Dear Friends and Parishioners of St John’s,
As your Junior Warden, I cannot tell you how excited and energized I am regarding this year’s Stewardship Campaign. We all truly have been and are in “unchartered waters” in all aspects of our daily lives due to the Covid-Sars pandemic. Every day routine tasks including worshipping and attending our beloved church have been adversely altered, but I do know this: we are going to make it back to a wonderful “new normal.” Our last five weeks with the church open for worship, albeit in a limited capacity, has re-solidified what I already knew to be true: this church is truly hallowed ground. Our hallowed place of worship and fellowship is also on the cusp of a new era as we enthusiastically welcomed Ann Townsend, Poppy, Sarah, and John Leach to our St John’s family. I have sent up prayers of thanks to God for leading John and his lovely ladies to us. We are blessed and fortunate to have them. The Search process was indeed a “special time” of reflection and spiritual renewal for us all as we journeyed through it. This said, it brings me full circle to my excitement about where we are as a parish. With John’s leadership, and our amazing staff support, I am fully confident that we are about to literally explode into a place of spiritual comfort, offering new and exciting opportunities of worship, fellowship, and growth!
To fully function as a vibrant, difference-making downtown church, obviously takes financial resources. The Vestry, Finance Committee, and faithful members of numerous church committees have worked diligently to offer a sound and reasonable budget that Helen Wells, our beloved Treasurer, has presented to you. Even in a “Covid World,” we feel it is our duty and God’s will to remain vibrant and relevant, now more than ever, and we feel this budget is sound and very manageable. St John’s INCREDIBLE commitment to Outreach is obviously an important component in our parish ministry, and as past Chair of the Outreach Committee, I have watched with great pride as we have INCREASED our commitment to this difference-making ministry. We all owe Charlie Harris and his great team a hearty “Thank You” for positively making a difference in literally thousands of folks’ lives in the River Region.
With the knowledge of where we are and where we are about to go, I want to humbly ask you all to prayerfully and faithfully consider making a financial pledge commitment to our beloved St John’s. Please, please consider “digging deeper” in your financial commitment. I can promise that the “payoff” will be fully worth your investment and that magical things will happen in our church. I also feel very strongly that we as a parish need to constantly remain proactive in our growth. In my line of work, we have a saying: “If you are not growing, you are dying.” It’s no secret that “traditional” churches of all denominations, including synagogues, are seeing declines in their membership. While I like where we are currently, if we do not faithfully make efforts to grow our numbers, especially among younger families and adults, we could find ourselves in a negative situation in the coming years. This said, I want to humbly ask for not only your financial pledge to the parish, but also make a commitment to welcome and invite new folks to consider St. John’s as their church home. So please make a point to ask your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and relatives to get involved and see what we have to offer!
This is why I am so excited about John’s arrival as our sixteenth Rector! With his new leadership and visions of the future, I know nothing can stop St John’s from becoming THE most exciting and relevant church in our diocese.
St. John’s Junior Warden/Stewardship Chair