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Since Annual meeting Sunday, several of you have said, “Wow, those are ambitious mission and vision statements.” They certainly are. The mission statement (see below) is something given to us by our faith. While often ignored and deviated from over the centuries, the mission of the Christian Church has always been rooted in Jesus’ fundamental teachings. To deviate from these teachings is to give up on the essentials of what it means to be a Christian congregation. Other world religions offer worship services. There are many social agencies addressing need and advocating for justice in the world. However, only the Christian Church (whether Episcopal, Catholic, Baptist, etc.) has the mission of carrying on Jesus’ teachings and fulfilling His great Commission. Again– see below.
None the less, we spent a year exploring Jesus’ teachings, the mission of the church, and then in Advent, through our study of the Three Greats (Great Commandment, Great Commission, Great Tradition) came to clarity about our mission. Each generation of Christians must wrestle anew with the timeless mission of the Christian Church and determine how to best understand it and live it within the challenges and opportunities of the time. Our vision is the picture of the future, the kind of church we are striving to become. In effect, the vision answers the question, “What does accomplishing our mission look like at this time in our history?” These are challenging and exciting times to be part of St. John’s! Pray for this process, because we cannot hope to accomplish our mission or realize our vision without God’s help.
PS: If you haven’t filled out your Annual Time and Talent Survey, please do so now. We need all these handed in by Monday, February 18th.
Love God. Love others. Make disciples.
The mission of St. John’s Episcopal Church is to love God, love others, and make disciples. We believe that love transforms lives. Love rooted in the life and teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us in his Great Commandment to “Love God and Love Neighbor” and Jesus tells us in his Great Commission to “Make disciples of all nations.” Disciples practice Jesus’ way of love. At St. John’s, we make disciples in the Great Tradition of Christianity, stressing, “in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.”
With God’s help, St. John’s Episcopal Church will be a diverse family of disciples, active in our neighborhood, visible in our city, and reaching beyond Dubuque, with the transforming love of God in Jesus Christ. St. John’s will realize this vision by demonstrating the Great Commandment, accomplishing the Great Commission, and embracing the Great Tradition.
St. John’s will demonstrate the Great Commandment through outreach to those in need, through mission partnerships, and by loving each other as a spiritual family united around Christ.
St. John’s will accomplish the Great Commission through our disciple making process, a congregational rule of life, as well through creative evangelism and respectful invitation.
St. John’s will embrace the Great Tradition by centering our life at the Eucharistic table, in the foundational teachings of Christianity, and by celebrating a diversity of beliefs and practices.
Our campus (both parish house and church) will be improved, reimagined, and utilized by ourselves, our mission partners, and diverse individuals and groups throughout the week.
This utilization of our campus, along with outreach and spirituality opportunities for the wider community, combined with worship services with joyful liturgy, powerful preaching, and uplifting music, will make St. John’s a destination for residents and visitors to Dubuque.
Finally, worship attendance will double, reflecting increased numbers of youth, as well as diverse persons of all ages. Pledging and income will markedly increase as part of an intentional year-round stewardship effort, making ongoing ministry possible at St. John’s for years to come.
Allison O’Rourke, Joe Hickey, and Corky Vance were elected to Vestry. The Vestry elected the following as officers: Susan Forshey, Senior Warden; John Stewart, Junior Warden; Pam Van Vleck, Clerk; and Bill Richardson, as Treasurer.
Meet in the Church Undercroft from 3 to 5 pm and bring your favorite board games and a snack to share. Pop will be provided. Open to everyone! Escape the cold and come enjoy some friendly game play! Questions? Contact Ann Kendell.
Please pray for our leaders on our mission and vision. Also, pray for Susan Forshey in her new role on Vestry this year as Senior Warden. Welcome to our new Vestry members: Joe Hickey, Ally O’Rourke and Corkey Vance.
If you have an interest in how St. John’s can grow in transforming lives with love, our emerging mission partnerships, and our efforts at growing our parish family, check us out. We will be meeting on the 13th at 5:30 pm in the Parish House, Ruete Conference Room. Or talk to Fr. Kevin.
We are looking to host at least 3 opportunities to come together in each other’s homes during the season of Lent. We are currently seeking hosts. Would you like to host a gathering in your home? To express interest or for more information, contact Kathe Richardson or Becky Johnson Stewart, by Sunday, February 17th.
This team will meet at 5:30 pm in the Parish House, Ruete Conference Room. If you have questions, contact Kathe Richardson.
A festive celebration on the last Sunday after the Epiphany. The men of the parish will prepare a delicious pancake supper following the service. Pancake races and fun for all ages. Mark your calendars now.
Are you enjoying winter? Make sure you have the following: windshield wiper fluid, an extra shovel in your car, ice melt for your driveway. If you get these items at Theisens, Menards or other places in Dubuque, get your Scrip first. Questions: Contact Kathe Richardson.
Remember that pledge you made to St. John’s for 2019? How’s it going? Are you dropping money in the offering plate weekly or monthly? Did you set up an automatic payment using your bank’s Bill Pay system? If you haven’t gotten started or even turned in a pledge card, that’s okay. It’s only February. Remember, breaking down your pledge to a monthly amount makes it more manageable. For other ideas, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at the office.
Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of 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
Organist: David Pitt
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.