Beloved St. John’s community,

Amid the noise in our internal and external worlds, it is sometimes helpful to step back and really ask ourselves, why are we here? Stripped of everything else, what is the one thing the church does that no one else does? There are so many good things that can be done in this world. We can’t do them all. So what ARE we about?

At the deepest level, we are about a courageous, humble, generous way of life centered in the love of God in Christ. This is going to mean lots of specific things at specific times, because “love” in the abstract doesn’t mean anything. We are invited to be apprentices of a radically different way of being—that Jesus modeled; and that his risen presence empowers. In this time in history, that includes dismantling racism and addressing harm to the earth. It also includes allowing the non-violent way of Jesus to permeate our daily life, our interactions with family, the way we vote and the way we discuss politics with our relatives and neighbors. It involves participating in the divine life of Jesus–the healer,  liberator, and prophet.

Sometimes we refer to the church as the “body of Christ”, and we say that we affirm diversity of many kinds. This diversity includes the fact that we all have different gifts. Some of us will be at the forefront of dismantling racism. Some of us will focus most strongly on centering prayer. Some of us will inherently be scouts, always filled with a holy restlessness to move more quickly than institutions are usually willing to, and some of us will cling to the beautiful ways of our tradition, pushing back against those who seem too ready to cast them aside.

Because we are all different; because these times are so challenging; because God calls us to have courage and to walk forward into the unknown, creating and innovating and adapting as we go; St. John’s leadership (vestry, clergy, and other leaders) is going to be reaching out to each one of you for a 10-15 minute phone call sometime in the next month. We want to know how you are; we want to know what you need from St. John’s; we want to know how you’ve connected with what we’ve been up to. Please make time to speak with St. John’s leadership so we can learn from all of you as we seek to faithfully follow God’s Spirit into the future.

Thank you in advance for your loving honesty, and for the goodwill and trust you put in God and how God works through our community.

Faithfully,
Lisa