Well, September is here. For some of us that means that school has started for teachers, parents, kids, and adult-type students. Alarm clocks are ringing. Schedules and routines are being set.
Over the summer, St. John’s has been busy. There are some changes afoot – some small, some big. If you have been on vacation or just haven’t noticed, I thought I would highlight some of them.
You may have already heard that pastor John and pastor Theresa are in the process of becoming co-pastors. This was approved at the June congregational meeting. The final step of the process will take place in November at the presbytery meeting.
Cyril Deaconoff, our former organist, started a new job in July. An organist search team has been formed and will begin the process to search for a new organist.
Located in the back of the sanctuary are sample new pews. Our current pews have served us well for many years, but they are falling apart and are gradually becoming unsafe. Feedback on the pews is welcomed.
And lastly, we are low on pew bibles and interested in changing the translation from New International Version to the Common English Bible. You can read about the differences here.
Changes can be exciting, but they can also be unsettling. While all these changes seem separate, they are all opportunities for St. John’s to better provide hospitality to visitors, to vision for the future, and live into the mission and vision of this faith community. As co-pastors, pastor John and Theresa believe they will be able to continue to provide pastoral leadership for St. John’s in a relevant and meaningful way. This partnership models the collaborative way they have always worked, yet provide new ways for St. John’s in the future.
Music has always been important at St. John’s. Because we are an intergenerational worshipping community, we look for an organist who will encourage, enhance, and support congregational singing, prayer, and worship for all ages.
Over the years, our sanctuary space has functioned beyond worship on Sundays. On Saturday mornings, our sanctuary houses fresh groceries and produce to feed those in our neighborhood. In the summer, our sanctuary is a safe haven for kids to play and rest as a Cameron House summer camp pickup/drop-off site, chess camp, and music after school programs. Our sanctuary is a popular place for weddings and concerts. Having flexible seating that can accommodate different seating arrangements and function is vital for St. John’s to meet the needs of the many uses of our church.
Along with being intergenerational, we have members, frequent guests, and visitors from different faith experiences – those who grew up as a child going to Sunday School to those entering the doors of a church for the first time as an adult. Whatever our faith background, having a bible translation that is easy to read and understand, yet accurate in translation makes nurturing our faith easier and meaningful. As a pastor, I have been pleasantly surprised to read familiar stories in fresh ways when using the Common English Bible. I find the translation to be user-friendly and insightful. I encourage you to explore the two translations and see what you discover.
As said before, change can be exciting and unsettling, but they are not without thought and reason. Please feel free to approach any of the pastors or elders if you have thoughts, concerns, or questions. My hope is that these changes will foster conversation about St. John’s mission and vision in the community.