Local Church to Hold Community Prayer Service Morning of Parade

For immediate release.

July 31, 2012 Grand Haven, Michigan. Local Church to Hold Community Prayer Service Morning of Parade

Each year, during the Saturday morning of the Coast Guard parade, crowds began filling downtown Grand Haven to get the best spot for the annual parade. As an effort to reach out to those looking for something to do in the morning before the parade begins, a local church is going to be hosting a community prayer service.

St. John’s Episcopal Church is located on Washington Avenue downtown, right across from the parade grandstands. At 10:00 am on Saturday, August 4, they will hold a service of “Morning Prayer” for any who wish to come. The parish hopes their downtown location will make them a convenient place for worship and prayer as people make their way to or from their seats along the parade route.

“Morning Prayer is a beautiful but simple liturgy in our Book of Common Prayer. It frames one’s approach to the day in the presence of God and community. I’m looking forward to our parish family sharing this part of our Anglican heritage with guests and visitors,” said the Very Rev. Jared C. Cramer, rector of St. John’s. “As we celebrate the Coast Guard on that day, it seems fitting to spend some time in shared worship and prayer for our community, nation, and world.”

For more information, residents and guests can contact the Parish Office at 616-842-6260 or visit the parish website at www.stjohnsepiscopal.com.

St. John’s Episcopal Church is a diverse Christian community in the heart of downtown Grand Haven. One of the oldest places of worship in Grand Haven, they seek to blend historic liturgy with challenging education and active outreach. They gather together for worship on Sundays at 8:30am and 10:45am and on Wednesdays at Noon.

July 31, 2012

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New Addition to Downtown Grand Haven Dedicated

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July 29, 2012 Grand Haven, Michigan. New Addition to Downtown Grand Haven Dedicated

The downtown of Grand Haven continues to see growth and revitalization. One latest addition to the downtown area was dedicated this previous Sunday.

The St. Francis Prayer and Meditation Garden at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Grand Haven represents the culmination of over two years of work. It was given by Dick Swain, a long-time St. John’s parishioner. At Sunday’s dedication, he shared his own inspiration for the gift, “My purpose in giving the St. Francis Prayer and Meditation Garden is five-fold. First, to glorify the Holy Trinity. Second, to further beautify our 146-year-old St. John’s Episcopal Church. Third, to be a contributor toward enhancing the attractiveness of Grand Haven. Fourth, to provide a place in nature for our parishioners and the public to sit and meditate, perhaps encouraging non-members to attend one of our services. And, finally, to leave a living memorial during my lifetime to St. John’s, where five generations of our family have been baptized, married and/or buried.”

Following their 10:00am Sunday service, the parish joined in procession out to the Garden where Swain presented the Garden to the parish and God for blessing and dedication. Dale Kwekel of Grand Haven Garden House crafted the design of the garden and oversaw its construction. He also spoke at the dedication, expressing appreciation to the Swain family and the parish for being able to be part of such a significant project.

“Our parish is a truly historic structure, the oldest parts of it constructed 146 years ago,” said the Very Rev. Jared Cramer, rector of St. John’s. “As the campus currently exists, we now occupy the entire eastern half of the block. It’s always tempting with a downtown parish to devote any extra space to parking. Our parish Vestry does have a plan for enhancing parking down the road, but I was thrilled they supported Dick’s proposal for this Garden to occupy the grassy lawn on our western side. We hope that in the same way that our building is truly a part of the downtown landscape, this Prayer and Meditation Garden will be a further enhancement to the beauty of our city. And, as a church, we are particularly excited to provide a space for all people to come and rest in the presence of God.”

The Garden is located on Washington Avenue, just west of the church building itself, and is now open to the public. In addition, St. John’s is currently in the process of selling bricks to be inscribed by any who want to be a part of the Garden. Proceeds from the bricks will fund a new endowment at St. John’s dedicated to providing resources for maintaining the new St. Francis Garden along with the rest of the church’s landscaping and grounds.

St. John’s Episcopal Church is a diverse Christian community in the heart of downtown Grand Haven. One of the oldest places of worship in Grand Haven, they seek to blend historic liturgy with challenging education and active outreach. They gather together for worship on Sundays at 8:30am and 10:00am and on Wednesdays at Noon.

July 29, 2012

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Popular Personal Finance Class to be Offered at Local Church

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May 2, 2012 Grand Haven, Michigan. Popular Personal Finance Class to be Offered at Local Church

For years now, thousands of people have gone through a program called “Financial Peace University” or “FPU.” It is a program that transcends denominational lines, as traditions from conservative to liberal, from evangelical to catholic, have embraced the course as a way of empowering people to a happy, healthy, and joyful financial life.

Starting on May 10 at 7:00pm, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Grand Haven will be offering their third round of FPU. “I first took this class as a participant when I got married. It provided an excellent foundation for my wife and I to begin building our life together and has given us a confidence in our own financial life that we can live generously,” said the Very Rev. Jared Cramer, rector of St. John’s. “I encourage everyone to go through the course, no matter your age or income level you will find it helpful.”

The course includes practical lessons on eliminating debt, building wealth, giving like never before, and much, much more! On average, FPU graduates have paid off over $5,300 in debt and saved $2,700 during the program. You can register for the course online at www.DaveRamsey.com or by calling the Parish Office at 616.842.6260.

St. John’s Episcopal Church is a diverse Christian community in the heart of downtown Grand Haven. One of the oldest places of worship in Grand Haven, they seek to blend historic liturgy with challenging education and active outreach. They gather together for worship on Sundays at 8:30am and 10:45am and on Wednesdays at Noon.

May 2, 2012

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Famed West Michigan Choir Comes to Grand Haven

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March 7, 2012 Grand Haven, Michigan. Famed West Michigan Choir Comes to Grand Haven

As many Christians in the Tri-Cities journey through the Season of Lent (a time of prayer, penitence, and self-denial) one local congregation is looking forward to offering a particularly moving Lenten experience to the area community. St. John’s Episcopal Church on 524 Washington Avenue in Grand Haven will be hosting the Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys for a special Lenten performance of the Stations of the Cross on Sunday, March 18. The service will begin at 5:00pm.

“This sort of experience rather wonderfully blends the worlds of performance and worship,” says the Very Rev. Jared Cramer, rector of St. John’s. “At one level, we will be there to hear these moving musical meditations on our Lord’s journey to the cross… but at another level, our listening will provoke within our souls a response of worship and prayer.”

The Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys, now in its 22nd season, has been known for over two decades for it’s high caliber of music drawing from the rich reservoir of western choral music, particularly from the English tradition. The choirs artistic director, Scott Bosscher, is a native of the Grand Rapids area. He spent four years singing with the Wells Cathedral Choir in Somerset England. He now leads the choir of almost fifty, evenly split between boys and men, in bringing that historic music to Western Michigan.

The Lenten Stations of the Cross service has become a regular part of the choir’s annual calendar. This year’s service will contain music from such well-known composers as John Goss, Henry Purcell, Herbert Howells, John Ireland, Bob Chilcott, Kenneith Leighton, and Tchaikovsky.

“Many of us in the Tri-Cities walk the path of Lent with Christ. However, given the fractured nature of contemporary Christianity, we often walk the Lenten path alone or only with our particular group,” Father Cramer continued. “It is my hope that this musical offering will be an opportunity for the many diverse Christians in our community to spend an evening together in prayer and worship.”

For more information, call St. John’s at 616-842-6260 or visit the website at https://stjohnsepiscopal.com.

St. John’s Episcopal Church is a diverse Christian community in the heart of downtown Grand Haven. It is the oldest congregation in Grand Haven that still worships in its original building for almost 150 years. They seek to blend historic liturgy with challenging education and active outreach. They gather together for worship on Sundays at 8:30am and 10:45am and on Wednesdays at Noon.

March 7, 2012

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Wednesday “Free Meal for the Hungry” Night Added at St. John’s Episcopal Church

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February 1, 2012 Grand Haven, Michigan. Wednesday “Free Meal for the Hungry” Night Added at St. John’s Episcopal Church

The free meal program at St. John’s Episcopal Church, in Grand Haven is being expanded to include a Wednesday night meal, beginning Wednesday, February 8.

For years, the church has served a free hot meal every Sunday, rain or shine, from 1 to 2 PM. The meal is available to anyone who shows up. Due to increased need, an additional hot meal will also be served Wednesday evenings, from 5 to 6 PM. These nutritious, complete meals are served in the Parish Hall of the church, located at 524 Washington St., across from City Hall in Grand Haven.

The Wednesday meal is available to everyone in the community from 5 to 6 PM. Children with adults are especially welcome. The schedule for the Sunday meal continues, from 1 to 2 PM.

“We are really pleased, during these difficult times, to be able to serve more people in the Grand Haven area,” said Carolyn Austin, one of the four kitchen managers for the program. “In the past 10 months, we have more than doubled the number of people we serve. Some Sundays, we have as many as 30 guests.”

Volunteers from St. John’s have offered this service for more than 10 years. In the last year, volunteers from community organizations as well as other congregations in the community have helped out. Recently, the Men’s Group from St. John’s Lutheran Church volunteered on a Sunday.

The meals are healthy, nutritious, and often creatively prepared. “We ask our ‘lead volunteer,’ for each of the Sundays and Wednesdays to prepare a meal that includes something that our guests may not have had before,” Austin said. “Our meals range from spaghetti and meat balls to barbecues to Hungarian Stroganoff.”

“Please tell anyone you know who needs some good healthy food to join us,” Austin concluded.

For more information, call St. John’s at 616-842-6260 or visit the website at https://stjohnsepiscopal.com.

St. John’s Episcopal Church is a diverse Christian community in the heart of downtown Grand Haven. One of the oldest places of worship in Grand Haven, they seek to blend historic liturgy with challenging education and active outreach. They gather together for worship on Sundays at 8:30am and 10:45am and on Wednesdays at Noon.

February 1, 2012

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Local Church Prepares for Traditional Lessons & Carols Service

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December 5, 2011 Grand Haven, Michigan. Local Church Prepares for Traditional Lessons & Carols Service

As many area congregations put on various Christmas programs and activities, one local church takes a slightly different approach to the season. St. John’s Episcopal Church is trying instead to engage more deeply with the Season of Advent. “In our tradition, the Season of Advent prepares us for the celebration of Christmas by encouraging us to wait for that celebration,” says the Very Rev. Jared C. Cramer, rector of St. John’s. “Instead of Advent turning into a growing celebration of Christmas, we seek to take this time to pray, worship, and acknowledge the very real struggle that still exists in our world.”

As a part of their Advent services, this year they are hosting a special Advent Service of Lessons & Carols on Sunday, December 11 at 5:00pm. Modeled after the Christmas Service of Lessons & Carols that has been made famous by it’s annual broadcast on Christmas Eve from King’s College in Cambridge, the Advent version of the liturgy focuses on readings from the Hebrew Bible which anticipate the coming of God into the world. The readings are then paired with traditional Advent music of hope, expectation, and anticipation.

There will be a prelude of Advent music on the organ, harpsichord, and violin beginning at 4:45pm. The service itself will include several soloists, the St. Cecilia Choir under the direction of its choirmaster, Ms. Joanie Smith, the St. John’s Brass, and Ms. Katie Balkema on the violin. The music overall is orchestrated by the parish Interim Director of Music, the accomplished John Greg Bryson. Bryson previously served as a school teacher and church musician for several area churches. His skill has become well-known and he remains particularly sought after for his abilities on the organ. Following the service, the parish will host a simple supper of hot soup and fresh bread for all those who might come.

For more information, call St. John’s at 616-842-6260 or visit the website at https://stjohnsepiscopal.com.

St. John’s Episcopal Church is a diverse Christian community in the heart of downtown Grand Haven. One of the oldest places of worship in Grand Haven, they seek to blend historic liturgy with challenging education and active outreach. They gather together for worship on Sundays at 8:30am and 10:45am and on Wednesdays at Noon.

December 5, 2011

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Local Church to Hold Remembrance Service on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

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August 31, 2011. Grand Haven, Michigan. Local Church to Hold Remembrance Service on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, deeply affected people throughout the United States. On that day, nearly 3,000 people were killed when 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger jets, crashing two into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center towers in New York City. They also crashed a third plane into the Pentagon in Arlington, VA. The fourth was brought down in a field near Shanksville, PA, after passengers attempted to seize control. The devastation was so great that over 1,700 families were not able to bury the remains of their loved ones. Twenty percent of all Americans knew someone hurt or killed in the attacks.

As the tenth anniversary of those attacks approaches, St. John’s Episcopal Church will be holding an evening Service of Prayer and Remembrance on Sunday, September 11, 2011, at 5:00pm. The service will take the form of simple Evening Prayer, an ancient and traditional liturgy in the Anglican tradition that brings together Scripture readings, early Christian hymns known as “Canticles” and several traditional set prayers. For this liturgy, the service will also include a Litany of Remembrance, prayers for peace, and a meditation from the Rector of St. John’s, the Very Rev. Jared C. Cramer. Music will be provided by John Greg Bryson and special guest violinist, Ms. Katie Balkema.

Before coming to St. John’s, Father Cramer served Historic Christ Church in Alexandria, VA, a parish that lost parishioners and friends when a plane was flown into the Pentagon nearby. While there he participated in similar liturgies to the one that St. John’s will host. He also was twice guest clergy to the regular worship services held in a chapel in the Pentagon that was constructed on the site of the attack.

All members of the community are invited to be a part of this service of prayer and remembrance as the members of St. John’s gather to pray for those who died ten years ago, for those still living under threat of oppression and terror, and for an end to violence, hatred, and war.

For more information, call St. John’s at 616-842-6260 or visit the website at https://stjohnsepiscopal.com.

St. John’s Episcopal Church is a diverse Christian community in the heart of downtown Grand Haven. One of the oldest places of worship in Grand Haven, they seek to blend historic liturgy with challenging education and active outreach. They gather together for worship on Sundays at 8:30am and 10:45am and on Wednesdays at Noon.

August 31, 2011

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Advent Schedule at St. John’s Episcopal Church features Sunday Evensong with Community Pastors

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November 30, 2010. Grand Haven, Michigan. Advent Schedule at St. John’s Episcopal Church features Sunday Evensong with Community Pastors

Reverend Jared Cramer has invited pastors from other Tri-Cities churches to present Meditations during Evensong Services at St. John’s Episcopal Church. The traditional Anglican sung liturgy will include Meditations by guest pastors on their viewpoints of the Advent
season. At the first service, held last Sunday, Reverend Miguel Cruz from Haven Shores Community Church, West Olive, urged that the needs of people who are alone, hungry or homeless be remembered during Advent activities.

Reverend Richard Rehm will speak at the Evensong service on Sunday, December 6th, and Pastor ?? from Covenant Life Church will speak on Sunday, December 13th. Services are at 7:00 pm in the sanctuary at 524 Washington Street. All interested individuals are welcome to attend.

For more information, call St. John’s at 842-6260.

November 30, 2010

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