Sunday!!!  Caritas Vocal Ensemble to perform benefit concert for Saint Paul Area Council of Churches’ Project Home! Please join us Sunday, May 22 at 5 pm at Dayton Avenue Presbyterian Church, 217 Mackubin Avenue, St Paul, MN 55102, for a live performance of a capella choral music. Tickets: Tickets are available online at www.spacc.org or at the door. Minimum donation is $10. If you purchased tickets for the snowed-out concert, they are good for the May 22 concert!

Start Your Summer Constructively – Participate in Habitat for Humanity and Faith Builders in June!  You have a chance to do something concrete next month to provide affordable housing in the Twin Cities!  St. John’s is a member of Faith Builders, a coalition of five churches in our area committed to working with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. We’re participating in the Workcamp program which requires a construction crew of 12-14 people and a food crew of 2 people each day (Monday through Friday) for the weeks of June 6-10 and June 13-June 17.  Volunteers are needed to work for one full day (8:30-4:00) up to several days on the project.  No construction experience is necessary and training, tools, materials and lunches are provided.  All levels of skill are welcome, from seasoned builder to handy-person to food provider.  This summer, we’re working on a new house at 315 30th Avenue North in Minneapolis (just off I94), where several Habitat homes are being built.  If you’d like more information or to sign-up, please contact Don Postema, 651-483-3062, or postema@comcast.net.  Join us as we put our faith into action!

Morning Prayer Rite I. This Sunday at the 10 o’clock service we will experience MPI in yet another way. The Officiant will be a layperson and in keeping with the season of Eastertide the confession of sin has been omitted. Rather than singing unfamiliar canticles, also in keeping with Eastertide, we will be reciting the Pascha nostrum which means, “Christ our Passover.” The words are found in scripture. (1 Corinthians 5:7-8; Romans 6:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22)  Known as the Easter invitatory Pascha nostrum is said every day during Easter Week and may be used for other services, as well.

Blessings at Eastertide – At the end of worship I have been reading a series of Easter Blessings found in The Book of Occasional Services.  This Sunday I will be reading yet a different Easter Blessing from the same book.

Memorial Day is just over a week away. What do we know or remember about this national holiday?

(This information comes from research on the internet.) Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”

If you have read this far, you get a gold star!

Enjoy the weather on your way to church!

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