In the spring of 2017 members of the St. John's community took a deep look at ourselves through a series of "Cottage Meetings," in which parishioners were able to express their views on what we do well, what needs improvement, and how we might move forward into the future. A summary of our Cottage Meetings has been published previously. Having listened carefully to all voices, the Vestry has sought to synthesize the opinions and ideas expressed so that we may move forward into the next phase of our Capital Campaign. We therefore offer the following vision:
We as a parish envision our community reflecting more fully God's kingdom through increased diversity of age and background, race and culture. We hope to accomplish this through growth that is spurred on by enhanced and varied opportunities for worship, for gathering, and for service. We realize that this growth must be supported through partnerships with churches, organizations and institutions that connect us to the larger communities of our neighborhood, city, and region.
Continuing Anglican worship in the beauty of holiness and sharing God's presence through the Eucharist will always be central to our ministry and our mission. To implement this mission, we envision a secure, safe and stable worship space that is beautiful and welcoming, and that not only meets our present needs but also those of generations to come. Beautiful music has always been an important part of our corporate worship and is something that we are especially known for in the greater community, and we envision offering a range of musical expression in our renewed space.
We desire to reach out to new populations and to groups within our community. This means developing flexible and varied forms of worship that bring people together in non-Eucharistic and Eucharistic settings. Versatile worship and gathering space in our chapel can provide this as we look to offer contemplative services (such as Taize worship), family services, prayer circles, children's chapel, vigils, and other such options. Similarly, development of our outdoor space will support our outreach to individuals and families in our neighborhood. We look to enhance our ministry to neighbors and to make ourselves more accessible to strangers as we consider outdoor services in summer and opportunities for prayer and meditation in our garden.
To support this vision, we need gathering spaces that will nurture and foster relationships within our growing community. We need warm and attractive spaces. Along with the chapel space for small groups and discussions, we need to improve our Undercroft and make it easier to use for both large and small gatherings. Our Community Center and Parish House has rooms for meetings, potlucks, and classes, and they could be easily enhanced to foster community with simple improvements. We also recognize formation within our community as important to the spiritual growth of our members, both new and not-so-new. To this end, we envision a robust offering of programs within these spaces that meet the varied needs of our congregation. These include such things as a strong Sunday school program, formation for our teenage population, and adult learning opportunities.
We further envision ourselves as an anchor in our larger community, living in service to it. Offering our spaces in hospitality to recovery groups, to music education groups, to boards and community organizations is a crucial part of our ministry, and we wish to expand it. Our building is unique within our residential neighborhood, and it is an important asset to our ministry--one that must be protected, and can be further developed. We look to a future where St. John's is an incubator of new initiatives and ministries in our neighborhood. Possible examples of such initiatives include a drop-in evening recreation center for young adults, an afternoon center for elderly seeking companionship with games, hobbies, or classes, and a music center with classes for all ages.
As we look forward to the next stage of our capital campaign, we have realized that to grow into our vision for St. John's future, our buildings and grounds need attention. Repair, renewal, and transformation of our spaces is needed and can be achieved with multiple projects. The projects below have been identified to put our buildings and grounds in better service to our future, that we might live more fully into our mission: To the glory of God and for the common good, we make God's love known now and for generations to come, through worship and service to all.
Please consider what projects are most important to help us fulfill our vision, and of those, which should be part of a capital campaign. Please send your thoughts to our Jr. Warden or bring them to our all parish meeting on May 27th at 11:30 in the church.