St. John’s

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

Archive for the ‘News’

Prepare yourself: More changes are coming to the church

June 26, 2016 By: Category: Inside St. John’s, News, Projects No Comments →

As the planning for the remodeling comes to its final stages, the building committee will move the furniture to represent the final layout as closely as possible. So, during the summer, the pews in the nave will be repositioned in a chevron shape as depicted in the architect’s drawings. Tape will be used to mark the floor with the two options for shaping the sanctuary. As always, open conversations about the plans, feedback and suggestions are encouraged.

Accepting change, especially significant change to our worship space, can be challenging. In times of transitions, we are called upon to adapt, and grow. It can be demanding, complicated, confusing, frustrating.

Most of us rely on our basic coping strategies: we use our wisdom, tolerance, flexibility and adaptability; we use our sense of humor and irony.

But if these fail us, the one thing we can rely on, the one constant in this sea of change and transition, is God’s grace and love for us. God is always there and always providing us with the love, support and strength to deal with upheaval.

Through faith and prayer, we can find opportunities for hope, growth and second chances. We can respond with words and actions that are grounded in our faith and deep history as a people of God. We can apply the wisdom and insight acquired through our experiences and faith journeys.

This may not mean everything will go our way or that every transition and change will be painless or positive. But God is there for us. In Malachi 3:6 God says, “For I am the Lord, I change not.” Isn’t that comforting? With all the changes, there is one thing that cannot change – God and God’s great love for us.

Need more?

For the Lord will not cast off His people, neither will He forsake His inheritance. — Psalm 94:14

…for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. — Hebrews 13:5

There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no rock like our God. — 1 Samuel 2:2

So let the changes come. We will not walk in fear, but in faith. Yes, prepare yourself: trust God to help us and to bless our work.

Powell Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative

August 01, 2015 By: Category: News, Outreach, Projects No Comments →

A few months ago St. John’s agreed to team up with Mountain Spirit Habitat for Humanity in a new project known as Powell Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, or PNRI.  Megan Nickles approached St. John’s Outreach Committee about this project.  We all concurred that this would be purpose-filled work for the Outreach Committee to help Powell residents improve the exterior of their homes and make other needed repairs for safety and comfort.  Our goal is to help home-owners preserve their homes and revitalize their neighborhoods.  Habitat/St. John’s will provide a list of work needed and a financial estimate.  Because we work with volunteers and sponsors we expect our estimates to be affordable.  Habitat offers non-interest bearing loans for up to five years.

We have identified homes that appear to need exterior work, such as paint, safer entrances and yard repair.  This week we mailed letters to identified home-owners, inviting them to attend a meeting at St. John’s on Saturday morning, September 19th, at 10:00 a.m.   We hope a number of those receiving letters will attend this meeting and complete applications.  Our next step would be to schedule visits with the interested applicants at their homes to decide what work needs to be done, including details and timelines for accomplishing the work.

We have already started on our first project, a home on the corner of Division and Avenue E, where a single mother and her four children live.  Due to financial constraints, a broken sprinkler system had not been repaired or replaced.  Megan assured us that Steve was a mechanical genius and could most likely repair the pump.  So, on Steve’s last trip home, he fixed and installed the pump, repaired the sprinklers and saved Habitat/St. John’s approximately $400.  Thank you, Steve!

Our next job at that house is to remove weeds, take out a dead tree, repair a walkway and plant seed or lay sod.  Volunteers are welcome.  Just let Genny Bettger, Bridget Andersen, Sue Woods, Megan Nickles or Carra Wetzel know what you can do and are willing to do.

PNRI is a challenging undertaking, and an exciting one.  Helping make owner-occupied homes safe and attractive is good for the home owner, good for Powell and a wonderful way for St. John’s to reach out into our community.    

As Thomas Merton wrote:  “May we come to know the Christ who is in us when we love and serve one another in true brotherhood, when we realize that we are not our brother’s keeper but our brother’s brother.”

Article | First Things

January 08, 2012 By: Category: News, Uncategorized No Comments →

Article | First Things.

Fearful Symmetries

Science seeks the elegant, elusive simplicity of the universe itself

M. Barr

Since the time of Newton, science has advanced by a strategy rightly called “reductionism.” This method, which explains things by analyzing them into smaller and simpler parts, has yielded a rich harvest of discoveries about the natural world. As a means of analysis, then, reductionism has certainly proven its value. But many wonder whether science is reductive in a more radical and disturbing way—by flattening, collapsing, and trivializing the world. For all its intellectual accomplishments, does science end up taking our sense of reality down several notches? One could well get that impression from perusing the writings of certain scientists. Francis Crick famously asserted that human life is “no more than the behavior of . . . nerve cells and their associated molecules.” Marvin Minsky, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, once described people as “machines made of meat.” Neuroscientist Giulio Giorelli announced that “we have a soul, but it is made up of many tiny robots.” And biologist Charles Zuker has concluded that “in essence, we are nothing but a big fly.”

Read More…

Services For The Reverend Ed Wetzel

January 04, 2010 By: Category: Articles, Schedule No Comments →

The Rev. Ed Wetzel

The Rev. Ed Wetzel

The service to commemorate the life of Ed Wetzel will be Thursday, January
7, 2010 at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Bruce Caldwell will
preside at the Eucharist. Ed fulfilled his call to priesthood throughout
his life; to honor his brief but fruitful time as an ordained priest, clergy
attending may vest and sit together as is customary.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical
Clinic, which provides medical care to the under- or un-insured. Ed was a
board member of this clinic and he held the cause close to his heart.

Blessings on all of you in your grief, and we hope you come and rejoice with
us as we celebrate the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection.


The Funeral service for The Reverend Edward A. Wetzel was Thursday, January 7, 2010 at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Powell. Nearly 200 of his friends and family from coast to coast came to honor his life. Their ready laughter and tears were a witness to the wide swath of good work Ed cut over the years.

Ed was born in New York City on June 11, 1933, the oldest of six children born to Edward Albert and Gertrude (Fitzpatrick) Wetzel. His childhood years were spent in Scarsdale, N.Y., where he attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Grammar School and Stepinac High School. Ed graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., in 1955. Following graduation from college he began a career in advertising. For 20 years he worked in the field, becoming an officer of two of the largest advertising agencies in New York City. He would often share stories about the brainstorming meetings or barroom conversation where some of the most famous tag-lines were imagined, including the United Negro College Fund’s “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste.”

On Oct. 6, 1956, Ed married Carra Quinlan. Eventually Ed and his family moved to Dayton, Ohio, where he managed the office of another large advertising agency. There, in 1978, Ed almost died of alcohol dependence. After several months of physical recuperation, Ed began the second half of his life, devoting his energies to his own recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous and to the recovery of those he could help. He became a substance abuse counselor and worked at treatment facilities in Georgia and Virginia. He was most involved with those whose addictions had led them into the criminal justice system.

In 1995, Ed and his wife, Carra, moved to Powell to be near their son and his family. Ed assisted in developing the Park County Drug Court and served as the coordinator during its formative years.

His spiritual journey led him to St. John’s Episcopal Church. On his first visit there, the church was hosting a carry-in dinner. He sat at the table and ate and remarked with his trademark charm and wit: “Everything I’ve heard about Episcopalians is true…real plates!”

He was called by the congregation to enter ordained ministry and was ordained a priest in January 2008. He also served on the board of the Park County Library Foundation and, at the time of his death, was a member of the board of the Heart Mountain Volunteer Medical Clinic.

He was, as his brother William put it, “a major backer” in our lives. He encouraged and inspired his family, friends and parishioners with his bedrock faith, humor, and ability to know what was important. He knew his life had been redeemed by God, and he made the most of his time living in that redemption, and calling others to it.

During his illness, he opened himself to all of us, and let us walk near him on his path, even on the steepest and most difficult passages. Doubtless is he on that mountain top and sitting at the feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines. On real plates.

Blessings, brother. We will miss you.

October-November Newsletter Briefs

September 20, 2009 By: Category: News No Comments →

  • Wyoming Diocesan Convention, presided by The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, takes place Thursday, October 1 to Sunday, October 4. Sue Woods is attending as the delegate from St. John’s and Carra Wetzel as alternate. Also attending is Megan Nickles and Ed Wetzel. In addition, Robert Rumbolz will perform with John Rapson and Ronnie Bedford & Friends, reprising the Jazz Eucharist performed last spring at St. John’s Lenten Music Series.
  • St. John’s Thrift Shop continues to be a successful and thriving enterprise. In addition to its Mon.-Wed.-Fri. hours from 1-3:30 pm, the Shop will also be open on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 12 noon to 2:30 pm. In September, the Thrift Shop workers donated $500 to each of the following organizations: Powell Valley Hospice, Lifeline, Northwest Wyoming Family Planning in Powell, and the Powell Boys and Girls Club.
  • On Sept. 12, Laura Greathouse, Sue Woods, and Megan Nickles attended “Raising Up Your Congregation,” a workshop sponsored by the Wyoming Episcopalian Foundation. Held at Thomas the Apostle Center, the event focused on maintaining an informative, instructional level of integrity to administrative tasks within the church.
  • Our prayers are with Ronnie Oltorf who is in the Powell Nursing Home, and Nancy Bonner and Louise Snedden in the Heartland. We also remember Chip and Victor who are serving in the military.
    Thank you to all who mowed or provided mowing for the lawn and grounds this past summer. We extend a special thanks to Pete Chidsey for his hard work on the lawn, the equipment, and sprinkler system maintenance.
  • The Annual United Thank Offering In-Gathering will take place Sunday, October 18. All offerings are used to support grants for ministries at home and overseas as an outreach of the Episcopal Church.
  • St. John’s Birthday Party will follow service on Sunday, November 1. Lunch will be served and there will be a table for gifts. The church’s gift “wish list” is posted on the bulletin board in the Undercroft.
  • St. John’s “English as a Second Language” classes are going smoothly. The tutors are doing an excellent job and though there are a number of consistent students, there is room for more. Please spread the word. Classes are held at St. John’s on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Textbooks are available free of charge. Classes are taught in small groups or one-on-one and childcare is provided. This is St. John’s contribution to the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming’s Mustard Seed Mission. The Diocese challenged each of its parishes to find ways to serve the larger community in which they reside and provided funding.
  • Hold the Date: Saturday, December 5 – Annual Christmas Tree-Cutting Trip in the. Join the group for a day of sledding, campfire, chilidogs, hot chocolate, and winter fun.

Download a printable PDF of The October/November newsletter

Charlie’s Birthday

February 01, 2009 By: Category: Birthdays & Anniversaries, Uncategorized No Comments →

Charlie Larsen will celebrate his 4th birthday on February 7… but we’ll have cake and ice cream on the 8th after Sunday’s service. Come down and wish the li’l stinker a happy birthday!
Charlie Popeye

H-R Camp

July 06, 2008 By: Category: News No Comments →

Our group of the usual suspects are headed again to HR Camp in July for Jr. High Adventure Camp. Grant Nickles, Quin and Ben Wetzel and Lindsay Kindred will attend together. Ed Wetzel will also be making the trip to act as co-chaplain with Russ Murphy from Buffalo.


July 06, 2008 By: Category: News No Comments →

Grant Nickles, Laura Scarbro, and Gretchen Beerline were confirmed by Bishop Vern Strickland and a joyful crowd of members and friends from Region I on Saturday, May 31. The service was preceded by a celebration breakfast during which confirmands met with the Bishop. Lunch and a regional meeting followed. Thanks to Diana Anderson for leading the hospitality ministry that day and to all who prepared the tables and, provided clean-up.

Conversation Peace

April 06, 2008 By: Category: News No Comments →

If you could use some help learning how to speak more like Christ, Mary Kassian will teach you seven powerful speech-transforming elements that can change your life, as well as those you come in contact with daily.
“Conversation Peace” is an in-depth interactive Bible study written by renowned author Mary Kassian. This workbook and video-based Bible study will present biblical principles to help women revolutionize their speech habits and improve their relationships. The study by focuses on ways to positively avoid sharing gossip, throwing negative barbs, or snapping sarcastic replies throughout everyday life.
The series has seven sessions, which will begin this summer. Specific meeting times and dates will be established based on the schedules of interested participants. Jane Woods is providing leadership for this study. Please contact her for more information: 754-4433 or 254-1038.