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Year in Review

By June 22, 2023No Comments

Dear St. John’s community,

What a fine summer this is turning out to be! As I write this, I’m on my deck enjoying a cool breeze on a warm Friday afternoon. I’m sharing this letter with you to reflect on what our little corner of the world at St. John’s has been up to these past six months, and how the Vestry is able to witness and grapple with all the blessing we have at this moment in time.

We started out our year with a BANG, discussing things like ways in which to best steward the most gracious gift of $325,000 we received from former member Mr. Nish Jamgotch upon his death, among other anticipated gracious gifts from members of this congregation who have passed on recently.

Based on the helpful discernment and visioning work we have done at St. John’s in the past two years, we prayerfully added Rena Turnham to our St. John’s team. Rena is heading up the Sustainable Mission Team at St. John’s for the next two years and is tasked with identifying innovative ways to match our resources and operations with our core purpose as a congregation.

And that was just our work in the first quarter of the year! We have also successfully negotiated an insurance claim for additional damage to our roof, thanks to Vestry member Kathryn Olson and Building Caretaker John McKee, and will have an entirely replaced new roof by the end of the summer.

In May your vestry had a retreat at the beautiful Dunrovin Retreat Center in Marine on St. Croix. We got to know one another more deeply, and did a workshop using “3D Mapping” about how to creatively address the challenges and opportunities our community is facing. (St. John’s congregation got a teaser of that creative process at the Adult Forum on June 11, and you have all been warmly invited to participate in this “3D Mapping” process, led by Rie Gilsdorf and Rena Turnham). The Vestry also worshipped together by trying out “Wild Church” as a group.

We wrapped up May by having our first in person visit to St. John’s from our Bishop, where the Vestry got to take some extra time and visit about the blessing & challenges not only in our own church, but the greater Episcopal Church of Minnesota as well.

With all of this happening in the first six months, we can only imagine where the Spirit will take us in the second half of the year!  We are looking forward to the continued work, and the ability to work through this exciting chapter at St. John’s as a family with our core values at the center:  Sacredness, Belonging, Nourishment, Creativity, and Transformation.

Thanks be to God!

Laura Meister, Senior Warden