The Fledgling--Week of December 4, 2020

From Mother Megan:

 We clergy had an Advent Quiet Day on Tuesday, led by Dr. Deirdre Good, the New Testament scholar.  Dr. Good focussed on  the gospel of Mark, and the portions that will be appearing as we approach Christmas.

One of the things she said, that I had frankly forgotten about since seminary, was that while Mark's gospel predates the other gospels we have- it existed in oral form long before anyone bothered to write it down.  The earliest written documentation of John's gospel, for example, is actually older than the earliest written documentation we have of Mark's gospel.  But there are numerous markers in the text, as well as attestation from other sources, that suggest that some form of what we know today as Mark's gospel was making the rounds as early as 55-60 CE.  

I like the thought of this--the idea that even so early on, there was This Story that just had to be told:  it had to be told around campfires, elaborated on after dinner, hurriedly gotten through on the way somewhere.  People just had to tell this story, because this story was important, and meant the world was about to change.  Really, and truly, change for the better.  

Mark wastes no time at all telling us about this amazing guy, Jesus of Nazareth, who appears out of nowhere, and who causes waves both for local authorities and for the very cosmic powers that beset humanity.  You get the sense, through the propulsive ness of the storytelling, that Mark feels this story is both incredibly important, and somewhat dangerous.  After all, Jesus runs into trouble nearly instantly.  The crowds turn.  The authorities question.  Demons start to yell at him.  The story ends on an uncertain note, as the witnesses to the Resurrection flee in fear.

And yet, this is a story that needs telling.  This story, of the God who breaks through time and space to come among us, the Christ who stirs up our human history and who changes how we know to be human, calls us still, and asks us how we will tell it.

If you have a submission to the Fledgling, send it to the office by Thursday morning for inclusion on Friday.  Bulletin announcements should be into the office by Wednesday morning.
  • If you know of someone who would like to receive the Fledgling, please send their email to the office. 

Prayer for the week

Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Readings for the week 

Have you had coffee/tea/hot cider with Mtr Megan?  Send me an email and we'll set up Skype/Facetime and chat!  It's fun (I promise) and we can still meet while we're staying safe right now.
Re-Gathering at St. John's

Good News: Starting on Advent 1 (November 29), we will be live-streaming the Sunday morning services from our sanctuary, with a small team (<5) of worship leaders.  

Less-Than-Good News: Due to rising caseloads around the diocese, the bishop has decided to cease in-person, indoors worship until at least January 1, so our Wednesday Eucharists are on pause. 

Incarnational News: We will have two Christmas Eve services.  The 5pm service will be live-streamed from the sanctuary, and will be Evening Prayer.  The 7pm service will be prerecorded, and feature much music. We will also have a live-streamed Morning Prayer on Christmas Day at 10:30am from the sanctuary.

We are wrapping up our Annual Stewardship Campaign over the next few weeks.  If you haven't returned your Pledge card, please drop it by the Office, or put it in the mail.  If you need another pledge card, email AnnMarie and she will send you one.  

Most of all, thank you to everyone for your prayers, your faithfulness, and your support of the work we do at St. John's.
Laundry Love Returns!
We are working to re-open Laundry Love, in a pandemic-safe way.  If you would like to volunteer, and help our neighbors obtain clean clothes in these uncertain times, please send the office an email.  Because Loaves and Fishes is no longer serving in person, our hours for LL may change from when we were previously open, but by getting on the volunteer list now, you can ensure that you'll be the first to know!  
Schedule this week:

Reminder: Mtr Megan and Ben will be in Missouri this week attending to a family matter.  She will be accessible via email, text, and phone (though there will be that pesky timezone difference to consider!)

Daily Morning Prayer: 9:30am on FB Live and YouTube Live 

Adult Education:  9am: Reclaiming the Book of Revelation:  Zoom link here

Sunday Morning Worship: 10:30 on Facebook Live or YouTube Live

Wednesday Evening Eucharist: On Pause due to bishop's directive

Virtual Coffee hour Zoom at 11:30am (We have a new Zoom Link!  It's below!)
NEW Zoom link here.  

Adult Forum is unpacking the book of Revelation!  Ever wonder about the apocalypse?  Worried 2020 might be it?  Come ask any and all questions as we dive deep into the scariest/most misunderstood book of the Bible!  The book we will be reading alongside is Barbara Rossing's Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation   Everyone is welcome!  Zoom link is here
Important Announcement:
Our parishioner, formerly known as Daniel Ripperton, has over the past year, gone through a process of discovery with regard to gender identity, and has now come to understand herself as a transgender woman, Daniella Ripperton. Daniella’s pronouns are She/Her, her favorite hymn in the Hymnal 1982 is #314 (“Humbly I adore thee, verity unseen”), her favorite LEVAS hymn is #139 (“Pass me not, O gentle Savior”) and her attitude is excited as she continues to work toward God’s vision of beloved community with her fellow members of St. John’s!
Advent 2 Resources

Bulletin is here
Online Prayerbook is here

Resources for Anti-Racism/Solidarity Work:

Are you in need of a new faith based podcast to listen to? Why not choose one from a voice from someone different than you?  There's this one, called Prophetic Resistance.  Give it a shot!

We're about to hit the new liturgical year, and that means resolutions.  If you want to do more intentional anti-racist work, but don't know where to start, check out My Work To Do: an online group for white folks who want to talk about race, but don't know how, or where to start.  (Bonus: it's pay what you want, too!)

Did you know about the Episcopal Public Policy Network? This is an office of the Episcopal Church in Washington DC that is responsible for conveying the values expressed by General Convention to federal lawmakers.  And you can help!  You can sign up to be informed about weekly actions they take here, and write your representatives with your concerns as a faithful member of the church. 


We will continue to post information on protests and ways to support in a timely fashion on the parish FB page.



Good Things:

Places for Spiritual refreshment:

Our beloved local Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers have an online concert coming up December 20th.  It looks to be a wonderful way to celebrate the approaching Christmas feast and to throw some support to a renowned local institution that, like all our non-profits, has been struggling throughout 2020.  More info here.

If you've noticed others posting about #AdventWords, they're participating in a global devotion out of Virginia Seminary.  (Same thing happens during Lent!). Every day, a word appears in your email, and you are asked to reflect on your faith in light of that word (drawn from the scripture for that day.) Get in on the fun here.  (Good for all ages!)

The Diocese of Jerusalem has put together an online Advent calendar featuring photos of its many ministries.  If you're in search of an Advent devotional, this might be right for you!  Check it out here.  

PHOTOS are needed to accompany some of the music in our online services. If you’ve shot some scenes in and around Ithaca that Karen could use with your permission, please send them to the church office; thank you!

SING with our Cyber Choirs and refine your vocal, musical, and technical skills while you serve our parish in worship.  Have a look here for more information!


How can I help?:

Loaves & Fishes Requests Donations for Holiday Gifts
Loaves & Fishes will continue its tradition of providing special foods and gifts during the December holiday season, despite having to serve meals to-go only due to COVID.  They are asking for help with donations of new adult hats, new adult gloves and homemade cookies.  
Starting December 1st, unwrapped new adult hats and gloves may be dropped off (contact free) at Loaves kitchen entrance, accessed through St. John’s parking lot.  Hours are every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 am-1:30 pm and Tuesday/Thursday 2:30 pm-7:00 pm.  Beginning December 17, cookie donations may be dropped off at the kitchen during the same hours.
For additional information or questions, email or call Katy Noonan.
To date, Loaves & Fishes has served 38,000 meals since the onset of the pandemic, 100% more than last year.

Loaves & Fishes has a pressing and ongoing need for community volunteers

Staff and volunteers are providing to-go meals for nearly 3 times more guests this year than last and this number is likely to stay high for the foreseeable future. L&F is strictly screening all volunteers to make sure that the workspace is safe for everyone. The minimum volunteer age for now is 25 with no upper age limit. For more info, click here  Or send an email to


Lots of ways to support St. John's!

We've partnered with to offer the option of online giving for St. John's. Go to the website at, and look for the donate button in the upper right corner. It's safe, secure, and VERY convenient!


You can also download the app on the iTunes store or Google Play store to your smartphone, and search for St. John's Episcopal Church, and give that way.  It will even set up automatic payments so you never have to remember your checkbook again!


Help support St. John's while you shop! If you are shopping on Amazon, use our unique link and Amazon will return 0.05% of your purchase price to St. John's.


Mtr Megan's sermons
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St. John's Episcopal Church · 210 N Cayuga St · Ithaca, NY 14850-4333 · USA

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