Church is so much more than numbers, but these numbers are an important barometer for us. Last year, due to death and relocation out of state, we took a sizable hit to our expected pledge income. As of the end of June we are seeing the impact of this; our parish income is down $25,000 from the same time (Jan-Jun) last year. Most of this decrease is a result of pledge and plate, though the lack of a pancake breakfast this year contributed as well.
What can you do as you read this? Check your mailbox for a giving statement from the church, you should receive it any day now. Please make sure you are up to date with your giving, and if there are questions with the statement let us know. Any time you are able to give more generously it is appreciated and goes directly to the ministries of St. John’s.
The other thing you can do is come to church. We miss seeing you, and we miss seeing the pews filled with our brothers and sisters.
12 September is the Parish Picnic, and the official start of the new program year, with Sunday School and our teaching teams occupying different Biblical settings; this year we will also have monthly opportunities for service to others for our youth; but you need not wait until the Parish Picnic to return to church - we are here every Sunday at 8am and 10:30am.
Along with some of our traditional events, there will be prayer partner events, and other gatherings, and a few new surprises. Notably, in October with the Pumpkin Patch in full swing, on Sunday the 3rd, we will celebrate Saint Francis with the Blessing of the Animals, a drive-thru event based upon the success of last year. Then on 10 October in the morning we will host Bishop Chilton Knudsen, our Assisting Bishop, and in the afternoon we will host a gathering for newcomers, a high tea meet and greet, so our newest members can get to know St. John’s; other newcomer’s teas will follow in January and May. The following week, 17 October, will feature a Pancake Breakfast just because it is fun. We will have another Pancake Breakfast in June, and a traditional Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner on 1 March, this will even include a Pancake Race based upon the traditions of the original event in Olney England. New this year will be a “Not-a-Bake-Sale Bake Sale” as we auction cakes and pies to the highest bidders the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
Make plans also for our Advent Dinner, this time featuring Advent Lessons & Carols, and for our Epiphany Dinner as well. Lenten Evening Prayer with a soup and bread meal will also return on the Wednesdays proceeding Holy Week and Easter.
There are many reasons, and events, that are calling you back to St. John’s, but the most compelling reasons are to worship God in fellowship with our community, and to share fellowship at coffee hour. We have missed the hustle and bustle of so many people in the church, come fill our pews, fill our halls, and fill our hearts.