Several excellent conversations were held at the April Council Meeting last Tuesday! The focus on Inreach and Outreach has spread to several areas.

The Evangelism Committee provided a great list of possible Fellowship Activities for our congregation to lead. This goes for the warm weather and possibly into the cold depending on the activity. From summer baseball in Peru to the Quad Cities to a Riverboat Cruise on the St. Genevieve in Ottawa to summer Saturday barbecues to potluck meals to breakfast after Sunday church- it’s an extensive list of possibilities.

Here’s the wonderful part. “They should do this” is really “I/We should lead this.” I have a fondness for Riverboat rides and baseball games in Davenport at the ballpark just awarded the title of “Best Minor League Park” in baseball, and am happy to organize these events. I know of others who like going to dinner theater in Rock Island and summer theater around our area. Still others like to have barbecues and breakfasts. The point is this. Lots of people in our congregation can be the leaders of these events- the more leaders, the more events. Do you have an idea that you could lead or start a group to lead? Share it with the Evangelism Committee who are acting as schedule coordinators. They may also know of others who can help you. It’s easier than you may think. And it may be a way to bring back a friend to be active at St. John’s.

Reaching out to the community while also reaching in to our congregation was the focus of a presentation by new Council Member Sarah Kutter as she shared information about bringing our website up to date. It has not been maintained for several years and that issue is also being addressed. The Council voted to use Memorial Funds to hire Connecting Point to bring our website up to date for use by everyone. This is a multi- month process which hopefully will be done by Fall.

Summer Sunday worship at 9 am begins the first Sunday in June. The Council also decided to do as was done last year during the summer and have outdoor worship services outdoors on the last Sundays of June, July, and August and possibly September. This provides a balance between indoor and outdoor worship on Sundays. One piece of information on Saturdays being indoors. By 5:30 during the summers the sun will have heated the asphalt parking lot to make it hot, uncomfortable, and perhaps even dangerous for some.

The parsonage is getting an update with vinyl flooring upstairs after several decades since the carpet was installed. A water leak downstairs also provided a need to replace carpeting there as the padding underneath was soaked leading to a risk of mold.

Other items of note: The Council approved having two Pistol Shrimp college level baseball players return to stay at the parsonage again this year over the summer. Our parking lot also will be used as a gathering place for the team to get on the bus for Away Games. And the church will again host a meal for the team as it was a hit last year, with a date to be determined. This resulted in a lot of good words about our church in the community.

The renovation materials needed for the Organ have not yet been received by the Buzard Organ Company from Champaign. They hope the parts will be received in May with a June installation.

The Council accepted the bid of TomKat Roofing in Streator to do the tear out, repair, and roofing replacement around the Tower. Repair of the electrical work and conduit for the parking lot lighting is also being done with skilled work from our congregation. This is a warmer weather project.

We also discussed Pastor Tom’s observation in a weekly letter about the goals of the congregation when a Pastoral Call was prepared. Youth and Children were the priority. Yes, a lot has happened since that Call but the need to provide for our Confirmed Young People is a serious one. This will be an ongoing subject with activity for the congregation.

This letter intentionally does not cover the spiritual life of our church. That occurs in the other weekly letters Pastor Tom prepares. But the conversations and decisions made by the Church Council are made with the long-term spiritual care of the congregation and community in mind. In the coming months we will be working with the Northern Illinois Synod to help identify how the community perceives us and ways we can understand the needs of our community. The purpose is to be God’s hands and feet on earth while bringing the Message of God’s Grace to as many people as possible.


Dave Kromphardt
Council President