On Saturday and Sunday, I was honored to provide the sermon at Worship. It was not a typical one. It was about Relationships, in particular with those we haven’t seen for awhile at St. John’s. It isn’t necessarily about seeing them at Worship, it’s about anywhere.

COVID changed a lot of lives and lifestyles. For a variety of reasons. But other reasons exist, sometimes as basic as “I didn’t know if anyone cared whether I/we were a part of the church or not.”

Here is our opportunity to actively reach out- actually, InReach- to people we know. Using our Church Directory, we winnowed the list from people we know to people we haven’t seen at church or church events to a list of three people that we would like to see involved again. And then provided options from a phone call to a meal together to sitting together at the August 3 Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band Concert in Centennial Park at 6pm to a Baseball Road Trip to Davenport on August 6 to a monthly meal with OWLS to Quilting on Wednesdays or Thursdays to building ramps for homebound people to being a good neighbor to a large possibility of other things. It doesn’t have to focus on sitting in a pew. It’s about being a Christian Community wherever people are at.

This is also not about a committee, this is about all of us, regardless of age or other things in our lives. Our job is to plant the seeds, the Holy Spirit does the rest. We can water the seeds by our example and continuing with the relationships.

If you send an email or call the church office, Eloide will send you a church directory and you can do the winnowing exercise at home. Please pray about your role in renewing our relationships.

Pastor Tom did a very thorough job last week covering the Synod Assembly held on June 14-15. Our Bishop Staci Fidlar made some very astute statements. To me the best was regarding the worldwide Church right now. “It is messy, but the Holy Spirit is at work in new ways.” The Keynote Speaker, the Evangelism Head for Churchwide ELCA, spoke repeatedly of going to where people are rather than pushing them into pews. That means stores, restaurants, playgrounds, workplaces- anywhere. Again, our job is to plant the seed.

The Church Council met this past Tuesday with a light agenda. As of now we will take a break in July and meet again beginning in August unless a need arises sooner. All other church committees are encouraged to take a summer breather as well if possible.

Several items to share are that the Personnel Committee has provided a draft Employee Manual that provides a printed guidebook of practices and policies for our staff. The Council is reviewing and tweaking and it should be completed shortly. The Church has received a grant for 2024 from the Anne Baker Charities. It is being divided to provide maintenance for eleven quilting machines, six counseling patients who have no insurance coverage, and the roof repair project set to begin at the end of July. The organ restoration company expects our materials shortly and is scheduling us for mid July. Pastor Tom reported that the Good Samaritan Fund is receiving requests through three local agencies and contributions outside of the budget are appreciated. And check out the new church website! It’s the outside window into our church.

The Synod Assembly recognized the 50th Anniversary of ELCA World Hunger. Right now our congregation is collecting emergency supplies through the end of June. Please bring items through next Sunday.

 Dave Kromphardt

Council President