Parish News

Interim Rector’s June Newsletter

Dear friends-in-Christ,

My prayer foci for Pentecost have been centered around God’s Spirit as a flame, to purify me of all selfish motives, all jealousy, bitterness, hatred, pride, and haughty self-esteem. As a wind, to blow new life and growth to prevent my spiritual life from stagnating. As water, to cleanse me and wash me whiter than snow, and help me to sustain maturity and holiness. As dew, to restore my strength and enable me to live according to God’s will. “Surely you know that you are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit lives in you.” (1 Cor 3:16).

Our worship services and commemorations during this month of Pentecost have reminded us, that we have “tenacity of the Spirit” to pray, support, and feel acknowledged. No matter the challenges, when you are purified by the Spirit, you proceed in faith and grow in the living Christ. Our weekly Bible studies and Morning prayers have given agency to expressions of relevance and pertinence to church history and biblical exegesis. People want the “Blessed Assurance” of their faith. The interest in and understanding of people increases and becomes more meaningful. The horizons of our existence have expanded to include areas in our lives that we did not know existed.

Such were the feelings I had during this month of Pentecost. In many ways they were realized at our experience of worship and “breaking bread” with our siblings of Holy Spirit Church, Mattapan. Starting with the day that Victor and Juanita Kingsley volunteered to “feed the masses” and the Blessed fellowship that ensued. The worship itself, highlighted by the Spiritual Dance ministry to the song, “Something has to break” was so transforming that, although I am going through a serious transition in my life right now. It literally felt like my spirit was breaking. This song RESONATED with my soul and many who were present! The song, the performance, the anointing gave me chills that I can't even describe. Juneteenth was indeed celebrated. My thanks to all who made this possible.

The parish of St. John’s Westwood is preparing for the transition to new rectorship. In my brief conversation with Tom Viti, the Search Committee chairperson, I made a comparison of him with Moses, in the Book of Exodus. Moses persuaded the Israelites to leave the status quo behind in Egypt, guided them through the wilderness, and, as the leadership mantle passed to Joshua, led them into a new beginning. The RS Committee have been so spiritually inspired by the pending transition, that a DAY OF PRAYER is be arranged in the near future.

Our Deacon, Ven. Chris Beukman writes, “This coming Sunday, June 26 at 10 am, I hope to present to St.  John's a slide show called 'Ten Things I learned on the Camino'.

When walking, the mind clears and all kind of insights come to you!! Some of these I hope to share on Sunday along with the pictures of my walk. Hope to see you Sunday!!

Friends, it is summer, and remember, God doesn’t take a break, so God’s church cannot take a break. We hope that your financial obligation does not take a break. Thank you, for all you give, and all you do.

Pax et Bonum


Our search for a new Rector

To learn more about St. John’s use this link to our Parish Profile.  We are a loving faith community and welcome all interested applicants.


On Sunday, June 19th we had a joyful worship service with Church of the Holy Spirit, our partner parish, to celebrate Juneteenth and Father's Day!  Special thanks to Vic and Juanita Kingsley, who organized a delicious meal from Blue Ribbon BBQ for us to enjoy together after the


Saturday, June 25th

High School youth and families from St. John’s, Westwood were very excited to be able to invite members of Ecclesia out to Hale Reservation on June 25 for the first time since 2019! Our joint cook-out with fishing at Hale has been a tradition for over 20 years, so it was wonderful to finally have this beloved event again. In the shade under the pavilion, there was lots of time for long conversations and good food! We enjoyed hamburgers and hotdogs, a variety of delicious salads, fresh fruit, brownies, and cookies. Ken was totally psyched to catch the most fish! 

Perhaps especially due to the loneliness of the pandemic, a relaxed outdoor get-together felt like a welcomed treat for all! We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day to be renewed by God’s creation.


Here is a photo of the spacious sanctuary at Old West Church, where Jen Whitmore, director of Oasis, has recently resumed serving indoor suppers for homeless men and women. Until September, through the worst of the pandemic, she and other dedicated volunteers provided take-out meals under a tent in front of Old West. On the first Monday of every month, St. John's is now back providing dinner.  This has been a regular ministry at our church for literally  decades. We have a new supper menu: numerous big trays of lasagna, salad, and fresh fruit and cookies.  Hopefully when the Covid situation improves, we will resume serving as well as cooking. But for the moment, providing a meal is still a huge help!  Please speak to Jane Kaveney if you'd like to help us prepare dinner! Know what a difference this is making to Jen Whitmore, who cooked every Monday throughout the worst of the pandemic. We are so happy to be helping once again.


Emily Sugg

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