The Fledgling--Week of October 2, 2020

From Mother Megan:

A week ago, the bishop invited the head of the Episcopal Public Policy Network to address our weekly clergy gathering.  One of the things he spoke to us about was the effort underway by EPPN to put together a tool kit to combat disinformation and conspiracy theories that are flying around.  He pointed out that as Christians, we have a moral obligation to seek the truth, in addition to the social obligation we have as citizens of a society.

I admit to being strangely fascinated by conspiracy theories, and how they operate.  Cults, too, hold an odd fascination for me.  The origin of my fascination, is, I think, the way that both manage to work upon the vulnerabilities we all have, and slowly reshape everything we think about the nature of reality.  A person can go from being well-educated, thoughtful, and critical, to being someone who adamantly believes that the world is flat, with all events being controlled by a secret cabal of criminals, and our only chance is to uncover gnostic wisdom hidden in dispatches on the internet.

Cultlike behavior can spring up in any number of places.  No one organization has a corner on this unfortunate market.  The prevalence of it underscores how hungry all humans are for meaning.  Human creatures crave meaning and purpose in our lives so badly, that when we don't find it easily, we create it for ourselves.  And sometimes in the guise of hidden lizard people who run the world, and sometimes in the guise of a divinely bestowed leader whose decisions you cannot question.

But that inherent human drive to search for transcendent meaning is, in itself, a holy and vulnerable thing.  Just because that drive for meaning can be exploited doesn't mean we should ignore it; in fact, the fragility of our search for meaning means we should be even more tender with it.  It means we should take the utmost care with each other when we are in a place of searching, and of asking questions.  It means we should be even more careful to encourage each other to bring our whole, best selves to the work of discerning God's presence and will in our lives.  

The more we talk about big topics like ultimate meaning and values in our lives, the easier we make it for others to be open with us about their own struggles and searching.  And the safer we make it for everyone to find meaning and purpose, along with truth.

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

Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Readings for the week (Track 2)

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.
Wednesday Evening Eucharists are Back!
Our local caseload appears to be declining, so we're going to restart the Wednesday evening Eucharists at 6pm in the front yard of the church.  Please sign up here if you'd like to come.  
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!  
Office Hours are Back!

The office will be open Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 2-5pm, and Tuesday and Thursdays from 10-2pm.  
Schedule this week:

Daily Morning Prayer: 9:30am on FB Live and YouTube Live will return July 27th

Sunday Morning Worship: 10:30am on FB and YouTube 

Wednesday Evening Eucharist: 6pm in the Churchyard (please sign up ahead of time.) 

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

18th Sunday after Pentecost Resources

 Bulletin is here

Online BCP is here. 
Sad news:  Janet (Nnakku) Nsibambi passed away last week after a series of health setbacks. Janet was a longtime member of St. John's, and her cheerful presence will be missed.  Arrangements are pending, and will be shared when finalized.

May her soul, and the souls of all the departed, through the mercies of God rest in peace.



Loaves and Fishes News.


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

Loaves & Fishes Empty Bowls fundraiser is happening on October 10 this year, in a to-go and contact-free format. For more info and to purchase a ticket (which gives you a choice of 2 soups plus salad, bread, dessert, and a beautiful pottery bowl), click here  Act quickly, tickets are limited and going fast!

Resources for Anti-Racism/Solidarity Work:

Census! Have you filled out the Census yet?  It's important!  Having an accurate census count determines our representation in Congress, our allotment of funding in a multitude of public programs, and also supplies needed data to a wealth of private businesses.  The count stops this year on Sept 30 (ETA: or maybe not, who knows, 2020 is confusing) , so head over to the census website and fill it out!

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. 

Bystander Training:  Have you ever witnessed someone being harassed because of their gender/ethnicity/language/orientation and wished you could do something about it?  There's actually a lot you can do!  Sign up for a free Bystander Training with Hollaback--a non-profit dedicated to teaching people how to intervene in situations where other people are being harmed.  Learn how to use your privilege for good!

VOTING: Gov. Cuomo recently signed an executive order allowing worry about the corona virus to be an acceptable reason for receiving an absentee ballot.  The application for such a ballot is here. Early voting will start soon, if you'd like to vote in person.  Find out where to vote near you here.  

VOTING PART 2: Because of the pandemic, there is a shortage of poll workers.  Is this an area where you could help?  Find out how to volunteer here. 

Sunday afternoon protests/rallies continue on the Ithaca Commons to call attention to the epidemic of police brutality and systemic racism in our country.  Every Sunday at 2pm at Bernie Milton Pavilion (bring water and wear a mask!)
We will continue to post information on protests and ways to support in a timely fashion on the parish FB page.


Drive-By Blessing of the Animals

Next Sunday, from 1pm--2:30pm, we're going to have a drive-by blessing of the animals!  Bring your furry friends by the parking lot of St. John's, where I shall be stationed, ready and waiting, to bless all comers.  Photos of all pets will appear on our FB page and Instagram (with your kind permission.)  
See you then!

Help those affected by Hurricane Laura in the Gulf.  

As if 2020 wasn't enough in itself, a huge hurricane hit the Gulf of Mexico recently and wrecked communities along the coast.  We have an opportunity to send aid through local Episcopal churches in an effort organized by Christ Episcopal in Bowling Green, KY.  They will be filling several trucks with non-perishable food and other basic supplies, and sending them down.  Donations can be made via check mailed to Christ Episcopal Church 1215 State St  Bowling Green, KY  42101 or through this website, 

Good Things:

Places for Spiritual refreshment:

Sing in Cyber Choir!  You need not be a member of our Chancel Choir to participate. Make independent sound files of anthems and/or hymns at your convenience to be blended with other singers. Contact the Director of Music through the church office for more info and a Zoom Link to our instructional meetings on Thursdays @ 7pm. 

October 1st marked the 3rd anniversary of the dedication of our new congregational hymnals, Lift Every Voice and Sing II.  Throughout the month of October, our Sunday Livestream services will include hymns from this collection.  Please join us in song!

Do you need a prayer book or hymnal at home to follow along with the Sunday service?  Come adopt one! We're starting an 'adoption' program so parishioners can sign out BCPs and hymnals for home use.  Email AnnMarie for more information.  (Important: please don't feed or water the prayer books/hymnals.  They do enjoy regular human interaction, however. :) )
Been getting into the Daily Office recently?  There's an app for that! (No, really!) It's called Venite, and it's free.  Tell it what day it is, which rite you prefer, and it will pop out a bulletin, a prayer service, and even provide meditative music for you.  
The diocese has compiled a comprehensive list of formation and worship opportunities from around our diocese here.  There's something for everyone, in nearly every time imaginable!
Have you checked out Grow Christians recently?  It's a fantastic blog about parenting faithful kids and teens, and is updated daily.  It's here
Faith@Home is a resource put together by Forward Movement and Forma.  They send you an email every day with prayers, reflections, and activities designed for different age groups, and they have stepped up their work in this time.  Check it out here. 

How can I help?:

LOAVES & FISHES needs volunteers! Click here to find out more or to sign up. 

Calling all sewists! Our local Ithaca Area School District needs reusable cloth masks for every child in the district that wants one!  

They have secured a generous donation of fabric and elastic from JoAnn Fabric, but lack the ability/resources to make these masks. The PTA Council is hoping that our community would be willing to share in this opportunity to work together to provide these masks for our students. 
Can you sew 1 mask? or 5? or 10? 
150 people or groups sewing 10 masks will hit the district's goal of 1500 masks ready for students on Oct 5. 
If you have some energy to spare and can show your support for our students, fill out the form found at the following link and a member of the PTA Council will be in touch about getting supplies and plans to you.  
Mutual Aid Tompkins County has been meeting immediate needs for our neighbors, and keeping the little blue boxes stocked with food around town.  They are in need of donations so if you have something extra to give, now's the time.  They can be found here.

Ithaca Kitchen Cupboard needs volunteers! Contact Cora Yao for more information. You can sign up here

Dignity Pantry Personal Care Items Needed Although Laundry Love remains closed for now, the Dignity Pantry is getting a lot of use. We currently need deodorant, toothpaste, tooth brushes, any kind of cleaning/ sanitizing wipe, mouthwash and sunscreen. Shampoos and lotions are always welcome as well. We are currently more than stocked on toilet paper, bar soap, paper towels and socks (Bombas just sent us 3,000. pairs of socks!)  When you are at the store, remember to look for buy one/ get one deals! 
E-mail AnnMarie at and we will arrange a convenient time for items to be dropped off. Thank you!

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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