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January 24, 2015, 5:06 PM

Sr. Warden’s Report For Annual Parish Meeting


 2015 SR. WARDEN’S REPORT FOR ANNUAL PARISH MEETING

First, let me say again how glad I am to see all of you today and for being together in worship, fellowship and love.  I am not quite sure what I am supposed to address or say as your Sr. Warden.  I wish I had words of wisdom or inspiring visions to share.  I can only share what I see when I look out at each one of you.  You are God’s beaming love reflecting Christ and nourishing my soul.  I couldn’t say this a year ago even though we were feeling safe and secure with Russ as our interim rector.  We were coming out of a trial and time of spiritual stress, but had Russ to lean on for direction.  Quietly, gently, and lovingly Russ led us out of brokenness into wholeness; out of darkness into Christ’s light; from uncertainty into conviction and strength.  We felt Christ’s love for us through Russ and in Russ.  It is through Christ’s love and healing power we became whole again.  We became Christ’s church alive through the Holy Spirit.  This is what I see in all of your faces – joy, strength, faithfulness and commitment.

            But what now?  Where do we go from here?  Russ, our priest is not here to guide us.  Like I said, I do not possess the gift of wisdom or have profound answers, but I do know that God does not want us to look back or hold onto the past.  We are to take this new life of abundant love into God’s kingdom.  We are to be the beams of God’s infinite light and love especially to those who wouldn’t otherwise know it.  We have been changed, made anew and re called by God to share his gift of life triumphant.  We must as St. Paul said to the Philippians, “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.  Press toward the goal for the prize, of the heavenly call of God, in Christ Jesus.”

We are to strain forward, to reach out and extend ourselves beyond our brick and mortar.  We are to love one another as Christ loved us.  We can love because he first loved us. This is our source of strength which we receive from Christ and pass to others.  We can offer hope and courage because of the hope and courage we have found in Christ.  We can lift up others because we have been lifted up out of dispiritedness & despondency by the infusion of grace.  We can encourage and cherish because we have been encouraged and cherished by the one who calls all mankind to be his friend, his beloved, his church.  We are the source of Christ’s indwelling light and love in the world.  We are not to hide this tremendous love and hold onto it as if it is ours alone.  We are called to share the good news in gratefulness for God’s unconditional love he bestowed on us through and in Christ.

            I tried to figure out a way St. John’s might do this.  I know the first call is to prayer.  To offer ourselves to God in prayer and allow him to lead and transform us into what he intends for us to be.  I encourage each of you to keep our parish in your daily prayers and especially the Search process and committee.  The second is action.  I came up with 4 action groups and each group with a team of leaders.  On each table there are cards with the name of each group and its leaders.

Pastoral…….Maureen Jones & Jayne Morris

Outreach……Bennette Morris & Pat Wheeler

Evangelism…Melody Rogers & Ed Pat Wright

Fellowship….Carla Myers &

Before you leave today, each one of you will be asked to commit to serving our Lord by signing the card where you feel you can best serve St. John’s, the community, and God’s Kingdom.  It is up to each one of us to do the work God has given us to do.  We can only become a vibrant and growing church if we share this amazing love and fellowship.  The love will fade and the fellowship will dwindle if we do not nourish it by sharing it with others.

Explain groups:

PASTORAL: To give aid to those who are sick or in need; to offer rides to church and the doctor’s offices.  But not just for the members of St. John’s.  This will extend out to our friends and the community.  This group will visit the sick, the shut-ins, & those in nursing homes.  They will send cards to the lonely and visit members of St. John’s who haven’t been in church for some time.  To communicate to the parish those in need. To help us care for Christ’s own.

OUTREACH: To give of our time, talents and resources to help those that are less fortunate and in need whether it be food, clothes, shelter or a hundred other ways.  They will reach out to the community and take Christ’s love and aid into his kingdom where it is needed most.

Evangelism: To share our faith, our joy and our gratefulness with each other and our community; to invite all to worship with us; to reach out and inform our community what St. John’s is all about and share the God we all worship and adore.  This is not in order to get converts (although that would be a welcomed result) but to express and share God’s love with those who might not know him or ever experienced his love.

Fellowship: Provide opportunities for us to gather outside worship to celebrate our faith, our church community and to enjoy the love we have for one another and share it with strangers.

 These four groups (and there can be more) will meet for a SHORT time each month to brainstorm, to strain forward, to reach beyond and figure out how St. John’s can take Christ’s love into the world.  We may be small in numbers, and old in age, but that matters not to God who can accomplish all things through willing and open hearts. We do not have to be greatly successful or affect a multitude of lives.  It is enough that our efforts be known to God.  We only need humbly offer our works, ourselves  to God and He takes care of the rest.

In closing, may we, who have been given and blessed with so very much, joyfully and obediently, give ourselves to God through Christ for the work of His Kingdom.  Let us go forth to love and serve the Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit.

 


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