The first time I ever visited St. John’s was actually 7 years ago. Chris and I were new residents, with our 16 month old Miriam, and I was about to be ordained a transitional deacon in Palm Desert, CA. I knew I was starting up work at another parish in a few weeks, but we wanted to come and worship. It so happened that we showed up the picnic. The people were warm and welcoming and we left feeling like this church resonated with our family.
We would also worship with this parish during subsequent maternity leaves. We would quietly hang around, feeling a call, seeing so much potential, and praying with you all as you sought your next rector. Being residents, we were long time visitors at the pumpkin patch. On one visit, I met Doug Perkins, who was working the patch. I showed up in my collar, and being less inconspicuous than my usual appearances, we struck up a conversation about the search, children and youth, and all the wonderful dreams of the church that sits at main and main in Olney. I went home invigorated and told Chris that I wasn’t sure when, but this was a church I felt called to serve.
A little while later, when I discovered who you had called to be your next rector, my classmate and friend, Henry, I sent him a message. He responded with “as I toured their campus during my interview and they talked about their children and youth, their school, and all their hopes for what ministry with families could become, your name kept coming to mind. I kept thinking ‘doesn’t Shivaun live somewhere in Maryland?’” I eagerly responded “I basically live down the street!”
There is no doubt in my mind that God has been pointing to this place for us to do ministry together for a long time.
Why St. John’s?
- Because God brought me to this place.
- Because the combination of Henry’s call and skills and my call and skills match the ministries of St. John’s right now.
- Because the combination of my experience and your experience, my vision of God’s hopes and your vision of God’s hopes, my call to serve children and families and your desire to serve God’s children and families makes us ready and willing to do the work God has given us to do in Olney.
This month we are reflecting on St. John’s. As the culmination of our formation series, Why Christian and Why Episcopal, we move into the direct question “Why St. John’s?” What do you love about this parish? Why did you first come to St. John’s? Why have you stayed here? I know why I’m here; I’m very clear that God has work for us to do together in the on-going dream God has for St. John’s in Olney. Why are you here?
Please share your stories, via email, to
Mo. Shivaun +