership our Vestry members are parsing out our parish phone list and they will be calling parishioners to check in. Remember we are here for each other, if you need a run to the store, or assistance, reach out to that member (or phone me or the church office) and we will see about getting you that help.
 
As to contacting us, Deacon Tom and I want to be sure that you have our cell phone numbers, please make sure that you obtain those from the Vestry person who contacts you. . I am available to you 24/7 and if I can answer, I will.
 
For those who are not at “high risk,” and are willing and able to serve, The Salvation Army needs our help. We serve there on the 2nd Tuesday and Saturday, as well as the 4th Tuesday of each month. If you want to help handing out dinner to their guests, please be in contact with Kelly and Karen Olds (their numbers are in our directory…or phone the church office if you do not have one handy).
 
At the risk of sounding like the late Jerry Lewis on a Telethon, I want to encourage you to keep your pledge coming to the parish. We are still doing work, providing services, creating newsletters, and the bills – water, electric, grounds – still come! Many parishioners remember their gift to God through the parish when they attend worship in person. Since we will worship and meet differently for a time, my hope is that you will develop a different giving reminder so that your church can continue to function, and be in good health when we return to celebrate before God, in person, together. In the meantime, your Vestry and Finance Committee are researching ways to provide an easy online way to make direct and easy donations from your bank or bank card.
 
Most importantly, as we move forward my advice to you as a pastor is to be careful, be kind, and be helpful. Careful: Make smart choices for yourself always. If you are in a high-risk category or not feeling well, stay safe. Kind: Know that we are all doing our best. If our worship service streaming, or parish communications, go awry, or you are left off a list, or things outside of our parish do not go as well as you would like, make room for grace ,and know that people are doing the best they can with what resources they have. Helpful: You might follow the example of the Vestry, and reach out by telephone to a fellow parishioner or two per day, just to say “hello,” and see how they are doing. Feel free to pass along any pastoral concerns to me.
 
Finally, we must never separate ourselves from God, whom it is we follow. Our Deacon authored a prayer that is getting some positive attention. We used this for the Prayers of the People at our first streaming service last Sunday, and I hope that you will adopt it as a daily prayer during this time:
 
Prayer in a time of Pandemic
Loving God, throughout the Scriptures you call us to “Fear not!”, but these are troubling times for the hardiest souls. Give us courage to face the challenges of this new threat to your human family. Give us prudence, to do the necessary things to protect ourselves and others. Give us the clarity of vision to learn from this disease the lesson we are too prone to forget, that we are all connected, regardless of race or nationality or political persuasion. We pray for those who are struggling with this disease, that their health may be restored. We pray for medical personnel and first responders caring for those in need, that they remain healthy and unflagging in their life-saving work. And we pray for all those economically impacted, that they may find the resources to maintain themselves and their families. We ask all this, trusting in your abiding love, a love that even death cannot defeat. Amen.
 
Your Brother in Christ, Fr. Peter
 
 

11/10/2019 Monthly Pancake Breakfast


11/4/2019 Chapel Jam Update

Chapel Jam for the youth of St. John's is off and strumming.  The chapel space was set for making music with a line-up of guitars, amplifiers, ukuleles, xylophones, and  rhythm instruments.  The next scheduled Chapel Jam for Youth is scheduled for Sunday, November 10.It will be held in the Historical Chapel from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.
 
Join us Sunday, November 10th at 6:00 p.m.  All are welcome!
 

10/13/2019 Welcome Father Peter

We welcomed Father Peter and his family today at service.  It was a wonderful service and sermon.  After the service we celebrated with a pancake breakfast; thank you to the hospitality committee for preparing a wonderful meal!
We are all blessed! 

9/20/2019 St John's welcomes The Rev. Peter Ackerman

The Reverend Peter K. Ackerman was born in Southern California, where he lived in the San Fernando Valley section of Greater Los Angeles. A life-long Episcopalian, he was born on Easter Day almost literally inside the All Saints Episcopal sanctuary, where his mother, as an adult, had been baptized just hours before.
 
As the sons of television executive producer Harry Ackerman and classic television actress Elinor Donahue, Peter and his three brothers grew up immersed in the television industry. It was only natural that as an adult, Peter was initially drawn to work in the entertainment industry, first as an actor and later in the administrative end of television production.

It was during that period of his life that Peter met and married his wife of 32 years, Marie, who hails from Stockton, CA. They have two adult children: Amy, who resides and works in Chicago, and Harry, who lives with them.

In the 1990’s, despite working as the assistant to the line producer on a number-one program, Peter felt unfulfilled vocationally. After some focused prayer, he found that God began opening doors. Not long after his realization, he began working in a commercial real estate office. His less-taxing work schedule afforded him the time to say “yes” when his parish, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Studio City, invited him to become a part-time youth leader. That position led to Peter leaving real estate entirely to become the church’s full-time parish administrator.

Over time, the St. Michael and All Angels clergy, youth members, and adult parishioners began seeing a sense of call in Peter, to which Peter responded by entering into a formal discernment process. Once it was determined that Peter would be going to seminary, his bishop at the time insisted that he and his family leave the familiar life of the San Fernando Valley and attend Virginia Theological Seminary. With the bishop providing financial help for their move, the Ackerman family acquiesced, and relocated to northern Virginia, near Washington, DC. Peter graduated seminary and was ordained in 2007, at which point a local parish in Alexandria, Virginia wanted to hire him as their Associate Rector. With permission from his home diocese, he accepted this call, which eventually led him to formally becoming a priest in the Diocese of Virginia. In 2011 he was then called as rector of St. Christopher’s Church in the nearby town of Springfield, Virginia. After serving with St. Christopher’s for over eight years, Peter and his family are delighted to return to their home state of California and settle into life in Lodi at St. John the Baptist Church.    

For recreation both Peter and Marie love National Park hiking. Additionally, Marie is a sommelier and hopes to put her wine expertise to use in the wine country which they love to explore. Peter and his son enjoy discovering used bookstores; Peter is a collector of vintage “movie tie-in books” and pulp novels, while Harry immerses himself in history. The entire family loves old movies and, of course, classic television. At the request of a literary agent, Peter is currently at work on a book about what it was like growing up in a family so intimately involved with classic television. Peter and his family are delighted to become a part of the Diocese of San Joaquin and members at St. John’s, Lodi.