Chimes July 2019

The parish picnic on June 9th was a wonderful time! More pictures below.

In this issue

  • Thank You, Rev. G!
  • 2019 Easter Appeal - Lifting Up Westchester
  • Fun Times at the Parish Picnic
  • ECW Spring Dinner
  • Outreach Update
  • Good News!
  • Report from the Diocesan Warden's Conference
  • Recipe of the Month + a Bonus Recipe, both perfect for summer!

The parishioners of St. John’s Church have been blessed to have Reverend Gwyneth MacKenzie Murphy as our Interim Rector for the last fifteen months. Arriving shortly before Easter 2018, Rev. G brought many years of experience with helping parishes in transition.

Early in her tenure Rev. G reached out to parishioners and offered pastoral care, meeting the needs of individuals and groups as they navigated their various feelings and insecurities during this time. And during her fifteen months several very beloved parishioners passed away and Rev. G deeply supported the families and friends.

Rev. G brought a great deal of wisdom which she shared with the Vestry, the Executive Committee and the Search Committee. When the search process began, she met with the Search Committee to talk about the actual roles she performed as a priest at St. John’s. She repeated this conversation with the Vestry during the finalist interview process.

While helping the parish to begin healing and looking forward, Rev. G simultaneously helped to keep traditional events continuing while growing new programs. She helped sustainability initiatives to get started while talking about stewardship of the Earth. She led multiple book groups scheduled at times when folks could attend. She introduced people to the New Zealand Prayer Book as well as contemporary spiritual poetry. A Contemplative Prayer Group was formed. She hired Ms. Chris Palmer to help with technology and the Chimes was reborn and the service leaflet became more comprehensive. She strengthened relationships with neighboring Episcopal churches and prepared us to be open to the leadership of a new rector!

We celebrated Rev. G on Sunday, June 23 after the 10 o’clock Service with a special coffee hour coordinated by Betsy Bradley. Rev. G's last Sunday with us will be June 30, and then she will head off to a retreat house followed by leading a pilgrimage to Scotland.

We are so very grateful for all that Gwyneth has done for us. Her humor, her deep spirituality, her leadership, her wisdom and her generosity will be missed. You will remain in our prayers, Rev. G, and we wish you joy and peace.

Robin Ingram, for the Vestry and Parish

Rev. G says, "Sprained ankle? No problem!"


We are pleased to inform the community of St. John's that the Easter Appeal campaign to support the Life Skills Coordinator for Lifting Up Westchester has resulted in donations totaling $21,190!

Thank you to all who contributed to this very worthy cause.

Fun Times at the Parish Picnic!

We were blessed with beautiful weather at this year's parish picnic! Families and friends came together to celebrate not only Pentecost Sunday, but also fellowship within our community. Children played water games, teenagers tended to their Confirmation garden, volunteers cooked and a good time was had by all! This was the first year where we had both compost and recycling bins in addition to trash and because we used only compostable paper products & cutlery, we greatly reduced our trash (there was only one bag!). Melissa Pierson set up a Midnight Run sign-up table so truly, stewardship was a way of life this year as we continue to care for our planet, our greater community and one another.

Thanks to Rev. G & Karen Hall for the great photos!

ECW Annual Women's Dinner

On June 5th, the ECW held its annual women’s dinner at the Bonnie Briar country club. It was an evening of fun and fellowship, with over 70 women in attendance.

This year's speaker, Betsy Bradley, photographed here with her Mom, MaryLee Bradley.

Every year the ECW Board asks a parishioner to share her story. This year Betsy Bradley was our speaker. Betsy grew up at St. John’s, is currently serving on the Vestry, and is the Vice President of Programs and Engagement at the Historic Hudson Valley. Betsy shared with us how her experience in the Episcopal Church informed her work and instilled a love of language and the importance of tradition.

To read Betsy’s presentation, please click here.

ECW Awards SAF Scholarship
ECW President Jill Brennick with scholarship recipient Sasha Reist.

On Monday evening, June 10, at the annual Mamaroneck-Larchmont Student Aid Fund Awards Ceremony at Mamaroneck High School, parishioner Sasha Reist received the Episcopal Church Women of St. John’s Church Scholarship. Sasha was one of 63 MHS seniors receiving Student Aid Fund (SAF) college scholarships that evening. She will be attending Arizona State University where she will be pursuing a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance. Jill Brennick, president of the ECW, was on hand to congratulate her.

For a number of years, the ECW has contributed money annually to the SAF for the purpose of providing a college scholarship to a deserving woman. This year, the ECW provided grants totaling $27,000 to 17 local charities assisting women and children. Funding for the grants comes primarily from the annual Christmas Bazaar, which will be held on Saturday, November 16 this fall.

Several parishioners serve on the board of the Student Aid Fund, including Linnet Tse, who has headed up the organization for the past two years, Mike O’Connell, and Nancy Pierson.

Remember to check our Time & Talent page regularly on the St. John's website so you'll know what's on the horizon. The page highlights all our ministries – those that are ongoing and support our parish as well as unique outreach events. Look for "Time & Talent" under the Giving tab on our website.

Want to add your ministry or outreach initiative to our Time & Talent page? Please send information to communications@stjohnslarchmont.org. Thanks!

Midnight Run - June 14

Friday, June 14

On June 14th, a group of our parishioners went into Manhattan to deliver food, clothes, toiletries, and conversation to people who are homeless. We had a very warm and clear night with many more men and women out and about on each stop – we had about twice as many people (80+) than we expected. They were very grateful and looked out for each other. One woman took a blanket and then returned it so we could give it to someone else. It was a very touching reminder that dignity is still alive for people in unpleasant circumstances.

But before we did our part, an amazing group of volunteers helped to make it possible. From donating clothes, buying socks and underwear, helping us sort through it all, and making lunches, we have seen how our church can come together in a great cause. In total, we had about 25 people involved this run. A round of applause must also be extended to Cassandre Collazo and her Girl Scout troop (#3205) in the Bronx. Without their dedication to make 56 lunches, we would have been lost.

At the end of the evening, we had given out all the lunches, toiletries, and most of the clothing to very grateful people. It is, as always, a humbling and rewarding experience and we wanted to thank everyone who helped us.

Thank you all,

Melissa and Christina

Sign up to host our summer fellowship after the 9:00 am service!

Any cold beverage (lemonade, seltzer, water) will be a welcome refreshment when served on the driveway after the 9:00 am service. It's easy to do, just bring the beverage of your choice, set up the card table, and pour - all other supplies are provided. Fruit or food is totally optional. Please contact the parish office with any questions.

Click here for the signup. Thanks!

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Amy Jaswal and Jackie Plumez have been asked to reintroduce the popular column telling good news about parishioners at St. John's. We are asking everyone to be our reporters and tell us good news about themselves, friends and families. We'd love to share in your joy! Please email any good news to Jackie Plumez, Amy Jaswel, or communications@stjohnslarchmont.org. Thanks!

Wedding News

Dana O'Keefe, daughter of Cathy and Bill O'Keefe and granddaughter of the late Marilyn "Mouse" Liebenguth, was married to Zachary Stein on June 8, 2019 in Port Jervis, New York.

PJ Massey, son of Gretchen and Paul Massey, was married to Lexi Weatherbie at St. Albans church in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. PJ and Lexi are living in Larchmont temporarily.

Julia Melrose, daughter of Patricia and David Melrose, was married to Stephen Connor.

MHS Senior Enjoys Internship at St. John's Nursery School
Anya & Nursery School Director, Catherine Bucci, are standing in front of the Kapok Tree made by St. John's nursery schoolers.

Long-time parishioner Anya Steinmetz was an Intern at St. John’s Nursery School this spring, as part of the Mamaroneck High School internship program for students. She says she has “loved it! - it has been a great experience.” Anya is a member of the Class of 2019.

Interactive Documentary: People Not Property

Betsy Bradley was part of a collaborative effort at Historic Hudson Valley that created a critically acclaimed interactive documentary, People Not Property, about slavery in the Colonial North. You can see this compelling work by clicking here.

Congratulations, Graduates!

Abby Bennitt, daughter of Peter & Sonita Bennit, Mamaroneck High School

Giselle “Gigi” Goh, daughter of Justin & Roxanne Goh, Quaker Ridge School

Vicky Goodman, daughter of Bob & Diane Goodman, MBA from The Wharton School

Oliver Ward Martin, son of Terry & Ellen Martin, Santa Clara University

Julian Merchant, son of Greg & Lianne Merchant, University of Pennsylvania

Lily Schwendener, daughter of Paul Schwendener and Barbara Gessler, graduated from the School of American Ballet.

Stephanie Tardieu, daughter of Philippe and Marie-Ange Tardieu, graduated from her obstetrics and gynecology residency program from North Shore/ LIJ University Hospital.

If you would like to celebrate a graduate who was not listed in this issue, please let us know so your parish family can celebrate with you!

Baptism Blessings

Congratulations to the newly baptized, and their families!

Alexandra Sarah Demasi

Anoushka Mia Ghosh Lehman

John William Vance

Report from the wardens' conference

The Episcopal Diocese of New York held its annual Wardens’ Conference on May 4 in Pelham. About 100 participants from churches in our Diocese were present. Junior Warden Paul Schwendener attended on behalf of St John’s. Paul reports that the meetings were enlightening, and good fellowship was shared among all participants. Many churches are facing the same challenges as St John’s, and it was helpful and inspiring to learn about different approaches that are being used to promote institutional and financial health. Members of St John’s can watch videos and download pdfs of all presentations by clicking here.

Rick Berry shared this recipe from the At Home on the Sound cookbook, "At Home in the Kitchen". The recipe appears on page 90 and is attributed to Lillian Delvito. Enjoy!

Pesto Salmon

  • 1 side of salmon, filleted and skinned
  • Pesto, store bought or fresh
  • ¼ to ½ cup of pistachio nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place salmon in a high-rimmed glass or nonstick pan sprayed with cooking spray. Spread pesto evenly on the salmon in a thick layer. Top with chopped pistachio nuts; cover the entire fillet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until fish flakes. Allow 6 ounces of fish per serving.

Rick's notes:

I used 4 lbs of salmon (Costco), 1 ½ small containers of fresh pesto from Trader Joe’s, and a generous portion of shelled pistachio nuts from Trader Joe’s (crushed with the bottom of a large pan). It served 10 people.

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This recipe from Ina Garten, shared by our amazing bookkeeper Lisa Sommer, would be a great accompaniment to the salmon!

Fiesta Corn & Avocado Salad

  • 3 ears corn, preferably yellow, shucked
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved through the stem
  • 1 Holland orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, and 1/2-inch-diced
  • 1/2 cup medium-diced red onion
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and ribs removed, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (3 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 2 ripe Hass avocados, large-diced
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Cook the corn in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 7 minutes, until just tender. Cool for 5 minutes and cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob with a sharp knife. Place the kernels in a large bowl with the tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and jalapeno peppers.

In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, chile powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss.

In a separate bowl, gently toss the avocados and lemon juice together, making sure the avocado is coated in lemon juice. Add to the vegetables, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and carefully fold together without breaking up the avocados. Sprinkle with salt and serve cold or at room temperature.

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!

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