December 13, 2018, 3:00 PM

St. John’s Episcopal Church - Sunday, December 16, 2018


From Fr. Ray+

Last week I received a phone call from St. John’s member Henry Jordan informing me that a family he knows had been burned out of their home.  The family consists of a father, mother and two teenage daughters.  I gave them some money from my Priest’s Discretionary Fund.  They also received a relatively small amount of money from the Red Cross, as well as some individuals who knew them. The good folks at the Isle of Capri Casino gave them two hotel rooms for one week and they are now in the process of seeking permanent housing.  The St. Francis Committee of St. John’s has provided some additional funds.  All of these gifts are helpful and greatly appreciated.  The fact, though, is that these folks lost absolutely everything.  They escaped the fire with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. In the seasons of Advent and Christmas we are reminded of a Savior who came into the world as a baby born to poor parents.  He announced his ministry in the synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth by quoting the prophet Isaiah, “

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

We, too, proclaim good news to the poor when we serve them in the name of our Lord. Anyone who would like to contribute to this family may do so by making a check out to St. John’s and mailing or delivering it to the church.  Please note on your check that it is for the family who was burned out.  We will make sure one hundred percent of what you give is delivered to this family.  As we find out more about needs such as furniture, bedding, etc., we will pass that along to you.

Our Christmas Eve Service will be at 5:30 p.m. Please note that this is a change of time from what was in last week’s newsletter.  Our new organist, Dr. Statom, will be playing for the service. Also, we are pleased that a guest soprano soloist from Memphis will be with us.  Please start now inviting friends and family to what is one of the most beautiful services of the year at St. John’s!

Morning Prayer will be offered on Tuesday mornings at 8:30 during Advent.  The remaining dates are December 11 and 18.  This is a brief service, lasting about 15-20 minutes.  Participants can use their own Book of Common Prayer or use one from the pew rack at church.  Morning Prayer is a wonderful way of starting your day throughout the year

There will be another opportunity for personal spiritual development on Saturday, January 5, 2019, when Rev. Danny Schieffler visits St. John’s to lead a program on Centering Prayer.   Fr. Danny is the Rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Little Rock and has deep roots in Helena-West Helena.  This program will take place on Saturday morning between 9 and 12.   A continental breakfast will be served.  I hope you will participate in this opportunity to learn more about prayer as well as welcoming Fr. Danny on this visit to his hometown.

Blessings, Fr. Ray +

Gluten free Communion wafers are available now.  If you desire to receive a gluten free wafer, simply let Fr. Ray know as he distributes the bread at the altar rail.

Worship and Education News:

Adult Sunday School:  Meets Sunday at 9:00 am. 

Sunday School:   Will meet at 9:00 am at the First United Methodist Church.

Worship:  December 16, the Holy Eucharist, Rite II, with Rev Ray Brown

Readings for Third Sunday of Advent:  Zephaniah 3:14-20; Psalm Canticle 9: The Song of Isaiah; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18

Pastoral News:

Please keep the following in your prayers:   Susan Worrell, Debra Richardson, David Henderson, Kathy Sullivan, Larry Bryant, Lynn Jordan, Ray Worley, Carol Jennings, Nancy Howe, Jim Howe, Parker Pace, Heather Treat, Julie Ann Doan, Courtney Turner, Sheila Fraiser, Blake Robertson, P.J. Clay, Rev. Mike Wilkie, Rita Merritt, Kent Shreeve, Jerry Robertson, Mary Hamm, Mary Helen Lagarde, Jo Boone Wild, Richard Hargraves, Gloria Higginbotham, Emma Lee Gordon, Pat Wheeler, Jan Hickey, Paula Oliver, Kelly Faye Parker, and for the family of Mary Nell Pyron.

Outreach News:

Angels of Grace and Anchor Mission ministries: The items from their wish list this week is dish soap.

Humane Society of the Delta:  Donations needed are dog & puppy food. 

       Please place all of these donations in the red wagon at the back of the church.

Grace Food Pantry: plastic bags go in the labeled container in the narthex.

      Thank you for your weekly donations.  They are all greatly appreciated.

Church Office News and Announcements:

Dec 11, Tues at 8:30 am: Morning Prayer (chapel)

Dec 12, Wed at 5:30 pm: Midweek Healing Eucharist (chapel)

Altar Guild – Carla Myers & Jayne Morris

Dec 16, SUN at 10:30 am:  Holy Eucharist, Rite II

Acolyte – Ed Pat Wright

Lay Eucharist Minister – Susan Carter

Altar Guild – Nancy Hornor, Melody Rogers & Bennett Sellers

Altar Flowers – Ernest & Cathy Cunningham

Dec 18, Tues at 8:30 am:  Morning Prayer (chapel)

Dec 19, Wed at 5:30 pm:  Midweek Eucharist (chapel)

Altar Guild –  Nancy Hornor, Melody Rogers & Bennett Sellers

Dec 20, Thurs at 4:30 pm: All Altar Guild will meet at the church for Hanging of the Greens and polishing.  This will be followed by fellowship at the Tavern.

All Altar Guild will, immediately after the service on Sunday, December 23, decorate and set up for Christmas.


Poinsettia Donations form is above.  Please turn in to the office by Sunday, December 16, to be acknowledged in the program.


The website to purchase St John’s church photos is  All proceeds will go to support Young Life of Phillips County.  Photographs can also be viewed in the church office.

St. John’s T-shirts are available with sizes from S through 3XL.  The price is $15. 

Contact info for Fr. Ray:

Cell: 501-291-6262    


St. John’s Church Office:

Phone:  870-338-8115    


Mailing address:  P.O. Box 770, Helena, AR 72342

Street address:  625 pecan St., Helena, AR