I have been on the phone a lot with my mom during this global pandemic. However, one day she called and asked me if she should pre-pay her funeral. At first, I was taken aback and panicked that she had contracted the coronavirus. But, then I remembered that my mom is highly organized and has served as a Hospice volunteer for years. She was just using all of this time on her hands to complete the final details of her funeral planning.
Have you thought about planning your funeral? Do you know it is one of the best gifts you can give your loved ones? St. John’s has created a lovely document that enables you to plan your funeral, even while you are at home in quarantine. It lists the readings you can choose from the Bible. It helps you decide whether you want old Elizabethan English or modern English. It helps you ponder the hymns you would use. You can decide whether you want Eucharist celebrated or just the Burial Office. You can even pick out a niche in the columbarium and spend eternity at St. John's!
If you have read this far, please know that I take planning a funeral very seriously. It is the last gift you can give to your family, friends, and your church. I have been amazed during my years in parish ministry to see how many people shy away from this process only to have unchurched adult children, or others, skip holding a liturgy at the church where they worshipped for years!. (Maybe they were misinformed about costs or thought it would be more convenient to one stop shop at a funeral home. Interestingly enough, the cost for a service in your own church is minimal compared to what is charged at a for-profit business.) However, having a funeral celebrated in the church is not about money. A funeral at St. John’s allows you to be commended to almighty God in the manner in which you have worshipped your whole life; it also allows your community of faith, your friends, and your family to grieve.
Please find the link to the funeral planning resources listed below. You can call Mother Melissa or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will walk you through this important and life-giving document. You will have given your loved ones a gift by making your needs known. Once you are finished, we hold onto the instructions in a very safe file at the church.
Life in quarantine is not easy, but it does present us with some unique opportunities. I encourage you to take the time and fill out this form prayerfully. If you have kids, you can surprise them by asking if you can prepay your funeral. They will probably acquiesce.
From the Book of Common Prayer:
The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy. It finds all meaning in theresurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we too, shall beRaised. The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy, in the certainty that"neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present,nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything elsein all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in ChristJesus our Lord." This joy, however, does not make human grief unchristian. The very love we have for each other in Christ brings deep sorrow when we are partedby death. Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend. So, while werejoice that one we love has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord, we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.
Or this to get to Ms. Aimee's Children's Chapel Lessons for Easter V:
Ms. Aimee will continue to host a Sunday Morning Zoom. The past few Sunday's were such a success. If you are interested in participating again please send me an email and I will send you a private invite!
Formation and Fellowship Opportunities:
If you do not have a Facebook account, you can still go on their page www.facebook.com, and then search for St. John's Carlisle, PA. On our Facebook page we have a variety of offerings including Daily Evening Prayer by Fr. Adam.
Zoom Gatherings :
If you would like to participate in ongoing Zoom Gatherings please email Father Adam. Do you want to participate in Zoom but are unsure on how to get started? Contact Aimee at email@example.com. She will help you get started!
Please do not reply directly to this email. If you would like to reply please contact Father Adam or Mother Melissa directly.
1. Send a Check to Saint John’s
Make the check payable to “Saint John’s Episcopal Church”
You must use the bottom lower left memo line for any contribution other than Stewardship 2020
Mail to St. John’s Episcopal, P.O. Box 612, Carlisle, PA. 17013
Or you can go to the bottom of the St. John’s Website (please do not use the mobile version on your phones for now). Click on the black DONATE button which automatically takes you to the online giving page.
Fill in the block for Stewardship 2020, Roof Pledge, or General Fund with the amount you wish to donate
You must enter the specific fund you want to give money towards in the box that is adjacent to the General Fund (the Rector’s Discretionary Fund for example.)
Do not use the mobile application there will not be a box for this needed comment and we will not know where to apply the funds. You must complete this on a computer.
Follow the online steps to complete your donation.
There will be an option to help offset the cost to St. John’s for providing this credit card service.
(For Online Giving questions, please call Larry Alexander at 717-243- 4220 or Debbie Kendrick at 717-448-6117.)
3. Arrange with your bank, via its on-line service to issue a check to St. John’s.
4. Via transfer of stock or from your IRA / 401k. Please contact Alvin Blitz for assistance (dianeblitz@Comcast.net; phone: 717 440-5630).
Are you feeling the need to see others and speak with others from St. John's? Are you feeling tired of being alone or quarantined? Join us for a gathering of encouragement and touching base on Wednesday evenings at 6:30. All are welcome. St. Barnabas is known as the saint of encouragement. Email Mother Melissa at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Copies of Forward Day by Day (May-July) are available. Please stop by the Church and pick up a copy. With the Church being closed you must pick up a copy by the back door on Irvine Row. They are located in a plastic box at the top of the stairs. We will replenish them when someone is in the office.
The Rev. Dr. Julia Gatta is the Bishop Frank A. Juhan Professor of Pastoral Theology in the School of Theology, the University of the South, Sewanee. Her most recent book is Life in Christ: Practicing Christian Spirituality (Church Publishing, 2018).
She has written an article about fasting from Communion during the pandemic. Since you can not receive communion during this public health crisis, your priests are also fasting from communion.
We pray for the dead: O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: Especially accept our prayers on behalf of your servants April Newbold and Susan Banks and grant them an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP pg. 493)
We especially pray for the repose of the soul of Bette Lou Creswell, sister of Don Kutz who died earlier in April.. Please keep Don and Mary Louise in your prayers. A private burial we held in Hellertown, PA.
We especially pray for the repose of the soul of William Walter Wilcox, who died of Covid 19 this past week,
We pray for the Unemployed: Heavenly Father, we remember before you those who suffer want and anxiety from lack of work. Guide the people of this land so to use our public and private wealth that all may find suitable and fulfilling employment, and receive just payment for their labor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP pg. 824)
We pray for the sick: O God of heavenly powers, by the might of your command you drive away from our bodies all sickness and all infirmity: Be present in your goodness with your servants that their weakness may be banished and their strength restored; and that, their health being renewed, they may bless your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP pg. 458)
Especially for Linkey, Kaew, Cheri, Jane, Charles, Lori, Betty, Revena, Elaine, Carson, Gail & Jack, Barb, Terry, Jeff, Jim, Terri, Dean, Mike, Martha, Teresa, Ryan, William, Felicity, Dave & Norma, Virginia, Ivan, Roland, Colin, Helen, Joan, Donna, Marge, Regan, Jody, Todd, Joe, Ida, Marilyn, Kara, Ben, Kimberly, Rowan, Madeline, Greg, Sharon, Barbara, Jean, Tom, Hope, Jessie, Alison, Sandra, Syed & his wife, Pam, John, Jane, Megan, Charlie, Maribeth, and Dominick.
For Brian Rotz: O Lord, holy Father, giver of health and salvation: Pour your Holy Spirit over Brian; that, as your holy apostles anointed many that were sick and healed them, so Brian may be healed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
We pray for those desiring guidance: Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favor, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP pg. 832)
Especially for Shane, Sharon, Kate, Keaton, Dolores, Millie & Joe, Teresa, Isaiah, Brayden, Scott, The Hurt Family, J.T. & Sandra, Marie, Amelia, and Chelsea & Zack.
We pray for those who are deployed: Mike Reynolds
In this time of pandemic we also pray for all who work in health care: Sanctify, O Lord, those whom you have called to the study and practice of the arts of healing, and to the prevention of disease and pain. Strengthen them by your life-giving Spirit, that by their ministries the health of the community may be promoted and your creation glorified; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP pg. 460)
Especially for Claudia Libertine, Jennifer Still, Susan Erwin, Suzanne Cornman, Marinda Reams, Laura Potts, Andrew Dussinger, Rachel Markey, Meaghan McDermott, Monica Carman, Sharon Hattrick, and Jennifer Gramley.
Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Anglican Church of Kenya The Most Rev. Jackson Ole Sapit – Primate and Archbishop of All Kenya.
We Pray for our Companion Congregations: St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, York; and Carlisle Cathedral, Carlisle, England.
In our Diocesan Cycle of Prayer we prayfor St. Marks’ Northumberland.