Vacation Church School

When: July 23-25  (Tues – Thur), 8:45 a.m. – Noon

Who: Ages 4 year olds – 6th graders*

What we need:

A headcount! If you would like your children to attend please e-mail Thea or sign up downstairs after church this Sunday.

How you can help:

Volunteer! We would love volunteers who are willing to direct kids in an hour long activity or craft, but we ALSO would love volunteers who are willing to simply be an additional adult presence and set of helping hands. If you can help on any of the days we have camp please e-mail Thea.

*Ages:  4 years (of atrium age last year, whether or not they attended) – rising 6th graders.

FOCUS Backpacks

St. John will once again be participating in the FOCUS Backpack program.  This year we will be filling 48 backpacks to be given to elementary aged students of Snowden School.  This is an excellent way to give alms directly to our own community.

The backpacks can be found downstairs in the parish hall.  We are asking those who are able to “sponsor” a backpack – either individually, as a family, or as a group.

  • pick the backpack(s) up from the church,
  • fill with the requested supplies on the list provided
  • return to the church no later than July 31st.
  • We will then take the backpacks to Snowden prior to the first day of classes.

PACKING LIST – Elementary

Parish Council Recommendations

We are now accepting recommendations for the parish council.  New members of the council will begin their term in September of this year.  Rotating off the council this year is Melissa White and Dan O’Brien.  Remaining lay members are Ben Shull, Anna Pashchinskaya, and Pauline Koplin.
Forms can be found in the breezeway between the main building and the parish hall.

Catechumen/Inquirers Class

The class will next meet on Tuesday, August 6 at 7:00 p.m.  Everyone is welcome to attend!


Family Fun Nights

Join us for a night of grilling and games on Tuesday, June 18 and Tuesday, July 30.  Grills will be fired up and ready to go at 5:30 p.m.  Burgers and hot dogs will be provided – we do ask each family to contribute a side or dessert to share.  BYOB.

Sacristan Garden

What is the Sacristan Garden?  It is a garden or gardens planted by the sacristan – or, in our case, members of the parish – full of beautiful plants and flowers with Biblical meaning.  St. John is blessed with a group who feels strongly about sharing our Sacristan Garden with others, especially children.  All are welcome to help work in the garden itself, and all are welcome to cut the flowers and bring them into the church.  Contact Sarah Ortwein or Lynda Spinolo with any questions.

Sacristan Garden Events

  • August – (Christ-centered) Fairy-tales and Flowers  – During Orthros throughout the month of August, all children are invited to come  to hear stories of the flowers contained in our garden.

The Sacristan Garden is looking for the following donations:

  • Lenten Roses
  • Obedient Plant (can be found at Memphis Botanic Garden)
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Natural dog/animal repellent
  • Cotton Burr Compost (Back to Nature brand)
  • Materials for breezeway shrine (see Sarah Ortwein)
  • Icons:  Joy of All Who Sorrow and Let the Little Children Come Unto Me
  • Monetary Donations:  If you would like to donate financially to the garden, please make the check out to St. John Orthodox Church with SACRISTAN GARDEN in the memo line.

Teen Group

  • Tuesday 6/18 – Family night! Come join us at the Church for games, food, and fellowship! The evening starts at 5:30 and we will be grilling hotdogs and hamburgers. Bring a side dish to contribute if you would like.
  • Wednesday 6/19 – Teen group following vespers with dinner. I am hoping we can do our discussion on community but I’d like to do that with everyone there. Please encourage your teens to come if they are free.
  • Sunday 6/23 – The Harvey’s have invited the teen group over to their house to celebrate Fiona’s birthday together! They will be grilling and will have games as well. the plan is to go straight from coffee hour and for teens to be picked back up at their house. The address is 3687 Philwood Ave.


  • Thursday 6/27 – Pool party to really celebrate the start of summer! The Williams have offered to host and I am confirming that with Mindy. The plan is to start the party at 6:00pm.
  • Sunday 6/30 – Camp St Thekla! We are leaving from the Church at 6:00am to try and be at camp by 3:00 for all who are riding in the van. Let me know if there are any further questions about this.

Book Clubs

AWSJ Book Club will meet Monday, July 1, 7:00 p.m. at Kh. Pamela’s home.  They will be discussing A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

Church School

The final day of Church School for the school year will be Sunday, May 19.  We will resume in September.  Thank you for sharing your children with us!

Wednesday Evening Schedule – Summer

Over the summer we will have Vespers at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner.  In addition, on June 18 & July 30, we will have a Tuesday evening Family Night with grills available and games to play.  Join us for some good fun and fellowship with your Church family!