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

  • June 15 (Saturday) – Plant donation drop off and/or assistance with planting, 10:00 a.m.
  • 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

  • Friday night 5/17 – Bowling at Billy Hardwick’s at 6:00! We have a reservation for two hours so let’s try to be there at 5:45. Sophia and I will be at the Church at 5:30 if anyone would like to meet us to ride. Let me know if I will be expecting your teen to ride. Bowling is covered by teen group but send your teens with extra money for food if they want to eat there.
  • Sunday 5/19 – We will have teen group at our normal time of 12:30 because we have not been able to meet in the past few weeks. Lunch will be provided.

Book Clubs

Son of Thunder, Men’s Book Club will meet Sunday June 2, 6:00 p.m. at Dn. James’ home.  They will be discussing The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher.

AWSJ Book Club will meet Monday, June 3, 7:00 p.m. at Kh. Pamela’s home.  They will be discussing All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

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!

Catechumen/Inquirers Class

Catechism class will meet next on Tuesday, May 21 at 7:00 p.m.  We will be discussing sources of tradition.  All are welcome to attend!

Young Adults

The Young Adults will meet Sunday evening, May 19, at 6:00 p.m. at The Cove. Fr. Philip will attend and have an evening of “Ask Me Anything.” All those ages 18-40 are welcome to attend!


We will celebrate the Divine Liturgy Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m.



We will need plenty of flower donations for the bier and the nave! Please bring your contributions to the church Thursday evening and leave them in the designated area in the parish hall. Hearty flowers/greenery that will last are the best choices. You can find suggestions below:
gerbera daisies, carnations, roses, poms, sunflowers, baby’s breath, amaranthus, etc.
Sarah Ortwein requests plenty of white flowers for the nave.
*Due to allergies of some of our parishioners, please do not bring lilies.

Services and Activities of Holy Week & PASCHA

  • 4 pm Vesperal Divine Liturgy
  • 7 pm Passion Gospels
  • 9 am Royal Hours
  • Bier Decoration – Lori O’Brien will lead the children in decorating the bier following Royal Hours. Please have them meet her in the parish hall.
  • Nave Decor – Sarah Ortwein and friends will be assembling the flower decor for the nave in the parish hall following Royal Hours.
  • 3 pm Taking Down Vespers
  • Vigil Reading begins following Taking Down Vespers and continues until the Paschal liturgy Saturday night. Sign up downstairs in the parish hall; there are still plenty of spots available!
  • 7 pm Lamentations Orthros
  • 10 am Vesperal Divine Liturgy
  • Parish Hall Set Up for Paschal Feast following liturgy – We will be placing plates, etc in anticipation of the feast that night
  • Nave decorating following liturgy – moving the arrangements made on Friday into the nave as needed
  • PASCHA BASKETS – Fill your baskets with your favorite goodies from which you have been fasting and bring them to church! You may place them on the solea and in the front of the church* to be blessed at the end of liturgy and then bring them downstairs and place them on the tables to share for the feast. The baskets are our main decor each year and are always SO beautiful! There is more information on the “St. John Traditions” link below. (*baskets may need to be re-arranged in the front of the nave to enable the clergy to properly move around)
  • 11 pm Midnight Office, Orthros, Paschal Liturgy
  • PASCHAL FEAST – Join us for the Paschal Feast following liturgy. Please bring dish(es) to share!
  • Paschal Feast Clean Up – Join the fun at the clean up after party. Many hands make light work, and the late night insures there will be lots of laughs!
AGAPE EGG HUNT (4th graders and younger)
  • Immediately following Agape Vespers (3:30 pm) – bring your baskets!
  • Each child should bring 12 filled plastic eggs to be hidden. You may leave your eggs in the marked box inside the door of the library.
  • Please no boiled eggs…they will not be hidden
AGAPE PICNIC ($10/$5 suggested donation)
  • catered by Corky’s
  • BYOB (adult or otherwise) and bring lawn chairs to enjoy the weather outside