Religious Life News, Dec 1

Welcome to week 3 of our current method to share information about church programming. We invite you to share feedback at

First Hour Programming for the Holidays

Soup Mixes Are Now Available!

Soup mix creation was a success last Sunday, with participation from toddler to elder. Please purchase your bean or rice soup for $5 after the service in coming weeks – proceeds will benefit St. Johns’ work as a Solidarity Congregation with the sanctuary family at Clifton United Methodist Church. 

We will keep families updated about opportunities for children and families to stay connected to this project. We encourage families to attend the Guest at St. John’s event on December 8th from 4-8pm. Children are welcome – to ask about childcare please contact Ashleigh Rhodes at

For more information about these and other social justice projects at St. John’s, please contact, and she’ll help you connect with the right person.

This Sunday – Mitten Tree and Scarf Making

This weekend we will be putting up our annual Mitten Tree and making scarves to go to CAIN – please join us if you can, regardless of age!

Any adult, whether they are a caregiver for a child or not, is welcome to join in – it’s a great way to get to know the children in the congregation!

Throughout the holidays you are encouraged to donate hats, mittens, scarves, and SOCKS – socks are especially welcome – which will be donated to CAIN – Churches Active in Northside. For more information about CAIN:

Future Weeks: Cookie baking, ornaments, caroling and cards…

See updated information about future weeks and signing up to help here:

See the final section below for full descriptions of all First Hour programs by age group.

NEW THEME: A Christmas Carol

The holidays are upon us! This weekend we are making our transition to our holiday theme of A Christmas Carol. Services will address this theme, as will our next edition of the Seasonal Journal. Join us!

Discussion Question:
What is your favorite adaptation of A Christmas Carol?


If you would like to submit for December’s Seasonal Journal, and have not contacted Marie yet, please do so ASAP at For more details and submission guidelines, visit:

Contact Information for Religious Life

  • Email Ashleigh Rhodes:
  • Email Marie Inanli:
  • To submit announcement, proposals for new programs, and any time you’re not sure which Co-Director you need, email


Gingerbread House Party, Friday December 13, 5-8pm

Participate in a St. John’s tradition. Gingerbread houses will be provided, bring your own supplies to make them unique. All ages welcome!! Note that flyers previously said this was on Saturday – this event is actually happening on Friday!

Open Casting Call!
Dramatic Reading of A Christmas Carol, Sunday, Dec 15

During the service on December 15 we will do a dramatic reading of parts of A Christmas Carol. Players of every age are needed. No memorization required! Rehearsals will be minimal. Contact Ashleigh Rhodes to express interest.

First Hour Programs by Age Group

Babies through Preschool (ages 0 to 4)
Did you know? We have staffed childcare starting at 9:15 every Sunday in the nursery area in Krolfifer. Come attend an adult program and let us entertain your little ones. Generally this is aimed at the 0-4 set who aren’t old enough for other activities, but it’s open to other kids who want to just play during First Hour in most cases.

Elementary (ages 4 to 12)
Our fall class in Rosa Parks has ended. Children will instead participate in projects in Krolfifer – a different project will be the focus of each week. Parents are encouraged to stay and participate unless they are attending an adult program downstairs.

Teens (ages 12 to 18)
The teen group has shifted to meeting 2nd and 4th Sundays. This will start this Sunday, November 24 and continue through the holidays. The teens will decide with mentors whether to participate in projects in Krolfifer as a group, or meet elsewhere.

On other Sundays teens are encouraged to participate with projects in Krolfifer or attend adult programs.

Adult Programs

First Hour is about being together as a community. Note that Haehnle, our main hallway between the Sanctuary and Krolfifer, is always open for socializing and visiting. When Gandhi is not being used by Meditation and Movement, we encourage you to use that space for self-guided meditation or yoga.

Money Stories – Dec. 8, Dec.15
Please select one of these dates to join in a discussion about emotional ties to money based on personal life stories. Melissa Rowland will facilitate these sessions. During the Next Steps weekend, our consultant, Rachel Maxwell, recommended these conversations in preparation for
St. John’s capital campaign.

Meditation and Movement – 2nd and 4th Sundays (Next is Dec. 8th)
Want to start off the new week in a peaceful and purposeful way? Try our First Hour offering for teens and adults. Participants will spend time in mindful meditation and gentle movement. No pre-registration required. Please drop by Gandhi to improve your well-being.
Led by Christine Mouch.

Special Financial Presentation for those 70 and older – December 1
On Sunday December 1, join us for a First Hour discussion about tax advantages of charitable contributions given through your IRA. The tax laws have changed. Come and learn more about some options for charitable giving from folks who are utilizing these strategies. Discussion will be facilitated by Joetta Prost and other members of the congregation.

Intro to Love and Social Justice – December 1
You are invited to explore the sense(s) of love that might be effective for social change. Charles Seibert will provide an introduction to a multi-session series which will occur early next year.

Split-the-Plate Talk, Project Connect – December 1
Project Connect was founded in 1996 and provides information resources for homeless liaisons working in Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren counties.  

Cincinnati Public Schools serves about 1,700 students whose families are homeless.  Some of the assistance Project Connect provides include: helps with enrollment and attendance, distributes school supplies and backpacks, supplies uniforms and clothing, helps with free lunch programs, makes referrals to other educational resources, offers an 8 week summer academic and enrichment program, provides tutoring, helps parents increase involvement with their child’s school and, advocates and educates parents about their educational rights.  

Some of the ways we can assist Project Connect include: volunteer to tutor school children and provide additional support during the summer program, provide school supplies, provide services and “extras” such as movie passes, tickets to sports events, long distance phone cards, fast-food, Costco, Target, Walmart, and grocery store gift cards.   More information about Project Connect can be found at their website,