It has been a month now since we learned the difficult news that the bids on our long-awaited building renovation came in much, much higher than anticipated. As you know, these higher-than-expected bids required us to push the pause button on the project until a good solution can be found. So, what has happened over this past month and where are we now?
Who are we? Why are we here? These two questions are vital questions for congregations to ask themselves over and over again. Congregations that regularly ask themselves these questions remain grounded in the gospel, focused in Christ’s mission, and moving forward in a healthy way.
These three words are the theme of the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering taking place this coming week in Houston, Texas. Based on one of the central Bible verses of our Lutheran faith—“By grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:8)—this theme celebrates what our salvation in Jesus means for us! Everything is now changed!
There is a line in Robert Burns’ poem To a Mouse that goes, “The best laid schemes of mice and men go often askew.” For nearly two years now, our Property Ministry Team, Finance Committee, and Leadership Board have been working closely with our architect to plan the timeline for our upcoming building renovation and addition project. We have spent huge amounts of time and energy carefully attending to each and every detail of the project.
St. John’s Stephen Ministry has offered care and support to people in need for more than sixteen years. We are looking for men and women who are willing to answer Jesus’ call to serve as Stephen Ministers.
In observance of this Memorial Day weekend, St. John’s disciple Ray Boosinger wrote the following reflection, inviting us to experience its true meaning. Ray is a retired Air Force officer and a member of our Military Ministry Team. Thank you to Ray and to all the disciples at St. John’s, both past and present, who have served our country so courageously.
On that first Pentecost, God breathed the Holy Spirit into the church and the church began to move in awesome and powerful ways! Everywhere one looks these days here at St. John’s, the movement of the Spirit is evident. Let me outline just a few of the ways the Spirit is moving as God does a new thing in our congregation.
It’s hard to believe that Summer is just around the corner. It seems like yesterday we were all complaining that it was snowing on Easter Sunday. But, as I look out the window in my office and see the trees and flowers in bloom, and the preschool kids playing in the grass, there is no doubt that summer is almost here.
“Let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead” (Acts 4:10).
For 147 years, the disciples at St. John’s have brought the Word of God to the mission field known as Springfield, Illinois. Through our partnerships with service organizations in the community, we have taken the call to become the hands and feet of Christ to heart and have followed the command to care for one another.
we spend the week getting a huge dose of God’s love. There are so many things we could teach the kids about our Creator, and it is our hope that they leave with spiritual growth in a few areas: growing closer to God, growing closer to one another, and growing closer in community.
Legal ways to immigrate to the United States are through marriage and family connections, work visas, or political asylum. Another option, though a long shot, is the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery. Although called a lottery, it does not award recipients money. Instead, each year it allows 55,000 foreigners an opportunity to obtain Green Cards and legally immigrate to the U.S. Over nine million people enter the DV Lottery per year. The odds of holding a randomly drawn number are extremely small.
Even those of us who are strong in faith may begin to doubt God’s presence much less God’s omnipotent control over the difficult times we face. In a blink of an eye life can change, as it did for me that late summer afternoon.
The idea for Get Up and Go Granola came when MacKenzie Steen saw a recipe in a cooking magazine. Realizing that this would be a perfect match for St. John’s, the idea to make it for the whole congregation was born
Last Spring Pastor Greg gave his 8th grade confirmation class an assignment about baptism. Our daughter Elinor (with help from mom and dad) was to create a display board explaining what her baptism means.
Each summer St. John’s is well-represented at The Muni, the Legacy Theater, and New Salem’s Theatre in the Park as a variety of disciples share their musical and theatrical gifts. This summer is no exception.
For the past 10 years, the Annual Mission Trip to Marion, Virginia has been one of the many ways we have taken our Mission Statement to heart. St. John’s Disciples have loaded up vans, trucks, and trailers, and made the trip to Marion, Virginia to become the Hands and Feet of Christ, completing home repair projects through Project Crossroads.
It was Kay, in the parlor, with a hug. The Grief Support Group was ready to begin, and Kay’s hug found one of the newer participants. “I prayed for you all week,” Kay said. And she wasn’t the only one praying. Members of the group have listened and prayed and shared stories, growing closer as they talked about what grief has been like for them.
Just this past week, National Public Radio (NPR) reported that British Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed a Minister of Loneliness for the United Kingdom. Apparently, loneliness in the United Kingdom has reached a critical level with more than 9 million people in a recent study claiming that they “always or often feel lonely.” It seems somewhat ridiculous that in today’s global society in which we are more connected than ever through social media and the internet, the experience of loneliness has reached such critical levels.