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Newsletter February 2020
Serving As Worship

If you have an interest in music: we invite you to sing in church choir. Contact Beth Johnson for more information. 803-429-8568

Acolytes Needed
If you are between the ages of Grade 3 and infinity and would be interested in serving at SSSJ as an acolyte, contact Father Mark or Jim Burton (803-732-4654). No experience necessary, training will be provided.

Fellowship is so much more than Coffee Hour. There are social events at SSSJ that you can help plan and execute. Contact Aimee Ritner at if you are interested.
A Special Note: 

Dear fine people of SSSJ,
Thank you so much for the prayers---those without ceasing, those offered at specific times, the spontaneous ones, all of them—for my recovery from cancer.   Thank you, too, for all the wonderful cards.  Some are way too good to be used only once, and I’m thinking about a plan that involves White-Out but I haven’t progressed too far with that. Thank you for the emails and texts of encouragement.    Thank you for the delicious meals; SSSJ has superb chefs. Thank you to the flower guild for their arrangements on Sunday. Eleanor McNish, unless the flowers are requested by the family giving them, made small arrangements and delivered them to various folks, like me, to enjoy during the week. Thank you to Fr. Mark for all the adjustments he has graciously made to accommodate my being out.  Thank you to Jean Cox for filling in at the office. Thank you to the women who reached out to me and said “I’ve been where you are and know what you are facing; you will beat this; please feel free to call if you just want to talk.” I have missed the community of worship and will rejoice when I can rejoin you. 
Thank you is a phrase said when someone opens the door for you or the clerk in the store hands you the bag with your purchases, but I don’t have a better expression at this point, so, a very heart-felt thank you.  I miss you and am looking forward to the rest of my recovery and my return to worship and work.
Sincerely and with love,

My Lenten Offering Boxes
Last year the children were given a little box with 40 small pieces of  paper.  They were encouraged to do a little act of kindness for someone  during the day and write down each night what they had done.  In their  small way, they were showing love to the people around them.  The boxes  were returned to church at the Easter Vigil or on Easter Sunday.  Fr. Mark accepted their little boxes at the offertory as their offering to  God.
Several adults asked for a box last year as well. If you would like to  do something positive for Lent this year and think this little box might  be something that would work for you, jot your name down on the sign up  sheet under the calendar in the back of church.  A box will be provided  for you in the narthex by Ash Wednesday. 
An interesting fact for you.  The 40 days of Lent does not include  Sundays.  Sundays are a remembrance of the death and resurrection of  Christ and are therefore joyful days for us.  Fasting is reserved for  the other six days of the Lenten week. 😊

Questions? Contact Carol Neuburger.

GEMS will meet on Friday, 2/28 from 7-9 pm in the Field Bldg. GEMS  is an adult social hour followed by a covered dish supper. All adults in the church are invited to attend. BYOB  and a covered dish to share. Appetizers & coffee will be provided by this month’s hosts, Judith and Bill Head and Michelle Lyerly. Please let Judith  or Michelle know if you are planning to come.
Judith: 803-917-2629 or
Michelle 803-261-0911 or

Like to feast before the fast?
Love pancakes and fellowship?
Join the parish for SSSJ Men’s Club Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on Tuesday 25 February.  The supper will start at 6 pm.  Donations are $6 for adults, $5 for 9-17 year olds, kids 8 and under eat free. Invite a friend and neighbor! 
Received from Growing Home Christmas Gift Program. Fantastic effort by this congregation!

Thank you once again for your generosity! You donated $456 to the Souper Bowl of Caring. This will go directly to help Rise Against Hunger with their meal packaging effort that took place on Saturday, February 8. Thanks to our youth for their efforts to help collect your donations.

Don't forget that during Winter soup is always very much appreciated by both the Snack Pack ministry and Sharing God's Love.
Important Update:

2020 Vision Capital Campaign
Quarterly Newsletter #8
Dear Fellow Parishioners:
This quarterly newsletter is relevant to our 2020 Vision Capital Campaign and shows transparent and up-to-date financial expenditures of the program.
An update of our Campaign funding as of December 31, 2019 follows:
Total funds pledged - $311,185
Transferred funds    - $  24,325
           TOTAL            $335,510
$329,818 of the above total have been received/transferred and $165,216 disbursed leaving a balance of $164,602.

The following represents our strategy and categorization of needed projects:
1. short term – maintenance:  sprinkler system for the labyrinth, HVAC, flooring and lighting.
2. medium term – renovations:  narthex, storage, restrooms, front doors for both buildings and ceiling tiles.
3. long term – parking lot improvements.

To date the following has been done reflecting the funds disbursed:
     *Labyrinth ---------------------------------------------------------   $ 9,457
     *Library Room ----------------------------------------------------   55,077
     *New doors for Sanctuary and Field Building -------------  18,471
     *Parking lot survey ------------------------------------------------   3,850
     *Replace lamps in Sanctuary; install choir area lights ----- 2,850
     *Install Security Glass Windows in Solid Doors ------------- 1,800
     *Furniture for the Rector’s office ------------------------------    1,154
     *Field Building roof replacement/Gutters -------------------- 16,833
     *Security Cameras around Church Campus ----------------- 4,654
     *Kitchen Remodel ------------------------------------------------- 30,000
     *Bathroom Renovations in Sanctuary ------------------------ 21,070
A review of activities since the last newsletter follows:
Short Term - 
1. Mulch and edging in the labyrinth are about 50% completed.
Medium Term -
1. Restrooms in the Sanctuary were completed and came in under budget.
2. Estimates are being sought for renovation of the restrooms in the Field Building. 
Long Term - 
1. About ½ of the tree survey information in the proposed parking lot expansion was completed over the holidays with completion anticipated by late January 2020.
2. Once completed, the survey information needs to be forwarded to the consulting engineer and the
City of Columbia for further efforts in securing permits for the parking lot project.   

In the meantime, ‘short term’ activities continue primarily consisting of the day-in and day-out challenges associated with making our campus more accommodating and safer.

These type activities fall under the purview of the Vestry’s Buildings and Grounds Ministry in accordance with the regular Church maintenance budget.

Please let your Vestry members know if you have any questions or need further amplification on any aspect of this campaign.

Very Respectfully,

John Ritner
      Muse On This  by Fr. Stan Woolley

     Trust is a very serious word for us to muse on in a special focused way during the season of Lent.  As Christians, we are patterned to live our entire life in ‘trust’, as Jesus did. Jesus trusted the ‘call’, left home and went to John the Baptist; He trusted the ‘call’ of the Spirit in Baptism and that God’s guidance would give him clarity through the Wilderness; He ‘called’ followers and began the teaching/healing ministry. Jesus was so active in prayer and ministry his followers worried about him, praying too much, not eating right.  Jesus knew, ‘trusted’, the ‘Call’ he heard from the Father he served, and therefore, was able to go ahead with the life of service, teaching, and healing ministries scriptures record. Jesus trusted that if he went ahead as he experienced ‘God’s Call’ , his offering of committed life would be redeemed, that in the end, God would act.

    That is our trust perspective as Christians, that every act of loving, suffering, and sacrificial commitment will make a difference; “planting a tree in the shade of which we may never sit”.

    In Lent we have a framed time to muse on all the loving, caring, committed things we do, and how we behave.  We are called to consciously experience the life we are living as Godly and with the TRUST that we are part of God’s Resurrected life.



All are welcome and encouraged to attend the annual Absalom Jones Feast Day event at St. Philip's Chapel at Voorhees College (386 Porter Drive, Denmark, SC) on Tuesday, February 11. The Rev. Jemonde Taylor, Rector of St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, Raleigh, NC, will preach and the Rt. Rev. Andrew Waldo will celebrate the Eucharist. Music will be provided by the Voorhees College Concert/Gospel Choir.

For more information click here, or contact the Rev. Dr. James Yarsiah at
Information or news to share? Contact Pat Woolley at or 803 662-0504.
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