(Please print, complete and mail to St John’s, 4201 Sheridan Av S, Minneapolis, MN. 55410)
Dear St. John’s community,
Fall is here, which means launching St. John’s program year, sending the kids to school, and beginning our annual stewardship campaign. In the middle of the radically changing world around us, it’s more important than ever to remember why St. John’s exists. At our core, we exist to follow the Way of Jesus, joining God’s mission to heal the whole world through love. That never changes. And the paradox is that through this unchanging mission, God brings about beautiful transformation in the world, even if we only participate in it through small, local, experimental steps. Our stewardship theme for the year is about this transformation: Becoming Christ’s New Creation. We are asking for your pledge for the coming year on or before Sunday, October 31, 2021—Consecration Sunday.
Our church is evolving. We’ve all been profoundly impacted by the last 18 months of pandemic, race crisis, climate change worries and national political divide. St. John’s has adapted and innovated in nearly every part of our common life: through online worship and music, online learning about dismantling racism through the Way of Jesus, Spiritual Bootcamp in the Wilderness, weekday noonday prayer, creating Care Circles to connect with one another, 100 days of prayer, home worship tools, increased generosity to new neighbors in need, and responding to the homeless encampment near the Lake Harriet Bandshell. We’ve continued to financially support our partners in Haiti and Guatemala, TRUST, Our Savior’s Shelter, First Nations Kitchen, Liberty Community Church, and new partners NAMI and Appetite For Change. We’ve restored the chapel, installed LED lights in the sanctuary, improved altar lights, installed a screen and projector in the sanctuary and another in the parish hall, and are working on upgrading our IT. We’re experiencing the gifted, fresh enthusiasm of our newer staff, Heather Miller (Children & Youth) and Elizabeth Lienesch (Seminary Intern). We’ve centered the work of racial justice & healing, created a Racial Justice & Healing Steering Committee to keep us faithful in this focus area, have learned not only online but also hybrid operations, and have continued to care for those of us who are elderly, isolated, sick or in need.
But Christ’s New Creation isn’t just about this constant adapting we’ve needed to do; it’s about living into our expansive, radically inclusive, intellectually rigorous, contemplative and justice-seeking faith. We can really choose to follow Jesus’ profound, liberating Way of Love. We can be blessed to become a blessing to others. We can choose nonviolence and love over righteous indignation and political competitiveness. We can learn and laugh with one another, be nourished to live in a profound and compelling way that heals instead of hurts. St. John’s is a demonstration plot practicing and modeling this way of being. Let us Become Christ’s New Creation together.
In this stewardship campaign, we humbly ask for your pledge of financial support to St. John’s. We also ask those who have not been financially impacted by this pandemic to consider pledging more—perhaps through a gift of appreciated stock (contact Rachel Svihel for details on how to make this transfer). Last year, due to financial distress among our parishioners, our pledges were lower than the previous year, which meant we needed to use our PPP loan (COVID relief from the federal government) to make up the difference. Now is the time for us to faithfully to discern, given our individual resources, the level of financial foundation that will best empower St. John’s to follow Jesus’ Way of Love.
The church’s purpose—joining God’s mission to heal the world through love—will never change. How we do so will need to continue to evolve. Because we adhere to a balanced budget and need time to allocate our resources wisely, it would be enormously helpful if you could make your pledge on or before Consecration Sunday on October 31. You can do so by completing the enclosed pledge card and mailing it to St. John’s, bringing it to church on Consecration Sunday, pledging online at
stjohns-mpls.org/giving/pledge-campaign/, or by calling Rachel Svihel at (612) 922-0396. And please know that regardless of whether or not you are able to contribute financially at this time, you are all 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 Becoming Christ’s New Creation.
Stacy Walters, Stewardship Committee Chair
The St. John’s Stewardship Committee:
Lisa Wiens Heinsohn