Vol. 80 Issue 11 | Week of March 14-20, 2022

Happy Birthday, St. John's!

by Dennis Foust

Sunday, March 20, 2022 at 10:30AM in the Sanctuary

This Sunday we will celebrate one century of congregational ministry. We look forward to having some people with us in worship from prior decades; people whose fingerprints are still evident in the life of our church. We look forward to recognizing several people on this special day.
We will worship by singing a new hymn composed by Kevin Gray, our Minister for Worship and Music Ministries. The hymn is entitled, ‘O God Who Taught Us How to Love.’ We will also hear stories from Sally Young, a daughter of charter members and current chair of our diaconate. Sally will also lead us in a Prayer of Thanksgiving. My sermon will consider values that have guided us for this first century; values that are also foundational for us as we begin our second century next week. We will read our St. John’s Church Covenant together and conclude worship by joining hands and singing The Lord’s Prayer. Following worship, we will enjoy moments of fellowship and light refreshments in Lasater Hall.
Beloved, we are living in a precarious time of momentous change. Yet, let me remind you that St. John’s was birthed during a precarious time of momentous change. In 1917, the United States entered World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution occurred. The following year, 1918, a pandemic spread throughout the world. Within months Spanish Flu had killed more people than any other illness in human history. In 1920, the 19th amendment guaranteed women the right to vote. In 1921, the first religious radio broadcast was heard over KDKA in Pittsburgh and the Tulsa Race Massacre happened. In 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was formed. In other words, St. John’s is a church for a time such as this. We have expressed our trust in God’s faithfulness through wars, pandemics, social changes, riots, economic depression, political criminality, denominational conflicts, exponential city expansion, and transformation, etc. And here we are following Jesus through active faith.
Of approximately 300,000 congregations in the United States today, we are larger than 275,000 of them. We are a strong and vital local church with a bright future.
On Sunday, March 27, I will offer a vision for us to pursue as we enter our second century. But, this Sunday….


After worship concludes, we invite everyone to remain in the Sanctuary for a special photo opportunity of all who attend. Then, we welcome all to travel to Lasater Hall for a gathering time with light refreshments to enjoy.

We hope to see your smiling faces on Sunday morning!

Have you purchased your tickets for Al Staggs?
Tickets are on sale NOW for the April 2 showing of Al Staggs' one-person play, A View from the Underside at 6PM. This performance brings the life of one of the great heroes of the twentieth century, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, to the stage. The audience is brought into the prison cell where Bonhoeffer awaits execution and listens to his struggles with evil, injustice, and God. 

Purchase your $10 tickets for Saturday evening here: https://tinyurl.com/sjbcbon2022

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.

On Sunday morning, April 3, Al will present a dramatic sermon representing Clarence Jordan, author of Cotton Patch Gospels and founder of Koinonia Farms, which was pivotal in the inspiration of Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity.

2022 Community & State Missions Offering

Thus far, we have raised $3,850 towards our $5,000 goal for this year's Community & State Missions Offering.

These gifts are beyond our tithes and offerings to the Annual Ministry Budget Plan. We will give half our gifts to Refugee Support Services of the Carolinas and the other half to The School of Divinity at Wake Forest University.

Help us reach the $5,000 goal by giving today!
An Update from Nyarweng, South Sudan

For a decade, St. John's has been designating a major portion of our Global Mission Offering to support the salaries for the community school in Nyarweng, South Sudan. One of our brothers in Christ, James Lubo Mijak, oversees this school.

Lubo reports to us that these two boys are the first two students (pictured) to complete their studies in the Nyarweng Community Primary School and move on to university studies. They are now studying at Kampala International University in Uganda. One boy is studying electrical engineering and the other is studying medicine. Let us celebrate the successful efforts of our collaborative gifts which combine with visions, commitments and opportunities to begin changing personal, community and (eventually) national trajectories.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

St. John’s Baptist members and guests will be going to see the Charlotte Knights play the Norfolk Tides on Sunday, May 22, at 1:00PM.

The cost per ticket is $15 for 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. Please join us for a casual time for fun and fellowship!

Deadline to sign up is Wednesday, April 20. 

Purchase tickets with the button below or contact Lee Gray.

Your registration is not complete until you receive a confirmation email. 

From the Heritage Room:

This Sunday, we gather to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the organization of St. John's Baptist Church at the corner of Fifth and Hawthorne. One of the first actions of the congregation was to write a covenant.

The following are Bill Claytor's words about the Covenant:

It was good, well-intentioned, God-loving individuals who were founders of St. John’s Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. They had raised the requisite funds, acquired the land at Hawthorne Avenue and Fifth Street, and erected the building within which to worship. However, even with all of this, they were not finished. They needed a mission statement – something that would set their course and define the purpose for which this Church was established. They desired that each member and guest, as well as others, would know they were walking in lock-step with the God they worshiped, that they would care for one another, assemble together, be responsible to and for each other, avoid worldly temptations, contribute to the Church from their assets and income and, in all things, to do God’s will as they lived their lives.

Thus, in March 1922, they entered into a written covenant with each other addressing the areas of their belief and concerns.

They contracted to walk with God, in brotherly love, as well as admonish each other as the occasion required. They agreed to publicly worship together and to place God at the center of their respective family lives. They believed if they exercised these attributes that others would want to share their joy in Christian living. They further agreed to generously and joyfully give of their resources to the Church. Finally, they committed themselves to service to others, especially the poor.

This covenant carried the Christian believers known as St. John’s Baptist Church for fifty-one years. It was a solid commitment that survived a national economic depression, a world war, two foreign wars, and the growth of the largest city in the Carolinas. 

In June 1973, the Congregation decided the 1922 covenant needed an upgrade. By then, the language of the original covenant seemed too dated for a more modern world.

There were newer principles that needed to be included and the vernacular language of 1922 no longer was applicable. Jesus Christ as the son of God needed inclusion, personal Christian growth, and the concept of grace emphasized. More importantly, the covenant not only needed to be made with each member but that the covenant was a commitment to God as well. The revised covenant retained many of the principles of the 1922 covenant but extended the service to all others in need and not just the poor, and stressed that while differences between each other might occur, nothing would separate members from each other and the love of God. The revised covenant required the members to recognize that every person has value in the eyes of God.

As St. John’s celebrates the 100th year since it was first established, the revised covenant has remained its guiding principle for 49 years.

The covenant may, sometime in the future, be again revised. Nonetheless, the principles it contains will always be embodied in the covenant which its members daily make with each other and the God whom they worship.

This Sunday evening, our youth group is participating in a mission project. They are assembling hygiene bags. Some of these hygiene bags will be distributed by Kevin Lynch to our neighbors at Hope Chapel.

Additional hygiene bags will be distributed through other ministry partners or offered by our families of youth from their automobiles if they are approached at intersections by our homeless neighbors requesting help. If you have any small-size hotel/travel-size toiletries to include in the bags, please place them in the collection barrel in the Main Entrance this Sunday morning. Thank you.
Tuesday Bible Study Begins a New Study!

Tuesday Bible Study (TBS) will begin a new six-week study of Amy-Jill Levine's Witness at the Cross, beginning Tuesday, March 29 from 11am-12pm and continuing each Tuesday at the same time. 

This study is designed as a one-hour weekly Lenten study for any person who wishes to explore a richer understanding of Jesus and the Easter Season. 

A Zoom link can be sent to you upon request. Contact Steve Hoffman (704-604-9634), Janet Wade (704-519-8149), Tricia Miller (704-364-3601), or and Keith Towery (704-770-1244) for additional information. 

Prayer Concerns, Thanks, Sympathy

Shirley Ballard, Martha Brown, Stan Brown, Tamara Edwards, Caroline Godsey, Tish Philemon, Don Swofford, Elma Thomas, Dee Turner

Sympathy to the family of Betty Curlin in her passing on Friday, March 11. A service is yet to be announced but will be held at Matthews Glen, where Betty resided.

A service to celebrate the life of Katherine Barr will be held on Monday, March 21 at 11am in the Sanctuary at St. John's with a reception to follow in Lasater Hall.

Congratulations to Patrick and Maggie Carnes DeVane on the birth of their son, Miles Julian DeVane, on March 11, 2022. Isaac is the proud big brother.

Please email info@sjcharlotte.org to share a prayer request, thank you, or celebration.
Financial Ministry Plan Report
Week of March March 8-14: $25,801
Income through March 14: $248,814
Annual 2022 Ministry Plan Budget Goal: $1,135,000

Community & State Missions: $3,850
Goal: $5,000
Recipients – Wake Forest Divinity School & Refugee Support Services
You can make contributions, view your giving history and pledge status, as well as update your pledge and giving information anytime by accessing your personal Realm profile online or via the Connect App.
Ministers On-Call Schedule

March 14-20: Dennis Foust
March 21-27: Kevin Gray
March 28- April 3: Lee 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)