Grace and peace to you, brothers and sisters of St. John’s,

Well, Easter Sunday has come and gone but the message still lives on. Christ has died, Christ has risen indeed, Alleluia! Hope! Hope for the future! Hope for life everlasting! Hope for God’s unending love and for our salvation!

Where are we going as a church? What is our direction? Where are we as a church?

The one common theme I see is that we are a family or community that is, and always has been, a welcoming and inviting congregation. A people that share God’s love; that no matter who you are or where you’ve been you are always welcome and continually invited to be part of this family in Jesus’ name. Even when my own family, as well as others, disappeared for a while or came to church only at Christmas time or Easter, we were always greeted with love and respect, and encouragement. Family! Community! That appears to be the very essence of our membership or discipleship here at St John’s. Come to our church and you are considered part of God’s family!

I love the service each Sunday as we sing hymns, recite our creed and hear the lessons and hear the sermons, also our awesome choirs! You can feel God’s presence! I especially love the sharing of the peace! How we’ve grown from shaking hands with people in the pews in front and behind us to the moving into the aisles and all about the church to greet each other and share God’s love and peace! And yet, how well do we really know our fellow members? Oh sure, we know some and have gotten to know others but how much do we really know about each other? We see each other each week here at church and talk a bit but what do we really know? What do we do outside of church? Where do we live? Why do we come here? I don’t think we need to know every detail but I’d like to see a more personal connection with each other. God asks us to go into all nations and share his good news and share his love. To love one another as he loves us! Let’s reach out to each other and share ourselves more and discover more about who we are as a church and where we want to go from here. It all starts in our own church community and grows outward from there to the larger community.

Recently we gathered for the Confirmation of four of our youth. It stirred up feelings in me of my own growth as one of God’s children. I thought of my own Confirmation and further development on my journey through this life. The Reaffirmation of our baptism is very powerful in many ways. When we are younger we may not own or appreciate what it means to be baptized or where we are to go from here but as we grow older and realize God’s love we learn to cherish more and more the meaning and significance of it all; much in thanks to Jesus and the Holy Spirit ! I got quite emotional as I witnessed these youth graduate spiritually to a new level and pray they will continue to grow and be part of our family and community of God! I pray we may all continue to grow in faith and love and trust in God!

Reach out! Share God’s love! Share
ourselves! Peace be with you

Ron Johnson

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