St. John’s

News and Events from St. John's Episcopal Church of Powell, Wyoming.

Archive for the ‘Articles’

The Season of Lent

February 09, 2013 By: Category: Articles No Comments →

Lent is a season of penitence and fasting in preparation for the Paschal feast, lasting forty days in imitation of Christ’s fasting in the wilderness. Lent extends from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday, omitting Sundays. Christians are invited “to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word” (BCP, p. 265).

If you need some help establishing a good Lenten discipline, check out

for some creative ideas. Day 1 provides links to a few good sites for daily worship at your computer, including

which offers Morning, Midday, Evening and Compline prayers.

at their homepage, click on “Praying the Daily Office

Other suggestions include Don’t Moan Day: “Stop complaining for a whole day. Don’t complain about the weather, the bus being late, your boss, your lack of sleep, the coffee being lukewarm, the state of your daughter’s bedroom, the government… you name it. Instead, smile, pray, or just change the topic.” And Kettle Prayers: “Make something in your ordinary life a prayer time. Try saying the Lord’s Prayer while the kettle boils. Or pray for someone while you’re waiting at the photocopier, or when you’re pulling weights at the gym. Try using prayers that are familiar to you, but in a place where you don’t normally pray.”

Special observations during Lent

At St. John’s, the sanctuary will reflect Lent’s call for simplicity. The chalice on the Altar will not be veiled, and the bread served at Eucharist will be homemade.

Our observances in Holy Week begin Maundy Thursday. “Maundy” comes from the Latin mandatum novum, “new commandment,” from John 13:34. Maundy Thursday celebrations include hand washing, and commemorating the institution of the Eucharist by Jesus on the night he was betrayed with an Agape meal. Following this, the altar is stripped and all decorative furnishings are removed from the church. A sign-up sheet for meal provisions will be posted as Holy Week approaches.

Maundy Thursday Prayer Vigil

A prayer vigil begins immediately after the supper, following Jesus plea to “stay here and keep watch with me.” You are encouraged to sign up for a time to be with Christ through the night. You may pray and sit with a partner; the outside doors will remain locked through the night so each person will allow the next one in at the appointed time. Meditative music will be provided to help with your journey inward, if you choose. The vigil will continue through the night and morning until the Good Friday service at noon.

Good Friday is the solemn remembrance of Jesus’ death on the cross. The liturgy of this day is marked by austerity and silence, and includes a unique responsive prayer called the Bidding Prayer. Holy Saturday observes a simple Liturgy of the Word, with readings commemorating the burial of Christ.

Our principal service for Easter Day will include Baptism and the Eucharist. Easter Day is the annual feast of the resurrection, and the season continues for 50 days, or a week of weeks.

Wyoming Diocesan Youth Event

February 09, 2013 By: Category: Activities, Uncategorized No Comments →

Wyoming Diocese Youth Event

Calling all young Episcopalians grades 6 through 12! There is a Diocesan youth event at St. James Episcopal Church in Riverton Feb. 22nd to Feb. 24th.

This is the first of four quarterly diocesan-wide youth events for 2013. The event will begin at 7 p.m. Friday night and will include fun activities, reflection, a service project on Saturday, planning time for our next gathering, and worship with St. James on Sunday morning.

This event is built upon the framework of the popular Happenings program. Leaders for this first event are Trent Moore, St. John’s, Jackson; Syd Johnson, HR Camp Director; and Tristan English. The cost for the event is $10.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper

February 09, 2013 By: Category: Inside St. John’s, Local events, Uncategorized No Comments →


February 12 marks the celebration known as Shrove Tuesday. At St. John’s we clean out the cupboards with a traditional pancakes-and-sausage dinner. We’ll begin serving at 5:30 but welcome help in the kitchen beginning at 5. Invite your friends; there’s no cost but donations are accepted. Proceeds are forwarded to the Cathedral Home for Children in Laramie. If you can’t make it at 5, please come whenever you can. We stop serving at 7 and clenup usually is finished by 7:30.

Thrift Shop Success

November 25, 2012 By: Category: Articles, Inside St. John’s, Outreach, Projects, Thrift Store, Uncategorized No Comments →

St. John’s Thrift Shop has had another successful year. The dedicated Thrift Shop volunteers are very grateful to all those who donate items to the shop and especially to all of the wonderful customers! It is because of them that we are able to “give back” to the community! The following contributions have been made thus far in the year 2012:

  • $1200 to St. John’s Outreach Committee
  • $1000 to the Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic
  • $ 200 to the March of Dimes (Justine’s Drive)
  • $ 500 to EACH of the following:
    • Habitat for Humanity
    • Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Northwest WY
    • Boys & Girls Club of Park County
    • Loaves and Fishes
    • Crisis Intervention Services
    • Powell Valley Hospice
    • Northwest WY Family Planning
    • Thomas the Apostle Center
    • Powell Council of Community Services for Christmas Baskets
  • $ 100 for the Community Thanksgiving Dinner

EfM salutes Carra Wetzel

August 19, 2012 By: Category: Articles, Inside St. John’s No Comments →

Carra EfM

Mentors and fellow students look on as Carra receives her EfM completion recognition.

Congratulations to Carra Wetzel for completing Education for Ministry.  Members of her EfM group from Christ Church Cody were at St. John’s on Sunday, August 19, to present a certificate of completion.  EfM is a unique certificate program of theological education under the direction of The School of Theology in The University of South in Sewanee.

Carra joined the group when her late husband, The Reverend Ed Wetzel was starting the program.  No group in Powell was available at the time.  After Ed’s death, Carra continued to travel to Cody weekly through the years and formed close bonds and a support network that was present for her during her darker days.

An EfM group is defined by its harmony of purpose. It is not simply a Bible study group, nor a religious study course, but a small community of practice focused on study, worship, and intentional theological reflection. Karen Meridith, director of EfM, describes the program this way, “EfM graduates become persons of faith who have internalized a way of looking at the world through a theologically informed lens, who can articulate the call to ministry as baptized members of the Body of Christ, and who are prepared to work humbly with others with different experiences and perspectives. I believe these are just the kind of lay leaders the Church needs as we move forward in mission together.”

The program takes four years to complete and is broken up into these courses of study: • Year One: The Old Testament • Year Two: The New Testament • Year Three: Church History • Year Four: Theological Choices

EfM at St. John’s is underway for the this fall.  Year 3 students include Sue Woods, Jane Woods, Diana Anderson and Megan Nickles.  Charlotte Patrick and Laurel McKeen are in Year 2; Genny Bettger and Susan McEvoy are in year 1.

Baptism and Confirmation • April 15, 2012

May 05, 2012 By: Category: Inside St. John’s No Comments →

Congratulations to the newly baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Episcopal Church!

Bishop Smylie and the members of St. John’s celebrate and welcome the newest members to the family.

Treasure of the Diocese

September 30, 2011 By: Category: Articles, Inside St. John’s No Comments →

We live so close to so many treasures of the area: Yellowstone Park, Shell Canyon, Sunlight Basin, the Pryor Mountains. We also live close to a treasure of our diocese: Thomas the Apostle Center. TAC is an ecumenical, interfaith retreat center operating with the support of the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming. It is dedicated to fostering spiritual, physical, and intellectual growth in a quiet, reflective environment.

The center is just 23 miles from Powell, on the east side of Cody. From Beacon Hill road, just cross the Greybull Highway and follow the signs and the slope up to the center’s campus. The center works with a variety of organizations to provide a place for training, retreat and socializing.

Just in the last few months, St. John’s has been able to foster development in several ministries. Megan Nickles attended mandatory EfM mentor training with people from around Wyoming, Montana and California in August, and in September she participated in a lecture series “First Century Women’s Peculiar Predicament”. The seminar was lead by The Rev. Dr. Jack Guigere, pastor emeritus of the Grosse Pointe United Methodist Church in Michigan and consultant to Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C.

In September, The Commission on Ministry held a workshop for Worship Leaders, Lectors, and Lay Eucharistic Ministers-LEMs (both who serve at the altar and taking the Eucharist out to the community) and included a review of preaching requirements in congregations and a discussion of the theology and utilization of acolytes. Diana Anderson, Laura Greathouse, Carra Wetzel and Jan Lenhard attended; Charlotte Patrick presented a talk on enlivening the ministry of reading scripture.

Our senior warden, Sue Woods, went to a stewardship workshop lead by Greer Terry of Jackson, and our youth formation minister, Jane Woods, will be attending a workshop on Godly Play on October 8th.

TAC is also a connected to the diocese as a “Video Tele-Conferencing” site. Using the internet, video camera and large screen monitor, any meeting or workshop can be seen and heard at the eight other VTC sites around Wyoming. This technology allows for full participation from each site, and makes large gatherings such as the pre-convention meetings possible with significantly less travel and expense.

The best way to support TAC is to go there, enjoy the offerings and the excellent food. Upcoming workshops include pastoral care and making an attractive church.

For more information, talk to the two of our members who are on the Board of Directors at TAC, Sue Woods and Ron Lytle, or go their website:


Education for Ministry

September 30, 2011 By: Category: Inside St. John’s No Comments →

Every baptized person is called to ministry. During the Service of Confirmation we ask God to “Renew in these your servants the covenant you made with them at Baptism. Send them forth in the power of the Spirit to perform the service you set before them.” The Education for Ministry (EfM) program provides people with the education to carry out that ministry. EfM offers an opportunity to discover how to respond to the call to Christian service.

Through study, prayer, and reflection, EfM groups move toward a new understanding of the fullness of God’s kingdom. This process can be illustrated by a two-rail fence. One rail is the Christian tradition. The other is the collective experience of the group’s members. The rails are linked by fence posts which represent the seminar sessions where life and study meet. The fence is grounded in the soil of regular worship which is vital to the life of the group.

Participants are given weekly assignments to study with the help of resource guides. Students are responsible for setting their own learning goals. They spend between two and four hours in study and preparation each week. In the seminars members have an opportunity to share their insights and discoveries as well as to discuss questions which the study materials raise for them.
Through discussion and guided reflection, the seminars furnish an opportunity to deepen understanding of the reading materials.

More important is the development of skills in theological reflection. The goal is to learn to think theologically. By examining their own beliefs and their relationship to our culture and the tradition of our Christian faith, participants can learn what it means to be effective ministers in the world. In coming to terms with the notion that everything we do has potential for manifesting the love of Christ, we discover that our ministry is at hand wherever we turn.

This year Laurel McKeen and Charlotte Patrick are studying Year One; returning students Sue Woods, Jane Woods, Deb and Rob Koelling, and Diana Anderson are working on Year Two. Megan Nickles is mentoring.

Dr. Nick Morris Speaks About His Medical Mission To Ghana

April 10, 2011 By: Category: Inside St. John’s, Uncategorized No Comments →

Christmas Eve Service

December 25, 2010 By: Category: Inside St. John’s No Comments →

Christmas Eve was celebrated with the music of Monte Nickles, Grant Nickles and Dolores Woods.