October seems to announce the winding down of the year, harvest, perhaps a
tally of how things have gone. It is also the time when we make pledges of giving for
the calendar year ahead. Taking stock of the year, there is much for us to be thankful
at St. John’s. We’ve baptized 12 new Christians since this time last year, confirmed
23 back in January, and welcome visitors to our worship almost every Sunday.
Newer staff members are working with lay leaders to promote excellence in our
ministries, particularly Fr. Garrett in adult formation and Alex Cheek with children
and youth. We sent 12 youth overseas to walk the way of St. Cuthbert together,
opening and closing each day with Bible study and prayer; we revised our Children’s
Chapel time in helpful ways.
Our Senior Warden Charlie Sterne and Parish Administrator Laura Fowles
have led us in tackling both maintenance and improvements to our buildings and
grounds. Faxie Watt has led the creation of a new lunch and learn ministry. Too
many people to name are serving Christ through the ministry of our church. And
your generosity over the last few years has put the church on a firm foundation for
facing challenges like the purchase of a new chiller for Heyward Hall, delivered last
week. Plans are being made as we look ahead, towards a new gym floor and better
use of the gym, a Date Club marriage series, and an adult pilgrimage to the Holy
If there are these things that can be taken stock of, counted, named, and
quantified, there is also the softer evidence of a sweet spirit in this place. This is a
lovely Christian community, deeply rooted and yet still growing in new directions.
In a time of church decline and much spiritual aridity and political division, St. John’s
has abundant relational gifts, a sweet spirit, born of the Holy Spirit working among
us. I won’t say St. John’s is utterly unique or the best congregation in Christendom
(though tempted) but there is something wonderful, something of God going on
here, that we are so very blessed to be part of.
It is God’s will for the church to flourish in his mission, to share the Gospel faithfully,
work for the Kingdom, to celebrate the Sacraments, and grow in love, joy, and
holiness together. The Lord is prospering the ministry of this church and asks us to
share in that ministry, as the wedding vows say, with all that we have and all that we
are. Please do, this October, when given the chance.
Learn more about other important updates in the latest church newsletter: The Epistle – Sept. 28, 2023