St. John’s Weekly

February 17-23, 2020

(online newsletter)
1994 Mountain Road
Stowe, VT
(802) 253-7578 

Sunday Service 10:00am

A community of faith located at the crossroads of Mountain Road and Luce Hill Road.

Our Mission is to be a welcoming Christian community of faith, loving and forgiving, questioning and learning, inviting and serving.


Vermont Mountain Reflections Blog

Church Office Hours

Tuesdays and Thursdays — 9:30am to 3:30pm


Fr. Rick’s Office Hours

Wednesday, February 19 from 11:00 to 2:00pm and in the afternoon by appointment

Thursday, February 20 from 10:30am to noon at PK Coffee for conversation and a cup of coffee, and in his office in the afternoon by appointment

Friday, February 21 in the morning by appointment

To set up an appointment, please call 802-253-7578 or email Fr. Rick at

Fr. Rick: (videos)
Winter Memorial Garden
Hymnal 1982

Learning to trust the dark is essential for faith, but it takes time and courage. Come with me to meet God and step into the unknown.
Seeing In the Dark

Believe Out Loud Movie Series

Fr. Rick was invited by a summer parishioner, Carolyn Schroth, to participate in a panel discussion on February 11 following a showing of the documentary film, For the Bible Tells Me So, a 2007 film that explores five Christian families with a gay or lesbian child.

Carolyn attended the Greater Stowe Interfaith Coalition’s 2018 movie series that presented the same film and developed a parallel ministry at her home church, St. Paul’s Delray Beach, FL.. The showing took place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in conjunction with the Delray Beach Public Library.

Pictured are The Very Rev. Paul Kane, Fr. Rick and presenters Ronnie Dunayer and Charlotte Rourke.




20th Annual Lenten Soup Suppers 2020

This year we will host three Lenten Simple Soup Suppers. The dates are Wednesday March 4, 11 and 18, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm.

Please sign up in the undercroft if you are able to prepare soups, serve or work in another capacity

Donations are $8.00 per person and $5.00 per child under 12. Soup Suppers benefit the Lamoille Community Food Share.

Q’s: call Susu Brown at 253-2952.

Foyer Groups ~ A Question!

The Anglican Community has for many years encouraged the formation of small informal Parish gatherings called Foyer Groups. The French meaning of the word Foyer is hearth or hearthside and evokes an image of warmth and comfort.

History of Foyer Groups
The idea originated at the Cathedral of St. Michael, in the Diocese of Coventry, England – born of the massive devastation inflicted at the height of the German Blitz on London and Coventry during World War II. During one of the many air raids conducted in 1940, the city’s 14th century cathedral was completely destroyed as a result of the aerial bombardment.

Rather than dwell on loss, the local Provost founded a ministry of reconciliation called the Community of the Cross and Nails with its unifying symbol of a cross crafted from nails found in the ruin. It’s maxim: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

Foyer Groups Spring Up

In the 1960’s, Foyer Groups began springing up in parishes all over Britain and in America. Today, many Episcopal churches throughout the United States have foyer groups that promote fellowship amongst members providing a means to develop new friendships and deepen old ones,

Groups are made up of singles, couples, and people of all ages — a cross section of the parish. These random groups give us the opportunity to get to know others in the parish who may be outside our normal circle of acquaintance.

Question from Jean O’Rourke 

St. John’s parishioners participated in these small social gatherings in past years. The question now is, would you be interested in joining a St. John’s Foyer Group to get acquainted with parishioners you don’t know well and deepen friendships with those you do?

Fr. Rick “Out and About” . . .

Article by Josh O’Gorman
On Mondays and Saturdays, the Rev. Rick Swanson takes a break from his duties as rector of St. John’s in the Mountains in Stowe.
Instead he heads to The Ice Center in Waterbury, where he operates the Zamboni machine that keeps the ice nice and smooth.
In one way, it’s an extension of his love for winter sport; in another way e’s engaged in a christian tradition that dates back more than 1,600 years.
“I don’t know the formal title, but you can call me the ‘Zamboni Man,’ ” said Swanson, who is one of eight people who operate the machine for The Ice Center.
Swanson has a long history of being on the ice; his father played hockey for the University of Minnesota’s Golden Gophers in a region that loves its college hockey the way the southeastern United States loves its college football.
By the age of 2, Swanson was on skates, eventually earning a spot of the U.S. Men’s world and national speed skating team, competing in the world championship in 19990 in Obihiro, Japan; other competitions saw him pierce the Iron Curtain with events in East Germany.
Today Swanson plays coed hockey three times a week — once in Stowe and twice in Waterbury — and competes regularly in the annual Hyde Cup Hockey Tournament in Stowe.
While he’s more than comfortable on skates, in July he began training to operate the Zamboni, a job that is much more complex than operating a riding lawnmower.
“It’s very technical,” he said. “You have to drive in the same pattern every time you go out there. The hockey Zamboni is designed to fit the area, and the pattern hasn’t changed since it was designed.”
(For the curious, the Zamboni was invented in 1949 by Frank Zamboni, the son of Italian immigrants who operated an ice-making business until 1939, when the proliferation of electric-powered refrigerators made the ice business less profitable. In 1940 he used his ice-making capacity to open an ice rink; by the end of the decade, he had invented the machine that bears his name. After the ice is churned by skates, the machine washes the ice, shaves the ice, and spreads ice-making water to restore the ice surface to perfection.)
For Swanson, the act of driving the Zamboni dovetails with his work with his church.
“It takes all the focus in the world to keep to those patterns, but at the same time, you are focused on this one thing, and it clears the mind, and begin to feel something spiritual,” he said.
While the venues might be quite different–the church and the rink–the act of driving the Zamboni is akin to walking a labyrinth, a pattern found on the floor of many large churches and cathedrals.
The earliest known labyrinth dates to the fourth century A.D. at Basilica of Reparatus at Orleansville, Algeria. Most modern labyrinths are modeled after the one found in Chartres Cathedral in France. The act of walking a labyrinth is said to resemble that of making a pilgrimage to a holy site, and is said to calm the mind and center the soul.
“I would say I have two spiritual centers, not just figuratively but literally,” Swanson said. “One is Sunday mornings in worship and the other is being in a rink on ice. My faith is informed by worship on Sunday morning, and there is a sacred and spiritual experience I get every time I skate.”


Weekly Calendar

TUESDAY, February 18
Men’s Brown Bag Lunch at 11:45am
Mah Jong at 1:00pm
Vestry Meeting at 6:00pm

WEDNESDAY, February 19
Morning Prayer at 9:00am

THURSDAY, February 20
Spirituality Group at 10:00am
Confirmation & Bishop’s Visit Preparation Conversation

SATURDAY, February 22
AA Meeting at 5:00pm

SUNDAY, February 23
Holy Eucharist with Healing Service at 10:00am
followed by Mardi Gras Party and fellowship

SUNDAY, February 23
UU Worship

Please note:
Stations of the Cross: Friday, February 28, at 9:00 am. Q’s: see Fr. Rick.



“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.


Liturgical Schedule

Sunday, February 23 Holy Eucharist and Healing Service at 10:00am
Celebrant and Preacher~ Fr. Rick Swanson
Lectors ~ Bidi Wheelwright & Janie Given
Intercessor & Lay Minister ~ Sandy Duncan
Acolyte ~ Tom Younkman
Organist ~ Audrey Coty
Altar Guild ~ Kristin Wells
Flower Guild ~ Plants
Counters ~ Sandy Duncan & Jerry Wood
Coffee Hour ~ Mardi Gras Pot Luck
Ash Wednesday, February 26 at 7:30am ~ Holy Eucharist
Imposition of Ashes
Celebrant and Preacher ~ Fr. Rick Swanson
Deacon ~ Zarina O’Hagin
Lector ~ Bill Robinson
Intercessor / Lay Eucharist Minister ~ Deb Clark
Organist ~ Audrey Coty
Altar Guild ~ Barbara Baraw
Ash Wednesday, February 26 at 7:00pm ~ Holy Eucharist
Imposition of Ashes
Clergy ~ The Rev. Rick Swanson & The Rev. Will Vaus
Celebrant and Preacher ~ The Rev. Will Vaus
Deacon ~ The Rev. Deacon Zarina O’Hagin
Lector ~ Roger Nicholls
Intercessor & Lay Eucharist Minister ~ Susu Brown
Acolyte ~ Nat Kinney
Organist ~ Audrey Coty
Altar Guild ~ Barbara Baraw


Calling on Counters  

Please contact Mark Vandenberg or Barbara Cunningham to join the Counter Team. This is a ministry that is important and takes little time.

Coffee Hour Host

Thank you to Deb Clark for hosting Coffee Hour after Sunday’s service. Fellowship and a delicious fare.



Pot Luck Mardi Gras Party ~ February 23

We will not be having a Pancake Supper (aka Shrove Tuesday dinner) this year. Instead we will have a Pot Luck Mardi Gras Party after the Sunday service on February 23.

Please . . . don’t forget to bring an hor d’oeuvre or any of your favorites!


2020 Coffee Hosts Needed

Many, many thanks to the folks who signed up to host Sunday Coffee Hours in February.

We now hope you will become a volunteer and sign up to host an upcoming Sunday Coffee Hour.

Contact Sandy at 802-253-6043 or Thank you!


Ash Wednesday Service
on February 26th!

From Stowe Community Church’s newsletter
The Quest

The Rev. Will Vaus writes:

This year, our joint Ash Wednesday service with St. John’s in the Mountains Episcopal Church will be at their location at the corner of Luce Hill and the Mountain Road. The service will begin at 7 pm on February 26. I will be offering the homily and Fr. Rick Swanson will be serving Holy Communion. Both of us will administer ashes to all who gather.

If you are like me, you may have grown up in a tradition of the church that did not have an Ash Wednesday service, or perhaps you are unfamiliar with Ash Wednesday because you did not grow up in the church at all.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day season of the year leading up to Easter. Lent commemorates Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness where he was tempted. Many Christians choose to give up something for Lent in order to make more room for God in their lives. Thus, Ash Wednesday services focus on confession and repentance. Ash Wednesday is also a time to focus on our humanity and our mortality. Thus, the ashes. “Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.” (Genesis 3:19; The Book of Common Prayer Committal Service)

If you have been to an Ash Wednesday service before, then you know how meaningful it can be. If you have not been to such a service before, I invite you to give it a try. Whichever category you find yourself in, I hope you will join us.


 Mah Jong ~ February 18

Tuesday Mah Jong games are easy and fun. A few players are veterans of the game while others are new to the table. The game lends itself to all. So, drive on over to SJM on Tuesdays at 1:00pm and join the game.

Men’s Breakfast

Saturday, February 29, at 8:00 am at Deb’s Place in Morrisville.
Q’s: contact Bill Robinson at 851-8357 or

 Special Knitters’ Guild

With Christmas behind us, the St. John’s Knitters’ Guild will now meet informally at knitters’ homes for the next little while, on alternate Wednesdays beginning February 19.

Contact Elaine Fortin at or 802-851-8357 for more information. Everyone is welcome!

Spirituality Group Meeting ~ February 20

The Spirituality group meets weekly.

All women are invited to participate in this interdenominational gathering which meets Thursday’s from 10:00-12:00 at St John’s.

For more information, contact Belle Sanders at 802-244-7782




Good Samaritan Haven Supper ~ March 4th

Please sign up to participate in the preparation and delivery of supper to the Good Samaritan Haven shelter in Barre. See the sign up sheet on the board outside the church office.

The menu includes meatloaf, vegetables, salad, bread and dessert.

If you have any questions, please contact Jan Tichansky at 253-5060 or

Our Bishop’s Visit to St. John’s ~ May 31

Our newly-elected Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Shannon MacVean-Brown, will be visiting St. John’s on Sunday, May 31, for her first official visitation. As a part of her visit, Bishop Shannon will confirm, receive, and renew the faith of the congregation.

If you are interested in furthering your faith journey by being confirmed in the Episcopal Church, being received into the Episcopal Church, or renewing your faith with a blessing by the Bishop, please attend the Bishop’s Visit & Confirmation Preparation Conversations.

Cell phone number is 802-760-7787; email

Pastoral Care Ministry

St John’s in the Mountains strives to fulfill a ministry of care and support for all our parishioners. These various ministries bind us together and strengthen us as a Christian community of faith.

Our Clergy, the Rev. Rick Swanson and the Rev. Deacon Zarina O’Hagin, offer pastoral care to all, including home and hospital visits, and Holy Communion.

Team Members make home visits to those who are unable to attend church or who wish a personal connection to the parish in addition to attending services. These trained volunteers visit parishioners who are hospitalized, in nursing homes or confined to home. Lay Eucharistic Visitors are available to take Holy Communion to parishioners as requested.

Parishioners may request transportation to church if needed.

Ministry Cards of sympathy, healing and encouragement are sent to congregants. Birthday Cards will be sent to those who have registered their birth dates with the Office.

Volunteers will provide meals to parishioners who are preparing for, or recovering from, surgery, arrival of new babies, a death in the family, or similar event.

If you have any questions or feel called to this ministry, please contact the Father Rick Swanson; Deacon Zarina O’Hagin or Deb Clark. Other Pastoral Care Team members are: Susu Brown, Jan Tichansky, Roger Nicholls, and Sue Nicholls. For more information, call Deb at 730-7423.



 Helping Our Refugees

Thank you to all for clothes and household item donations and all volunteer drivers to Shalom Shuk!

Winter is fast approaching so as you go through your cold weather wardrobe, weed out those items that you no longer want or those that just don’t fit. Bring your donations to St. John’s so they may be delivered to Shalom Shuk to help our refugee population.



Please keep Zarina’s mother, Bev, Bob, Ethel, Bidi, Paul, Darwin, Lindsey, Richard, and the families of Maggie Morrow and Dave McGoldrick in your prayers. We pray for those who carry, have died and been affected by the coronavirus outbreak throughout the world. In the diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for St. Thomas and Grace Church in Brandon. We pray that God’s healing hands be upon them. We pray for all those who have died, especially Maggie Morrow and Dave McGoldrick.

Upcoming Birthdays and Anniversaries


February 18 ~ Zachary Bland
February 18 ~ Berta Pykosz
March 4 ~ Sally Verville
March 17 ~ Jill Witten
March 17 ~ Alexandra Bland
March 20 ~ Pete Johnson
March 27 ~ Nathaniel Wells
March 30 ~ Elizabeth Hoffman


February 27 ~ Ethel & George Merwin

If you want to add your birthday or anniversary dates to the Church listing, please see Barbara Cunningham or email to

Parish Contacts

If you have questions or concerns about our parish, or have a pastoral emergency, please contact:

Fr. Rick Swanson Rector

Zarina Suárez O’Hagin Deacon

Dick Kraemer, Senior Warden




2020 Officers and Members of the Vestry
Dick Kraemer (Senior Warden), Janet Patching (Treasurer), Maria Davies, Bill Robinson, Jerry Wood, Courtney Olmsted

St. John’s in the Mountain Church | 1994 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT 05672
Update Profile | About our service provider


Seasonal Events



Winter at St. John’s




Watch This Space!








Sunday School


Women’s Spirituality Group

The group meets weekly to discuss meditation topics, bible study and other topics. The group will resume meeting on Thursday, September 5.

Other educational opportunities are being planned. Please check this page regularly.


For more information, please contact the parish office at 802-253-7578 during office hours.





Vestry Minutes

Mission Statement
To be a welcoming Christian community of faith: loving and forgiving, questioning and learning, inviting and serving

St John’s in the Mountains
Vestry Meeting, August 6, 2018

Meeting Minutes

Present: Dick Kraemer, Reverend Rick Swanson, Emily Bland, Sandy Duncan, Jane Given,

Absent: Max Neal, Rich Reed, Fred Harries

Guest: Susan and Roger Nichol, to present the 2017 Audit Report.

Opening Prayer: Led by Father Rick.

Agenda Approval: Motion by Emily, second by Sandy, all in favor, motion carried.

Minutes from previous meeting Approval: Motion by Janie, second by Sandy, all in favor, motion carried.

Consent Agenda: none.

Audit Report: Audit report was presented by Sue and Roger. Note: received all necessary doc for annual report
                                Dick thanked Susan and Roger.  Motion to accept the audit report by Sandy, Second by Emily,
                                all in favor, motion carried.

Information Items:

– Parking update: Owners accepted the proposal. Ken Libby contacted the owners with a proposal to purchase the tennis courts.  Counterproposal by the partners, not Vail, will make the determination. One partner (Sean Kinner) lives in Stowe, one lives in Vail. Approx 1/5 – 1/4 acre.  Ken estimated they proposed around 30,000. Not asking for decision. Will cost us approx. 2 spots and some trees down to the fence.  Gain 18-20 spots.

– Jazz Fest Update: We will no longer be a venue for the Jazz Fest.

Motions Discussions and Votes:

– Grant application to Diocese to pay for the painting of the church.  Fred would like us to submit the $12,800 painting for a grant.  Motion by Sandy, second by Emily, all in favor, motion carried.

Motion to adjourn by Janie, second by Sandy, all in favor, motion carried.

Respectfully Submitted, Janet Patching

…Janie, thank you for your note taking for the majority of the meeting.

Liturgical Ministry Schedule


September 2-30, 2018


September 2, 2018 ~ 15th Sunday after Pentecost                    10 AM

Ushers Nancy Collins & Cyndy Tulloch
Lectors Roger Nicholls & Jean O’Rourke O’Rourke
Inter/L.E. Min. Bidi Wheelwright
Acolyte Nat Kinney
Organist Audrey Coty
Altar Guild Barbara Baraw
Flower Guild Patty Oden
Counters Barbara Cunningham & Joan O’Keefe
Coffee Hour Barbara Baraw
Copley Woodlands Rides Barbara Cunningham


September 9, 2018 ~ 16th Sunday after Pentecost                        10 AM

Lectors Barbara Baraw & Rick Oden
Inter/L.E. Min. Maria Davies
Acolyte Tom Younkman
Organist Audrey Coty
Altar Guild Bunny Libby & Eileen Kraemer
Flower Guild Berta Pykosz
Counters Jean O’Rourke & Barbara Baraw
Coffee Hour Maria Davies
Copley Woodlands Rides Leslie Lindig


September 16, 2018 ~ 16th Sunday after Pentecost                        10 AM

Lectors Barbara Baraw & Rick Oden
Inter/L.E. Min. Maria Davies
Acolyte Tom Younkman
Organist Audrey Coty
Altar Guild Susu Brown
Flower Guild Ethel Merwin
Counters Mark Vandenberg & Nancy Collins
Coffee Hour Barbara Cunningham
Copley Woodlands Rides Jan Tichansky


September 23, 2018 ~ 18th Sunday after Pentecost                      10 AM

Lectors Hal Morrow & Bernice Binginot
Inter/L.E. Min. Susu Brown
Acolyte Jan Tichansky
Organist Audrey Coty
Altar Guild Susu Brown
Flower Guild Jean O’Rourke
Counters Maria Davies & Nancy Collins
Coffee Hour Bill & Elaine Robinson
Copley Woodlands Rides Patty Oden


September 30, 2018 ~ 19th Sunday after Pentecost                      10 AM

Lectors Barbara Baraw & Rick Oden
Inter/L.E. Min. Maria Davies
Acolyte Tom Younkman
Organist Audrey Coty
Altar Guild Susu Brown
Flower Guild Ethel Merwin
Counters Mark Vandenberg & Nancy Collins
Coffee Hour Barbara Cunningham
Copley Woodlands Rides Jan Tichansky


Please see the List below if you find that you are in need of a replacement for your scheduled time. When you find a replacement, please contact Sally in the office with the information as soon as possible. Thank you for any assistance you are able to provide with the liturgical scheduling.

Greeters/Ushers Lectors

Intercessors/Eucharistic Ministers

Barbara Baraw Barbara Baraw Barbara Baraw
Bernice Binginot Hal Morrow Sandy Duncan
Susu & Gordie Brown Bernice Binginot Susu Brown
Leslie Lindig Jan Tichansky Rich Reed (Intercessor. Only)
Fred Harries Deb Clark Bidi Wheelwright
Tim Heath-Swanson David Hobart  
Pete Johnson Pete Johnson  
Jean O’Rourke Bidi Wheelwright  
Nancy Collins Rich Reed  
Emily Bland Susu Brown  
Joyce Manning Rick Oden (2nd)  
Ethel Merwin Jean O’Rourke (2nd)  
Patty Oden Belle Sanders  
Bidi Wheelwright Pat Schwarz  
Bill Robinson    
Pat Schwarz    
David & Lesley Hobart    
Crucifer/Acolyte Torchbearer Flowers
Jan Tichansky Nathaniel Wells Ethel Merwin Deb Clark
Tom Younkman Griffin Johnson Maggie Morrow Patty Oden
Rachael Wells Ewan Davies Jean O’Rourke Jill Witten
Tom Younkman   Berta Pykosz  
Nathaniel Wells      


Altar Guild Counters (2) Sunday School
Barbara Baraw Maria Davies Maria Davies
Bunny Libby Jean O’Rourke Pete Johnson
Susu Brown Barbara Baraw Patty Oden
Joyce Manning David Hobart Maryellen Sullivan
Patty Oden Ethel Merwin Audrey Coty (on req’d days)
Joanna Huffman Sandy Duncan Ethel Merwin
Bernice Binginot Joan O’Keefe Emily Bland
Tim Heath-Swanson Barbara Cunningham Jennifer Mauro
  Bill Robinson Lesley Hobart
  Mark Vandenberg Mark Vandenberg
Nursery Care    
Carole Younkman