As an introduction to our recognition of LGBTQ Pride Month, Fr. Rick and Deacon Zarina offer two reflections, one on video and one written. Please do not hesitate to reach out to either one of them at any time with your thoughts and reflections. Their email addresses are: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fr. Rick’s video reflection
From Deacon Zarina
In 1999, I first spent time visiting Vermont in the summer after my sister moved here. When I returned to Chicago, I decided to move to Vermont the following fall. In December, I had many clergy colleagues in Chicago who were aware of my impending move contact me about their excitement that I was moving to a state that would be permitting same-sex unions.
When I drove here in the fall of 2020, I was confronted with a puzzling sight. It was these signs on many buildings and yards that said Take Back Vermont. I subsequently learned that it was part of a backlash from the Vermont Supreme Court ruling and then legislative action in Vermont that permitted same-sex unions.
I fear that we are seeing again in Vermont destructive lashing out against the LBGTQ community. The murder of a trans woman in Morrisville, and the destruction of property of the Pride Center in Burlington are tangible evidence of this.
Jesus is very clear in the gospels of our need to love everyone. He specifically included our enemies in this and never excluded anyone from this directive. I am very supportive of our church’s flying the pride flag during the month of June in support of the LBGTQ plus community. I hope we all see this as a response to the call of Jesus that we love all of our neighbors.
We are delighted and moved to share some big news with you: the first-ever greater Stowe Holy Land interfaith journey to Israel!
This unprecedented trip for our community will take place April 16-24, 2023 (just one year from now) for eight days of touring Israel, plus a two-day optional extension to visit Petra, Jordan.
See the traditional site of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. Visit the town of Nazareth where he grew up. Explore the Ministry of Jesus around the Sea of Galilee. Follow his footsteps on the Via Dolorosa as he walked towards the cross. Experience an unforgettable Easter morning moment at Garden Tomb in Jersualem.
In addition to many more Christian locations, we will will sightsee the important Jewish religious sites: picture yourself at Shabbat services at the Kotel/Western Wall, touring the ancient architecture and contemporary art in Tzfat/Safed, and experiencing a somber visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.
At the heart of this tour is the opportunity for meaningful connection and learning and relationship-building. In addition to the local friendships you will make, you have the chance to meet directly with Ahmadiyyan Muslims, Ethiopian Jews, Israeli Arab Christians, observant Jews for a home hospitality Shabbat meal, and Israelis and Palestinians taking important steps towards peace and reconciliation.
And of course, there’s the delicious food at the outdoor markets and in Bedouin tents in the desert, and great fun in cosmopolitan Tel Aviv on the beautiful Mediterranean.
Or join us in person at St. John’s on Thursday, June 9, 6-7:30 pm for an evening of locally catered Israeli food for a program to learn more about the trip, available online also from 6:30-7:30 pm. Or be in touch with any of us with more questions.
A happy and meaningful Passover and Easter to you all!
Rev. Dan Haugh, Stowe Community Church
Rabbi David Fainsilber, Jewish Community of Greater Stowe, email@example.com
Rev. Dr. Rick Swanson, St. John’s in the Mountains Episcopal Church, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sabbatical Leadership Team is excited to introduce the Rev. Angela Emerson, a priest in the Diocese of Vermont, who will serve as our Sabbatical Shepherd. Angie Emerson has a long history of assisting congregations and their clergy investigate parish organizational systems, financial pledge patterns, and mission engagement inside and outside the walls of the church. Angie will walk with us as we explore God’s call for us as disciples of Christ in Stowe, Lamoille County, Vermont and beyond. Hear Angie’s words below as she describes her passion for mission and ministry:
“For over thirty years, I have served the Episcopal Church as a lay and ordained leader in churches large and small; sung High Solemn Mass and led quiet and contemplative/noisy and fun filled children’s services; served in desert heat and snowy mountains. The breadth of my experiences allows me to walk with a congregation as it adapts to rapidly changing conditions in the culture.
I love to travel! My carbon footprint is pretty small until I have to consider air miles! I love serving the Church but also love the freedom to go and meet people in strange and exotic places. I am an avid hiker and bicyclist. For the past several years I have done 1 Century ride annually. That is a lot of hours on a bicycle going up and over mountains!”
Angie’s resume highlights her gifts for ministry in congregational development:
Leadership Development: Vast experience in teaching the theology and practice of stewardship of all that we have and all that we are, at all times and in all places; Well trained and experienced in utilizing conflict to deepen understanding of issues and enrich relationships; passionate about helping vestries re-think organizational and missional priorities as the church adjusts to part-time clergy leadership.
Vision And Mission:Strong orientation towards faith communities living as environmentally conscious stewards of buildings and grounds; Long history of leadership in community-based ministries; Experienced in utilizing asset mapping and community-based asset development approach to helping congregations expand ministries as they learn to use their buildings and grounds as tools for ministry.
Fr. Rick, Deacon Zarina, Deb Clark and Bill Robinson
Please join us Sundays for Holy Eucharist at 10:00 a.m. in-person or online.
Masks are required at all times
You will find masks and hand sanitizer at all doors and outside the restroom in the undercroft
At the peace, please stay in your pew and verbally exchange the peace with your neighbors, without hugs or handshakes.
We encourage you to bring your tablet or cellphone to church or print a copy of the bulletin at home before you arrive. There will be a limited supply of printed bulletins at the church for visitors. Hymnals are found in each pew rack.
Stewardship comes in many forms, including our financial gifts in response to the amazing love of God and Jesus Christ in our lives. Please prayerfully consider your support for the ministry of St John’s in the Mountains.
Thank you for your participation in the full life of St John’s in the Mountains.
Key topics about the parish include Discernment, Vitality, and Sustainability.
March 20 – Introduction to the Sabbatical Year Process
July 10 – Sending and Blessing Sunday
July 11 – Fr. Rick begins his Sabbatical and we begin our own discernment of the parish-based on our process
November 13 – Fr. Rick returns from his Sabbatical
Advent 2022 – Season of Listening and Preparing for the results the parish has developed
Discernment, What does it mean for
St John’s in the Mountains
Introduction to the Sabbatical Year Process
The process in which we will be engaged is discernment.
Discernment is done in community, with gathering of information and discussions. Discernment is done with openness to the outcome. This can be hard, especially if you are wedded to the past or the present and not future-oriented. Discernment is done with openness to the Spirit. It’s about discerning God’s will for us, not what we want. This process puts us in a liminal space, where much is unknown, and the possibilities are limitless.
The continuum of the discernment time is sustainability. Sustainability is an ongoing process. We know about this really in asking “What is God calling us to do?” and “In what ways do we seek and try to discover God’s call?” What sustains us?
As we explore these questions, we look at the growth and changes of the number of St. John’s members, members involvement and participation, parish needs, the number of pledges, pledge amounts, the increased use of St. John’s endowment, and the use of the building, to mention a few.
Institutional wisdom and your participation will greatly contribute to our purposeful conversations as we talk about these details about sustainability throughout the discernment time.
Sustainability embraces opportunities and encourages everyone to participate. We need one another in moving forward. Participation is giving to our endowment. We all have gifts, strengths, and assets to offer. The depth and breadth of participation are part of sustainability. Love for St. John’s, ourselves, other parishioners, visitors, Stowe and our surrounding communities, the building, to the VT Episcopal Diocese are all part of sustainability. Exploration of who are we, who is our neighbor, what are the gifts, and what are the needs are all part of sustainability.
We ask you to be prayerful about your valuable contribution to St. John’s sustainability.
The dictionary defines “vitality” as the state of being strong and active, with energy and liveliness,” and adds the term “the power giving continuance of life, present in all living things”
So what’s that for us?
We’ll be discussing the views about the connection parishioners have with our parish. In particular, we’ll discuss how we, as members, are related to the parish in at least the following areas:
• Love for our community
• What ministries at St. John’s call you, and what ministries might be missing for you?
• What’s the role of worship for you?
• What gifts or personal assets do you have that you give to the church, or would like to share with the church?
• What ministries apply to your family?
Creating Sacred Space January 2022
My dear friends,
Creating sacred space has been a central theme in the life of St. John’s in the Mountains. Between 2006-2007, our current church building was built. Since my arrival as your priest in 2010 we have built on that foundation to ensure sacred space is named, created, and nurtured in God’s love. In 2022, we will embark on a new journey of creating sacred space.
Next year, I will be taking a sabbatical from my duties at St. John’s in the Mountains from early July to early November to name, create, and nurture sacred space in my life. These four months will offer me time to be with my spouse and continue to nurture the sacred presence of God within the walls of the Swanson Inn. We have been stewards of the inn for over three years and this sabbatical season will be a holy time for us as a family, with our dogs and our guests.
Second, I will spend part my time building a camp in Peacham, Vermont, on land once owned by Tim’s grandfather. The camp will be a tiny home, with a mere 300 square feet of indoor living space on two floors with an additional 96 square foot three-season porch. I will have help along the way by friends, building professionals, and the Holy Spirit. I grew up in the woods of Northern Minnesota, a sacred space that shaped and formed my spirit, and the holy ground that Tim and I are blessed to nurture, feeds and fuels my soul today. This small and simple structure is already a sacred space – I have the gift to give it shape and form.
Taking stock of one’s gifts and skills, passions and dreams is a worthwhile endeavor. Sabbatical time by the rector, however, is a time of renewal for the parish as well. To be open to God’s sacred space is a holy gift, and I ask that you join me in sabbatical renewal. In conjunction with the Vestry, I have invited two clergy members of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont to join us on our sabbatical journey. They will celebrate Holy Eucharist and preach alongside Deacon Zarina and our Lay Preacher’s Guild members. They will also assist with sacramental needs that may arise between July and November. I have also invited one of the priests to guide us through the year, helping us to name, create, and nurture the sacred in our common life. I trust that through our intentional sabbatical season, God will enter in anew, and the community of St. John’s in the Mountains will hear and respond to God’s call to ministry anew.
Welcome to the Worship and Activity Center at St. John’s in the Mountains Episcopal Church. This page contains login information and descriptions of all online worship and activities until further notice. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Father Rick Swanson.
Please scroll down for the Zoom login information for:
Sunday Worship at 10:00 am
Wednesday Lunch at St. John’s – Every Wednesday at 12n-1p
Sunday Worship 10:00am
Please join St. John’s in the Mountains worship in community every Sunday at 10:00 am.
St. John’s in the Mountains Episcopal Church is accepting applications for the ten-hour/week position of Parish Administrator effective July 1, 2021. St. John’s in the Mountains is a small and vibrant church at the corner of the Mountain and Luce Hill Roads in Stowe, whose membership lives throughout Lamoille County and northern Washington County. This position is responsible for creating and maintaining parish office procedures in collaboration with paid staff and parish volunteers, pick up the mail from the Post Office weekly and distribute as necessary, phone and email communication, maintenance of office equipment, collaboration on weekly print, website, and electronic publications, manage the parish calendar, assist with smart-room technologies, and serve as the assistant to the rector. Office hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
The role requires a background in MS Office Suite (including Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access or other database software) and Adobi/PDF software
Knowledge of Signup Genius or similar scheduling software is desired
Knowledge of Gmail, Google Docs, and Google calendars is desired
Knowledge of WordPress or other website management software is desired
The ability to learn new software programs as needed
Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Possess a cheerful personality and welcome all visitors to the building
The ability to work with paid staff and volunteers of all ages, genders, ethnicities, races and sexual orientation is crucial.
The candidate will maintain the current office hours of Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Please email cover letter, resume and three references to: