St. John’s

News and Events from St. John's Episcopal Church of Powell, Wyoming.
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Archive for the ‘Projects’

Prepare yourself: More changes are coming to the church

June 26, 2016 By: St. John’s 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: St. John’s 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.”

St.John’s partners with the Episcopal Foundation for the Diocese for two community projects

June 01, 2015 By: St. John’s Category: Activities, Outreach, Projects, Uncategorized No Comments →

In March, St. John’s entered into partnership with our local Habitat for Humanity Affiliate to improve owner-occupied homes as part of Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI). This mission was awarded a major $50,000 grant from our Diocesan Foundation to support this project.

The NRI preserves existing homes, including repairs and other services which helps families that are already living in their homes, but can no longer afford to maintain them. The NRI starts at the grassroots level — with people in the community determining the goals for their neighborhood. It is a house by house, street by street and neighborhood by neighborhood program to preserve and improve existing homes and build stronger communities.

Our NRI committee has canvased the houses of Powell, and has begun to focus on neighborhoods and particular houses, and will begin making contact with homeowners in the next week or so.

St. John’s was also part of a grant-seeking effort to support families take part in a invigorating winter activity. The grant provides Big Horn Basin families the opportunity to learn to ski at Sleeping Giant Ski Area. The Yellowstone Recreations Foundation, the fund-raising arm for the ski area, is hoping to promote skiing with a $40,000 grant for its family scholarship fund.

Included in the $40,000 from the Diocese were grants from the following local churches: Christ Episcopal Church, Cody ($10,000), St. John’s Episcopal Church, Powell ($500), St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Meeteetse ($100) and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Basin ($250). The money will be used to finance YRF’s family scholarship fund.

General Manager of Sleeping Giant Jon Reveal said the grant will make a significant impact.

“The scholarship fund identifies people who are unable to afford the expense of skiing,” Reveal said. “We recognize the expense of skiing. …We need special clothing, special equipment.”

The grant offsets more than the lift ticket expenditures. “This grant covers not only their lift tickets but lessons, rentals and season passes,” Woods said. “It’s not just one round of skiing. It covers the whole season.”

Ann Simpson, vice president and chairman of the fundraiser of YRF, said the grant makes it easier for families to spend time together. “It’s to encourage families to ski together,” Simpson said.

If interested in applying for a family scholarship, or if you know someone who might benefit from it, call YRF’s office, 578-6312 or pick up an application at the office, Suite 207, 13th St., Cody or online at the Sleeping Giant website, skisg.com. Click “Contact Us” and select “Scholarships.”

Remember also that all fifth grade students ski free as well, and equipment rentals and one group lesson are included, too!

Looking In, Looking Out

April 19, 2015 By: Meg Nickles Category: Outreach, Projects No Comments →

St. John’s was established 1909, the year Powell was founded, in a little white country church located on the west side of Bent Street, between 3rd and 4th streets. We moved from Bent Street to our present location in 1967, when it was on the very edge of town; an open irrigation ditch flowed along the street in front, with only a concrete slab to serve as a foot bridge to the long steps up to our front door.

Much has changed in the neighborhood since then – the ditch has been covered, the long steps are gone and housing development has spread to the south and to the west. We are no longer the church on the edge of town.

Even more has changed within the life of church itself. We are well into our 13th year as a shared ministry community, organizing ourselves around our gifts and abilities, working from our areas of power to work with God’s power as a transformational force in the world. As we are beginning a three-phase building revitalization, we hope to maintain the integrity of the building, but to also reflect the deep values we hold now as a shared ministry community.

In the last 106 we have also watched as our oldest, and often most charming neighborhoods devolve into the poorest areas, while the outer edges of town host the biggest and most expensive homes. Many problems of our growing town concentrate themselves into the hole of this doughnut, as our poorest citizens struggle to keep their properties safe and their neighborhoods places of civility free from crime.

The Outreach Committee has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to have a direct, meaningful impact on these houses and homes, and a positive effect on our community as whole. In this work, we will serve as a kind of footbridge for the wider community of Powell to serve those who are struggling with their housing needs.

Housing isn’t just about a roof over your head. Clean, affordable housing creates stability for families and children, a sense of dignity and pride, better health, safety and security and it increases the prospect of educational and job opportunities.

Clean, safe neighborhoods also improve the larger community. How city blocks look can directly affect the behavior of those people who live there and those who pass through there. This is often referred to as “The Broken Window” theory. This theory says that maintaining neighborhoods to prevent small crimes such as vandalism and public drinking or drug use helps to create an atmosphere of order and lawfulness, thereby preventing more serious crimes from happening.

In March, St. John’s entered into partnership with our local Habitat for Humanity Affiliate to improve owner-occupied homes as part of Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI). The NRI preserves existing homes, including repairs and other services which helps families that are already living in their homes, but can no longer afford to maintain them. The NRI starts at the grassroots level — with people in the community determining the goals for their neighborhood. It is a house by house, street by street and neighborhood by neighborhood program to preserve and improve existing homes and build stronger communities.

This is a three-year commitment from St. John’s to Habitat, to the City of Powell and all of our neighbors who live here.

Briefly, the project works like this: using the Habitat for Humanity model, volunteers from St. John’s will survey Powell neighborhoods to identify at street level which ones may benefit the most from the NRI. This data will be scored and ranked for immediate attention. Realtors will assess each street to identify owner-occupied homes (rental properties do not qualify). Homeowners are then contacted to determine their interest and need – a house that needs attention on the outside often needs it on the inside as well. A homeowner informational meeting will be held at St. John’s to present the program, and to offer help with applications. Approved homeowners will participate in the repairs (sweat equity), working side-by-side with volunteers.

We will all be called to train our gifts into new settings – bringing welcome and acceptance to people who cannot afford to maintain their homes, mentoring these homeowners through the life skill of completing applications and paperwork, creating hospitality for volunteers from around the community, and of course, offering their skills on workdays. Others will bring their experience and leadership into new committee and community settings, as this will be St. John’s first foray into partnering with entities outside our worshiping community.

Other community volunteers will be welcome and we expect other churches to provide volunteer hours, in-kind donations as well as follow-up support for families. St. John’s will be the hub of the volunteer corps, and the leading voice in fundraising and other public relations matters.

We are all looking forward to engaging with Habitat for Humanity to have a direct, meaningful impact on these houses and homes, and a positive effect on our community as whole.

We believe these two projects, our own renovation and the NRI, one that looks in and one that looks out, will complement each other and keep us focused on those Baptismal vows which call us to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves; to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.

Blessings in a Backpack

October 15, 2013 By: Meg Nickles Category: Local events, Outreach, Projects No Comments →

Blessings in a Backpack is up and running at all three elementary schools in Powell, feeding 73 kids a week. A small team of coordinators at Union Presbyterian Church keep the project organized, although it is a community-wide effort.

Blessings in a Backpack, a national non-profit, provides elementary schoolchildren who are on the federal Free and Reduced Price Meal Program with a backpack of food to take home for 38 weekends during the school year. Backpack food includes easy-to-prepare, ready-to-eat foods, like granola bars, juice boxes, mac and cheese, and oatmeal. The difference in academics, school attendance, behavior and health between a well-nourished child and a hungry child is profound.

In Powell, each backpack averages about $6.50 per child; or just under $475 per week. Both IGA and Blair’s give food at cost to the program, but several items are only available at WalMart.

In 2012, St. John’s supported this project with $500 from the general budget, and we plan to continue to give to this program in 2013. You may make a donation to the Outreach Committee if you wish to be part of our gift this year, or if you wish to help with packing, come on Thursdays at 3:30 pm each week to the Presbyterian Church.

For more info: blessingsinabackpack.org

Thrift Shop Success

November 25, 2012 By: Meg Nickles 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

Mustard Seed ESL

September 19, 2009 By: Meg Nickles Category: Inside St. John’s, Outreach No Comments →

Following a discernment process that determined there is a need to help individuals in Powell who desire to learn or improve their English, St. John’s is now offering free “English as a Second Language” classes. 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. Classes will be held at St. John’s on

  • Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m.
  • Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m.

Textbooks will be available free of charge. Classes will be taught in small groups or one-on-one. Childcare will be provided.

Students meet with Katy Lytle, a member of St. John's, for English tutoring.

Students meet with Katy Lytle, a member of St. John

Lenten Concert Series to End

September 18, 2009 By: St. John’s Category: Projects No Comments →

At a meeting following service on Sept. 13, the congregation discussed and decided to bring to a close St. John’s Lenten Music Series. This decision will allow the church to direct its energy and resources to developing new projects, such as the ESL Program, that will continue to reach the greater Powell community. The Series has been an immensely positive event at St. John’s for 7 years. Nearly $22,000 was distributed over that time to organizations that serve Powell’s communities in need. Hundreds of guests were welcomed into the church each Lenten Season to hear music provided by professional musicians giving their time and talent to the cause. It demanded a rigorous discipline in the season of Lent for all of us, and brought us together as a worshiping community. The church reaped additional benefits as well. The piano was purchased to accommodate the musicians and the elevator installed in response to the desire to have all guests join us in the Undercroft. Thanks again to Dolores Woods for her leadership and many thanks to everyone who set tables, washed dishes, made soup, donated money and provisions, and who supported the series with their presence and prayers. A Gala concert in January is being planned to bring the Lenten Music Series to a grand culmination.

Lenten Concert Series Begins Its Seventh Year At St. John’s

March 04, 2009 By: Justine Larsen Category: Activities, Outreach, Uncategorized No Comments →

Pancake Supper

February 23, 2009 By: Justine Larsen Category: Outreach 1 Comment →

Mark your calendar and come hungry!

2009 pancake supper