Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2015 was an outstanding year for the parish! We increased markedly our outreach and evangelism to the local community and beyond. New children’s and adult ministries and formation opportunities were created and existing ones strengthened. We all worked very hard to make our parish vibrant and living and active.
The faithful of Saint John’s began taking roles of leadership and getting involved during the past year. We re-imagined some of the ways we minister to allow for more involvement without the ever-present danger of burnout so often found in parish life.
In addition to vivacious outreach, education and formation curriculums, and new ways of operating, vast and much needed improvements to our physical plant were made. The Sunday school wing has been totally remodeled. We completed the creation of a memorial garden and columbarium. Much of the grounds have been rejuvenated and dilapidated structures and equipment have been replaced. Restorations were made to areas that were in very poor states of repair.
This past year, thanks to contributions by many, the parish paid off a substantial loan with a balance of over $140,000. This parish family increased her giving to a level of sustainability for the first time in several years. Great strides were made that allowed us to get out from under some dark financial shadows.
Saint John’s is growing, active and alive. This parish family has come together and we are growing in love and in faith- and Jones County has taken note. Without your financial giving and sacrifice of time, none of these amazing things would have been possible. So, to all of those who gave of their time and money in the past year, God bless you.
As we look forward to the next year, we face a different type of challenge- trying to manage, support and encourage the growth of all of these new additions to our parish offerings. To manage, support and encourage all of these ministries will require additional staff hours and structures. Our hope is to provide a high level of support for the faithful so that we may continue on in our journey towards the vision to which this parish is called.
Please prayerfully consider these things as you contemplate what time and money you will offer at the altar of God this coming year. If you do not present support the ministries of this parish, take a leap of faith and do so. If you already support the ministries of this parish, challenge yourselves to work towards the tithe and giving the Biblical first tenth of your treasures to God. Thank you for allowing me the privilege and honor of serving you, please know of my prayers for each and every one of you.
In Jesus Christ,
Jeffrey Walker Reich, Rector On the Feast of All Souls MMX