Sunday Parish Gathering, Candlelight Vigil for the Poor, Movie Group and more in the E-Newsletter for November 17, 2019 – Available in full online here.
From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP
We've come a long way in this Spiritual Quest, SJE.
Earlier this year, the Vestry initiated a Spiritual Quest at St. John's so that we, as a community of faith, might discern a new Mission, Vision, and Plan for the Future of our congregation. Throughout the year you have participated in Parish Gatherings, surveys, and other opportunities to share your own perspective and insight.
The first thing that quest did was create a new Parish Mission Statement & Motto. After feedback and several revisions, the Mission Statement and Motto that will be sent to the January 26, 2020, Annual Parish Meeting are:As followers of Jesus, we believe all people—without exception—are God’s beloved and are called together by the Holy Spirit. Inspired through time-honored worship, the people of St. John’s Episcopal Church strive to boldly love every person and all creation.Based upon your feedback, the Vestry has also approved a Vision for the future that will also be sent to the 2020 parish meeting:
Following Jesus. Inspired through Worship. Boldly loving ALL.The teachings of Jesus call us at St. John’s Episcopal Church to cultivate a community where each one of us can know who we are as beloved children of God. As we open ourselves to God’s love, we realize the grace-filled truth that every person we meet is likewise beloved. We envision a church where all people—no matter who they are, whom they love, whom they vote for, or what language they speak—can find grace and mercy in their relationships with God and one another.Based upon that Mission & Vision, you then brainstormed possible steps we could take to make that vision a reality. And, in the Final Parish Survey, you voted for which of the possible steps being considered resonated with your own sense of God's call to our congregation.
We find our time-honored approach to worship inspiring, and yet we also believe God calls us to find ways to make it more welcoming to those who are searching for a connection to God. We want to be a congregation where children will find their spiritual home—and their passion for God—here among us. And we want to equip Christians of all ages to learn what it
means to follow Jesus in our current world. As we strive to boldly love every person and all creation, we believe God is inviting us together across our differences to change this world—both globally and right here at home.
This long Quest is now nearing an end. This Sunday, November 17, we will have our Final Parish Gathering. The Gathering will review the survey results on the various possible steps our congregation can take. Those results are available online here and also at the Parish Information Table. The Gathering will create a draft plan for the future of SJE and also, if needed, select people to serve on a task force to hone that plan, given the conversation at the Gathering.
Please do participate this Sunday, if you are available. The more voices in the room, the more likely we will have a true sense of the Spirit's call among all our diverse members.
I'll see you then.
PS~ Remember that this Sunday evening, at 6:00pm, we will have a Candlelight Vigil for the Poor outside the church, at our Homeless Jesus Statue. There are nearly 100 “Homeless Jesus” sculptures at high impact locations (such as St. John's) in cities all around the world. Each of those hosts of a sculpture all around the world will be hosting a candlelight vigil on the "World Day of the Poor," Sunday, November 17, 2019. Attendees are also invited to bring clothes, food, or other donations for the marginalized. Donations will be used in our existing outreach ministries or shared with other area organizations.
Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, November 17, 2019 online here.
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