Week of April 18-24, 2022 | Vol. 81 Issue 16

When You Don't Know What You Can Do

A Brief Suggestion from Dennis

You watch the news. You see the videos. Your heart hurts for people being driven from their homes in Ukraine. You see the people fleeing poverty in Haiti. You see people running from violence in Venezuela and El Salvador. You listen to politicians shout about the United States border with Mexico. You learn that almost 15% of the population of Charlotte is comprised of immigrants and refugees. You hear various voices shouting about immigrants and refugees but you’re not sure who to believe. You want to listen to a trustworthy voice who is not angry. You want to be a voice contributing to clarity while building bridges of understanding.

You wonder what you can do. Here is one very easy option in three simple steps.

  1. Invite a friend or relative (or a few) to be present with you in Broach Hall on Saturday evening, April 30th, at 6:00 p.m. to hear Karen Gonzalez speak. She is knowledgeable and trustworthy. This is why we are bringing her to St. John’s from Baltimore. Buy your tickets here!
  2. After you listen with an open mind and spirit as she explains the plight of all refugees and immigrants, pray about what you heard in your heart as Karen spoke.
  3. Share with others what you are feeling in your spirit as you express compassion toward children of God who are being mistreated by economic and political injustice today.

Beloved, my experience tells me that you will find yourself better informed, theologically formed, and spiritually transformed. This is what always happens when you follow The Way of Jesus – and you’re very good at following Jesus.


Have you purchased your tickets for an evening with Karen González?

St. John’s is hosting a community event on Saturday, April 30 at 6PM featuring Rev. Karen González, the author of The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible, and the Journey to Belong (Herald Press, May 2019). 

Karen has lived the experience of being an immigrant, having arrived with her family in this country from Guatemala at the age of 9. She 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. 

In The God Who Sees she weaves together her own story and those of other immigrants with stories of immigrants in the Bible. She is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary and works for World Relief in Baltimore, an organization that serves immigrants and refugees. 

Karen is a compelling speaker with a message for all of us who want to connect with our neighbors from other countries who are making Charlotte their home. We invite you to join us on April 30 for a time of fellowship and learning. 

The evening will begin with a reception (light refreshments), followed by Karen’s talk at 6:30, Q & A, and a book signing.  The event will be held in Broach Hall.

Tickets for the April 30 event are $10 and can be purchased through Eventbrite by clicking the button below.

González Tickets


Once again this year, as we gather on the Sunday following Easter, we will observe Holy Humor Sunday. This tradition emerged in Greece in the early centuries of Christian faith as early Church leaders (like Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom) spoke of God’s resurrection of Jesus as a practical joke God played on the devil.

Like a precursor to April Fool’s Day, churchgoers and pastors played practical jokes on each other. They described this Sunday as a day for the Easter laugh. So, wear your bright colors and be prepared for some moments of humor scattered throughout our expression of worship on Sunday. Dennis will talk to our children about some funny things Jesus taught and explain why he was standing in two feet of water while wearing waders last Sunday in the baptistry

Youth Mission Trip to Chicago

St. John’s 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.

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. 

Register through Realm today and be sure to follow all the directions on the registration page on Realm! Click below to register.

Register Here!

Strangers to Neighbors

Refugee 101 Orientation at St. John's

Conditions around the world are resulting in increasing numbers of people fleeing conflict in their homeland. Some of them arrive in Charlotte and become our neighbors. St. John’s is partnering with some of the refugee serving agencies in Charlotte and we are following their guidance in finding ways we can “welcome the strangers” that have come here seeking safety and security and a better way of life.

One of these partner agencies is Refugee Support Services, which offers a variety of services for many of the newcomers who settle in Charlotte. For anyone wishing to have direct contact with the clients served by RSS, participation in their volunteer orientation is required along with a background check. On May 18, at 11:30, the volunteer coordinator at RSS will come to St. John’s to provide the one-hour Refugee 101 orientation session.  


Plan to come to the lounge, bring a sandwich for lunch, and learn the latest about refugees arriving in Charlotte and how we can help extend a welcome to them. Whether you plan to volunteer for direct contact or merely want to find out more about the RSS programs and other ways to support the work of this organization, mark your calendar now and plan to join us for an interesting and informative session! Please email either Nina Phillips (ninacarl@gmail.com) or Beverly Hester (beverlyrhester@earthlink.net) to let us know that you will be there. Thanks!

Available Staff Position

Church Ministry Coordinator

The Personnel Resource Team of St. John’s is receiving applications for a position on our Administrative Staff. The title of this expanded role is Church Ministry Coordinator.

Please click here to see the job posting, which includes full position description and how to apply.

We ask all members and friends of St. John’s to help us spread the news of this open position.

From the Heritage Room


St. John's survived a financial crisis in the fall of 1929. However, as the economic depression continued, another crisis arose.


From "Twenty Triumphant Years" (written by Richard Young to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the church)--


"On November 1, 1934, the church could show only $40.43 in the current expense fund; its debt stood at $78,090. Current bills were t0 days past due; salaries were 30 days in arrears; interest in the amount of $1,512 was due in 10 days. This crisis became even more intense until one of the most significant decisions in the church's history was made on March 1, 1935. On this day, after earnest prayer and long consideration, the church launched the Belmont Tithing Plan which provided that every member pay into the church treasury ten percent of gross income for a period of 14 weeks. A total of 325 members agreed to accept the plan, and the increase in gifts was almost miraculous. It became possible to pay off the second mortgage on the pastorium, re-roof the Community house, meet the May and November interest payments and all current obligations.

After the 13 weeks, the average offering increased threefold and at the end of the year the mortgages on the pastorium and the church had been refinanced at a lower a rate of interest. There was $4,140 in the bank and the finance committee was able to combine current expenses and debt service requirements into a single budget, eliminating the previously recurring drives and appeals for money. Each subsequent budget was balanced Most important of all, the spiritual life of the church was so revitalized and strengthened that greater achievements were soon to be attained."

Prayers, Thanks, and Celebrations

  • Shirley Ballard, Martha Brown, Stan Brown, Kathleen Bumgardner, Caroline Godsey, Tish Philemon, Jerry Stephens, Don Swofford, Dee Turner, Gerald Vaughn
  • Sympathy to the family of Jo Moore in her passing this week on April 19. A visitation will be held on Sunday, April 24 from 3-5pm at JB Tallent Funeral Home on 1937 N. Sharon Amity Rd. in Charlotte. A graveside service will be held on Monday, April 25 at Sunset Memory Gardens on Lawyers Road in Mint Hill at 3PM, officiated by Rev. Lee Gray.

Financial Ministry Plan Report

  • Week of April 12-18: $22,581
  • Income through April 18: $401,507
  • Annual 2022 Ministry Plan Budget Goal: $1,135,000

Ministers On-Call Schedule

  • 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
Church Calendar
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