Table of Contents
2019 Annual Meeting Minutes
St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church
2019 Annual Meeting: January 26, 2020
- Opening Prayer – Paula Cooey
- Slideshow & Lunch
- Announcements & Gratitude – The Reverend Jered Weber-Johnson
Announcements: Opportunity to volunteer for Project Home this February, and to volunteer for commission leadership. We are seeking a Chair for the Fellowship Committee.
Jered expressed gratitude to the Fellowship Committee and Stewardship Committee for their service. Thanks to staff, to outgoing Committee Chairs, and to the Vestry.
Meeting called to order at 11:50 a.m.
- Approval of 2018 Annual Meeting Minutes. Motion to approve, seconded. Motion carried.
- Stewardship: Committee Member Alice Johnson
The Stewardship Committee approached this year’s campaign with the goal to convey to parishioners that this is an opportunity to participate in the mission and vision of St. John’s. We held forums in October to give members more in depth information about the various ministries that they would be supporting.
The Commitment Campaign generated 183 pledges, totaling just over $612,000. Renewing donors increased their commitments by an average of 6%.
We had 26 new pledges, totaling around $30,000. Perhaps most importantly, we received 117 commitments of time and talent totaling over 20,000 volunteer hours.
Thank you all so much for your support.
- 2019 Financials & 2019 Budget: Treasurer Rick Rinkoff and Executive Administrator Sarah Dull
Hebrews 13:8 tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Not so for our financials. This past year we moved firmly into the 21st century with new accountants, new ways to report the financials, new ways to classify revenue, expenses and track the numbers. What didn’t change was the consistency of results: 2019 marked the 11th year out of the last 12 that St. John’s reported a surplus and 2020 continues the long established tradition of entering the year with a balanced budget.
Let’s talk technology changes. Until recently, all the financial information was contained on one computer, locked in an office on the third floor. Want to know about your pledge payments or ministry spending? Wait until our accountant Jane Johnson was in the office. Today, we have new accountants, we’re using QuickBooks Online so that not only can the accountants work on the numbers from anywhere, but Sarah Dull and I have online access to them and can immediately respond to questions.
We’ve also added new features to the “My St. John’s” web portal. Sarah is going to tell you all about them.
Sarah Dull took us through a live demonstration of how to use “My St. John’s:”
Go to St. John’s website, click My St. John’s, Enter your Username and Password
- If you forgot your user name, call or email me
- If you forgot your password, click Lost password?
- If you’re not registered, click New user?
For the last two years, we have been using the Pictorial Directory to help us get connected with each other. Click Pictorial Directory, enter the person’s name [Rinkoff], and Search. (She showed us Rick Rinkoff’s page.) There’s Rick and his fine boys but where’s his lovely wife? Click View Family Members to find her.
If you only caught someone’s first name, such as Alice, who just gave the stewardship report, use the First Name field. Click View Family Members and you can see her email. You can now send her a thank you for all the work she has done on vestry and stewardship!
The effectiveness of this tool depends on us all keeping it up to date. To make sure your family’s records are correct click My Family and Family Detail. (She opened her own family’s contact information.) For individual family members’ information, click Member Details. (She showed where her and her son were listed.) As this is a demonstration, it’s fairly blank, but it is very helpful to the staff and clergy, and ultimately you, for this to be as complete as possible. For example, Katie Madsen, Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministry, may run a report based on birth dates so she can contact families with appropriate aged children about upcoming activities. It’s also handy for keeping all your Sacrament information. You can add or update your pictures just click Edit at the bottom and Change underneath the picture. As a growing community, it is so helpful for all of us to be able to connect names and faces.
There are detailed instructions on our website, just search for My St. John’s and click Read More. There are links to a Full User Guide and Instructions for thinks like how to crop your pictures. Ask any member of the staff for a quick tutorial.
So, what’s new? About six months ago, My Offering was added. In this section you can review your Giving History. By total family and by individual members. For each tab you can Filter what you see by Fund and Year. You can Sort by Date, Amount, Fund, and so on. The upper box lists all the contributions we have recorded. The lower box lists all the pledges we have recorded. Therefore, you can see the pledge you have made for the year and the contributions you have made so far towards it.
Want to make a contribution? Go back to My Offering, there is a shortcut to our Online Giving portal. For those that have not used online giving yet, select the Fund and Amount, enter your Payment Information, and Submit. You can select multiple funds and amounts by clicking Add Donation. You can also create Recurring Payments. You will be asked to log in or create an account. You can come back and adjust recurring payments as you need to. These systems are linked so contributions made here will show up in your giving history.
If you notice any discrepancies starting Jan 1 this year please let me know and I’ll look into it. Because we started using this last summer you won’t see your full giving for last year, but don’t worry, it’s still all on our old system. Year-end statements for 2019 will be sent out this week. However, this time next year there will be the option to download statements electronically. Once our accounts have been approved you will be able to use this drop down.
Converting to this offering system has been a big undertaking by our counters. The Counters are a dedicated team of parishioners that come in every week to sort all the contributions we receive through church services and the mail. They carefully record each payment so it is credited to the correct person and fund. This is no small task; on average, we receive over 50 contributions a week, from nearly 200 donors, for up to 7 different funds. Many of St. John’s Counters have been diligently doing this work for a decade or more. Please join me in thanking them for their service and for helping us transition to this new system: George Power, Dusty Mairs, Alden Drew, Shirley Sailors, Jay Severance, Barbara Lindeke, Brad Smith, and Jennifer Rosendale.
I would like to give special thanks to Dusty, Jay, and Shirley who have decided to rotate off this team. Thank you for your years of service!
If anyone here is interested in serving at St. John’s on the counter team please let me know, we would be thrilled to have you join us.
A Question and Answer Session followed, during which time Sarah demonstrated how to make a donation through the portal.
Back to Rick’s financial report:
Rick: Let’s go to the numbers. We ended 2019 with a $30,000 surplus, the biggest since 2012. We budgeted for a $5,000 surplus so we outperformed by $25,000. There are a lot of moving parts but the extra surplus can be boiled down to this: contributions from you and all other parishioners were $23,000 above budget. All other revenue and expense variances pretty much offset each other. Of all the ways we could have a great year, strong contributions is the best. We can control spending, we can control how much we take from the endowment, we can control how much Crocus Hill Preschool pays in rent. But how much you give to St. John’s is in your control and we’re thrilled by the confidence you show in Jered and the rest of the staff. Thank you! BTW, I’ve been compiling the numbers for 12 years now and you have given us more than you pledged in every one of those years but one, and then it was only $1,000 less than we expected. As per our policy, $5,000 of the surplus will go into the Youth Mission Trip fund and $25,000 will go to reducing our bank debt.
So what does 2020 look like? For starters, we’ve changed the format to what we call a Mission Budget. Numerous line items have been renamed. But the biggest change is that we’ve abandoned the section called Payroll Expenses where everyone’s compensation, benefits, pension, and payroll taxes were lumped together; now we’re assigning those costs to their specific ministries. This benefits us in several ways: it increases transparency so you can easily see where your money is going, each ministry is able to track its expenses better, and we’ve identified who can authorize spending for each ministry.
Let’s talk pledges. We’re budgeting a decline in 2020, from $638,000 to $613,000. History suggests we’re being conservative but we have complicating factors this year. Yes, we have many new members who are pledging but we’ve also lost about $40,000 in pledges from people who are no longer with us. In addition, several others told us they would not be making official pledges this year but would continue to support St. John’s. Now that’s a budget challenge… but here’s what we did. We lowered our pledge budget to reflect firm commitments and we bulked up our expectation for non-pledged income to $32,000. For perspective, last year we received $21,000 in non-pledged income. The people who are now moving into that category this year pledged $31,000 in 2019. This adds up to $52,000, so budgeting $32,000 seems reasonable.
Most ministry budgets increased a bit. We want our staff to earn decent wages and we want to keep fulfilling our mission. But some increases are subdued because we deliberately took advantage of a solid 2019 surplus and paid for some things late in the year that were originally budgeted for 2020. For example, in December we sent $7,500 to Kayoro (so effectively we’re giving them $15,000 this year); we purchased some computers that were due to be replaced in 2020. The H2H budget drops in 2020 for a different reason; we are supporting one less family.
You may recall that as we entered 2019 we put out an appeal for one-time pledges so we could bridge an expected shortfall in the budget. We called these Special Gifts and they totaled about $15,000. This year, something different. As Alice mentioned, we’re adding Give To The Max Day to the budget. Based on the Stewardship Committee’s analysis of how giving has evolved in today’s digital world, we’ve built in an expectation of receiving $14,000 from GTTM Day this year. Stay tuned in November for details.
There are many moving parts in the 2020 budget, but the bottom line shows a breakeven year. In previous years, we budgeted for a $5,000 surplus, which was earmarked for the Youth Mission Trip, but with the next trip a year later than normal, we aren’t budgeting for a contribution this year. If we do end up with a surplus, as we almost always do, it will go to reduce our bank debt.
Lastly, the great philosopher Yogi Berra passed away a few years ago but he left us with many words of wisdom. One of my favorites is: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re liable to end up somewhere else.”
Six years ago, we wanted to know where we were going as a parish so St. John’s established a Strategic Plan. Gabrielle Lawrence is now leading an effort to update that plan. One component is Financial Sustainability and I’m happy to report we’re making progress on two priorities in the updated plan: reducing the draw on the endowment and maintaining our building.
Since 2017 we’ve been drawing 4.5% annually out of the Cornerstone Trust, earmarked to cover building expenses. Before then, the rate was over 5% and when I first got involved with St. John’s finances the rate was 8%. Clearly not sustainable! The updated Strategic Plan will reflect the Cornerstone Trustees’ goal of getting the draw down to no more than 4% and we are taking a step in that direction this year with a reduction to 4.4%. The hope is to reduce it 0.1% per year until we hit 4.0%. Each tenth of a percent represents about $6,000.
Secondly, after years of prodding by Tom Evans we hired a consultant to analyze our capital assets and produce a schedule of how much we should be squirreling away every year to eventually replace or fix them. For instance, if our roof will need to be replaced in 50 years and will cost $500,000, we should be putting aside $10,000 per year. The report was finished last month. Hold your breath – we should be putting away $128,000 this year, and the annual number grows with inflation. Obviously there’s no room in the current budget for that kind of number since we’re living pledge payment to pledge payment. At least we’ve quantified it; now the question is how to fund it. The best answer is to increase our endowment. The Cornerstone Trust currently has a bit more than $6M and we’re budgeting a draw this year of about $258,000 based on a 12 quarter moving average of asset values. To fund an additional $128,000 draw at a 4% rate would require $3.2M. Hold that thought.
Separately from this, the Vestry and Building Committee have been considering a major remodeling project for some time. There are no firm plans or cost estimates but it’s possible that if and when we do have that information, we could begin a capital campaign that combines remodeling and funding asset replacements. But the good news is that you don’t have to wait for a capital campaign. Tom Baxter and Jim Johnson would love to talk to you about making a contribution to the Cornerstone Trust now or as a legacy gift.
St. John’s remains blessed in many ways. We’re supporting a wide range of ministries and programs, we have a wonderful staff, a beautiful building, a balanced budget, a large endowment.
And that’s all possible because of you. Thank you!!
Annual Report: The Rev. Jered Weber-Johnson
2019, like many years before it, was a year of buzzing activity and great movement at Saint John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Much of that activity might have appeared to most as business as usual. There were events and programs to be run, funds to be raised, ministers to equip, hearts and minds that needed continued forming, liturgies and music to offer, and faith that needed putting in action. In front of you is an annual report that summarizes much if not most of the goings on in 2019. In the midst of all of that, we marked and celebrated the transition of three wonderful colleagues and ministers from our parish staff. Jean Hansen left the position of Children Youth and Family (CYF) minister, Ellie Watkins departed from the position of Office Coordinator, and Lea Anne Schmidt left as our Coordinator of Member Connection and New Member Ministry. While each of these was a part time position, each was a vital piece of the staff support for incredibly important ministry. In the case of Children Youth and Family, we were delighted to expand the position to full time and to offer this position to our new CYF director Katie Madsen. Already the ministries are experiencing a boost of new energy and particularly our Children’s ministry has seen remarkable growth and participation and engagement from children and their families. The positions in the office and in New Member ministry are only now beginning to enter into a phase of discernment. I suspect that in the weeks ahead there will be news about search processes and a plan to continue staffing and supporting these vital ministries for 2020. In the midst of all of this, I want to also call out the work of Civic Engagement and Advocacy that seems to be sweeping through the church. With the addition of new members and the support of long timers, we have seen a real boost in activism in the city and state from Saint John’s. Most notably the rise in prominence of ISAIAH as a ministry engaging many of our parish, support for marches and protests, the “What Would Whipple Do” campaign, and opportunities in 2020 to partner with our friends at ICOM and Faith in Minnesota to change the political landscape in our state to reflect our deeply held faith values and commitments – this is a happening in our midst worthy of our note and celebration!
Another happy outcome from 2019 came from the quiet work of one of our vestry leaders, Gabrielle Lawrence, who undertook the task of revisiting and refreshing the Parish Strategic Plan approved and presented to the parish at our Annual Meeting in January of 2015. Now with five years elapsed, we have accomplished many of the goals that we had set in that plan. However, the congregation has changed and grown in that time. New members have joined and longtime members have left due to age, moving, and death. With these changes, undoubtedly, comes a change in opinion, perspective, and even goals. Gabrielle undertook a survey of stakeholders and newcomers and members of all backgrounds to see where we were, what was still important, and what needed more attention. What she found was that amid all our many goals and priorities, three areas seemed to top the list in terms of needing attention and focus in the year ahead: CYF Ministry, Member Growth and Engagement, and Stewarding our Buildings and Grounds to meet our current congregation and forward to future generations.
What will this mean? Well even now, the ministries, commissions and committees that work in these areas are beginning to imagine what new goals and resources need to be set or discovered in order to bring the adequate attention and energy to give each their due. We have reprioritized the best space in our building, the undercroft – formerly called the Gathering Space, to be our Children’s Ministry Center – acknowledging the centrality and importance of this ministry in our life as a faith community. We have moved our fellowship life into here, the gym (now our Gathering Space), to better accommodate a growing membership and to allow parents and their children space enough to be together at coffee hour without crowding or bumping. And, our Building Committee is eager to revisit the architectural plans presented to vestry last year. The price tag is beyond our ability to achieve, so, now the work of compromise, redrafting, and newer, more concise plans are needed. Stay tuned as these are brought forward to the congregation for your engagement and input.
Lastly, with the election of a new bishop, we find ourselves at the beginning of something new in this diocese. The Very Reverend Craig Loya, the 10th bishop elect in this part of the Episcopal Church, brings a fresh vision and a new season to our shared ministry as Episcopalians in Minnesota. Craig is a humble leader with theological depth and wisdom, and a passionate advocate for social justice and civil rights. I am eager to have you all meet him, and for all of us to embark on this next phase of our journey together! While we wait and prepare for Craig and his family to arrive here and join us, I bid you join in praying for them as they say their farewells and take their leave of a community and a diocese that has loved them deeply.
Finally, it is my sense that Jesus is calling us here at Saint John’s into a new season as well. While it is not entirely clear exactly where we will go in the year ahead, my sense – and the sense of many of our leaders – is that Jesus is calling us into the depths, into spaces of deeper commitment to his way, deeper engagement with his mission, a deeper love of each other, of the poor and the hungry, the immigrant and the outsider. Jesus is calling us to know our tradition, to steward our faith, to practice a deeper spirituality, to love more abundantly, to give more freely of ourselves in service of the world, and to pray out of the interior depths of God’s love for us and for each other. In the year ahead, you will be hearing much more about how we might follow more deeply the Way of Jesus together. For now, I invite you to pray that you might hear that call, that you might look into the depths now, and out of those depths find treasures old and new to share for the glory of God and the ministry of God’s church. Thank you for the ways you all have generously blessed our faith community, the ways you have given to our mission and ministry, the ways you have grown in knowledge and love of God. Thank you most of all, for the continued privilege of allowing me to serve as your rector, for loving my family, and for partnering with me in the work God has given us to do as the people of God at Saint John the Evangelist Episcopal Church!
In opening the Q&A session, Jered asked the congregation to consider, “if money were not object, what gift would you love to give St. John’s?”
Recognition of Outgoing Vestry Members & Lay Leaders
Jered presented prayer books in thanks to outgoing Vestry members Josh Colton, Alice Johnson, Dusty Mairs, and Brad Parsons. He presented a teapot made by Jamie Bents in thanks to outgoing Senior Warden Marilyn Conklin.
Outgoing Delegates include Becky Garthofner and Jerry Woelfel, and Youth Delegate Sabine Krall.
Outgoing Lay Leaders include Ed Cook, Property Committee, Jim Johnson, Building Committee, and George Kinkead, Audit Committee.
- Lynn Hertz – Senior Warden. Motion to approve, seconded, motion carried
- Holly Weinkauf – Junior Warden. Motion to approve seconded, motion carried.
- Vestry: Mary Elizabeth Johnson, Mark McInroy, John Mulloy, Brad Smith, Karen Chatt. Motion to approve, seconded, motion carried.
- Cornerstone Trustees: Tom Baxter, Jay Debertin. Motion to approve, seconded, motion carried.
- Convention Delegates:
- Benjamin Koshy, Jayan Koshy – Primary; Bette Ashcroft, Brad Parsons – Alternate. Motion to approve, seconded, motion carried.
- Roan Weinkauf – Youth Convention Delegate. Motion to approve, seconded, motion carried.
Closing Prayer – Collect of St. John’s
Meeting adjourned at 12:45 p.m.
This year’s commitment campaign generated 171 pledges, worth $549,565. $45,161 qualified for the matching grant, generating a total of $594,735. This is slightly more than we received from pledges in 2020. A tremendous response at a challenging time!
Thanks are due to:
- Our generous matching donors who believe in the crucial work and mission of St. John’s, the generosity of our members, and wanted to “do their part” to relieve financial pressure while maintaining our ministries.
- The 24 Invitors who volunteered to tackle the audacious goal of calling every household in the parish, to check in and discuss pledging in 2021. Their vital work provided personal connection at a time of social distance.
- St. John’s Executive Committee and Vestry for their support and holding a virtual Town Hall.
- St. John’s Stewardship Ministers: Alice Johnson, Shelley Andrew, Jessica Stoltenberg, Holly Weinkauf, George Kinkead, Jon Lundberg, and Sean Fahnhorst, whose creativity and leadership made all this possible.
- To St. John’s staff, particularly Ellie Watkins for her exceptional media editing skills.
- And to everyone who pledged to support the ongoing mission of this beloved community.
Respectfully submitted by Sarah Dull
2020 Financial Report
2021 Financial Statement of Mission
Recognition of Outgoing Lay Leaders
John Mulloy, Media Team Leader
We want to thank John for his hard work this past year in setting up our Media Team and launching our livestreaming worship. Although he will still be offering support going forward, he is stepping down as leader of the team.
Roan Weinkauf, Youth Delegate
Vestry Members — 3-Year Terms
1. Jamie Bents – Faith in Action
2. Dave Embree – Spiritual Life
3. Elaine Eyre – Invite, Welcome, Connect
4. Ed Stieve – Music
Wardens – second 1-Year Terms
1. Lynn Hertz—Senior Warden
2. Holly Weinkauf—Junior Warden
Cornerstone Trustee — 3-Year Term
1. Rick Rinkoff
Youth Convention Delegate – 1-Year Term
1. Helen Docherty
Lynn Hertz, Senior Warden
Lynn and her husband Dennis are longtime residents of St. Paul. They are the parents of Paul, Anne, and Dan and their spouses, and the grandparents of Noah. Lynn is the Assistant Provost at Macalester College and loves the opportunity to see so many faculty and staff colleagues at St. John’s.
Holly Weinkauf, Junior Warden
Holly has been a member of St. John’s since 2008 when she and her family—Don, Madeline, Eli and Roan—moved to St. Paul from New Mexico. She’s the owner of Red Balloon Bookshop. At St. John’s, she’s served on the vestry, the CYF committee, been involved with Hearts to Home and Project Home, and is a member of the finance committee. Holly grew up in the Episcopal Church and as an adult, has a deeper understanding and appreciation for its traditions, its commitment to beauty and thought and its openness to all people. She and her family are very grateful to have St. John’s as their spiritual home.
Rick Rinkoff, Cornerstone Trustee
Rick has served as St. John’s Treasurer and Cornerstone Trustee for well over a decade. He is looking to renew his 3 year term as a trustee.
Helen Docherty, Youth Delegate
Helen Docherty is a sophomore in high school, which she currently attends from the comfort of her room, in the company of her cat Polly. She has been a member of St. John’s since 2009. During that time, Helen has attended Godly Play and Youth Group, been a member of the Children’s Choir, and participated in many Christmas Pageants, with her favorite roles being an angel or one of the Three Kings (best costumes), or a disgruntled innkeeper (drama!). She also enjoyed participating in children’s musicals with St. Mary’s, telling jokes at several St. John’s cabarets, attending Episcopal Youth Music Camp, and assisting with Fellowship at evensong receptions. She currently volunteers as a liturgical reader, and hopes to learn more about ECMN by serving as a youth delegate. In her free time, Helen enjoys visiting with friends on patios and porches, playing violin, singing (shout-out to voice teacher extraordinaire Krista Palmquist!), cartooning, reading, and drinking Caramel Frappuccinos.
- We engaged Children, Youth, and Families more visibly and intentionally during Sunday worship (Processions, Sermons, Godly Play Lesson, All Saints Parade, Christmas Pageant, and Candlemas, as Readers, and a Young Adult Sermon)
- We shifted to online Worship (Sundays, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline) in response to Covid-19.
- We collaborated with CYF Ministry (All Saints, Candlemas, Burial of the Alleluias), the LGBTQ+ Group (St. Aelred of Rievaulx Holy Eucharist), Pastoral Care (Commissioning of new COHI cohort, offering Healing Prayer and Healing Anointing with trained Eucharistic Visitors), Young Adults (Sung Compline and Iconography event with Orthodox Young Adults)
- The Liturgy Committee continues to meet monthly on Zoom and continues to study the appointed Gospels in order to compose Sunday’s Prayers of the People seasonally.
- This was the 2nd year of daily Morning Prayer being offered at St. John’s. We offered the service about 240 times and even added Evening Prayer 20 times during Advent. In March, moving the services from the chapel to Facebook Live expanded our reach significantly, making this discipline accessible to people all over the country. Thanks to this wider accessibility, our average daily attendance rose to 9, up from a daily average of 3 in 2019. In September, we trained 4 new lay officiants who now lead the service in rotation.
It’s hard to pick one highlight of this past year’s formation programming. I loved teaching and discussing Job in June and July, And thinking back pre-pandemic, I loved teaching on the scriptural roots of the Lenten practice of Repentance and seeing, later, how that wonderfully set the stage for our exploration in November of “Turn” as part of the Way of Love. Still, the highlight for me really is not one specific thing but more general: seeing, from week to week, how this community engages so thoughtfully and genuinely the various topics we discuss. How everyone brings their knowledge and experience and shares them with such honesty, care, grace, and deep spiritual maturity.
- We used the parish surveys we received after our two Instructed Eucharists and How2Charist Forums to create educational programs that connected the Liturgical Seasons and Liturgical Practices with our Christian Faith Formation: “lex orandi, lex credendi.”
- We moved all Faith Forums onto Zoom from March 2020 onwards and began recording and archiving Wednesday Programs and Sunday Faith Forums on YouTube (including Lectio Divina, The Daily Office, Theology of Beauty, The Book of Job, Faithful Finances, and The Way of Love.
- Launched Lectio Divina (a group meeting to contemplate Scripture together, mostly in “Divine Silence”) on Zoom every Wednesday at 10am
- Completed Spring and Fall Basics Classes.
- Offered a three-part Advent Authors Series on Eucharist and Incarnation with the Rev. Anna Ostenso-Moore, the Rev. Emily M. D. Scott, and the Rev. Dr. James Farwell.
- Faith Formation Commission continues to meet monthly on Zoom and we have launched and will continue to curate our Way of Love programming through June 2021.
Respectfully submitted by Craig Lemming
Children, Youth, and Family
- This year we celebrated two Baptisms in January and three intergenerational events pre-pandemic (Candlemas, Faithful Families Camp event, and Shrove Tuesday)
- Over the summer we handed out 13 Summer Activity Bags – to engage with the community (postcard writing, sidewalk chalking and collecting food for Saint Nicolas).
- Had 8 Parking Lot Gatherings – Fun and fellowship for our school aged children and one amazing obstacle course – which raised $1,500 for Hallie Q Brown (the idea of our very own Julia G.)
- This fall we have an average Sunday attendance at Godly Play of 10+ children. We are sending out Faith Formation packages to 19 households (one per child so 38+ children reached each month).
- Our 2 youth groups are meeting (Middle School gathering on Wednesdays and High School gathering on Sundays) with the help of 3 amazing new leaders.
- We capped the year off with our virtual Christmas Pageant — a smashing success at the hands of St. John’s Families and Abbie Mitchell’s video editing skills
- Katie was on maternity leave from November 3rd on, but with the help of Abbie M. everything ran smoothly in her absence.
- Recruited, trained (with the help of 10 qualified facilitators), and commissioned 14 new Community of Hope International lay pastoral caregivers.
- Integrated our new COHI-trained lay pastoral caregivers into the existing Circle of Care team of lay ministers who continue to meet monthly on Zoom.
- Launched and supported Circle of Care members, Vestry members, and Chaplains (St. John’s cohort of retired clergy) in St. John’s Care Circles Project in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We provided phone calls, emails, and seasonal communications of practical, pastoral, and spiritual resources to support our Faith community’s 350 households through the pandemic.
- The Rev. Terry Dinovo continues to serve as Volunteer Chaplain for Pastoral Care and updates and communicates the confidential prayer list. Cammie Beattie is leading the Pastoral Card-Writing Ministry (cards go out for birthdays and those added to the prayer list from month to month thanks to Elaine Eyre, Jerry Woelfel, Monica Cook, and Paige Hagstrom). Dave Borton curates monthly Way of Love reflections on how Luke’s Gospel intersects with Circle of Care’s pastoral care ministry.
- We are actively recruiting lay members of the parish who feel called to be trained and to serve as a lay pastoral caregiver in St. John’s new 2021/2022 Community of Hope International Cohort.
Faith in Action
We have re-engaged with the Creation Care team by sharing where our own passion for the environment comes from, and goals we have in the practical, systemic, and relational action. After a particularly difficult and isolating year, reconnecting with the Creation Care team with our heart story, and re-energizing our action with specific goals has been really life-giving. In our practical goals we are reviewing the energy audit completed in March, right before the Covid-19 shut down, and seeing what specific, energy saving action can be done in the building as well as revisiting the on-site organic waste proposal. Our systemic goal is to partner with a local organization (potentially ReConnect Rondo) focusing on addressing environmental racism. In developing our relational goals, we hope to connect the congregation through food in intentional ways.
We are looking forward to reaching these goals and creating new ones as we continue on our climate justice journey.
2020 was difficult and due to the pandemic, no capital projects were initiated, except to conclude the electrical hook-up to each of the buildings in the health compound. A carefully planned trip was cancelled just days before the travelers were to board the airplane. That delayed several planned activities and the Days for Girls program. We remain hopeful for future trips as our spiritual support is as strong as ever.
Instead, St John’s Kayoro Health Clinic (STKHC) needed support for personal protective equipment, testing supplies and additional funds for outreach activities to address the pandemic. Typically, outreach includes a range of health initiatives from basic hygiene to medical testing to reproductive health education. Now there was an urgent need to emphasize and enhance hygiene discussions to include specific instruction to minimize spread of Covid-19. In all, 3 requests for a total of $6,700 was sent over to support these activities.
Perhaps the most exciting news from STKHC in 2020, was the delivery of more than 135 babies! The donations from St John’s made this possible, with a maternity unit that is now fully equipped to serve new mothers and babies. STKHC is now recognized in the region for the best place to deliver babies! And this from our 1st mantra – Just One Good Thing! We now see all the many, many good things that come from our work in Kayoro, Uganda. Better health for the community, safe childbirth, accurate testing and safe treatments, but most of all the many strong relationships developed between the people of SJE and the community of Kayoro and STKHC.
Farmers’ Market & Fields to Families
2020 presented some challenges for the Farmer’s Market. More important, though, were the rays of sunlight that emerged from this activity. We started the spring wondering if the farmers would want to participate. Would we be allowed to operate a Farmer’s Market? Would people come? How could we keep the farmers, volunteers, and public safe if we could operate the market?
Our dear farmer’s Victor and family, Wana and Teng, and Song and her daughter Agnes all responded with a hearty “we will be there with gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer!” The Farmer’s Market committee spent good hours trouble shooting needs for masks, hand sanitizer, good traffic flow, and social distancing. The congregation responded to the Mustard Seed and Give at Home MN in-gatherings with remarkable generosity. As a result we were able to provide $2438.00 worth of produce to Hallie Q. Brown, $2834.00 in truck deliveries to St. Nicholas, and $3295.00 in after-market produce deliveries to First Nations Kitchen. And the neighborhood was thrilled!
The result was a bountiful market open from June to October. Donations at the market were an all-time high and, while not counted, attendance seemed to be up as well. Volunteers gave a total of 70 hours to host the market and help everyone stay safe. The St. John’s/Holy Apostles’ Farmer’s Market was a friendly outdoor place to be on a Sunday during this period of enforced isolation.
Thank you Cammie and Rob Beattie for your decade of work on behalf of our farmers and food shelves!
Hallie Q Brown Community Center and Food Shelf
We are in partnership with Hallie Q Brown Community Center and Food Shelf. We donate food, clothing, money and time to HQB. This year the Youth group met and toured HQB. The Pack the Pews event this year started just before the pandemic set in and raised over 1,000 pounds of food, betting the requested goal of 910 reflecting Hallie Q. Browns 91st year in existence and over $500 in funds. This event along with many other coordinated efforts have provided nourishment for those experiencing food insecurity.
In this past pandemic year, HQB dismissed the zip code requirement and served all that appeared at their door. This meant serving approximately 1,100 households each month! Many families whose food shelves could not continue receive relief at Hallie Q Brown. During the two Holiday food basket and toy drive, more than 3,300 baskets were distributed!
Under the Giving Tree run by Sue Cadwell, eight (8) St John’s families helped give families gifts for under their trees! Thank you for your work, Sue!
For the first time, Colleen Swope held a position on the HQB Board representing St. John’s in 2020. In 2021, Shelley Andrew will take this position.
First Nations Kitchen
We prepared and served meals at First Nations Kitchen on 4 Sundays. This easy and fun ministry supports hunger relief primarily for indigenous people by providing fresh organic food. Over 30 different members of all ages assisted in the food prep and service including many of our youth.
During this pandemic year, St. John’s has helped as possible. There has been a produce giveaway and take-away dinners available for pick up outside of All Saints Mission Church, using severe Covid protocols to keep all people and Food items safe. St John’s is keeping to our promise of helping 3 Sundays during 2021.
Hearts to Homes
Hearts to Homes (H2H) is an opportunity for members of our faith community to be in a mentoring relationship with a family or individual who are moving into stable housing.
During this pandemic year, it was difficult to keep working with the family we were assigned. Then, the YWCA faced their own difficulties in finding St John’s another family. It was decided at year end that St. John’s would end their association with the Y and look for another group that supports families moving to stable housing.
St. John’s will continue working with the Y in the area of ending racism and other such programs as they are part of our neighborhood.
The annual Chili Cook Off was a great success, garnering $2,700! The Cook-Off was strictly online with Chef (and parishioner) Kevin Russ auctioning off TWO batches of his Cook-Off winning chili. Thank Kevin and all the past winners who made batches of chili that were sold to raise funds!
Thank you to Diane Wallace-Reid for her past leadership of Hearts to Homes!
For over 20 years during the month of February, in partnership with Interfaith Action of St. Paul, St John’s opened its doors to provide families experiencing homelessness a safe, warm and welcoming place to stay. Each evening and night 4 volunteers worked as St. John’s hosts, filling a total of 112 volunteer shifts. With the help of other community volunteers, the St John’s community provided 2,030 hours of direct service to 5 different families, many with very young children. We provide a comfortable space for relaxation for the parents and play for the children. This year we packed gift bags on Epiphany Sunday as special welcome presents for our guests.
Thanks to Don and Holly Weinkauf who have coordinated this program for the past five years!
Respectfully submitted by Colleen Swope
At the start of 2020, the music ministry continued to see wonderful engagement across all of our ensembles and choirs. The adult choir had a roster of 30 and the children’s choir and handbell ensemble both at a roster of 10. From January to March, 26 members of the adult choir worked together in a rigorous rehearsal schedule preparing for a Lenten concert, St. John Passion by Bob Chilcott. In addition, a 10 piece orchestra and 5 guests soloists were scheduled for this event. While we made it to the end of our rehearsal schedule, we were unable to perform the concert due to the rising Coronavirus pandemic. Following our move to virtual and digital platforms, we saw on average 15-17 member of the adult choir meeting weekly for zoom discussions, lectures, and even virtual rehearsals. The handbell choir met for several months with their director, Haley Olson, for discussions and fellowship until the end of the summer.
In terms of music support staff, we continued to compensate all nine part time employees until the end of the 2019-20 program year. Following this, we kept three soloists who continue to offer musical services for our online worship services. Our budget for 2021 hopes to be able to employ everyone once again come Fall 2021, regardless of our virtual, in-person, or hybrid platforms to offer worship. This past Fall of 2020, however, the music ministry worked with several musicians who helped us create beautiful musical experiences digitally; Dr. Dean Billmeyer, University Organist at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Alyssa Anderson, free-lance artist, The Mirandola Ensemble, Lumina, and Copper Street Brass Ensemble. Each of these individuals and groups have expressed gratitude for these opportunities and hope to work with us more in the future.
Currently and looking towards the future, we are making improvements technologically, creating virtual choir projects, and propose making plans with more guest musicians and ensembles. On a personal note and as Director of Music, I share that the entire music ministry has done more than step up. The group has come together and risen above and beyond to maintain musicianship, fellowship and friendship with one another. Our move back to the rehearsal room and sanctuary will only be strengthened by this time together virtually- learning more about each other and experiences and what we love most about being church musicians at St. John the Evangelist. God’s presence has truly been with us every step of the way.
Respectfully submitted by Richard Gray
The music ministry joined Soundcloud this year! This platform allows us to archive selected music from our services and events. They include hymns, solos, organ music, brass ensemble, and more. This allows our community to enjoy, pray and meditate with our music community any time throughout the day. Check it out below:
Virtual Choir Rehearsal
- Thanks to the ongoing support of lay and ordained leaders we provided monthly or seasonal gatherings for all demographic, shared-interest, and small groups, including OWLS, Young Adults, Women’s Group, Men’s Group, Men’s Breakfast, Thursday Book Group, Prayer Shawl Knitters, Bible Study, Film & Theology Group, and LGBTQ+ Group, all of whom have convened in person, online during the pandemic, or have refrained from gathering due to Covid-19.
- We launched St. John’s StoryCorps project with Beth Bowman, Mary E. Johnson, and Aimee Baxter.
- We re-engaged 9 Small Groups with Judy Stack, several of which are following The Way of Love curriculum.
OWLs (Older, Wiser Laity)
Our last in-person gathering was a luncheon at Episcopal Church Home on Feb. 4, 2020. Jered Weber-Johnson and Barbara Mraz did a presentation on the history of food in America from 1940 to the present, highlighting the trends and recipes from each decade.
In December, gift bags containing a poinsettia, cookies and chocolate and a book of seasonal readings were delivered to OWLs at ECH and those who have not been able to get out of their homes.
Respectfully submitted by the Rev. Barbara Mraz
Invite, Welcome, Connect
Respectfully submitted by Jayan Koshy
- Our seminarian, Jayan Koshy, stepped into Lea Anne Schmidt’s role as coordinator of new member ministries in February.
- Though the pandemic put many of the welcome ministries on hold, St. John’s continues to bring new faces into our midst.
- We held 2 rounds of Basics classes, adding a new session exploring the foundations of Christianity in response to the Bishop’s call to get back to the basics of our faith.
- In part thanks to the welcoming and loving atmosphere of our YouTube comments section, many new people have been drawn to St. John’s over the past year.
- We’ve added 6 new households to our community, and several more are continuing to participate in worship and ministries as they discern their next steps!
Respectfully submitted by Scott Jungbauer
- The Narthex was repaired and painted
- The front entryway was painted and so was the stairwell leading to the coatroom
- The church was repaired and painted. Above the stained-glass windows was scraped and fully repainted due to some water damage over the past few years
- The slate from the roof was replaced
- Some copper trim work was soldered and a large section of stucco was refilled/repaired
- Our landscaping was redone by Aidan and Henry. Tom Evans wrote a letter talking about the beautiful work that had been done
- Boilers were cleared and repaired
- A steam trap above the stage broke and was repaired
- Fire panel had to have a backup power system replaced
- I want to finish with the technology upgrade for livestreaming worship. There are so many working parts in this. I have seen John M, Bob L, Jenny K, and even more people learning this system.
At the 2020 annual meeting we had many 2019 projects to reflect on. The relocation of Parish records to the History Center, moving Godly Play children into the Undercroft and the coffee hour into the gymnasium were the projects we were talking about. The Vestry charged us with developing a scaled back plan for the remodel of the 1956 section of the building, after initial estimates for this work surpassed $6 million dollars. This was the last big topic of discussion in our committee.
Then came the pandemic…
The Building Committee, like the building, has spent 2020 shut down, but looks forward to re-opening soon. On an ad hoc basis, we tended garden pots and spaces and appreciated the weeding team. There is work to be done, but with the whirlwind of change that has been our last 12 months, our projects and priorities will likely change.
Julia Ferguson and Libby Snelson (co-chairs), Fred Berndt, Ed Cook, Lynn Hertz, Jim Johnson, Dusty Mairs, Don Postema
Thank you to those who have pledged to support our mission in 2021:
|Andrew, Shelley & Vijay|
|Ashcroft, Ernie & Bette|
|Ball, Ian & Marty|
|Baumann, Bob & Sherfey, Bill|
|Baxter, Tom & Aimee|
|Beattie, Rob & Cammie|
|Bents, Jamie & Mike|
|Berndt, Fred & Sylvia|
|Berry, Brett & Jessica|
|Bressoud, David & Jan|
|Brown, Martin & Kathy|
|Bruce, Devin & Clements, Sarah|
|Cadwell, Marvin & Sue|
|Chatt, Karen & Brian|
|Church, Caroline & Merkl, Will|
|Colton, Josh & Tisha|
|Cooey, Paula & Nichols, Philip|
|Cook, Ed & Monica|
|Dailey, Mary Ann|
|Day, Richard & Paula|
|Debertin, Jay & Becky|
|Dinovo, Terrance & Wallace-Reed, Diane|
|Docherty, John & Conklin, Marilyn|
|Drew, Alden & Pollard, Mimie|
|Ebenhoch, Marcus & Tara|
|Eyre, Tom & Elaine|
|Fahnhorst, Sean & Jeans, Lindsey|
|Garceau, Michael & Sarah|
|Gemlo, Brett & Snelson, Libby|
|Gilbertson, Peter & Mary|
|Gjerde, Aaron & Amy|
|Grundhauser, Tony & Cathy|
|Hagstrom, Gary & Paige|
|Hargens, Gar & Thompson, Missy|
|Hebberger, Jo Anna|
|Henneman, Mark & Terri|
|Hogan, Emily & Josh|
|Jackson, Mary Ann|
|Jeffery, Michele & George|
|Johnson, Mary & Hartmann, Lynn|
|Johnson, Todd & Alice|
|Kinkead, George & Jennifer|
|Kipling, Gary & Jane|
|Koshy, Jayan & Benji|
|Krall, Andrew & Anneke|
|Lindeke, Craig & Elizabeth|
|Longley, Deborah & Lucy, Andrew|
|Lundberg, Jonathan & Eliza|
|Madsen, Katie & John|
|Mason, Mary Ann|
|Matter, Christopher & Rianna|
|McCarthy, Edwin & Susan|
|McInroy, Mark & Suzanne|
|Mulloy, Melissa & John|
|Murakami, Tom & Patti|
|Olsen, Jeff & Peggy|
|Olson, Rick & Wendy|
|O’Pray, Lynette & Denis|
|Parsons, Bradford & Dyanne|
|Pfalz, Patty Byrne|
|Postema, Don & Lawrence, Gabrielle|
|Power, George & Diane|
|Ragland, Susie & Larry|
|Resch, Richard and Sandy|
|Rinkoff, Rick & Ferguson, Julia|
|Rosendale, Peter & Jennifer|
|Russ, Kevin & Kelly|
|Rutledge, Edward & Ellingson, Lacey|
|Schmidt, Patrick & Lea Anne|
|Severance, Jay & Kathryn|
|Smith, Bradner H. & O’Brien, Laura|
|Smith, J. Bradner|
|Solid, Emily & Craig|
|Sommer, Stephanie & Spencer, Stephen|
|Stieve, Edwin & Paier, Otto|
|Stoltenberg, Philip & Jessica|
|Stuhlfeier, Karen & Cygan, Walter|
|Sturtz, Linda & Robertson, James|
|Swope, Charles & Colleen|
|Tessier, Meredith & Andrew|
|Thompson, John & Jill|
|Tiedemann-Richards, Bill and Michael|
|Wagner Sherer, Madeleine|
|Wall, Kevin & Michelle|
|Watkins, Ellie & David|
|Weber-Johnson, Jered & Erin|
|Weinkauf, Don & Holly|
|Wellington, David & Nancy|
|Wilson, Roger and Ginny|
|Woelfel, Jerry & Becky|