Religious Life News, Nov 14

Welcome to our new method of communicating all the news fit to print type! We are trying to make the E-News and Order of Service leaner and easier to navigate by posting more information directly on the website. Please bear with us as we work toward a new final process.

Below you will find all the announcements from our Co-Directors of Religious Life this week.

Seasonal Journal! – It’s time to prepare for the next issue of the Seasonal Journal! For more details and submission guidelines, visit:
Submissions should go to Marie at

Special Note for Elementary Parents – don’t miss our one-time meeting this Sunday, Nov. 17, to come talk to Ashleigh and help us plan the program for the rest of the year. See below under First Hour Programs for adults.

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


Parents’ Night Out THIS Friday, Nov 15, 6-10pm

Pizza and a movie for the kids, a rest for you adults! Event is free, although donations are encouraged to cover the food. Please RSVP right away, if you haven’t already, to Ashleigh Rhodes.

Teen Meeting before Game Night, Friday, Nov 22nd, 6pm

An opportunity for teens to have some food and socialize as a group before they play. RSVP and ask questions to Ashleigh Rhodes.

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
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 0-3 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 – Adult Volunteers Needed!
Our fall elementary class is ending this Sunday, November 17. During our holiday theme in November and December, each Sunday will be stand alone, and will focus on one service or craft project. Sunday, November 24 we will make our annual soup mixes! Later Sundays will focus on Mitten Tree projects, ornaments, baking cookies, and so one. Please contact Ashleigh Rhodes if you are interested in leading a project or just lending a helping hand.

The teen program is shifting to 2nd and 4th Sundays, starting November 24th. If you haven’t been receiving emails about this and would like to, contact Ashleigh.

Adult Programs

Elementary Parents’ Meeting – November 17
Ashleigh met with the teen parents last week with great success. She’d like to have a chance to do the same with the elementary parents. Please come discuss First Hour programming, what’s happening during the service, the playground, Parents’ Night Out, and other events. If you can’t make it, reach out to Ashleigh ( and set up another chance to talk.

Money Stories – Nov. 17, 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 Movement2nd and 4th Sundays (Next is Nov. 24th)
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.

Racial Justice Discussion with Joetta Prost and Rev. Mitra, Nov. 24
Follow-up discussion to Joetta Prost’ sermon on the intersection of Universalism and racial violence in the past and present. See more detail of all the ways you can take action on this topic in this week’s E-News.

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,