Week of April 11-17, 2022 | Vol. 81 Issue 15


After people witnessed God’s resurrection of Jesus, they had to envision life in new ways. SO DO WE! As we revisit the meaning of the risen Jesus, we begin to see new possibilities and visions. This is true for us as individuals, as households, and as a congregation.

Thank you for being faithful during the past two years of this pandemic. On Easter Sunday, 2020, we could not gather. Last year, we gathered on the parking lot. This Sunday, we gather in the sanctuary to express our praise to God.


What new possibilities and visions will unfold in us and through us beyond Easter Sunday?

First, let me express my excitement about the possibilities and visions already unfolding in me.

It is my blessing and privilege to guide you through these early years as Charter Members of St. John’s Second Century. Part of my role is to help us have focus as we express active faith via more than fifty ministries. Last fall, we could only focus on regathering. Then, we focused on a new church year followed by festive seasons of Advent, Christmastide, and Epiphany. In recent weeks, by observing our centennial, we have focused on Remembering, Celebrating and Envisioning. Now, as I seek to bring focus to our staff, leadership, and members.

I have a question for you: ‘What is your vision for St. John’s beyond Easter?’

Here are twenty reasons why I am excited about investing myself in our future:

  1. Our Church Council is already envisioning leadership for next year.
  2. Our Administrative Deacon Panel is envisioning ways to improve our facilities.
  3. Our Pastoral Deacon Panel is continually caring for our membership.
  4. Our Ministries Deacon Panel is supporting and strengthening each ministry area.
  5. Our Mission Resource Team is envisioning strategic initiatives for our future.
  6. Our staff is moving toward including more people in worship planning and leadership.
  7. Our Heritage Resource Team is thoroughly telling the story of our first century with creativity.
  8. Our Personnel Resource Team has already enlisted two search teams to find staff ministers to collaborate with me, our staff and you in strengthening St. John’s as we reach new people.
  9. Our city and region are welcoming many new people; some are looking for a church like us.
  10. Our area of the city is experiencing tremendous change through renovation and construction.
  11. Our Messaging and Media Resource Team is creating a plan to re-introduce us to our city.
  12. Our parents, volunteers and staff are assuring that our ministries with children and youth remain strong during this transitional season between staff ministers.
  13. Our efforts in congregational care are continuing to expand and strengthen compassion.
  14. Our initiative of creating geographic ‘Affinity Roundels’ will increase our fellowship.
  15. Our music ministry is envisioning creative connections with our community.
  16. Our financial income continues to show membership commitment and unity.
  17. Our endowment is helping us expand ministries and enhance facilities. (Next week’s Family News will introduce you to our plans for a Centennial Carillon and a Prayer Room.)
  18. Our staff is envisioning ways to foster expansions in hospitality and outreach efforts.
  19. Our Sunday School Ministry and Weekday Small Groups reflect renewal in spiritual growth.
  20. Our scheduling of Karen Gonzalez on April 30th at 6pm is only one of several future efforts to connect our message of God’s love with the people of Charlotte. (Be sure to get your $10 ticket here!)

Beloved, we are now beyond the worst of the pandemic, beyond the start-up, and into the first few weeks of our second century. Although the Church of tomorrow will not be like the Church of yesterday, it will involve the same values we have expressed for a century. I am focused and ready to guide you in creating the future! Are you ready to create with me? Good. Let’s go!



Uptown Charlotte Easter Sunrise Service Returns!

This Sunday morning at 7AM, St. John’s will gather in Uptown Charlotte for an Easter Sunrise Service with our sisters and brothers from other churches across the city. This annual sunrise service is an ecumenical and interracial expression of worship.

We gather in the lower section of Romare Bearden Park across from Truist Field, where the Charlotte Knights play baseball. As we sing and pray while watching the rising light glisten off the towers of Uptown, we celebrate God’s eternal Light glistening off one another.

Nearby parking is available near the park. Additional parking and a shuttle cart is available in the lots of First Presbyterian Church.

Come early and stay late to enjoy coffee, donuts, orange juice and fellowship. If you are willing to bring orange juice or a dozen donuts, please use the following signup genius: fpc.tiny.us/eastersunrise22.

In case of rain, we will gather in Fellowship Hall of First Presbyterian.


Worship On Easter Sunday at St. John's

We hope to see you in the sanctuary this Sunday for worship on Easter Sunday. Our worship will begin at 10:30 with a dramatic monologue and solo before our two candidates for baptism process in their baptismal robes following the Christ candle.

After Clinton Dietz and Vija Chilton-Thompson light their candles off the Christ candle to symbolize the light of Christ shining in and through their lives, they will proceed to the baptistry.

Our worship will also include a beautiful choral anthem, “Hallelujah” from Mount of Olives, by Ludwig Van Beethoven; A Prayer of Easter People; my Easter Sermon, ‘Bifocals, Picture in Picture and Resurrection Living;’ and conclude with “Hallelujah” Chorus from Messiah by George Frideric Handel. Invite your neighbors, friends, and family to a high day of praise and celebration!

Charlotte Knights Game on May 22:

Purchase Tickets by April 20!

All are invited to watch the Charlotte Knights play the Norfolk Tides on Sunday, May 22, at 1PM.

The cost per ticket is $15.50 for the game only (food and beverage at your own cost).

There will be an opportunity to ride the streetcar to the game if the group is interested. 

The deadline to sign up is Wednesday, April 20. Purchase tickets with the button below or contact Lee Gray.

Knights Tickets

Holy Humor Sunday on April 24

In recent years, St. John’s has resurrected an observance which began in Greece during the early centuries of the Christian Church. They named the Sunday after Easter, “Holy Humor Sunday.” The tradition caught on in Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant countries.

Also referred to as ‘Bright Sunday,’ people wore bright colors as they celebrated joy and laughter. The custom was rooted in the musings of early church theologians (like Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom) that God played a practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead. “Risus paschalis - the Easter laugh,” the early theologians called it.

So, on Sunday, April 24th, wear your bright colors and come prepared to laugh as we celebrate the joy of the Lord.

After all our St. John’s covenant includes these words: “We will, with God’s help, so live our lives that others, seeing the joy of Christian living, may seek to know Jesus Christ our Lord.

An Evening with Karen González

On Saturday, April 30, we welcome Rev. Karen González to St. John's. A speaker, writer, and immigrant advocate, who immigrated from Guatemala as a child, Karen is a sought after speaker, who has written about and presented on a variety of topics, including spiritual formation, Latinx identity, race and culture, women in the church, the Enneagram, and immigration.

She is the author of The God Who Sees: Immigrants, The Bible, and the Journey to Belong (Herald Press, May 2019) and will join us on April 30 at 6PM in Broach Hall for a lecture, discussion of her book, and a book signing. She will also be our guest proclaimer on Sunday, May 1 in worship at 10:30am.

Tickets for Saturday are only $10 and can be purchased through Eventbrite at the button below.

If you have any questions about purchasing tickets or would like to pay with check/cash, please let Mallory Brown know at mbrown@sjcharlotte.org or Jacquelyn in the office.

Karen González Tickets

Youth Mission Trip to Chicago

St. John’s Youth of all ages (middle and high school students) are invited to serve and learn on our Mission Trip to Chicago June 19-25.

On this trip we will participate in Experience Mission’s ministry in Chicago and partner with Sunshine Gospel Ministries (through the BridgeBuilders program) for an experiential service-learning opportunity. This trip seeks to connect people from different backgrounds to promote a shared understanding of the challenges facing inner-city communities. We will learn through practical service opportunities, engage in conversations surrounding poverty, and participate in activities like a poverty simulation.

Our work will vary but, you may find yourself coming alongside members of the homeless community, working in community gardens, packing meals in a food pantry, praying for neighbors, or other neighborhood beautification projects.

The total cost will be $525 per youth.  This will include airfare, meals, and lodging. Please pay $125 online when you register. You may pay your balance at any time via your Realm account.

Plane tickets will be finalized on Tuesday May 10, so we need you to register by Monday May 9. To begin your registration, enter your youth’s name into box and then select any additional youth in your family to register. Parents/Guardians please register your student by logging into your Realm profile and choose the youth in your family you’d like to register. 

Follow all the directions on the registration page on Realm! Click below to register.

Register Here!

Save the date!

J. Kevin Gray and Rick Bean's

Jazz Mass

May 21 at 7PM in the Sanctuary at St. John's

Featuring soloists Dawn Anthony and Herbert Johnson and Sonja Sepúlveda as conductor

You don't want to miss this night!

From the Heritage Room: A Visit to the 1930s

The displays in the alcove outside Dr. Foust's office and in the hallway across from the offices have been updated. 

They now feature items from the 1930s, including information about our second minister, Dr. Chauncey Durden. Among the items displayed are minutes from the Women's Missionary Auxiliary and pictures from Vacation Bible School and a trip to Ridgecrest. There are also some interesting items relating to the budgets and stewardship activities. Names of those who had fulfilled their pledges were published on an "Honor Roll" list.

If anyone or a Sunday School class would like to visit the Heritage Room, please contact Fredda Kimball. 

Prayers, Thanks, and Celebrations

  • Shirley Ballard, Martha Brown, Stan Brown, Kathleen Bumgardner, Caroline Godsey, Jo Moore, Tish Philemon, Jerry Stephens, Don Swofford, Dee Turner

  • A memorial service for Betty Curlin will be held on Saturday, April 16 at the Matthews Glen Chapel at 11am. The address is 733 Pavilion View Dr, Matthews, NC 28105.

Financial Ministry Plan Report

  • Week of April 5-11: $27,368
  • Income through April 11: $378,926
  • Annual 2022 Ministry Plan Budget Goal: $1,135,000

Ministers On-Call Schedule

  • April 11-17: Kevin Gray
  • April 18-24: Lee Gray
  • April 25-May 1: Dennis Foust
  • May 2-8: Kevin Gray


Staff Contact Information

  • Jenny Godfrey, Administrative Assistant - 704-333-5428, ext. 11
  • Dennis Foust, Senior Minister - 704-359-7234 (cell); 704-333-5428, ext. 12
  • Lee Gray, Minister for Congregational Care - 704-451-1309 (cell); 704-333-5428, ext. 15
  • Kevin Gray, Minister for Music and Worship - 803-524-0287 (cell); 704-333-5428, ext. 14
  • Jacquelyn McAbee, Church Administrator - 434-579-1177 (cell); 704-333-5428, ext. 20
  • Mallory Brown- 704-477-3349 (cell)

Deacon Offering Schedule
Usher & Greeter Schedule
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