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“State of the Church” Welcomes Big Crowd for Updates and Celebration

Over 250 people attended the latest “State of the Church” dinner event on May 17. The event was catered by Ott Pinkston and his crew of volunteers and gave room for conversation about the ministries of St. John’s.

Jonathan Williams presented the new St. John’s Sustainability Plan. Two years in the making, the Plan provides a framework for ministry 20-30 years into the future. It is divided into three areas: ministry, membership, and financial health, addressing core questions within each area: What will ministry look like in 20 years? What will our community need us to look like in 20 years? What level of membership will make St. John’s sustainable in the future? What steps need to be taken to look more like the community that surrounds us? How do we build a sustainable financial plan and model for the future?

Contact the church office if you would like a copy of the Sustainability Plan.

Mark Lewis then provided a brief update on the successful 2016 stewardship effort, which saw the largest number of pledges and pledge promises in history.

With great anticipation, Mark then outlined a timeline for phase 2 of our G2G plan. Phase 2 addresses the renovation needs of the sanctuary and CDC buildings. Primary attention in the sanctuary will be the addition of handicap accessible restrooms on the ground floor and sanctuary level. It also includes renovation of the fellowship hall and kitchen, the music department, and addresses deferred maintenance issues, including the replacement of 40 year old HVAC units.

Following each presentation, members were invited to ask questions or write down questions that would be addressed in a future newsletter article. Those questions included:

The Operational Endowment. What is it? The operational endowment is a new endowment, managed by the Benevolent Foundation, to support specific operational needs of the church.

Questions about the roof replacement. There was some confusion about the new roof on the educational building, replacing the original roof from 1967. Since it was an entirely separate project, the problem with its installation was not the responsibility of the architect or general contractor for G2G phase 1. The project became even more complicated when the roofing company’s owner died and eventually declared bankruptcy. We are still pursuing a settlement.

What about parking? With the construction of a proposed “city park” across the street, St. John’s stands to lose a large number of parking spaces. Although the parking lot was never owned by St. John’s, it has long been available for community use, including Sunday worship. Plans for the park include the elimination of the parking lot, but the addition of angled parking along Church, Fisher, and Jackson streets. To address parking concerns, Council has appointed a task force to consider options and develop a viable plan. At the meeting, members were encouraged to address their concerns with the city, which has faced significant parking issues for years.

The LSC Campaign. A question was written about the congregation’s “$1 million pledge” to the campaign for Trinity Oaks. The congregation has never made a formal pledge to the campaign, but in 2016 Council embraced a goal of raising $250,000 for the effort. In September 2016 it was announced that we exceeded our goal, with over $270,000 contributed.
Other questions regarding a “rail to the altar” and the publication of prayers were directed to our worship team. A suggestion about a “landscaping board” was directed to our Property Committee.

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