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Three roundtable discussions were held in recent weeks. Approximately 20 parishioners participated in these roundtables, to include long-time parishioners, newer parishioners, and those in-between. This is a pretty good participation for something new and something offered in the summer. There were three major points of discussion: 1) The Preaching Ministry of the Church; 2) A Mid-Year Review; and 3) Brainstorming for the 175th anniversary year of the church in 2020. In my column last week I talked about the preaching discussions. This week will focus on the review. This question discussed was , how are we doing six months into 2019?
The answers varied but to summarize the positive points: “Things are going well.” “There is new energy.” “There are a few new faces.” “The improvements in the parish house.” “Our new mission partnerships.” “The participation of more people via the teams.” “Greater opportunity and challenge for thinking about and living one’s faith.” “Discipleship.”
The points for improvement or concern were: “We would like to see more people at St. John’s.” “We don’t seem to be keeping many of our first-time guests.” “Renewal takes time and each thing we do helps build a foundation that will help us as we go.” “There is still a lot in our mission and vision for us to accomplish.”
We discussed that our vision is to become “A renewed church.” I talked about how I was called to serve here specifically for the purpose of helping to lead the congregation in a turn-around, revitalization, and renewal. The biggest threat we face is complacency. Most of a congregation needs to be engaged, in different ways, with helping a parish turn around – so settling for current reality is dangerous in the early and middle levels of parish renewal.
We finished these discussions by reviewing some key patterns and metrics: increasing the number of invitations to St. John’s, increasing the number of first-time guests, increasing the number of returning guests, increasing the number of new attenders and members, and finally, increasing the number of disciples. The good news is that we are, thanks be to God, making progress in living our mission of “Loving God, Loving Others, and Making Disciples”, which in turn is bringing us closer to realizing our vision of becoming a “Renewed Church.”
Pray for our church leaders as they meet at 6:30 pm in the Parish Hall, Ruete Conference Room.
Please bring your own beverage and a dish to share which could feed about 12 people. Utensils, plates, etc will be provided. See sign-up sheet at coffee hour. Please note that there will not be a service at the Church on Sunday August 25.
Mark your calendar for the big day which will mark the start of our fall sermon series, adult forum, Sunday School, and topped off with a potluck afterwards! Begin thinking about and praying about who you will invite to join you.
Please save the date on your calendar for this fun fellowship event! Interested in learning more, talk to Kathe Richardson or David Vanderah.
Almighty God, you have given your only Son to be for us a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life: Give us grace to receive thankfully the fruits of his redeeming work, and to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Ministers: The People of St. John’s
Senior Warden: Susan Forshey
Junior Warden: John Stewart
Clerk: Pam Van Vleck
Treasurer: Bill Richardson
Vestry Members: Joe Hickey, David Kendall, Haley Lammer-Heindel, Ally O’Rourke, David Roberts, Corky Vance
Parish Administrator: Susan Meyers
Priest-in-Residence: The Rev. Dr. Kent Anderson
Rector: The Rev. Dr. Kevin Goodrich, O.P.
Bishop: The Rt. Rev. Alan Scarfe, D.D.