November 2018 SPOKESMAN

Click here for an easy-to-print PDF of the November Spokesman.

Raise the Roof: Capital Campaign Launch

It seems the sunshine intends to hold onto fall just enough for the construction of our new, beautiful copper roof to be completed - thanks be to God! With the scaffolding up, construction is well underway. And so members and friends of St. John's, now is the time for our work with regard to the new roof to begin. As is our practice with large capital improvements, we secured financing to pay for the construction of the roof. But paying off this debt through monthly installments is not our preferred plan. Rather, through a hard-hitting, all-in, capital campaign, our goal is to raise $688,000 in 15 months, so that we can pay off this loan in full. Ambitious? Yes. Possible? Of course, for we believe that "all things are possible through Christ who strengthens" us, and because we have done this before, giving sacrificially, each according to one's specific call and ability, coming together as one for a worthwhile common cause! So yes, together we can do this! It will bless us and all who throughout the future decades come to St. John's for prayer and refuge and courage - all coming to our sanctuary to worship our God.So please join us in giving to St. John's Home Improvement - Raise the Roof capital campaign. You will receive more information and materials on our campaign later this month. May God bless this good work in our midst - for those who plan and construct, for we who willingly shoulder the cost of this investment to improve and protect our most sacred space, and for those who will worship at St. John's in all the years to come!

O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell, and the place where your glory abides. - Psalm 26:8


Pastor Frank Espegren

We're Amending the Constitution!

by Gwynnae Byrd

Church Council President

This year, the council appointed a committee to update our Constitution. We are required to conform to the Model Constitution of the ELCA, and had not updated ours for over 10 years. Any changes to our constitution must approved by a majority vote at a special meeting called by the council. Those changes then must be ratified again at our annual meeting next January. So, instead of calling yet another meeting, we thought we would meet this constitutional requirement by asking for these changes to be approved at our regularly-scheduled Congregation Matters meeting on November 4. If you would like an advance copy of the proposed amended constitution, please contact Eric in the front office.

So, please join us on November 4 at 10:15 am to discuss congregational matters including updates to our constitution!

Scaffolding is in place, and workers are at the top! This week we see them removing the old roofing and carefully disposing of the asbestos shingles. You may notice as you look up that what has been removed has been replaced with waterproofing until our beautiful new copper shingles are installed. Placing the underlayment is next over the sanctuary. You should begin to see the shine copper shingles appear the first or 2nd week in November. It's happening! Thanks to everyone for your patience during this immense project. Please know that we are making every effort to ease the inconvenience of not having use of the parking lot. For the month of November, we will have additional parking passes for the structure during the week. You may request one upon arrival at the front desk. Stay tuned for more updates as they happen! - Linda Baldwin, Executive Director of Administration

Some Pastoral Help!

By Pastor Frank Espegren Senior Pastor Even as St. John's Call Committee continues its work to call a 3rd full-time pastor to St. John's, a modicum of pastoral help has already arrived from a unique source! The Council of the Sierra Pacific Synod is able to issue very part-time non-stipendiary (that is, unpaid) calls for pastors who wish to serve in an ordained, yet volunteer, capacity in a congregational setting. At. St. John's request, such a call has been issued to St. John's member, Pastor Michael Meyer. Pastor Mike is a full-time nurse working within the California prison system. But he has about 5 hours of service a week he can provide St. John's, especially in areas in which he has unique ability, like teaching "the faith" to adults (Pastor Mike is currently teaching a "Luminext" course, designed as a direct follow to Luminaria, on how Lutheran Christians read the Bible as the source and norm of our lives). We believe Pastor Mike will also be a resource in St. John's focus on healing ministries, and as an occasional resource in other pastor functions such as weddings, funerals, preaching, etc. As a community, let us give thanks to God for Pastor Mike's call among us, his gifts for ministry, and the little bit of time that he can give St. John's that's going to make a big difference! I am very excited to have Pastor Michael Michael Meyer on board!


Mark Carlson

Come and celebrate the retirement of Mark Carlson, Director of Lutheran Office of Public Policy - California, on December 8th 10:30am - 2pm at St. John's Lutheran Church. The event will include a luncheon and a presentation by Bishop Guy Erwin. RSVP by filling out a Reservation & Donation form to indicate if you will be in attendance and if you wish to make a donation in honor of Mark Carlson and his many years of faithful service. Make reservations at: Contact: Jo Ann Anderson • (530) 668-8836 •

Senior Concerns Task Force Presents: Speaker Series II
Date: Sunday, November 11
Location: Oehler Hall
Time: After the 8am and 9am services

Navigating the legal as well as the financial avenues related to aging is no easy task. Mr. Timothy P. Murphy, attorney at law, will be joining our faith family here at St. John’s on November 11th to help us make sense of it all! Mr. Murphy’s legal practice centers in elder law, insurance, estate planning and minimizing death taxes. His knowledge in this area is invaluable as each of us plans for the “third stage” of life.

Tim’s experience includes his practical knowledge form over 30 years of experience, but also his community involvement in organizations serving seniors. He has served on the board of Agency on Aging Area 4 and a member of the Yolo County commission on Aging and Adult Services.

The Day before Thanksgiving Meal for the Neighbors

By Linda Fawx The St. John’s community offers many ways to respond to the Matthew 25:35 passage which says: "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me

something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me”. One way is the holiday meals for the needy of our neighborhood. This has been a tradition for over 20 years and over 10,000 holiday meals have been served.Twice a year, on the day before Thanksgiving and the day before Easter, we serve festive meals for all who come. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, November 21st we will open the door to Goethe Hall at noon, for a full, sitdown turkey dinner for over 400 people. Ittakes at least 150 volunteers to prepare, serve and

clean up for this daylong event in Goethe Hall. We seat our guests at beautiful y decorated tables and serve them, as if at our home or in a restaurant. The dining room is open from noon to about 3pm, although some guests linger in the warmth and friendliness. Volunteers are typically St. John’s members and friends. Volunteers are all ages, although we ask that children under 10 do more preparation activities and that all children be accompanied by their grown-ups. Gifts of money, of food, of planning and of direct service are all needed. We welcome 40 cooked and sliced turkeys, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans and pie of all kinds (we need at least 75). Please check the website for specifics on needed items. Our workday starts at8:30am, and we work in shifts. 8:30am-10:00am is for set-up, 10am 11:30am is preparation, volunteers to serve are asked to come at 11:30am forinstruction before service starts at noon. Cleanup is from 2:30pm to 4:30pm or so. We are always done by dark. This can be a family event, a friend event and a get-to know other people event. It is our St. John’s community at its best, as we invite the neighbors in to dinner. To sign up, use the tear out sheets in the bulletinsor go to

The Order of St. John Celebrates 60 Years



By Betsy Long

Right before Confirmation in 1978, my fellow Confirmand Leslie turned to me and asked, “What are you going to do after this? I heard they’re going to let girls do Order of St. John.” To this point, girls’ only option to serve the church – other than childcare and music –was the Order of Chi Rho, which set up the cookies and coffee for fellowship hour following the then-9:30 a.m. Sunday service.Helping through Chi Rho did not interest me, so I asked around for more information about serving in the Order of St. John. My grandfather, Pastor Robert Romeis, was not encouraging. “Carrying the cross is boys’ work,” he told me. “Girls don’t belong in the Order.”Not to be discouraged, I signed up for OSJ, anyway, and was the second girl (Leslie Bader was the first) to serve.Many questions surrounded allowing girls to serve in OSJ: Were we strong enough to carry the cross? Could we manage all the offering plates by ourselves, or should an usher help us? Could we change in the same room as the boys? The answer to all these questions was “yes,” but only after the pastors saw the girls prove their strength through the lifting of the items in question and processing without stumbling down the aisle.Despite my grandfather’s initial disapproval, I served enthusiastically (but still reverently, most of the time) for five years, tallying 8 a.m. and Monday services, weddings, and even a few funerals. I loved being involved in the service and appreciated the chance I had to serve, as a lay person, up near the altar, handling the objects of worship, saying prayers from a different point of view.40 years later, I still love OSJ. Unlike my first year as an acolyte, OSJ now rosters more girls than boys, but little else has changed. Members still wear the albs with cinctures (light robes with rope belts), still light the candles, ring the bells, and assist the pastors. Acolytes also hold the Gospel, pour the baptismal water, and help corral little ones during the Children’s Sermon. In a time when church seems to be shrinking out of people’s lives, the Order of St. John has found a way to expand its members’ duties, thereby giving them more ways to connect with the church. My memories of OSJ are not all service-oriented. I never laughed so hard as when I served with my brothers and cousins and we were supposed to be praying but were actually signaling to each other across the chancel. As a mentor for Team 2 in OSJ, I see today’s acolytes– my daughters, nieces, and nephews among them -- doing the same thing, but in between their giggles and raised eyebrows, they do what we did in 1978: eyes on the cross, they walk up to the altar, nod to Jesus, and serve.

Blue Christmas

By Cindy Carroll & Suzi Taylor Parish Nurses The Advent season is one of wonder. For so many it is a time of hopeful anticipation. It is a season of promise. The longer nights and the gray clouds seem to providethe perfect background for the lights and the tinsel. The decorations are everywhere we turn. For so many, this is a time of hopeful anticipation. But each year for some people, Christmas is a harsh reminder of life that once was. Some are lonely, in mourning, feeling alienated and cast apart from family celebrations; some are experiencing depression and sadness and yet are often compelled to “put on a happy face” for others, denying their true feelings. Some have no heart for the cheer and the bustle, the anticipation and the excitement. Christmas can be a painful, overwhelming time. It may be the first Christmas without a beloved family member who has died; it may be a time that has always been difficult. It may be of the anguish of broken relationships, the insecurity of unemployment,

the weariness of ill health, the pain of isolation – all these can make us feel very alone in the midst of the celebrating. St. John’s offers a special “Blue Christmas Service” for those whom the holidays are not joyful. We gather not so much in hopeful anticipation, but to carve out a time of quiet reflection, to shed tears if they come, to hold hands if they are available and to know we are not alone. Please come and join with us in hearing prayers, scripture, music and sharing the Eucharist, acknowledging that God’s presence is for those who mourn, for those who struggle – and that God’s Word comes to shine light into our darkness. This year our Blue Christmas service will be held Thursday, December 6th at 6pm. Everyone is welcome.


All Saint's Vigil

November 3rd

The All Saints Vigil is a unique St. John's tradition celebrating the Light of Christ & the promise of Baptismal Life! Come be a part of this beautiful evening worship experience Saturday, November 3rd at 7pm!

Unity Concert

November 18th

St. John's and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento will be kicking off the first ever “Unity Concert” to support Build for Unity, a community and multi-faith collaboration which brings together people of all colors, creeds, and communities to counter intolerance and build homes for local families in need. The evening will include appetizers and a collection of performances featuring a unique convergence of musical styles. Join us Sunday, November 18th at 3pm at. St. John's. Tickets are available for sale at

Advent Festival

December 2nd

It’s almost that time of year again! Advent season is fast approaching and soon we will all be celebrating the miraculous birth of our Savior. We will kick off the season with a St. John’s tradition- the Advent Festival! Please join us Sunday, December 2nd in Goethe Hall to enjoy some fellowship, have some holiday treats, and make a Yule log!

Cafe Rwanda Sale

December 9th

Find the perfect Christmas gift and help a Rwandan child attend the Rwamagana Lutheran School. Baskets, jewelry and so many unique and interesting items will be available for purchase. This is a win/win situation for the St. John’s youth who run Cafe Rwanda and the students they support in Rwanda with scholarships to attend this high quality secondary school. Our own Christina Espegren and her husband Joel Barkel worked in the Peace Corps in Rwanda the past two years and picked up many of these items on their travels. Join us Sunday, December 9th at 10:15am at. St. John's.

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We are attentive to God's word, prayerfully discerning God's will to do God's work with grace, in trust, by faith, through action.

st. john's lutheran church

1701 L Street

Sacramento, CA 95811
916-444-0874 |

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