Grace and Peace,
What seems like years ago, and it has been over a year, the leadership of St. John’s began discussing some of the metrics and steps towards being a thriving congregation. The Tending Our Soil program was just an idea that was being shared within the diocese. That idea has now become a reality.
With the support from the Vestry, Anna Mazzucco, Dan Philips, Glen Drew, Mother Shivaun, and I looked at St. John’s and the Tending Our Soil application and made our case for being a part of the first class of 12 parishes to participate in this now Lilly Endowment funded program.
Having been accepted into the 3-year program Shelley Spencer, Stephen Simpson, Johnna Gilchrist, Joy Reiff, Mother Shivaun, and I are now taking the steps to lead the congregation through a process of looking within the Church, around the community, and hearing what God has planned for us.
The first tangible step in this process is the Readiness360 survey that you have received information about. This look into the life of St. John’s will help us to re-shape and re-imagine how we do church in 2021 and beyond. The survey is the work of the entire parish. Every member, age 16 - 100, is being asked to participate.
Admittedly, this survey is an investment of your time, plan 20-30 minutes to thoughtfully respond to the questions. If you would like to see the questions prior to logging into the Readiness360 website please contact the office and we can get you the core questions in advance; understand though that the questions are randomized, so the list you see is not the order that they will be presented when you complete your survey.
If you have computer access issues please reach out for a paper copy of the survey or ask for someone to assist you with responding electronically. The Tending Our Soil team will be happy to assist you in completing the survey.
This survey is being administered by a nationally known organization. At no time will names be matched with responses. And given the national nature of the survey instrument, some of the questions may be puzzling, but please respond as best you can. With a large sample from the parish the results will bear good fruit.
When we reach our goal of 80% participation, we will celebrate with breakfast and coffee for all in attendance at church. Watch for more information about our participation levels to see if we will be celebrating in November.
God has entrusted us with the life and ministries of St. John’s Church, as part of our covenant with God we must tend the soil where St. John’s has been planted. We must nurture the soil and continually look towards tomorrow even as we tend to the needs of today.
God is doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43:19)