Beloved St. John’s community,
I can hardly believe another program year is beginning—the third since I joined you, as the world has utterly shifted around us with a pandemic, race crisis, and change in administration in Washington. Your relationship with church may also have shifted—perhaps you have found it difficult to be part of the St. John’s community, or perhaps it’s been more important than ever before. Either way, I want to personally invite you to connect deeply with God and our community now, as we pause to reflect on the past and dream with God about our future.
The past year and a half, with all their challenges, have brought us gifts that will give us clues about the future God has in store for us. Some of these gifts include:
Throughout these times, we’ve experienced several themes: deepening our faith and relationships; responding to “repair the breach” where we see damage and hurt; and blessing one another and the world with incredible financial generosity, risk-taking, and courage.
In order to keep the learning going, we’re going to restructure some things—including this Rector’s Reflection! Instead of a weekly column from me in the e-news, we are going to experiment with sharing how and where we are encountering God through all of our ministries, including some or all the following:
In some ways, this will be like the old newsletter—divided up into single articles every week. But in other ways, this will be less focused on relaying the programs of St. John’s, and more focused on telling stories about where we are encountering God at St. John’s and outside it. In telling these stories, we will practice recognizing God’s presence and listening for the movement of the Holy Spirit.
As we move into this program year and all that is known and unknown about it, I invite you to join me in paying attention to where you are encountering God—where there is life, energy, excitement, inspiration, transformation, or movement in your life. Where in your experience of St. John’s are you touched? Challenged? Invited? As we notice and share these experiences, we can continue the themes of deepening our faith and relationship with God, responding to the needs of our community and the world around us, and blessing one another by showing up with courage, ready to say “Yes” to whatever the Spirit is inviting us to do.
God bless each and every one of you for the continued gift of your presence at St. John’s.
In Christ’s love,
Lisa Wiens Heinsohn