Chimes February 2020

In this issue

  • Lenten Message from Rev. Lisa
  • Farewell, Mo. Alissa!
  • Outreach Update: Midnight Run Recap
  • Coming Soon - Mark Your Calendars
  • Holy Week & Easter Schedule
  • Easter Flowers
  • Shrove Tuesday Pancake Party
  • Janet Beal and the Memorial Book
  • Good News
  • Recipe of the Month!

This image portrays what I believe to be part of the invitation to a holy Lent of examination and repentance. When we venture into the deep places of our hearts that might have been locked away, suppressed, denied, or protected for a long time, we most likely will find those places enshrouded in darkness. But as we turn to God to lift these burdens, regrets, hurts, and fears out of our hearts, we begin to see slivers of light that expand as we pursue mercy, redemption, and new life. This is hard work, but it is also life-saving and life-giving.

On Ash Wednesday, we were invited into a season of deep reflection, remembering and repenting. Repent means to literally turn around or turn back to God confessing those obstacles that separate us from God or those things which mar or damage our relationship with God. Our foreheads are marked with ashes as a reminder that we are humans, broken mortals, but deeply and fully loved and forgiven by God. With open arms and open hearts, we find God right there, ready to forgive us so that we might begin new life again, open to fully receive God’s love and grace and pour it out on others.

There are many ways to observe a holy Lent. For some children of God, giving up something you love is a way to reflect on your relationship with God and others as you miss whatever it is you give up, such as limiting your “screen time”, giving up a favorite snack food, or not engaging in gossip. Others find it transformational to take on something such as a service project, working on a difficult relationship, smiling and greeting people they encounter as they go about their lives, or trying a new spiritual practice such as a new form of prayer or bible study. All of these offer new ways to learn more about God and your relationship with the God who created each and all of us.

However you engage this Lent, I pray that it brings you closer to the understanding that God is always pursuing a good and right relationship with us, longing for us to engage in that work wholeheartedly. God wants us to experience God’s mercy and healing love.

If you find yourself unable to let go of your burdens or accept God’s forgiveness, I invite to you to prayerfully consider participating in the Sacrament of the Reconciliation of the Penitent. This is a form of confession available to all persons individually with your priest (in total confidentiality). There is something very powerful and freeing in naming that which for which you are seeking forgiveness out loud in the presence of your priest and hearing God’s forgiveness of that burden. This service can be found in the Book of Common Prayer on page 447. If you have questions or want more information, please do not hesitate to email me or call.

If I can be of any help to you as your walk this journey of Lent, please do not hesitate to ask. The season of Lent can prepare you to discover the places of darkness in your life that are limiting your freedom to love God and others. Once those places are discovered and lifted up to God, you can experience the fullness of the Easter gifts of the empty tomb, resurrected Christ, and the promise of new and everlasting life given to each and all of us.

May you have a holy Lent.


Rev. Lisa+

Rev. Lisa offered Ashes to Go at the Larchmont Train Station.

The Rev. Alissa Anderson recently announced that she had been elected Rector by the parish of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Plant City, FL. (Click here to read her full announcement.) The St. John's Community wishes Mo. Alissa, Josh and Gus the very best. We will miss you all!

Mo. Alissa's last Sunday at St. John's was February 23, and we had a wonderful party in the Parish Hall.

Midnight Run Recap

On Friday, January 17, 2020 we held our most recent Midnight Run. A group of our fellow parishioners helped shop, cook, make lunches, pack, and braved the cold to help men and women in need in New York City.

We were overwhelmed with the generous response to our “Amazon Wish List” which provided us with enough underwear and socks for the Run. About 15 volunteers took on the massive task of sorting pants, shirts, and jackets by size while others packed bags of toiletries. Even the children helped: one of the youngest systematically counted and packed 150 pairs of socks while his mother sorted through shoes.

Over our heads in the parish hall, the ballroom dancers kept time.

When everything was organized and packed into cars — the donated lunches, a nutritious soup, coffee, and hot chocolate — Rev. Lisa said a commissioning prayer. Three cars followed one Midnight Run van and we caravanned into the city. The van held the clothing, Steve Cosi’s car took the bagged lunches, Blair Springer gave out the toiletries and socks, and David Gold ladled out the soup and coffee. Thanks to the “sports” team from the ECW Bazaar, we had more than the usual number of the much-desired backpacks and sleeping bags.

Despite the harsh temperatures, we met 40 people who needed what we had to offer. They, in turn, gave us blessings, thanks, and more than one political discussion! We had several “first-time” volunteers including several father-son teams and have heard they want to come back! We were joined by one Boy Scout from the troop that meets at St. John’s and learned that they may be interested in doing their own run. Open Arms Men’s Shelter in White Plains gratefully accepted the leftover sandwiches and soup that we took to them.

It was a good night and I hope we continue to carry the same generous spirit to help others throughout the year. Our next run will be in the late spring.

With special thanks to my partners, Christina Battalia and Nancy Pierson,

Melissa Pierson

Mark Your Calendars!

Sunday, March 1 at 5:00 pm - Evensong

Please join us for Evensong, a traditional music-based service that dates to the 16th century. Music includes works by Bach, Byrd, Stanford, Sumsion, Widor, and Howells. A reception will follow the service. All are welcome.

Sundays, March 1, 8, 15, 22: Lenten Program

How to talk about the journey of dying and death: a class for parents who want to talk to their children about death and children who want to talk to their parents about death, and for those who would rather talk about any subject other than death.

  • How to talk about death and the journey of grieving
  • Funeral planning and writing your obituary
  • Logistical forms for the journey: DNR’s, Palliative Care, etc.
  • Do you have a will? Planned giving?

Each session will meet from 11:30-12:30 in the Chapter Room. Please join us!

Saturday, March 28, 9:00-11:30 am - Lenten Retreat

Stations of the Cross: A morning of reflecting on and experiencing Jesus' journey to the cross with meditations, images, silence, and prayer. All are welcome.

Wednesday, April 1 - Deadline for Applications to ECW Outreach Grants Program

Each year the ECW (Episcopal Church Women) Outreach Grants Program gives support to organizations that help women and children in need. All applications are due April 1, 2020. We would like grant applicants to propose small, specific programs or projects that support our mission helping under-served women and children in our local region. If you are familiar with a local charity that you would like to recommend for a grant application, please let us know. For more information, contact Fiona Farrell or Lila Bankston.

Tuesday, May 19: ECW Trip to The New York Botanical Garden

For all women of St. John's! VIP tour of Kusama: Cosmic Nature at The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, with a buffet lunch to follow. Note that the day will begin with a prompt 8:45 AM arrival at the NYBG. Please respond to your MailChimp invitation or register on our website via the link on the ECW page. For confidential financial support, please contact Rev. Lisa. The NYBG can accommodate up to 50 participants for this special tour. Sign-ups will close on May 1.

Sunday, April 5 - Palm Sunday

Palm procession at both services, at 8:00 am and 10:00 am.

April 6-8 - Holy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday
  • 7:00 am - Holy Eucharist at St. John's
  • 7:30 pm - Holy Eucharist at St. Thomas Mamaroneck
Thursday, April 9 - Maundy Thursday
  • 6:30 pm Agape Dinner in the Undercroft
  • 7:30 pm Service including Foot Washing, Holy Eucharist, and Stripping of the Altar
Friday, April 10 - Good Friday
  • 10:00 am - Family Stations of the Cross at St. Thomas Mamaroneck
  • 12:00 noon - Good Friday liturgy at St. John's, followed by silence and reflection time, with bells ringing 33 times at 3:00 pm
Saturday, April 11 - Holy Saturday
  • 7:30 pm - Easter Vigil at St. John's, joint service with St. Thomas Mamaroneck and All Saints Harrison
Sunday, April 12 - Easter Sunday
  • 6:00 am - Sunrise Service at Manor Park
  • 9:00 am - Holy Eucharist and Choral Service with Flowering of the Cross
  • 11:00 am - Holy Eucharist and Choral Service

Easter Flowers For The Altar

Deadline: Wednesday, April 1st

The beautiful flowers which adorn St. John’s at Easter are offered to celebrate the resurrection of Christ and to glorify God. We invite you to remember your family, friends, and other loved ones with a donation towards our Easter flowers. Flowers may be given in memory of, in honor of, or in thanksgiving for a family member or friend.

Flower dedications received by Wednesday, April 1 will be included in the Easter Sunday bulletin.

How to contribute to St. John’s Easter flowers:

  1. Go online and pay via PayPal. Click here to donate Easter Flowers online using PayPal.
  2. Click here to download the paper order form. Send the completed form and a check to the parish office. Please make your check payable to St. John’s Church and note “Easter Flower Fund” on the memo line.

Thank you!

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Party

Hours before Lent began, a group of about 90 parishioners gathered in the parish hall on Tuesday, February 25 for the return of our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Party. It was a fantastic and fun Mardi Gras celebration, with wonderful food, silly games, and beautiful fellowship. Thank you to all who worked so hard to make it happen.

Janet Beal and the Memorial Book

By Wendy E. McFee

Janet Beal was always doing stuff around St. John’s. “It’s my church,” she would tell you. Everyone knows that for donkey’s years, she was the keeper of our beautiful Advent wreath and that she was a long-time member of the choir. What you perhaps don’t know is that she has been the clerk of the vestry, the president of the ECW, and for many years, an altar guild member, a Eucharistic minister, a lector, a member of the pastoral care team, active in the care of our grounds and as choir member, she kept everyone in the choir informed, looked for professional section leaders and kept our library of music in order. It was in the last endeavor that I joined her in the summer of 2017. We spent several hours taking out every box of music in the Chapter Room, checking that its contents matched the label on the box, that it all faced the same way, that photocopies were properly stored. If you’ve ever looked at how much music there is in the Chapter Room, you will know what a task this was and believe me, there were dozens of pieces of music that were misfiled.

When we had finished that assignment, for some unknown reason, we set about looking for the Memorial Book. This used to be kept in the Sacristy but it could not be found there. We checked the office and the Rector’s office with no success. Someone suggested that it might be in the room opposite the Curate’s office. We inventoried every box and file folder in that room and placed the inventory on the back of the door and in the office. We didn’t find the original book but we did find a project that Betty Alt, as Vestry member, had completed in 2003. She had taken a photocopy of the Memorial Book and divided it into a number of sections. She had written on one of these sections, “Don’t type” and had attached her notes updating the various sections to those sections. We then found on the office computer, the documents that Betty had had typed up. In 2017, Janet put together a folder with these documents and a note explaining the situation and asking the reader to “enjoy looking at the history of some of the beautiful elements of our worship and the people in whose memory they were created and given to St. John’s.”

In early 2019, Alfred Schlosser passed away and his wife, Jackie and her good friend, the Rev. Dorothy Greene bought a pair of beautiful candlestick holders in memory of Alfred. Dorothy asked us to include this in the Memorial Book. It was then that Janet and I set about bringing the Memorial Book up to date.

The church was renovated in 2013 resulting in some changes. We decided to review all that Betty had done in light of the renovation and attempt to reconstruct all memorials and gifts since 2003. We enlisted help from the Rev. Cynthia Bell, Rick and Carla Berry, Kathy Brenner, Lynne Buly, Bonnie Burdick, the Rev. Dorothy Greene, Laura Hoffman, Ann Kirkham, Paul Maki, Pat Melrose, the Rev. Tom Nicoll, Frank and Nancy Pierson, Laura Rawlings, Jackie Schlosser, Francisco Vargas, Tom White and Jmel Wilson. We can’t be sure that we haven’t missed something even with that illustrious panel. However, if you look at the Book and notice an omission, please feel free to let Wendy know. The Book is now easy to amend, update and search electronically. It is kept as a Word document on the Parish Office’s main computer with a copy (also in PDF format) on the Church’s Amazon storage site. It was decided that it would not be available on the Church’s website.

Not all the gifts recorded in the Book can still be found within the church campus. There are a variety of reasons for this; in some cases, gifts were no longer usable, such as a movie projector from earlier days.

Betty had a section entitled “Bequests.” It was decided that we would not include this section. We included only gifts and bequests that were given for a specific purpose (other than a Capital Campaign - that would mean most of us would be included!). In fact, not all gifts of money given for a specific purpose are included.

Some of the gifts are small. For example, a purificatory was given in memory of an Altar Guild member. The donor thought it shouldn’t be included but we thought it was such a loving action that it should be.

We found a couple of plaques where it wasn’t clear what the gift was. We checked the Vestry minutes of the time but they included no mention. We have footnoted our best guess for these plaques. Further, the original Memorial Book stated “Chimes in Tower inscribed: ‘To the praise of God and in loving memory of William Edward Bevis …’” Francisco went up into the bell tower with me to check this out. The inscription appears on the largest bell. The bells were made in Troy, New York.

We have placed the Memorial Book in the Narthex. There is also a copy with a different cover in the sacristy. As you may know, Janet passed away on December 26. She had seen and approved the Book and was waiting for me to write this article. Thank you, Janet, for all you have done for St. John’s. And thank you to all those who gave us time and information.

Carolyn Gallaher is a volunteer with Global Volunteers, and a recent blog post on their site included a great piece about her time in Crete in October. Here's an excerpt:

"With a thirst for cross-cultural knowledge, octogenarian Carolyn Gallaher joined her third service program with Global Volunteers in hope to uncover the true heart of Crete. She soon learned she wouldn’t be disappointed. Carolyn was grateful to work on a variety of service projects that put her in direct contact with Greeks of all ages, but teaching one particular adult student was a delight. She didn’t expect, however, that losing her bearings one day would lead her directly to her “special student” and close the gap between cultures; a memory she will cherish forever."

Click here to read the full article.

Have good news to share? We'd love to share in your joy! Please email any good news to communications@stjohnslarchmont.org. Thanks!

This month's recipe comes from our own Jmel Wilson. Jmel shares that she usually doubles or triples this recipe, because it is so delicious left over. Enjoy - and it's perfect for Lent!

French Lentils with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

  • 1 cup/250 g du Puy lentils (Trader Joe’s small whole green lentils works great)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig (or dried)
  • Chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar – use the best
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2-4 ounces toasted walnuts
  • 4 ounces/100 g goat cheese broken into pinches – gorgonzola or bleu cheese also works

Put the lentils in a saucepan with the bay leaf and thyme. Pour over 1 1/3 cups chicken stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Do not overcook or they will be mushy.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and sauté the carrots and shallots until soft. Add the garlic for 1 minute, then deglaze the pan with a generous splash of balsamic vinegar. Once the lentils are cooked, toss them with the onion mixture, season to taste with salt and pepper and put them in a serving dish. Scatter toasted walnuts and pinches of cheese.

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Have a recipe to share? Join the fun and send it to communications@stjohnslarchmont.org. Yours just might be the next Recipe of the Month!

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Likewise, your photos and news from your ministries are always welcome. Please forward your submissions to communications@stjohnslarchmont.org. Let your ministry's light shine through Chimes!