Reaching Out in FAITH
Rooted in LOVE
Dear Friends in Christ,
Each week during the 2012 stewardship campaign St. John’s will be sending out the previous Sunday’s stewardship reflection(see below) along with a link to the St. John’s website where you can pledge online and find out more information about this year’s campaign(to connect with the campaign online, click: http://stjohnsstpaul.org/
St John’s touches people’s lives in many ways. In order to continue to provide the ministries so many have benefited from for years requires annual pledges. St. John’s mission and ministry focuses on five key areas, which you might consider when considering your pledge: (1) music and worship, (2) pastoral care, (3) Christian formation, (4) outreach, and (5) parish life. We all enjoy the wonderful music in our worship, Evensongs and concerts, and our choir is among the best. We depend upon our clergy in times of pastoral need for hospital visits, funeral arrangements, and various blessings. We have come to appreciate Godly Play, Adult Education, Bible study, and Youth Group activities. Internationally, think of our clinic in Kayoro Village, Uganda. Locally, think of Project Kathleen. Consider the Youth Group trips in the summer. These are all examples of where outreach connects us with others in need. Programs such as the weekly coffee hour, the Christmas party, Men’s Breakfast Group, and Vestry Meetings help build and reinforce our parish community.
The Stewardship co-chairs, Rex Haberman and Jennifer Durst along with the parish leadership invite you to not only pray over your own pledge, but please continue to pray for the success of this year’s campaign. If you would like to make a pledge now, please click here for the online form. The ministries of this community depend on your support, both through gifts of time, talent, treasure, and prayer.
Thank you for all you do to make this part of the body of Christ vibrant, active, and alive in the world.
God Bless you!
The Reverend Jered Weber-Johnson
Saint John the Evangelist Episcopal Church
Saint Paul, Minnesota
2012 Stewardship Campaign Update
70 Pledges Received, 7 New Pledges, 30 Pledges Increased from 2011, Total Pledge Dollars to date $235,624
Median Pledge: $1,820, Average Pledge: $3,366
2012 Goal: $519,200
My name is Josh Colton, and my wife is Tisha Colton. We have 2 sons, Jacob and Caleb. We started coming to St John’s 4 years ago. At that time we were in the midst of an effort to meld our different religious backgrounds. I was a WASPy fella from Minnesota and Tisha was a lifelong Catholic from the Philippines.
Early on we had tensions around issues of organized religion. Tisha, loved, loves, the Catholic rituals, the sacramental celebrations and the reverence placed on Mother Mary. She grew up with all these, and they are as much part of her Filipino culture as they are part of her religion. I, on the other hand was born into the Presbyterian church, went to an Episcopal high school, sampled liberally from Eastern religions as an East Asian Studies major, tried out a Quaker meeting house, a Unitarian church, etc.
We struggled to find a church where we both felt at home. I initially thought I could just (“snap”) become Catholic. I gave it a good try and over 2 years we tried out 5 different churches. But it never felt right. Tisha also tried out the Presbyterian Church. But when communion only occurred once a month and consisted of grape juice served in little plastic cups . . . I knew that was not going to work.
So why St Johns? This is the place where our differences found a home. The rituals made Tisha immediately comfortable. And the direct relationship to God without an intermediate felt right to me.
We love that St Johns ministers to the full spectrum of people: the poor, the blessed, the young, the old, the serious spiritual seeker, the casual dabbler, gay, straight, single and families. As a young family we really appreciate this place. Our kids love coming to church. The excellent child care allows Tisha and me to spend an uninterrupted hour in spiritual contemplation. Jacob is now enjoying Godly play and gets excited about stories where “lots of people die in the desert, but God saves some of them!” Tisha recently participated in a mothers’ retreat and was nourished by the strength and wisdom of other mothers. We deeply respect the work of Project Home and Project Kathleen, which provide hope and dignity to families struggling to get by. We love the music here and I secretly hope that the communion line is long and slow so I can get stuck between the choirs for my own surround sound choir. We also feel that one of the major strengths of St Johns are the thought-provoking sermons. We regularly return home discussing the sermons and truly inspired to be better people.
For all these reasons we give to St Johns. We believe it is important to continue its outreach ministries and international projects, but just as important, are its quiet ones like providing families a spiritual compass, common ground and a sense of home. Having my own family has made me appreciate this wonderful place and I want to help sustain it and make it an even better place for the next generation.
St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church
60 Kent St.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
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