Posted by Sheila Thomasson

“Looking Around Our Church”
I always use January as a time for personal reflection; you know, the kind where you look back at last year, look forward to the year ahead, while also looking at exactly where you are at this very moment. We do that at St. John’s too! We look at our present ministries and those we hope to be involved with in the near future. If you’re into photography, it’s like taking three pictures from the car as you are driving down the highway. You take one through the back window (this is where you’ve been and left). You take one of the inside of the car (this is where you are and what you’ve got to work with). And the third one you take through the windshield (this is where you are going, your destination). As I write you this month, let’s reflect upon our three pictures.
2014 was a good year for our church’s ministries. All Committees were involved in meaningful ministry both inside and outside the congregation. The Vestry accomplished many of the goals they set for themselves, including conversations about a revision of our constitution and what church membership means to the church and what it means to individuals belonging to the church. The Vestry also moved forward with establishing the John Bachman Society, which will officially come into being this month. And you, the congregation, strongly supported these ministries with your presence and contributions. And our church grew!
This year we hope to expand upon what we started last year and begin a number of new things. There are several aspects of our constitution that we hope to present to you for updating.  We are looking to create more opportunities for our members to be involved with serving others and especially people in need. We will continue to share the gospel of Jesus Christ as we invite people to come live out their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior with us. In fact, the Vestry will be in Retreat on February 21 to discuss those goals and create additional goals. We do not want to tread water, but continue to be a growing church that is transforming lives. There are many things that we pray to accomplish during 2015.
And as we look through the windshield at where we are headed, we know God is calling us to be as present in the future sharing the Gospel as we have been in the past. Many of the goals we will establish at the Retreat will not be completed in 2015 but will carry over into future years.  We hope to identify the ministry needs of our congregation and community and develop ministries helping us fulfill the calling Christ gives us to “make disciples of all nations.” As you reflect upon our church and our ministries, share your dreams for St. John’s with us.
I always place before myself the challenge “to know Christ … to make Christ known” as a first and foremost ministry goal. This challenge addresses the responsibility we all have to grow personally in our understanding of God’s love made known in Christ and then our responsibility to make certain we are helping others to meet Christ and grow in their belief in a good and gracious God.
As you look around St. John’s it is obvious we are blessed. I believe we are blessed so that we can be a blessing to others. And so, I thank you for what you have done even as I challenge you and thank you for what you will be asked to do as we get more and more involved in life changing and transforming ministry.
Join me in looking forward.  God has a plan for us and we’re on our way.
In Christ,
Pastor Butler +