St. John Lutheran started out 2015 with a wonderful celebration of our congregation’s 125th anniversary. We are certainly proud, not only of this accomplishment, but for our continued longevity through many decades of great, good, and sometimes not so good. It was a true testament of our congregation’s dedication to its continued generosity and resiliency to do what was necessary over the years because of every St. John member “keeping the faith.”
When reflecting back on 2015, the core attributes for “keeping the faith” are alive and well at St. John. Resiliency: the ability to tackle tough issues and continue on its path. The move to one Sunday morning service was no small feat for our congregation. History, tradition, and congregational concerns and needs were all factors taken into account when making this decision. This move has been received by the majority or our congregation as a positive step to move us into the future to help us be the most effective congregation we can be. The move to develop and upgrade our website was yet another step to keep us in touch with the way today’s world navigates and searches for information. Past services, church information, and future events are all at our fingertips. Creating this new website, as well as moving to one service, is yet another testament of how St. John is striving to be a relevant church moving into the next 125 years.
Generosity: The quality of being kind and generous. If we look at the amount of generosity needed to hit our annual budget, one can be very thankful just for this fact alone. We should feel positive that we continue to support ourselves, our community, and our outreach programs the way we do. But St. John does not stop there, but in fact has given over $35,000 above and beyond our budget requirements each of the past 3 years supporting additional benevolence funds and congregational special needs. This is monies given to help support ECHO, Lutheran World Relief, Malaria Campaign, roof fund, and many other programs, too many to mention. We also cannot forget to thank the Foundation and the Women of ELCA for their generosity as well this past year. This generosity is truly a gift. Every time we have a true cause we deem worthy of supporting, St. John members have routinely met the need and given from their hearts. After 125 years, we are truly a resilient an generous church!
I also want to say thank you to all of you who make us who we are. To Pastor Bond, Melissa, and the rest of our St. John staff – thank you. To our planning groups, church council, community outreach volunteers – thank you. To everyone who volunteers and has given of your time and talents – thank you. To those who have prayed for our members in need, offered personal support to those who needed a ray of hope – thank you. We have a congregational family which looks out for its own, and I can personally attest to this support and want to say thank you. It truly is these little rays of hope which help us all throughout the year. Let’s appreciate the little things, do our part, and with God’s help and guidance continue to show ourselves and our community there always is hope for a better day ahead by “keeping the faith.”