St. John’s Weekly Newsletter

December 5 – 11, 2022

1994 Mountain Road (P.O. Box 1175)
Stowe, VT


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.

For the most up-to-date information, click on  “Worship and Activity Center

View Vermont diocesan news at:

Church Office and Pastoral Care

Office Administrator, Heidi Dwyer

The Church Office is open Tuesday and Thursday
from 9:00am to 2:00pm.


To contact the clergy or support staff, scroll to the end of this newsletter.

Vermont diocesan news:

Second Sunday in Advent


From Bill’s reflection today and challenge to us:  I thought for a while about how I would complete sentences that begin with “I AM …”

The first thing that struck my brain was “I AM an old man.” (Yes, I knew that in mid-November I’d be 79). The second thing I thought is “I AM still a Child of God.” I don’t know where it came from, other than I had tried to clear my thoughts to get who I AM.

All you need is some paper and a pen or pencil; so, give it a try!

All-Parish Sabbatical Conversation

December 11 at 11:15am

Please join St. John’s sabbatical team, Deb Clark, Bill Robinson, and our deacon and priest, Zarina and Rick, to hear about Rick’s time away and the listening conversations held at St. John’s. You can join the conversation online or in person.

Please see Rick’s short reflection on his time away:


As we move into the future, we need to ask ourselves at least three questions?


Preparing for the future means identifying our passions, abilities, priorities and available time

Identifying possibilities require reflection on the expectations we bring to the table: Expectations about worship (time, day, use of BCP); Fellowship ; use of the building more frequently than Sundays; roles and responsibilities of EVERYONE (clergy, laity, deacon, vestry, corporate outreach and support for individual ministries.

God is moving – teaching, healing, gathering – in the world around us. We need to examine where that work is happening, who is doing it, how can we join in, how do we create space to be together, how do we nurture our faith and fashion our response.


ONLINE or BY Mail or AT Sunday Worship

St. John’s in the Mountains
P.O. Box 1175
Stowe, VT 05672

Advent Candles

Hope — Love — Joy — Peace

Three of the candles are purple because the color violet is a liturgical color that signifies a time of prayer, penance, and sacrifice.

  • The first candle, which is purple, symbolizes hope. It is sometimes called the “Prophecy Candle” in remembrance of the prophets, especially Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. It represents the expectation felt in anticipation of the coming Messiah.
  • The second candle, also purple, represents faith. It is called the “Bethlehem Candle” as a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.
  • The third candle is pink and symbolizes joy. It is called the “Shepherd’s Candle,” and is pink because rose is a liturgical color for joy. The third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday and is meant to remind us of the joy that the world experienced at the birth of Jesus, as well as the joy that the faithful have reached the midpoint of Advent.
  • On the fourth week of Advent, we light the final purple candle to mark the final week of prayer and penance as we wait for the birth of our Savior. This final candle, the “Angel’s Candle,” symbolizes peace. It reminds us of the message of the angels: “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.”

Sometimes a white candle is placed in the middle of the Advent wreath. The white candle is lit on Christmas Eve. This candle is called the “Christ Candle” and represents the life of Christ. The color white is for purity—because Christ is our sinless, pure Savior.

Gentle Reminder:

Complete and Return Stewardship 2023 Pledge Cards

The 2023 Stewardship Commitment Card can be accessed and printed from St. John’s website.

Please bring your pledge card to Church on Sunday and place it in the offering plate. If you cannot attend Church in person, please mail it in to:

St. John’s in the Mountains
P.O. Box 1175
Stowe,VT 05672

Week’s Schedule

WEDNESDAY, December 7, 2022
Sabbatical Team at 10:00am
Zoom Lunch at Noon
Family Holy Eucharist Dinner at 5:30pm
All Welcome!

THURSDAY, December 8, 2022
Spirituality Group at 10:00am
Greater Stowe Interfaith Council at 6:00pm

SATURDAY, December 10, 2022
AA Meeting at 5:00pm

SUNDAY, December 11, 2022
Third Sunday in Advent
Holy Eucharist Worship Service at 10:00am
Coffee/Agape Hour 11:00am
All Parish Sabbatical Conversation

UU Worship Service at 4:30pm


Gingerbread People Decorating Next Sunday

Chef Tim is making lots of Gingerbread People for Kids and Adults to decorate after Worship Service this coming Sunday. Be sure not to miss the fun!

Dove Tree ~ Adopt a Family

From Dick

We have started our Annual Adopt-a-Family drive which we call a “Dove Tree”. The tree is set up in the Church’s undercroft, with Doves hanging in waiting for you to take. The tree is accessible Sunday and also Tuesday & Thursday between 9:00am and 2:00pm.

Please, do not return the “Dove” tag with the wrapped gift. Place your gift under the Christmas tree and label it “six year old girl ” or “13 year old girl” or “Mom”. All gifts are due by next Sunday, December 11th.

Thanks to All for your generosity and warmest wishes for a joyous Christmas.

Any concerns please speak with Dick at 888-5880 or Emily at 802-793-6020.

Prayers of the People

We pray for those who have asked for our prayers, especially: Peter, Rick and Patty, Carole, Ethel, Leslie, Rich, Rhonda, John, Bob, Pete, Zack, John, Angela, Diane, Jacob, and his family, Lee, Deb, Joe, John, Rhea, Denise, and the family of Lorraine Sproul; the healing of Colorado Springs and Chesapeake, Virginia following the mass shootings in their communities. We pray for members of our community who are staying at the Lamoille Community House and the workers and volunteers who support them. For a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine and other war-torn areas.

To Add or Remove a Person from St. John’s Prayer List, Contact:

Church Office 802-253-7578
Father Rick 802-760-7787
Text Deacon Zarina 802-535-7117

Pastoral Care Team members
Deb Clark 802-730-7423
Roger Nicholls 603-236-1120
Sue Nicholls 603-236-1121

Liturgical Schedule

Thank you to our Volunteers!

December 11, 2022

Celebrant and Preacher — The Rev. Rick Swanson
Deacon — Zarina Castro
Greeter — Terry Whelan
Intercessor / Lay Eucharistic Minister
Lector — Victoria Veldon
Musician —
Altar Guild — Eileen Kraemer
Counters — Deb Clark and Sandy Duncan
ZoomTech — Donald Clinton
Agape/Coffee Hour — Tim Heath-Swanson

Scheduling Sunday Coffee / Agape Hour

Prior to the Covid restrictions, St. John’s Coffee/Agape Hour was a special time when parishioners and guests gathered in the undercroft to share coffee, tea, a wonderful fare and, most importantly, conversation and laughter. Fr. Rick and Zarina would like us to return to this tradition and reinstitute the scheduling of Coffee/Agape Hour hosts.

If you are willing to host a Coffee/Agape Hour once every month or two, Heidi will set up a schedule. If the date that you are hosting is not convenient, you can swap with another host or contact Heidi to help find a more convenient Sunday. And… Donald Clinton has very generously offered to set up the coffee and tea each week.


Volunteer Sign Up december6

Birthdays and Anniversaries in December


December 8 — Rick Oden
December 9 — Nancy Tingle
December 11 — Barbara Baraw
December 18 — Sandy Duncan
December 22 –Tom Younkman
December 23 — Grady Vigneau, Jr.
December 24 — Ewan Davies
December 24 — Nancy Harries
December 28 — Mara Siegel

Please note: If you are new to the congregation, please join our list celebrating your birthday and anniversary. Just send 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

2022 Vestry Members
Jerry Wood, Courtney Olmsted, Mary Stiles, Roger Nicholls, Rich Reed

Jerry Wood

       Mary Stiles


Courtney Olmsted


Roger Nicholls


Rich Reed