What's Happening at St.  John's
5/26/2020 Monday Message May 25, 2020

Monday Message May 25, 2020
(Send on Tuesday 5/26 due to the holiday)

Save the Day and Time – Next week we will begin an ongoing series of classes on Tuesday mornings at 10:30a.m. via Zoom. Information will be in our Epistle. The first offering begins on June 2nd.

Wednesday May 20, 2020 7:00 p.m. – Bible Study with Derek Jones – Hosted by parishioner Derek Jones, his bible study always enjoys a nice level of patriation. This is a study that you are welcome to attend once, sometimes, or regularly…your choice! The Zoom Meeting information is below:

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
+1 253 215 8782 US
+1 301 715 8592 US
Meeting ID: 373 320 998
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ _


Thursday May 21st – Fr. Peter’s “Epistle” – This is e-mailed (and mailed) weekly to the congregation, as long as we are sequestered in place. The purposes of this is to share what the leadership discusses each week, what surprises we find, and whatever else you might wish to share publicly with one another. Fr. Peter is happy to accept any news or article for inclusion into his Epistle.

Friday May 29th– NOONDAY PRAYER on Our Facebook Page (Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, Lodi CA). You need nothing more than to go to our page (you do not even need a sign-up account). This service is relatively brief, so if you log on a little after twelve, it will remain on the page for you to engage with the rest of the day.

Sunday Morning Prayer Worship May 31st at 9:30 a.m. (Pentecost Readings)–followed by our Virtual Coffee Hour) – Fr. Peter and Deacon Tom will be joined by others in presenting a service from the Daily Office as part of our Sunday Morning Worship. This service will be found streaming on our Facebook and YouTube pages (more information will be provided in the Thursday Epistle). If you want to be included as a reader or intercessor in one of our Sunday worship opportunities please reach out to Deacon Tom who is currently scheduling parishioners for those roles. Do not forget to look for the link/dial in information for the Zoom Coffee Hour which immediately follows the service.

Grace and Peace to You This Week!

Fr. Peter

5/21/2020

May 21, 2020 Thursday Weekly Epistle from Fr. Peter

Reminder: the office will be closed Monday, May 25
in observance of Memorial Day

Dear Friends,

Congratulations to Matthew Kafton, Hannah Wilson, Ethan Bronson, and Annabelle Bunn (granddaughter of Dee Mayfield, daughter of Dottie Hernandez)! These are members from our parish who are graduating high school this week. We will hold them up in prayer this Sunday, and Deacon Tom and I will invite them to join together to help us lead a virtual Sunday Service soon.

Feel free to send these young people cards of congratulations, while we work on other ways to help celebrate this milestone for these parish members.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Peter
__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __

What we are up to at St. John’s this week…

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!!!!: Friday Noonday Prayer – This and every Friday one of our clergy, or a lay person, will preside over the brief Noonday Prayer service from the Book of Common Prayer. If you do not have a BCP you may go online here to access the Noonday Prayer Section: https://www.bcponline.org/DailyOffice/noonday.html THIS WEEK: Join in via our Facebook Page. This way if you show up a little later you can still engage in our worship.

Sunday Worship – Continuing on Sunday will be our Virtual Worship: Morning Prayer at 9:30a.m. The video stream will remain on Facebook and our YouTube Page.
(DOWNLOAD THE WORSHIP BULLETIN: AN ATTACHMENT WAS SENT WITH THIS EMAIL (which contains the draft version of Sunday’s bulletin). ADDITIONALLY YOU MAY DOWNLOAD IT FROM OUR WEBSITE “STJOHNSOFLODI.ORG” AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.). Looking Ahead: Beginning in June, once per month we will acknowledge our connection to our larger diocese by worshipping with our Cathedral. On the first Sunday in June is when we will do this next, because Fr. Peter is preaching that day!

Sunday Memorials/Thanksgivings/Celebrations FOR May 24th – Today’s VIRTUAL Altar Flowers are given to the glory of God by: Roxy and Steve Woodard in honor of their wedding anniversary, May 27; Frank Pegg in loving memory of his wife, Joyce for her birthday, May 27; Dick and Janie Williams in loving memory of her mother, Maxine Christesen for her birthday on May 28.

Sunday Virtual Coffee Hour! – This continues to serve as a nice way for us to gather together and enjoy some post service conversation.

This begins between 10:00a.m and 10:15a.m. after the first available viewing of the Virtual Services. Join COFFEE HOUR ON Zoom via….

Computer: https://zoom.us/j/93073195951?pwd=NTZLYm5WRDIwVHltb2pEdzU1OE5kUT09

Meeting ID: 930 7319 5951
Password: 1055

One tap mobile
+16699006833,,93073195951#,,#,1055# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,93073195951#,,#,1055# US (Houston)

Telephone:
+1 301 715 8592 US
+1 253 215 8782 US
Meeting ID: 930 7319 5951
Password: 1055

Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r


Helping Marginalized Lodians – Our fellow parishioner, Cheryl Nix, along with Vestry person Pat Fehling have identified some local citizens who, due to circumstances and the loss of income from the virus, can use meals, and/or groceries. With the Vestry’s approval Cheryl is spearheading this kind of help. Many good souls have stepped up to volunteer, and we can use three more households willing to cook. As you decide if you are called to this ministry please, be mindful of the virus. Social distancing must be practiced, as well as mask wearing, etc. If you are at risk, it is better to remain at home. Please use your directory or phone the Church Office, and contact Cheryl to see if there is a way that you can help.

Great Plates Senior Meal Program: During the COVID-19 crisis, Lodi area restaurants are helping, through volunteers by delivering three meals per day to qualifying seniors (age 65 and above, as well as certain ages for those affected directly by the COVID-19 Virus). If you want more information and/or to apply to benefit from this ministry, please reach out to the LOEL Senior Center by calling 209-369-1591.

Graduates Wanted! We will soon be incorporating our High School Graduates into one of our Digital Services (and…in person whenever we return). Fr. Peter knows of four of our young people who graduated recently. If there are others, let him know soon so that he can incorporate them into our special Sunday Service celebration(s).

Sign Refurbishment! – With the direction and approval of the Vestry, some lovely souls (to be named in a future edition of the Epistle, along with some pictures) have stepped up to take care of the repainting of the sign and outer lettering so that it becomes “fresh” and “pops” better when people drive by. Though this work may take place while the sign is up, there may be occasion where it temporarily either comes down or is covered. The parish leadership wanted to let you know about this in progress sign servicing so that you do not worry if you see it (or don’t see it) while in the process of restoration .

Virtual Youth Group – Our next Virtual (likely) Youth Group will be held on Sunday June 14th at 5:00 p.m. Joey S. and Barbara K. will welcome and lead the young people (junior high through college age) in a general check in, and plan future gatherings. Fr. Peter will enter into the chat about midway through the hour meeting for the young people’s opportunity to “stump the rector.” Most likely this meeting will be a virtual via Zoom (the link will be sent out the week of the meeting). If, however, the diocese and the state relax any of the guidelines we may consider a socially distanced / in-person gathering.


This Week We Say “Thank You” To: Karla Franck. Karla is a parishioner who occasionally sings in our choir. As we are also to be “doers” in our faith, Karla expresses that well by nurturing God’s creation, something that she has done through our Garden Guild. Since the lock down she has been watering and/or planting here on the property every other day. Karla exemplifies the spirit of our parish. You are encouraged to say “thank you” to Karla when we meet together again, or send her a note, or make a call. When you see or hear of someone in our community to be thanked, please feel free to send me the information! We are, St. John’s, Lodi strong! Thank you to Karla Franck for serving as a representative member of our community.

Church Treasurer Wanted! - Our current volunteer Treasurer, Dee, was only helping for a few months. Alas, COVID-19 restrictions mean that the person who was planning to step up to take this position can no longer do so. Dee is a trooper, but she is also retired, and volunteering elsewhere. If you might be interested in learning more about this vital volunteer church position, please contact Fr. Peter, Dee Mayfield, or Karen Olds our Senior Warden to discuss learning more.

Online Christian Formation Offerings - Fr. Peter and Deacon Tom are finalizing their ideas. Beginning in June, on Tuesday mornings, one of them will offer an online class that you can either drop in on or take as a completion of the Confirmation course. We will hold the session live on Zoom, but record it for later viewing on our Facebook Page. Fr. Peter will begin the series with a four-week dive into the treasurers within the Book of Common Prayer, and Deacon Tom will pick up with a look at Church Polity, Structure, and Relationships, for a few sessions. After that, Fr. Peter will pick up with a bible study working, over a number of weeks through a particular book of the Bible. All of this begins one week from Tuesday (first Tuesday in June) with the morning time to be determined. Stay tuned!

Alarm Reset In Our Future: Codes Not On File With Church Office Will Be Deleted – If you have access to St. John’s via a key, and alarm code assigned to you, please know that in the next month or so we are doing a reset of all of the alarms. If Penny has asked you for your code (for our records) and you have confirmed it with her, you are fine. If you have not, then your code cannot be re-entered, leaving you unable to disable the alarm. If you are not sure that your code is entered in her book (or confirmed) please give her a call and make sure that she has your information. Thank you for keeping us up to date, and safe!

A Class Available to Those Interested – Parishioner Suzanne Kasich invites from our parish who is interested to join people from other churches to a 4-week Zoom class with Fr. Tom Bonacci (a Roman Catholic-yet progressive and outspoken-priest). The class will take place on the four Wednesdays in June (3, 10, 17, 24) from 10:30a.m.-11:30a.m. Pacific Time (or later if there is discussion/questions/comments). The topic will be The Spirituality of the Neighborhood, based on the Gospel of Matthew. According to Suzanne: “This seems like a timely topic as we are encouraged to redefine our idea of neighborhood during this pandemic. Is it the immediate vicinity, the country, or the world in which I live?”

Masks Available; Freewill Offering Encouraged! - Barbara Warburton continues to occasionally create masks to help fight off the virus. These coverings are available in different sizes in the Church Office. She invites those who take a mask to make a freewill offering to the parish. At our May 2020 meeting, the Vestry voted that the contributions collected will be equally distributed to the Rector’s, and Deacon’s Discretionary Funds, in the hopes that your gift will extend Barbara Warburton’s generosity and continue to help those in need. If you want a mask to assist you in the distancing protection invited by our elected leaders, please phone the Church Office during the week, and Penny can arrange for you to stop by to obtain one, or have a volunteer deliver it to you.


Updated 2020 Tax Laws Increase Charitable Giving Benefits to the Giver: (From Karen Olds, Senior Warden): The CARES Act passed by Congress on March 27, 2020, contains several provisions designed to encourage charitable giving. Beginning with your 2020 tax return, individuals who do not itemize will be allowed to deduct cash donations to charity of up to $300. For taxpayers who do itemize, cash contributions to charity of up to 100% of their income may be taken.

This legislation eliminates the “required minimum distribution”, RMD, from many retirement plans in 2020. Previously, taxpayers have used their “required minimum distribution” for tax advantaged charitable gifts by making a “qualified charitable distribution”, QCD, directly to a charity. The CARES Act allows taxpayers 70 ½ years or older to contribute up to $100,000.00 directly to charity from their retirement account without paying tax on the distribution.

These provisions are only in place for 2020, they may or may not be extended by Congress.

Remember: Parishioners Must Be On Church Calendar to Use Buildings/Rooms - Especially in this time of Covid-19, when a parishioner wants to use a portion of this property for Bible Study, Meditation, etc. and especially when they invite others, they put not only themselves, but the parish at risk for a lawsuit, especially if a guest becomes injured or ill because of the gathering. This is one of the reasons why all uses of church property need to be on the Church Calendar. Please phone Fr. Peter at his cell phone if you want to discuss this further, and contact Penny in the Church Office if you wish to schedule use. Note: During this time of Covid-19 we are limiting the use of our buildings.

Pray the Daily Office with a Priest or Deacon! - Deacon Tom and Fr. Peter are available to not only chat, and/or pray over the phone, or on Zoom, but also to pray one of the Daily Offices. If you want some concentrated prayer time, please reach out to one of them and schedule the service.

Help with Virtual Worship –If you want to be involved and help to lead, or read at our pre-recorded Sunday Worship services, please contact Deacon Tom. More voices (and faces) help us to truly represent the larger body of Christ.

5/18/2020 Monday Message May 18, 2020

Monday Message May 18, 2020

Dear Friends,
 
      In last Thursday’s Weekly Epistle, I let you know about some upcoming “course” ideas that are in the conversation phase right now. What will help is my hearing from you, about what you are willing to engage in with, as well as what day of the week/time of the day, if you could choose. We want as much participation as possible in our continuing the Confirmation Course, a Deeper Delve into The Book of Common Prayer, A Weekly Study Through One Book of the Bible, etc.
      Your help in guiding Deacon Tom and I towards “interest” and “availability” is appreciated. The easy way to communicate your thoughts is to simply send me an email – rectorpete@gmail.com In advance, thank you!
      And now, below are the ways this week that we continue to be “church” – a people under God, gathering together!

Wednesday May 20, 2020 7:00 p.m. – Bible Study with Derek Jones – Derek always has a nice gathering of people as they study scripture from the Eucharistic Lectionary for each week. This is a study that you are welcome to attend once, sometimes, or regularly…your choice! The Zoom Meeting information is below:

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
+1 253 215 8782 US
+1 301 715 8592 US
Meeting ID: 373 320 998
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ _________
 
Thursday May 21st – Fr. Peter’s “Epistle” – This is e-mailed (and mailed) weekly to the congregation, as long as we are sequestered in place. The purposes of this is to share what the leadership discusses each week, what surprises we find, and whatever else you might wish to share publicly with one another. Fr. Peter is happy to accept any news or article for inclusion into his Epistle.

Friday May 22nd – NOONDAY PRAYER on Our Facebook Page (Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, Lodi CA). You need nothing more than to go to our page (you do not even need a sign-up account). This service is relatively brief, so if you log on a little after twelve, it will remain on the page for you to engage with the rest of the day.

Sunday Morning Prayer Worship May 24th at 9:30 a.m. (Ascension Sunday Readings)– PREACHER: Deacon Tom, (followed by our Virtual Coffee Hour) – Fr. Peter and Deacon Tom will be joined by others in presenting a service from the Daily Office as part of our Sunday Morning Worship. This service will be found streaming on our Facebook and YouTube pages (more information will be provided in the Thursday Epistle). If you want to be included as a reader or intercessor in one of our Sunday worship opportunities please reach out to Deacon Tom who is currently scheduling parishioners for those roles. Do not forget to look for the link/dial in information for the Zoom Coffee Hour which immediately follows the service.

Grace and Peace to You This Week!         Fr. Peter

5/14/2020 Thursday Weekly Epistle from Fr. Peter

May 14, 2020 Thursday Weekly Epistle from Fr. Peter

Dear Friends,

Earlier this week, I had a nice conversation with a few of our number who joined me for a discussion about “what me like more of” as a virtual church, as well as a parish when we get back together. If you want to be in a discussion let me know, and I will put together a time on Zoom that works for us and others as they come to share. Based on the discussion this week I know that we are bringing back Friday Noonday Prayer (Zoom, possibly streamed to our Facebook page), we may continue with our Confirmation Prep course, enjoy a way to have some small group “chat about everything and nothing” sessions, small group opportunities for new members to get to know longer time members better, a regular weekly study on one book of the bible, and more! Some of these ideas are fleshed out in the announcements below!

Yours in Christ, Fr. Peter

p.s. Remember when I refer to Facebook or YouTube I am directing you to our “page” on each (Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, Lodi, CA).
---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ------
 
What we are up to at St. John’s this week…

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!!!!: Friday Noonday Prayer – This and every Friday one of our clergy, or a lay person, will preside over the brief Noonday Prayer service from the Book of Common Prayer. If you do not have a BCP you may go online here to access the Noonday Prayer Section: https://www.bcponline.org/DailyOffice/noonday.html You may join in by our Zoom Link (computer or phone in) here….

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85791236064?pwd=SktwRmtIb2doSkpLZzdGd2xIYVNiQT09

Meeting ID: 857 9123 6064
Password: 1055

One tap mobile
+16699006833,,85791236064#,,1#,1055# US (San Jose)
+12532158782,,85791236064#,,1#,1055# US (Tacoma)

Dial by your location
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 857 9123 6064
Password: 1055
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdyl1r3vUi
__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ _
 
Sunday Worship – Continuing on Sunday will be our Virtual Worship: Morning Prayer at 9:30a.m. The video stream will remain on Facebook and our YouTube Page.
(DOWNLOAD THE WORSHIP BULLETIN: AN ATTACHMENT WAS SENT WITH THIS EMAIL (which contains the draft version of Sunday’s bulletin). ADDITIONALLY YOU MAY DOWNLOAD IT FROM OUR WEBSITE “STJOHNSOFLODI.ORG” AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.)

Sunday Memorials/Thanksgivings/Celebrations FOR May 17th – Today’s VIRTUAL Altar Flowers are given to the glory of God by: Patricia Fehling in loving memory of her mother, Lenora Lambert.

Sunday Virtual Coffee Hour! – This continues to serve as a nice way for us to gather together and enjoy some post service conversation.

This begins between 10:00a.m and 10:15a.m. after the first available viewing of the Virtual Services. Join COFFEE HOUR ON Zoom via….

Computer: https://zoom.us/j/93073195951?pwd=NTZLYm5WRDIwVHltb2pEdzU1OE5kUT09

Meeting ID: 930 7319 5951
Password: 1055


One tap mobile
+16699006833,,93073195951#,,#,1055# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,93073195951#,,#,1055# US (Houston)

Telephone:
+1 301 715 8592 US
+1 253 215 8782 US
Meeting ID: 930 7319 5951
Password: 1055

Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________

Helping Marginalized Lodians – Our fellow parishioner, Cheryl Nix, along with Vestry person Pat Fehling have identified some local citizens who, due to circumstances and the loss of income from the virus, can use meals, and/or groceries. With the Vestry’s approval Cheryl is spearheading this kind of help. Many good souls have stepped up to volunteer, and we can use three more households willing to cook. As you decide if you are called to this ministry please, be mindful of the virus. Social distancing must be practiced, as well as mask wearing, etc. If you are at risk, it is better to remain at home. Please use your directory or phone the Church Office, and contact Cheryl to see if there is a way that you can help.

Virtual Youth Group – We (Barbara, Joey, Youth and Young Adults – Jr. High through College) will meet THIS SUNDAY on May 17th at 5:00pm on Zoom. We will send out a link nearer to our gathering time. There will be some “typical” conversation and check in during the first half hour, and then I will join for some “stump the rector” questions.

Updated 2020 Tax Laws Increase Charitable Giving Benefits to the Giver: (From Karen Olds, Senior Warden): The CARES Act passed by Congress on March 27, 2020, contains several provisions designed to encourage charitable giving. Beginning with your 2020 tax return, individuals who do not itemize will be allowed to deduct cash donations to charity of up to $300. For taxpayers who do itemize, cash contributions to charity of up to 100% of their income may be taken.

This legislation eliminates the “required minimum distribution”, RMD, from many retirement plans in 2020. Previously, taxpayers have used their “required minimum distribution” for tax advantaged charitable gifts by making a “qualified charitable distribution”, QCD, directly to a charity. The CARES Act allows taxpayers 70 ½ years or older to contribute up to $100,000.00 directly to charity from their retirement account
without paying tax on the distribution.


These provisions are only in place for 2020, they may or may not be extended by Congress.

Small Digital Group Chat? – Would you like to meet with a small group of parishioners just to have a chat about whatever comes up? Please contact Penny in the church office. She will collect the names of those interested and work with Fr. Peter about setting up a Digital space (on Zoom) with links, etc. for them to meet.

Biblical Book Study: Fr. Peter will soon begin a study that will take us, over multiple weeks, through one of the books of the bible. Watch this space for more information! send Fr. Peter an email. He will try to get people together and set up a time for them to meet together on Zoom.

Interest In An Online Class With Fr. Tom Bonacci?: Parishioner Suzanne Kasich wants to find out who might be interested in joining her and virtually attending a weekly class moderated by Fr. Bonacci who has taught interesting courses I the past here at St. John’s. If this sounds like something you want to be a part of, please contact Suzanne from her number in the directory.

IMPORTANT: Parishioners Must Be On Church Calendar to Use Buildings/Rooms: Especially in this time of Covid-19, when a parishioner wants to use a portion of this property for Bible Study, Meditation, etc. and especially when they invite others, they put not only themselves, but the parish at risk for a lawsuit, especially if a guest becomes injured or ill because of the gathering. This is one of the reasons why all uses of church property need to be on the Church Calendar. Please phone Fr. Peter at his cell phone if you want to discuss this further, and contact Penny in the Church Office if you wish to schedule use. Note: During this time of Covid-19 we are limiting the use of our buildings.

Weekly Highlight of a Parishioner (Person/Couple/Family) – One aspect about parish life that we are missing right now is getting to know one another better. We become familiar voices, and faces, but gone are opportunities for us to hear our stories. Stay tuned, a newer parishioner, Charlene Martin (you may have met her, her husband Pete, and Pete’s son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter) will reach out to someone every week or so and do a write up/bio for this Epistle. Her idea is just another way in which we can remain connected and get to know one another better.

Masks Available; Freewill Offering Encouraged! Barbara Warburton continues to occasionally create masks to help fight off the virus. These coverings are available in different sizes in the Church Office. She invites those who take a mask to make a freewill offering to the parish. At our May 2020 meeting, the Vestry voted that the contributions collected will be equally distributed to the Rector’s, and Deacon’s Discretionary Funds, in the hopes that your gift will extend Barbara W.’s generosity and continue to help those in need. If you want a mask to assist you in the distancing protection invited by our elected leaders, please phone the Church Office during the week, and Penny can arrange for you to stop by to obtain one, or have a volunteer deliver it to you.
 
Pray the Daily Office with a Priest or Deacon! Deacon Tom and Fr. Peter are available to not only chat, and/or pray over the phone, or on Zoom, but also to pray one of the Daily Offices. If you want some concentrated prayer time, please reach out to one of them and schedule the service.

Help with Virtual Worship –If you want to be involved and help to lead, or read at our pre-recorded Sunday Worship services, please contact Deacon Tom. More voices (and faces) help us to truly represent the larger body of Christ.

5/11/2020 Monday Message May 11, 2020

Monday Message May 11, 2020


Dear Friends,

A couple of quick announcements….

1. Casual and Inquisitive Conversation #1: Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. You are invited to an online conversation on Tuesday. As we rest easy into the unknown about when we will return to public worship together, Deacon Tom and I want to know what you want to experience in the meantime through your Digital Church. In addition to the Wednesday evening bible study, what would interest you? A book group, religious course, additional worship services? This will not be our Q & A opportunity, but my hope is that it will begin the conversation so that your clergy and parish can continue to serve you during this time.

2. Updated 2020 Tax Laws Increase Charitable Giving Benefits to the Giver: (From Karen Olds, Senior Warden): The CARES Act passed by Congress on March 27, 2020, contains several provisions designed to encourage charitable giving. Beginning with your 2020 tax return, individuals who do not itemize will be allowed to deduct cash donations to charity of up to $300. For taxpayers who do itemize, cash contributions to charity of up to 100% of their income may be taken.

This legislation eliminates the “required minimum distribution”, RMD, from many
retirement plans in 2020
. Previously, taxpayers have used their “required minimum
distribution” for tax advantaged charitable gifts by making a “qualified charitable
distribution”, QCD, directly to a charity. The CARES Act allows taxpayers 70 ½ years or
older to contribute up to $100,000.00 directly to charity from their retirement account
without paying tax on the distribution.


These provisions are only in place for 2020, they may or may not be extended by Congress.

Fr. Peter


This Week’s Ways to Stay Connected Together….

Tuesday May 12, 2020 , 11:00 a.m. - Casual Check In, and Chat – What More Do You Want from Digital Church?

Computer Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/91062521631?pwd=bUYyRGNEdE9zMVV3MUpaNlU5VVRiQT09

Meeting ID: 910 6252 1631
Password: 1055

One tap mobile
+16699006833,,91062521631#,,1#,1055# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,91062521631#,,1#,1055# US (Houston)
Dial by your location
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 910 6252 1631
Password: 1055
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/keyiYNOGAu
__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ ____

Wednesday May 13, 2020 7:00 p.m. – Bible Study with Derek Jones – Derek always has a nice gathering of people as they study scripture from the Eucharistic Lectionary for each week. This is a study that you are welcome to attend once, sometimes, or regularly…your choice! The Zoom Meeting information is below:

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
+1 253 215 8782 US
+1 301 715 8592 US
Meeting ID: 373 320 998
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ _

Thursday May 7th – Fr. Peter’s “Epistle” – This is e-mailed (and mailed) weekly to the congregation, as long as we are sequestered in place. The purposes of this is to share what the leadership discusses each week, what surprises we find, and whatever else you might wish to share publicly with one another. Fr. Peter is happy to accept any news or article for inclusion into his Epistle.

Sunday Morning Prayer Worship May 17th at 9:30 a.m. – GUEST PREACHER: JoEllen Fortenberry Ford, (followed by our Virtual Coffee Hour) – Fr. Peter and Deacon Tom will be joined by others in presenting a service from the Daily Office as part of our Sunday Morning Worship. This service will be found streaming on our Facebook and YouTube pages (more information will be provided in the Thursday Epistle). If you want to be included as a reader or intercessor in one of our Sunday worship opportunities please reach out to Deacon Tom who is currently scheduling parishioners for those roles. Do not forget to look for the link/dial in information for the Zoom Coffee Hour which immediately follows the service.


5/7/2020 May 7, 2020 Thursday Weekly Epistle

May 7, 2020 Thursday Weekly Epistle from Fr. Peter

Dear Friends,

      This Sunday is Mother’s Day! If you are a mother (natural or adoptive), and especially if you have a mother, we want to commend those who have been meaningful as maternal figures in our lives. Of course we will do this through prayer on our Sunday Virtual Service (on Facebook and YouTube). We have also asked that people who join us in the Zoom Room Coffee Hour to be prepared with a story about a mother (or maternal figure) whom they honor, accompanied by some symbol; a picture, or a flower.
      Many of us are finding Zoom easier to navigate. To attend the Sunday coffee hour, simply this message/email up on your computer and either click on the link (or cut and paste into your browser) and it will take you where you need to go. For telephones, just try one of the numbers listed. For either choice you will need the nine-digit meeting number and four-digit pin listed below (as part of the message in this Epistle).
      Almost 20 of us joined together last Sunday and we shared either our favorite books, or ones that we are reading, and this Sunday it will be all about the mom’s, and mother figures.

Bless Them Who Have Blessed Us!      Fr. Peter
__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ ________

What we are up to at St. John’s this week…

Sunday Worship – Continuing on Sunday will be our Virtual Worship: Morning Prayer at 9:30a.m. The video stream will remain on Facebook and our in-progress YouTube Page. You can watch this on our “Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, Lodi, CA” Facebook Page or on our under-construction YouTube Page found here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpv5HtNycAN2p581oKJc5IQ?view_as=subscriber
(DOWNLOAD THE WORSHIP BULLETIN: AN ATTACHEMENT WAS SENT WITH THIS EMAIL (which contains the draft version of Sunday’s bulletin). ADDITIONALLY YOU MAY DOWNLOAD IT FROM OUR WEBSITE “STJOHNSOFLODI.ORG” AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.)

Sunday Memorials/Thanksgivings/Celebrations FOR May 10th – Today’s VIRTUAL Altar Flowers are given to the glory of God by:
Jim and Anne Reeve in loving memory of their son, John for his birthday, May 7 and Jim’s father, Roger Reeve for his birthday, May 22.
From the Parish in Thanksgiving for Blessings received through our mothers (birth and adopted) as we celebrate Mothers’ Day.


Sunday Virtual Coffee Hour! – Bring a story, and a photo, flower, or some other memento that reminds you of your mother (birth or adopted), or a positive maternal figure in your life to share – if you want to do so.
This begins between 10:00a.m and 10:15a.m. after the first available viewing of the Virtual Services. Join Zoom Meeting via….

Computer: https://zoom.us/j/93073195951?pwd=NTZLYm5WRDIwVHltb2pEdzU1OE5kUT09

Meeting ID: 930 7319 5951
Password: 1055


One tap mobile
+16699006833,,93073195951#,,#,1055# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,93073195951#,,#,1055# US (Houston)

Telephone:
+1 301 715 8592 US
+1 253 215 8782 US
Meeting ID: 930 7319 5951
Password: 1055

Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r

Helping Marginalized Lodians – Our fellow parishioner, Cheryl Nix, along with Vestry person Pat Fehling have identified some local citizens who, due to circumstances and the loss of income from the virus, can use meals, and/or groceries. With the Vestry’s approval Cheryl is spearheading this kind of help. Please, as always, be mindful of the virus. Social distancing must be practiced, as well as mask wearing, etc. If you are at risk, it is better to remain at home. Please use your directory or phone the Church Office, and contact Cheryl to see if there is a way that you can help.

National Prayer Day – Today (Thursday May 7th) is that day! People of faith from all over are invited to spend some dedicated time in prayer. Your Vestry encourages all who can, to do so at 10:00a.m. Prayer can be silent; we can ask God to alleviate the health crisis in the world, and so much more. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer, which you might hear about in a sermon one day. Please, as you read this epistle, mark an hour in your calendar for this important immersion with us and God.

Virtual Youth Group – We (Barbara, Joey, Youth and Young Adults – Jr. High through College, and me) will meet again on May 17th at 5:00pm on Zoom. We will send out a link nearer to our gathering time. There will be some “typical” conversation and check in during the first half hour, and then I will join for some “stump the rector” questions.

Masks Available; Freewill Offering Encouraged! Barbara Warburton has created more health masks which are available in the Church Office. She hopes that people who pick up any will consider making a freewill offering to the parish in some way, in gratefulness for her providing these to us. If you want a mask to assist you in the distancing protection invited by our elected leaders, please phone the Church Office during the week, and Penny can arrange for you to stop by to obtain one, or have a volunteer deliver it to you.

Pray the Daily Office with a Priest or Deacon! Deacon Tom and Fr. Peter are available to not only chat, and/or pray over the phone, or on Zoom, but also to pray one of the Daily Offices. If you want some concentrated prayer time, please reach out to one of them and schedule the service.

Help with Virtual Worship –If you want to be involved and help to lead, or read at our pre-recorded Sunday Worship services, please contact Deacon Tom. More voices (and faces) help us to truly represent the larger body of Christ.

5/4/2020 Monday Message May 4, 2020

Monday Message May 4, 2020

Dear Friends,

Over the next week or so, stay tuned for updates regarding the timeline of our gathering together again. It increasingly appears that we will not gather in person for worship on May 31st. What I love about The Episcopal Church and our Diocese of EDSJ is the care that they are taking to develop recommendations to guide us towards when to “open” again. I do hope that you were able to listen to my sermon yesterday, the summary of which is for us to look for God in those times that are uncomfortable, imperfect, and unfamiliar.
Have faith and know that we will gather together in person again. In the meantime, I hope that you are as proud as I am to be an Episcopalian; a faith member who loves God, and loves our fellow human, and a faith that encourages us to engage in safe practices so that we can love our neighbor.
So, as this week moves forward, look for God, embrace the love, and know that ever time to place a mask on your face, remain home instead of going out, that you are living love; and that is one of the many wonderful opportunities where we can share the Body of Christ with our fellow citizens.

Fr. Peter

Security Note: Since it is beginning to happen to local clergy – please BEWARE of emails, or texts from people who pretend to me your clergy. These communications often detail how the clergy person is busy and cannot be disturbed but needs you to shop for gift cards and provide them with the PIN numbers via email or text as soon as possible. DO NOT BE FOOLED. BE SUSPICIOUS. Here are some steps to take if someone reached out to you.
1. Check the number or email. Is it what is listed in the directory? If not, it is probably one of these con men/women.
2. Does the request have either me/Deacon Tom busy doing ministry/unavailable/but still willing to interact with you via the digital way?
3. Phone us! You hopefully have your clergy numbers in the directory. Take a moment to double check by originating a contact (not responding to the false message).
4. Phone the Church Office. Penny will often know with what the clergy are engaged; she can also reach out on your behalf, by initiating a call to verify that the plea is false.
These sort of con-games are never going to go away, so take heart that even Jesus understood that good hearted souls like yourselves would be preyed upon. As he instructed those who follow him: “be gentle as doves, and wise as serpents.”

Weekly Online Activity Note: As you see below we currently have one ongoing (weekly) Zoom activity (The Wednesday Night Bible Study). If you miss one of the activities from the past or want to suggest one (whether you are willing to take the lead or not) please let me know. The clergy and Vestry want you to feel that you have enough opportunities of engagement from our parish. If you have an idea for one that is weekly or with less frequency, that you, yourself would virtually attend, please do not hesitate to reach out to me via my cell or my email (rectorpete@gmail.com).

This Week’s Ways to Stay Connected Together….

Wednesday May 6, 2020 7:00 p.m. – Bible Study with Derek Jones – Derek always has a nice gathering of people as they study scripture from the Eucharistic Lectionary for each week. This is a study that you are welcome to attend once, sometimes, or regularly…your choice! The Zoom Meeting information is below:

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
+1 253 215 8782 US
+1 301 715 8592 US
Meeting ID: 373 320 998
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ _

Thursday May 7th – Fr. Peter’s “Epistle” – This is e-mailed (and mailed) weekly to the congregation, as long as we are sequestered in place. The purposes of this is to share what the leadership discusses each week, what surprises we find, and whatever else you might wish to share publicly with one another. Fr. Peter is happy to accept any news or article for inclusion into his Epistle.

Sunday Morning Prayer Worship May 10th at 9:30 a.m. (followed by our Virtual Coffee Hour and Mother’s Day Celebration) – Fr. Peter and Deacon Tom will be joined by others in presenting a service from the Daily Office as part of our Sunday Morning Worship. This service will be found streaming on our Facebook Page, and perhaps on our new YouTube page (more information will be provided in the Thursday Epistle). If you want to be included as a reader or intercessor in one of our Sunday worship opportunities please reach out to Deacon Tom who is currently scheduling parishioners for those roles. Do not forget to look for the link/dial in information for the Zoom Coffee Hour which immediately follows the service.

Look for God around you this week! Blessings to you!

Fr. Peter

4/30/2020 April 30, 2020 Thursday Weekly Epistle

April 30, 2020 Thursday Weekly Epistle from Fr. Peter
Dear Friends,

For this Thursday Weekly Epistle I have included two pieces that are usually in our Monthly Tidings Newsletter, as well as an important attachment. Attached please find the bulletin for our Virtual Service this Sunday. In case you want to print it out and follow along. Also, since we are not sending one out for May, I have included Tom’s Deacon FAQ column for May, and at the conclusion of this Epistle you can read the list of parishioners who are celebrating Birthdays and Anniversaries in May. In between these two pieces are the usual updates, and links for services.

Deacon FAQ’s by Deacon Tom: The last few weeks have been pretty crazy for all of us. So, for this installment of FAQ I thought I’d share a couple of stories of Deacons under pressure.

Treasures of the Church
Laurence the Deacon was martyred during the persecution of Roman Emperor Valerian that was aimed primarily at the clergy and upper classes of the church in Rome. All properties of the church were confiscated, and assemblies for Christian worship were forbidden. On August 4, 258, Pope Sixtus II and his seven deacons were apprehended in the Roman Catacombs. They were summarily executed, except the archdeacon, Laurence, who was martyred on the tenth. The tradition is that the Roman Prefect demanded information about the church’s treasures. Laurence, in reply, assembled the sick and poor to whom, as archdeacon, he had distributed the Church’s relief funds, and presented them to the prefect, saying, “These are the treasures of the Church.” Laurence is believed to have been roasted alive on a gridiron.
(From Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints)

Grace Under Pressure
Mary Sandys Hutton was an Episcopal Deaconess who worked in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia from 1934 onward. Paralyzed from polio, she had walked with the aid of crutches since the age of three. Despite her disability, she founded missions, directed a doctor’s clinic and a clothing bureau, visited mountain homes, preached, conducted prayer book services, held revivals, and ran a school bus.

At her funeral the preacher recalled two memorable moments in her ministry: Hutton was conducting morning prayer at a remote mission where the people were not speaking to each other. She decided to delay the service until there was peace.

“I want everybody here to turn to the person next to them and shake hands,” she said. “If you can say, ‘I’m glad you’re here’, do it. If you can’t, don’t. You won’t fool God and you won’t fool me. But you can still shake hands!” They just stared at her and did nothing. So she said, “I’m not going to start the services until you do. You can have a Christian church or belong to the devil.” They shook hands.

On another occasion a mountaineer come into her house with a shotgun and announced that he had a message from God to kill her. “That’s strange,” she said. “I was just talking with God, and he didn’t mention it to me. Perhaps we better talk with him together.” After an hour or so the man departed, leaving his shotgun… The deaconess later sent it back to him.
(From Many Servants: An Introduction to Deacons by Ormonde Plater)

__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ _________

What we are up to at St. John’s this week…

Sunday Worship – Continuing on Sunday will be our Virtual Worship: Morning Prayer at 9:30a.m. The video stream will remain on Facebook and our in-progress YouTube Page. You can watch this on our “Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, Lodi, CA” Facebook Page or on our under-construction YouTube Page found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpv5HtNycAN2p581oKJc5IQ?view_as=subscriber (NOTE: YOU CAN NOW DOWNLOAD THE WORSHIP BULLETIN: AN ATTACHEMENT WAS SENT WITH THIS EMAIL, OR A LINK WILL BE MADE AVAIABLE, IN THE COMMENTS SECTION OF THE WORSHIP VIDEO SOON AFTER IT BEGINS BROADCASTING ON THE FACEBOOK AND YOUTUBE PAGES. ADDITIONALLY YOU MAY DOWNLOAD IT FROM OUR WEBSITE “STJOHNSOFLODI.ORG” AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.)

Sunday Memorials/Thanksgivings/Celebrations FOR May 3rd Today’s VIRTUAL Altar Flowers are given to the glory of God by: Tony and Betty Ferrara in celebration of their 65th wedding anniversary, May 4th and Jacki Lauchland Shaw and sisters in loving memory of their parents, Jack and Charlyn Lauchland on their wedding anniversary, May 5.

Sunday Virtual Coffee Hour! – More people join our brief Coffee Hour each week. It begins around 10:00a.m. (as soon as the streamed Morning Prayer Service from St. John’ concludes). Last week I shared a video of Karina playing one of my favorite Scott Joplin pieces. The question is for this Sunday is to share a book you are reading (if you are) or a favorite movie or program you have discovered. And joining is simple. Either click on the link below to be taken to our Zoom room or dial in with audio only by phoning one of the telephone numbers below. It is fun seeing each other!

Join Zoom Meeting via….

Computer: https://zoom.us/j/93073195951?pwd=NTZLYm5WRDIwVHltb2pEdzU1OE5kUT09

Meeting ID: 930 7319 5951
Password: 1055


One tap mobile
+16699006833,,93073195951#,,#,1055# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,93073195951#,,#,1055# US (Houston)

Telephone:
    +1 301 715 8592 US
    +1 253 215 8782 US
Meeting ID: 930 7319 5951
Password: 1055

Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r

Givelify is a Success! As always if you have any sort of donation or pledge you want to give, the Vestry has asked me to remind you that you can use this app (or link) to do so:
https://www.givelify.com/givenow/1.0/NTkwOTU=/selection

Virtual Youth Group – Barbara Krengel, Joey Soria, and I had a nice gathering with four of our teens. We will meet again on May 17th at 5:00pm on Zoom. We will send out a link nearer to our gathering time and any one in Junior High, High School, or College is welcome to be with us.

Day by Day Booklets – Our booklets are still coming into the office. If you want one sent to your home for your daily prayer life, please contact Penny in the Church Office.

Thank You To Lodi Community Essentials – Our parishioners came through magnificently. Recently Vestry person Margaret Meyers invited us to cook a dozen or so homemade cookies and, for those for whom it was safe to do so, deliver them to the church last Wednesday. She gathered many dozens and is planning to take those out to various grocery stores in our area, as our way of saying a “thank you,” to those essential workers out there. Other ideas may be forthcoming so stay tuned!

Masks Available; Freewill Offering Encouraged! Barbara Warburton has created more health masks which are available in the Church Office. She hopes that people who pick up any will consider making a freewill offering to the parish in some way, in gratefulness for her providing these to us. If you want a mask to assist you in the distancing protection invited by our elected leaders, please phone the Church Office during the week, and Penny can arrange for you to stop by to obtain one, or have a volunteer deliver it to you.

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 –If you want to be involved and help to lead, or read at our pre-recorded Sunday Worship services, please contact Deacon Tom. More voices (and faces) help us to truly represent the larger body of Christ.

NEWS FROM THE PEWS - We have May Birthday & Anniversaries to let you know about! These parishioners are celebrating in May – what a perfect opportunity for you to write a letter or note, send a card, or make a phone call! Happy Birthday All! “May God Bless and Keep… the following,…

May Birthdays:
Roger McLord          May 01
Robert Peckham      May 01
Diana Christy           May 02
Scott Parker   May 02
Sharon Farnsworth  May 04
Perry George May 05
Naomi George         May 06
Greg Wilson   May 06
Giuliana Jackson     May 07
Emily Peckham        May 07
Gavin Humphrey      May 09
Ryan Gregg    May 11
Stephanie VanNess May 11
Marilyn Cook  May 13
Erik Patten     May 16
John Nieman May 17
Barbara Warburton  May 18
Austin Shrout May 19
Domenic Lima         May 19
Lois Johnson May 21
Richard Vasquez     May 21
Sylvia Augusto        May 23
Matthew Gobel        May 24
Kelly Olds      May 24

May Anniversary:

Tony & Betty Ferrara         May 04
Clifford & Melanie Geist    May 08
Steve & Roxy Woodard     May 26



4/27/2020 Monday Message April 27, 2020

Monday Message April 27, 2020
 
Dear Friends,
 
Our own Margaret Meyer, who is heading up our “thank you to the essentials” project for our parish…needs your help! Cookies, cookies, cookies! If you are able to bake cookies, up to a batch of three dozen, she plans to have these safely delivered to the break rooms of grocery store some workers in our area. Margaret will be available to receive these baked goods outside of our church on Wednesday April 29th between the hours of Noon and 2pm. Please only consider assisting by baking, and delivering safely to the church, if you can do so by adhering to save practices during COVID-19. For any follow-up questions – Margaret is available via her contact information in our parish directory.
 
Read on below to see where and how you can safely engage with some parish offerings this week:
 
This Week’s Ways to Stay Connected Together….
 
Wednesday April 29th 7:00 p.m. – Bible Study with Derek Jones – Derek always has a nice gathering of people as they study scripture from the Eucharistic Lectionary for each week. This is a study that you are welcome to attend once, sometimes, or regularly…your choice!  The Zoom Meeting information is below:
 
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
   +1 253 215 8782 US
   +1 301 715 8592 US
Meeting ID: 373 320 998
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __
 
Thursday April 21 – Fr. Peter’s “Epistle” – This is e-mailed (and mailed) weekly to the congregation, as long as we are sequestered in place. The purposes of this is to share what the leadership discusses each week, what surprises we find, and whatever else you might wish to share publicly with one another. Fr. Peter is happy to accept any news or article for inclusion into his Epistle.
 
Sunday Morning Prayer Worship May 3rd at 9:30 a.m. (followed by our Virtual Coffee Hour) – Fr. Peter and Deacon Tom will be joined by others in presenting a service from the Daily Office as part of our Sunday Morning Worship. This service will be found streaming on our Facebook Page, and perhaps on our new YouTube page (more information will be provided in the Thursday Epistle). If you want to be included as a reader or intercessor in one of our Sunday worship opportunities please reach out to Deacon Tom who is currently scheduling parishioners for those roles. Do not forget to look for the link/dial in information for the Zoom Coffee Hour which immediately follows the service.
 
Blessings to All!     Fr. Peter
 

4/23/2020 April 23, 2020 Thursday Weekly Epistle

April 23, 2020 Thursday Weekly Epistle from Fr. Peter
 
Dear Friends,
 
On Tuesday I had two reminders of why I am glad that I partake in a worship discipline at this time. One vestry member spoke about a booklet dealing with praying with icons as something she uses to keep her grounded. Another person mentioned to me why she attends some of our St. John’s Zoom gatherings, because the discipline of setting aside time and going into a holy time is important to her.
 
Clergy often do this as well, but I admit it sometimes falls by the wayside. It did for me when, what now seems like a blink of an eye, I left one congregation and entered another. Though I continue to read the bible through each year, and pray often, I allowed a dedicated discipline time to slip from my schedule. During the early stages of Covid-19 I remembered how important such a practice is, and quickly began one again. Every morning and evening I do the Daily Office (Morning/Evening Prayer) from The Book of Common Prayer, and I find myself connected to God in stronger ways, by this practice.
 
My hope for you, if you are not already doing something, is to find and hang onto some sort of daily or weekly discipline, including Sunday worship. Whether you engage in a Daily Office, attend a Digital Zoom Bible Study, or read and meditate through a booklet of some kind, I believe you too will be amazed at once returns to you from such a practice.
 
As you consider those ideas, please read on to see what we are up to at St. John’s this week…
 
Sunday Worship – Continuing on Sunday will be our Virtual Worship: Morning Prayer at 9:30a.m. The video stream will remain on Facebook and our in-progress YouTube Page. You can watch this on our “Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, Lodi, CA” Facebook Page or on our under-construction YouTube Page found here:
https://www.youtube.com/feed/my_videos
 
Sunday Memorials/Thanksgivings/Celebrations FOR APRIL 26 – Joey & Christina Soria in celebration of Christina's birthday, April 30.
 
Sunday Virtual Coffee Hour! – This weekend will avail us of our third Virtual Coffee Hour, which has been quite enjoyable. It begins around 10:00a.m. (as soon as the streamed Morning Prayer Service from St. John’ concludes. Last week we shared our favorite Coffee Mugs. This weekend we can discuss what our favorite after church snack/meal is.
 
    Join Zoom Meeting via….
 
Computer: https://zoom.us/j/93073195951?pwd=NTZLYm5WRDIwVHltb2pEdzU1OE5kUT09
 
Meeting ID: 930 7319 5951
Password: 1055
 
One tap mobile
+16699006833,,93073195951#,,#,1055# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,93073195951#,,#,1055# US (Houston)
 
Telephone:
   +1 301 715 8592 US
   +1 253 215 8782 US
Meeting ID: 930 7319 5951
Password: 1055
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
 
Givelify is a Success! A lot of donations have already come in via this new app, for which the Vestry is thankful. Though you may still mail in a check to the Church Office, many are already finding using this new source easier. One parishioner shared how she was out and about and gave thanks to God for something going on in her life, and in the spur of the moment she decided to mark that thanksgiving with a tangible gift. She was able to do so on the spot, thanks to Givelify. So, whether a pledge payment, a donation to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund, or any other freewill offering, we thank those who are using Givelify and encourage others to do the same. You may download the app, or just follow this link on your computer: https://www.givelify.com/givenow/1.0/NTkwOTU=/selection
 
Virtual Youth Group – This coming Sunday at 5pm, via Zoom, adults Fr. Peter, Joey S., and Barbara K., are inviting the youth (pre-teen to teen to college age) to join together for a check in. We will share what is going on with us, try to sense where God is, chat about future gatherings (live and virtual) and maybe even deal with one of the “stump the rector” questions they prepared earlier in the year. If your youth is interested in joining in the virtual meet, please reach out to me via my cell phone or email, and I will make sure that you have been sent the Zoom log in information.
 
Correction: Returning to In Person Worship: As you hopefully know by now, our most likely date to return is on May 31st. This is our target for now, but as Bishop Rice shared with the clergy, it could be extended later, or with a miracle can be brought in earlier. Even if that date remains, we may have to make some adjustments to comply with social distancing recommendations. As always, I encourage people to remain mindful of their age/health circumstances, and make healthy choices when it comes to attending public events. We will slowly roll out church non-worship events as the month goes by, but upon the recommendation of our diocese we will not go back to “normal” right away. This way we will remain safe and careful as we get back up to speed.
 
What About Confirmation!?: I spoke to the Diocese this week, since our Bishop Visit was derailed by Covid 19. Knowing that we have a number of people who want to be Confirmed or Received into the Church, I made it known that we would appreciate a visit once everything settles back into some normalcy. Though it is too early to commit to any specific date, it is likely that we will have an opportunity this calendar year.
 
Thanking Those Who Work in These Times –With the wonderful turnout at the parade of cars at Lodi Memorial it’s obvious we as a community are thankful for all who continue to work providing essential services during this difficult time. As a parish we are going to recognize members of our Lodi community who are working during this time to make our lives easier, but often don’t get the recognition.
   We will be sending out cards and a small token of our appreciation to the supermarkets (Raley’s, Safeway, Save Mart, Sprouts, Rancho San Miguel, Food For Less , Wal Mart and Target) post offices (Lodi, Woodbridge & Victor) thanking them for their service. If you are interested in writing a short note thanking a certain business or organization please contact Margaret Meyers. Cards will be delivered the week of April 27th.
   On a personal note we would encourage ALL of our parish family to thank employees for their service when entering and leaving a store. And we want to thank people like Penny Wilson (Administrative Assistant Day is this week) who diligently and carefully works out of the Church Office, and Camerina Ibarra who has been deep cleaning the whole interior property. These two women are essential to us at St. John’s, and I hope that you will thank them as well!
 
No May Newsletter – In consultation with the Vestry it was determined that we will not publish a May 2020 Newsletter. Since we are communicating with the congregation twice per week (by email and postal mail) with the Monday and Thursday updates, and since the Newsletter is largely focused on activities coming up for the next month, it seems best to save that paper and postage, until we get closer to resuming our familiar schedule.
 
Day by Day Booklets – Our booklets are still coming into the office. If you want one sent to your home for your daily prayer life, please contact Penny in the Church Office.
 
Masks Available; Freewill Offering Encouraged! Barbara Warburton has created more health masks which are available in the Church Office. She hopes that people who pick up any will consider making a freewill offering to the parish in some way, in gratefulness for her providing these to us. If you want a mask to assist you in the distancing protection invited by our elected leaders, please phone the Church Office during the week, and Penny can arrange for you to stop by to obtain one, or have a volunteer deliver it to you.
 
NEWS FROM THE PEWS - First, this coming Saturday is Gwin Paden’s birthday! She is well into her 90’s, and is visited regularly by family through a window at her retirement home, and via telephone for Daily Office services from Fr. Peter and Deacon Tom. Feel free to reach out to her with your well wishes. Second, the theme of this week regarding many of our parishioners seems to be: “Strawberries! Amazing Strawberries!” The mornings when I go into the office, I pass the Strawberry Stand and Patch, next to the church. These harvesters are essential to our local economy and over the past week a number of our parishioners have availed themselves of them. Two actually met at a patch, keeping their distance, and had a nice visit. The Stand next to St. John’s is doing great business. One Vestry person mentioned that they were sold out one morning by 10:00a.m. It is nice that when we go shopping we see one another and see glimpses of normality. Do remember, that no matter how well you feel, there are people with compromised immune systems to whom you can carry the virus. Please if you have to venture out, think of others, and assume safe practices not only for yourselves, but for those around you who may not be as healthy
 
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 –If you want to be involved and help to lead, or read at our pre-recorded Sunday Worship services, please contact Deacon Tom. More voices (and faces) help us to truly represent the larger body of Christ.
 
Your Brother in Christ Jesus,  Fr. Peter
 

4/20/2020 Monday Message April 20, 2020

Monday Message April 20, 2020
 
Deacon Tom and I enjoyed presenting a Morning Prayer Service to you yesterday. Not only were we part of it, but Steve W. and Karina I. presented music pieces, and other lay people helped with reading, prayers and singing. It was the closest like being back together in church again.
 
Around 15 people or so popped into our Coffee Hour following the service on Zoom. Many of us shared our favorite coffee mugs (or at least the ones from which we were drinking at the time). Our conversation went from talk about healthy choices during these times, to streamed worship services, what we are learning, and which strawberry patches are open! I hope you will join us next Sunday; it is a lot of fun.
 
To update some information that was released last week, per the Bishop, our likely return to pubic worship will be on May 31st. As we look towards this date, we can remain mindful that it could be moved, and that even when allowed to return together, we may still have to make some social distancing choices pertaining to our particular circumstances. The parish will also adjust as necessary, whether we offer two services instead of one, or record one service and post it online, we will adapt to whatever practices will best assist us in keeping healthy. Finally, the Bishop has advised that we do not return immediately back as usual, but allow for a “slow rollout” of our normal practices. Thus our Sunday back will be worship only with maybe a light coffee hour. We will forgo bible study, youth group, men’s gathering, etc. for future Sundays; practice mindfulness before embracing the full norm.
 
As always – if you are able and wish to do so, you can keep your pledge up to date, or make an offering of thanksgiving to the church, or the rector’s discretionary fund, either by sending a check into the Church Office or by using the new Gifelify (pronounced Give-luh-fie). This app is easily installed on smart phones, or you may use the computer link below. Remember our parish is identified as ”Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist” on this app. https://www.givelify.com/givenow/1.0/NTkwOTU=/selection
 
This Week’s Ways to Stay Connected Together….
 
Tuesday April 21 11:00 a.m. - Casual Chat and Prayer Time with Fr. Peter – Those who log on, get a chance to visit with one another, ask question of Fr. Peter, and then conclude with some focused prayer. Below are the ways to log onto Zoom by computer, cell phone, or telephone for this activity. Remember that the “password” for our Zoom gatherings is 1055 (our numerical address).
 
If you decide to phone in – you only need to phone one of the numbers below (have the meeting number and password ready, as you will be asked to enter them. We are getting more telephone users joining our meetings, and whomever is hosting remains aware of your presence and that you do not have video capability. Do not be afraid to try and join us.
 
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/91062521631?pwd=bUYyRGNEdE9zMVV3MUpaNlU5VVRiQT09
 
Meeting ID: 910 6252 1631
Password: 1055
 
One tap mobile
+16699006833,,91062521631#,,#,1055# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,91062521631#,,#,1055# US (Houston)
 
Dial by your location
  +1 301 715 8592 US
   +1 253 215 8782 US
Meeting ID: 910 6252 1631
Password: 1055
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
__________ __________ __________ __________ __________
 
Wednesday April 22nd 7:00 p.m. – Bible Study with Derek Jones – Derek always has a nice gathering of people as they study scripture from the Eucharistic Lectionary for each week. This is a study that you are welcome to attend once, sometimes, or regularly…your choice! The Zoom Meeting information is below:
 
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
  +1 253 215 8782 US
  +1 301 715 8592 US
Meeting ID: 373 320 998
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
__________ __________ __________ __________ __________ __________ _______
 
Thursday April 21 – Fr. Peter’s “Epistle” – This is e-mailed (and mailed) weekly to the congregation, as long as we are sequestered in place. The purposes of this is to share what the leadership discusses each week, what surprises we find, and whatever else you might wish to share publicly with one another. Fr. Peter is happy to accept any news or article for inclusion into his Epistle.
 
Sunday Morning Prayer Worship April 26 th at 9:30 a.m. – Fr. Peter and Deacon Tom will be joined by others in presenting a service from the Daily Office as part of our Sunday Morning Worship. This service will be found streaming on our Facebook Page, and perhaps on our new YouTube page (more information will be provided in the Thursday Epistle). If you want to be included as a reader or intercessor in one of our Sunday worship opportunities please reach out to Deacon Tom who is currently scheduling parishioners for those roles.
 
Blessings to All!    Fr. Peter
 

4/16/2020 April 16, 2020 Thursday Weekly Epistle

April 16, 2020 Thursday Weekly Epistle from Fr. Peter
 
Dear Friends,
 
“He is Risen!” Happy Easter, dear St. John’s friends. I love Easter. On the morning of, there is so much joy to grasp (once we move past any Vigil darkness), that I wish I could bottle it up. Though I cannot, there is enough within me that I hope to preach on that topic during my homily at this Sunday’s Morning Prayer Service (more about the service below). As we continue into this new way of being church, I want to encourage you to keep at a worship schedule, and perhaps take a visit once a week to one of the other get together we offer on Zoom. Thank you to all who have let me see through action, email, and digital attendance that “we” are still church together. Below is the usual hodge-podge of information that has developed during the week and in our weekly Vestry conversation that I want to pass on…
 
Sunday Worship – Beginning this Sunday we will return to our Virtual Worship Practice at 9:30a.m. Per the Bishop’s suggestion we will continue with Morning Prayer and provide the Morning Prayer Readings for the say, which opens up for us the opportunity to hear scripture we do not usually listen to during a Eucharist. The video stream will remain on Facebook and our in-progress YouTube Page if you want to view it a little later. We hope, though, that you will join us at 9:30 am, if only to keep in our practice of worshipping together. In addition to me (Fr. Peter) and Deacon Tom we have other parishioners assisting with readings and prayers, as well as music offerings from both Karina and Steve W. Tune in, and let us pray! You can watch this on our “Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, Lodi, CA” Facebook Page or on our under-construction YouTube Page found here: https://www.youtube.com/feed/my_videos
 
Sunday Memorials/Thanksgivings FOR APRIL 19 - Patricia Fehling in loving memory of her husband, Don for his birthday on April 19; and from Peter & Diane Burkett in celebration of their wedding anniversary on April 21.
 
Sunday Virtual Coffee Hour! – On Easter Sunday about twenty former and current parishioners gathered together via computer and telephone to our very first Digital Coffee Hour on Zoom. Many wore Easter Bonnets including Barbara….AND Ken Warburton! We shared updates, stories, what treats we enjoyed, and Barbara Krengel pulled out ukulele and serenaded the group.
   We determined that there is interest to gather for a bit after each Sunday Service. So with this Sunday, please follow the link or phone number below (with meeting number and password) immediately following our worship service.
   This Sunday, be ready to share your favorite Coffee Mug, and if anyone wants to offer a talent, reach out to me and I will make space for you to perform. See below….
 
Topic: Sunday Coffee Hour St. John's Lodi
Join Zoom Meeting via….
Computer: https://zoom.us/j/93073195951?pwd=NTZLYm5WRDIwVHltb2pEdzU1OE5kUT09
 
Meeting ID: 930 7319 5951
Password: 1055
 
One tap mobile
+16699006833,,93073195951#,,#,1055# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,93073195951#,,#,1055# US (Houston)
 
Telephone:
  +1 301 715 8592 US
  +1 253 215 8782 US
Meeting ID: 930 7319 5951
Password: 1055
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
 
Givelify is UP AND READY! If you use a smart phone, please download the Givelify app, and look up our parish, and save it as a favorite. You can now pay your pledge, make a freewill donation, or send a financial gift to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund through this source. The Vestry encourages us to use it, especially anytime we feel like making a gift in Thanksgiving to God for a blessing received or grace witnessed. For more information, follow this link: https://www.givelify.com/givenow/1.0/NTkwOTU=/selection
 
Did You Know? – To support parishes during this time Bishop Rice, on behalf of the Diocese of San Joaquin (EDSJ) has sent each church $2,000 to help us get through this challenging time. Raising and providing Deacons, helping parishes like this, are just some of the ways in which our Annual Assessment to EDSJ continue to provide for God’s purposes in our diocese.
 
Our Return to In Person Worship: Yesterday our Bishop sent out a letter, informing the diocese of EDSJ that the current date for us to return together is May 24th. We will keep looking towards this date, and await any further advisement regarding social distancing recommendations, etc. If it is only a matter of having fewer people at a service, and if necessary I will work with our leadership on temporarily offering two Sunday services so that we can lessen our numbers at each. Keep observing healthy practices, pray, and mark that date on your calendar for our possible gathering together again!
 
Thanking Those Who Work in These Times – The Vestry took an idea offered by our parishioner, Karla Franck, to begin finding ways to say “thank you” to hospital workers, police officers, and mail carriers during this time of Covid-19. Margaret Meyer, on our Vestry, is leading this action. One way for you to become involved is to simply write a “thank you” on a one card or more (and direct each thank you to “hospital staff,” “Police,” and/or “Mail Carriers”, and mail the card(s) into the Church Office. Fr. Peter can get the ones for hospital staff to Lodi Memorial care of the chaplain of the hospital. We will figure out how we can get the other “thank you” cards into the hands of those who serve (if they are allowed to receive paper). The Vestry is also looking into ways to send a more tangible thank you (as an edible arrangement perhaps) to these same institutions.
   Most importantly, as you go out, the Vestry encourages you to at least voice a “thank you” to grocery staff, pharmacists, fast food workers, etc. as you go about your day. Easter is definitely a Season of light. As St. John’s parishioners we can example sharing the light of the risen Christ in these ways. If you have questions, please reach out to Margaret Meyers.
 
Forward Day by Day Booklets – Our booklets are still coming into the office. If you want one sent to your home for your daily prayer life, please contact Penny in the Church Office.
 
Masks Available! Barbara Warburton created some extra masks for people who might need them. They are in the Church Office and currently there are a few for men’s sizes, and a couple for women. If you phone ahead to make sure that Penny is there, she will let you in so that you can take one. Blessings to Barbara who continues to serve us and others in this way.
 
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 –If you want to be involved and help to lead, or read at our pre-recorded Sunday Worship services, please contact Deacon Tom. More voices (and faces) help us to truly represent the larger body of Christ.
 
NEWS FROM THE PEWS - Parishioner Karla Franck along with Aleathea Langone did some social distance planting on the property just before Easter. Their garden work included Garbanzo Beans, Kale, and Chili Peppers! Who knows when, but one day, following the harvest, and our getting together again we will enjoy them. Definitely something for us all to which we can look forward!
    
I pray that you Easter Week is going well, and that you can share in the spirit of an Alleluia life, by sharing your thanks for those whom you encounter working in these times.
 
Your Brother in Christ Jesus, Fr. Peter
 

4/13/2020 April 13, 2020 Weekly Update

Monday Message April 13, 2020
 
Happy Easter Monday!
 
Easter is now upon us, and we can remember that it is not merely a day, but a Season. This week we live into our season. After worship online, and a fun digital coffee hour gathering on Sunday, my hope is that God is calling you live in the light of the Resurrection and continue your faith journey during this interesting time.
 
This look at the week ahead includes the announcement that there is now a way that you can give (pledge, general donation, etc. via an app/website called Givelify. Install it on your phone and choose “Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist Lodi, CA” and you can instantly donate/send your pledge instantly. If you do not have the app, you can go here on your computer, create a profile and make a donation:
https://www.givelify.com/givenow/1.0/NTkwOTU=/selection
 
This Week’s Ways to Stay Connected Together….
 
Tuesday April 14 11:00 a.m. - Casual Chat and Prayer Time with Fr. Peter – Those who log on, get a chance to visit with one another, ask question of Fr. Peter, and then conclude with some focused prayer. Below are the ways to log onto Zoom by computer, cell phone, or telephone for this activity. Remember that the “password” for our Zoom gatherings is 1055 (our numerical address)
 
Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/91062521631?pwd=bUYyRGNEdE9zMVV3MUpaNlU5VVRiQT09
 
Meeting ID: 910 6252 1631
Password: 1055
One tap mobile
+16699006833,,91062521631#,,#,1055# US (San Jose)
+13462487799,,91062521631#,,#,1055# US (Houston)
 
Dial by your location
   +1 301 715 8592 US
   +1 253 215 8782 US
 
Meeting ID: 910 6252 1631
Password: 1055
 
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r     
 
Wednesday April 15  7:00 p.m. – Bible Study with Derek Jones – Derek always has a nice gathering of people as they study scripture from the Eucharistic Lectionary for each week. This is a study that you are welcome to attend once, sometimes, or regularly…your choice! The Zoom Meeting information is below:
 
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
   +1 253 215 8782 US
   +1 301 715 8592 US
Meeting ID: 373 320 998
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
                                                                                                                                                
 
Thursday April 16 – Fr. Peter’s “Epistle” – This is e-mailed (and mailed) weekly to the congregation, as long as we are sequestered in place. The purposes of this is to share what the leadership discusses each week, what surprises we find, and whatever else you might wish to share publicly with one another. Fr. Peter is happy to accept any news or article for inclusion into his Epistle.
 
Sunday Morning Prayer Worship 9:30a.m. – Fr. Peter and Deacon Tom will be joined by others in presenting a service from the Daily Office as part of our Sunday Morning Worship. This service will be found streaming on our Facebook Page, and perhaps on our new YouTube page (more information will be provided in the Thursday Epistle). If you want to be included as a reader or intercessor in one of our Sunday worship opportunities please reach out to Deacon Tom who is currently scheduling parishioners for those roles.
 
Blessings to All!
 
Fr. Peter
 

4/9/2020 Thursday Weekly Epistle from Fr. Peter

April 9, 2020 Thursday Weekly Epistle from Fr. Peter
 
Dear Friends,
 
Happy Holy Week!
 
Easter Sunday Worship – This Sunday we will worship one more time, virtually through the Diocesan wide celebration through our Cathedral of St. James. Easter Sunday service is at 10:00am! Other services are listed on their website, but will also be streamed directly to our Facebook Page (Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, Lodi, CA). Other services you will find is Maundy Thursday (tonight at 6pm), and Good Friday at Noon. For those who wish to watch it on YouTube you, instead of watching the stream on our Facebook Page, you may access it by going directly to the Cathedral’s YouTube page here: (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN8cw1JrGlr-BpzqrdskVkQ)
 
Easter Sunday Virtual Coffee Hour! – This Sunday, following our watching the St. James Cathedral Episcopal Easter Service – join us immediately following for our first Virtual Coffee Hour. Put on your Sunday Best including Easter Bonnet, and enjoy a coffee/beverage with us as we chat and visit with one another. We will stream the festivities to our Facebook Page, but if you want to join in on Zoom….
 On computer – follow this link: https://zoom.us/j/918436952?pwd=alJNMStQTlhkVlFIYlZFQzJ3T1JFQT09
 
 By telephone – phone one of these numbers: +1 253 215 8782, or +1 301 715 8592
 
 For Both: Meeting ID: 918 436 952 and Password: 1055
 
Givelify is almost ready! If you use a smart phone, please download the Givelify app, and look up our parish, and save it as a favorite. Soon you will be able to pay your pledge, make freewill donations, pay for events, through the app! As soon as it goes “live” I will send in my latest pledge and post a video to show you how easy it is. Checks can still be mailed to our secure mailbox, and our Treasurer, Dee Mayfield can assist you in how to set up on going direct deposits from your bank. I am grateful for those who have set up these different ways for us to keep our gifts current, and for those of us whose circumstances allow us to be so with our promise to God through our parish.
 
Thanking the Staff at Lodi Memorial – A couple of parishes got together and invite all of us to participate today April 9th at 9:30am (this epistle might come out too late for you to join in) and 9:30pm. The attached map will guide you to your choice of church parking lots from where your car will be fed into the parade line. The route will take the cars around and through Lodi Memorial Hospital grounds. Passengers can wave signs, and each car is asked to keep their headlights and blinkers on. The times chosen match the hospital’s shift changes, and this is a safe way for the community to thank the staff of the hospital for all that they do to care for our citizens at this time. We are asked to only drive if it is safe to do so, and to remain in our vehicles.
 
Day by Day Booklets – Our booklets are still coming into the office. If you want one sent to your home for your daily prayer life, please contact Penny in the Church Office.
 
Get Your Mask Makings! Andee Zetterbaum has extra material for those who wish to make masks, or add their extra supplies to hers. She will help those who want them to obtain them, and with any surplus, she will send to a needy cause. Please reach out directly to Andee at 209-951-7644 or 209-923-7932.
 
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 – Beginning the Sunday After Easter we will continue with Sunday Morning Prayer (including the Morning Prayer Readings, instead of Eucharistic ones, per a suggestion by Bishop Rice). If you want to be involved and help to lead, or read at these pre-recorded services, please contact Deacon Tom. We want other voices involved.
 
NEWS FROM THE PEWS - The Vestry suggested that we adopt an informal way to invite people to check in with their news, as another way of remaining connected to one another. Please feel free to send Fr. Peter information that you might like the rest of the congregation to know about; how you are doing; a surprise around this time of separation; a special birthday, or whatever. In the meantime, here are the Sunday Memorials/Thanksgivings for March and through April 12th that would otherwise have been included in bulletins up through this Sunday (note: Easter Sunday Memorials will be posted on our parish website): Mar 1- Ida Mae Lobb in loving memory of her husband Joe for his birthday, March 3rd; Mar 22-Patricia Fehling in loving memory of her husband Don; Mar 29- Dick and Janie Williams in memory of her father, L.F. (Jerry) Christensen on his birthday, March 28th; Mar 29-Bob & Patsy Gorczyca in loving memory of Bob’s mother Stella for her birthday, March 29; Apr 12- Kenneth & Lucy Deak in loving memory of his mother, Rose Deak.
 
On behalf of the clergy, staff, Vestry and lay leadership of St. John’s, Lodi, I wish you a meaningful Holy Week and a glorious Easter Sunday!
 
Your Brother in Christ Jesus, Fr. Peter
 
 

4/6/2020 April 5, 2020 Weekly Update

The Week of April 5, 2020
Happy Holy Week!
 
Many of you joined in live for the Diocesan Palm Sunday Service from St. James Cathedral, Fresno. The recording of it, remains on our Parish Facebook Page. This week we have many offerings from both the Cathedral, and from members of St. John’s, Lodi.
 
Important Note:
Zoom has added the MUST that in addition to the 9-digit meeting number, you MUST also have a password.
When it is possible, the Password will be the numerical address for our parish – 1055.
 
Tuesday April 7, 12 Noon – Renewal of Vows (for Clergy) Service- All are invited to virtually attend! This will take with the Bishop through the Cathedral of St. James, and will stream to our Parish Facebook Page.
 
Wednesday April 8, 7pmBible Study with Derek Jones on ZOOM
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
+1 253 215 8782 US
+1 301 715 8592 US Meeting
ID: 373 320 998
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/ad9wX8LY7r
 
Thursday April 9, 6pm -Maundy Thursday Service & Foot Washing (streamed from St. James Cathedral to our Parish Facebook Page)
 
Thursday April 9 (after Vigil), until Noon on Friday April 10Garden of Gethsemane Vigil (hosted by St. James Cathedral) – Sign Up: https://www.stjamesfresno.org/vigil (a ZOOM link will be sent to you from the Cathedral, so that at the hour you choose you can log on with others for that hour’s mediation).
 
Friday April 10, Noon - Good Friday Service (hosted by St. James Cathedral, which will stream to our Parish Facebook Page)
 
Remember, for any of the above that are hosted by the Cathedral you may watch by going to their website, their YouTube Page, or OUR Facebook Page.
 
Sunday April 12, 10am - Easter Sunday Service (hosted by St. James Cathedral, which will stream to our Parish Facebook Page) followed by a St. John’s Virtual Coffee Hour on Zoom (link will be sent next week).
 

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)
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Topic: St. John's, Lodi - Noonday Prayer with Deacon Tom
Time: FRIDAY Apr 3, 2020 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
 
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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
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---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- --------
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
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---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- --------
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)
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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.