2022 Pledge Campaign
Dear St. John’s community,
It’s time to pledge your support to St. John’s! As the leaves start to turn to yellows and reds it is time to make your annual pledge to support the liturgy, operations, personnel, programs, and outreach of St. John’s in 2023! Every year around this time our congregation develops our budget for the coming year. We ask for each member of the congregation to let us know what they will be able to offer in the way of financial support.
Each of us customarily makes this pledge in writing by filling out a pledge card. You will find them in this letter, in the pews, online, and in many other places. In this way, the elected leaders of our church can know how to structure a balanced budget for the coming year. (For those of you who are new to pledging, the median pledge at St. John’s is $167/month. Pledges of any amount are important.) Other ways to pledge your support include scanning the QR code below, making your pledge online here, or sending an email to the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why do my wife Stacy and I pledge our support? Our rector, staff, and vestry have been thinking for many months about why people pledge to St. John’s. The reasons are many, but all revolve around the energy and power God gives us through our sacred space and liturgy to support God’s mission in the world. Stacy and I have thought about this over the past few months and come up with our three “whys.” St. John’s liturgy is a weekly reminder of what we believe to be important. St. John’s offers us a place to be our authentic selves. We are called and supported at St. John’s to testify by our words and action to God’s power of love. You probably have your own “whys.” Please consider how those “whys” deserve your financial support.
This year’s theme: The theme of this year’s pledge drive is Nourishing the Beloved Community. During St. John’s visioning exercises, nourishment was repeatedly identified as a foundational component of our ministry. This theme ties in with our congregation’s focus on the “Beloved Community” that was an essential part of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s ministry. Nourishing the Beloved Community has a connotation of being both internally focused and externally impactful. Beloved Community, of course, encompasses everything we care about at St. John’s. Our nourishment of all that is the Beloved Community is our constant goal and requires your financial support at any level.
How you can support St. John’s financially. We ask you to support St. John’s ministry in this pledge campaign financially. We also ask those who the vagaries of this world have not financially impacted to consider pledging more. Due to financial challenges for many of you this year, our pledges were lower than the previous year. Now is the time for us faithfully to re-discern, given our resources, the level of financial foundation that will best empower St. John’s in Nourishing the Beloved Community.
What we will do with increased giving. We will balance our budget, which last year operated at a pandemic-driven deficit. We will continue to offer partnerships through our Centennial Fund. We could hire a priest-associate. We could install solar panels and air conditioning.
Our ministry partners and staff. We’ve established a significant new partnership with the Center for Leadership & Neighborhood Engagement in North Minneapolis, and continued to financially support our partners in Haiti and Guatemala, TRUST, First Nations Kitchen, Uptown Food Shelf, and Urban Homeworks. We supported an Afghan refugee family in settling into their new home in Minnesota. We’ve continued our work to center racial justice & healing. We’re experiencing the gifted, fresh enthusiasm of our newer staff, Heather Miller (Children & Youth) and were grateful for the two years we spent with our gifted Seminary Intern Elizabeth Lienesch. And we are continually blessed by the leadership of Rev. Lisa, Chad Smith (music), and Rachel Svihel (administration), as well as part time staff Wendy Smith (Children’s Music), Jenny Lindberg (bulletin creator), and John McKee (Building Caretaker). We’ve just hired our newest staff member, Office Assistant Angie Goetzke. And we are incredibly blessed by our associate clergy, our Deacon, the Rev. Rex McKee, and Associate Priests Heidi Joos and John Bellaimey. We’ve welcomed a new Diaconal Intern, Colleen Swope. We have also learned to worship in a hybrid mode, continue to stream Sunday services, and have always cared for those of us who are elderly, isolated, sick, or in need.
God works through us. How we live together as a community may be changing. But the church’s purpose—joining God’s mission to heal the world through love—will never change. How we meet for liturgy and programs continues to evolve. Because we seek to operate with a balanced budget and need time to allocate our resources wisely, it would be helpful if you could make your pledge on or before Gratitude Sunday, November 13, 2022.
Whatever you pledge is important! You can pledge your support by completing the enclosed pledge card and mailing it to St. John’s, bringing it to church on Gratitude Sunday, pledging online, or by emailing Rachel Svihel. And please know that regardless of whether or not you can contribute financially at this time, you are appreciated and important at St. John’s.
We offer our profound thanks in advance. With your gift, we will respond to God’s Spirit by Nourishing the Beloved Community.
May the blessings of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, keep you well in body and spirit. Amen.
Michael A. Walters
For The Ministry of Stewardship: Mike Walters (Chair), Laura Meister (Junior Warden), Kari Rusch-Curl, Rev. Lisa Wiens Heinsohn.
Pledge Talk Videos