Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. ~ Jeremiah 33:3
by Rev. Hilary Marchbanks on September 19, 2023
We find many questions in our Biblical witness: questions the prophets asked on behalf of God, questions people asked of Jesus the Messiah (and the questions Jesus answered with more questions), and of course, the questions that the early church asked as they learned how to be a community of faith.
Saint John’s is a place where we're comfortable asking questions. The past two Sundays in worship we focused on questions: the questions of Micah 6:8, and the importance of asking questions when we're trying to be more open and caring in community.
It's an exciting time at Saint John's. In October we will participate in our annual stewardship emphasis where we will answer questions about the nuts and bolts of how Saint John's runs from day to day and season to season. In 2024 we will undergo a capital campaign for necessary repairs and improvements to our facility, including our HVAC system. Also in 2024, Saint John's will look intentionally at the next five years as we update our strategic plan.
All of this sounds like a lot of arranging and rearranging, but the truth is, it is all discernment. Discernment gives us the opportunity to ask God questions … What is next for Saint John’s? Where is God leading us?
In November we will hold three Town Hall meetings where we'll ask you a series of questions to help us discern both our capital campaign improvements as well as our strategic plan. Leadership committees will hear some of these questions before the town hall meetings, and anyone is welcome to attend the meetings. Over the next several weeks I invite you to ponder these questions and pray about what your answers might be.
Think of a time you felt the most alive and engaged at our church. Who was involved? What was the event or activity? How did it feel?
What are the most valuable aspects of our worship for you? What has made worship the most alive and meaningful? When worship is at its best, how does it shape you?
What characterizes our relationships and fellowship at its best? Can you describe a time when you have seen relational health, faithfulness, love, inclusiveness, and unity?
What are the most meaningful and important elements of our church’s outreach? When do you think the church was most faithful? What has your experience been in these activities?
When you walk into the building, how does it feel? What would you change about our building(s)?
What are the most valuable ways you contribute to our church’s ministry? Don’t be humble!
What Bible verse or story reminds you of Saint John’s?
When we are at our best, what makes Saint John’s unique?
What is your prayer for where God will lead Saint John’s … what would the church look like if these came true?
What would you like to share about Saint John’s that may not have been captured in your other responses?
I invite you to join me in prayer in this season – prayers of gratitude for where Saint John’s has grown in faith, study, and service, and prayers for where Saint John’s will grow next. Thank you, church, and thank you, God.
Grace and Peace,
Share your input!
In November, Pastor Hilary and Church Council Vice Chair Tracy Burger will hold three Town Hall meetings asking for your input on our capital campaign improvements as well as our strategic plan. All are welcome. Choose the one that best fits your schedule and pray for us as we discern together what God calls us to do next through Saint John’s.
Tuesday, November 14th at 6:30 pm on Zoom
Thursday, November 16th at 9:30 am in the Fellowship Hall
Thursday, November 16th at 6:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall