THANK YOU to everyone who made this year’s Brass Band Concert a rousing success last Friday night! This includes all of our terrific ushers and greeters, parking attendants, and church members who made sure that our guests were warmly welcomed for the evening. After the Concert, our music hospitality team created a wonderful reception that was enjoyed by our diverse audience. Here are just some of the reception photos from a remarkable evening:
Please don’t miss this year’s final concert in the Triune Concert Series, the Mostly Mozart concert on Friday, March 3rd at 7:30pm. The orchestra and soloists will be under the direction of our very own Minister of Music, May Schwarz. The concert is free and open to the public (with free parking in the Franklin County Parking Garage).
The reason we can offer the Triune Concert series free to the community is because of the remarkable generosity of our donors! Please continue to give generously in support of our music programs at St. John’s by sending a check today to the church office at 59 East Mound St., Columbus, Ohio 43215, or by giving online via our website. Many hundreds of people are blessed each winter by the Triune Concert Series, and with your support, we will be able to continue to offer the series in the future – thank you!
In addition to our many worship services and ministry programs at St. John’s each week, we also house The Open Shelter, which provides daily services to our homeless and marginally housed neighbors. So St. John’s was blessed to be mentioned in this month’s Columbus Monthly article entitled “Scenes From The Frontlines of Homelessness.” The article features Kent Beittel, among others, and he is quoted as follows: “There are more people on the streets than we’ve ever seen.” Let that sink in for a moment, because Kent has told us that in more than three decades of working with the homeless, there are more people living on the streets of Columbus than at any other time in the past 30 years.
We are privileged at St. John’s to be in ministry with The Open Shelter, and we are grateful for Kent, his wife Mary, and their dedicated staff, who make sure that people on the street aren’t forgotten, but rather they are given hope and resources for their life’s journey.
We are able to house The Open Shelter at St. John’s because of your donations and support of our extensive facility, our staff, and our ministries to those who live on the margins. Please continue to give generously to St. John’s in 2017, so that we might continue to be a witness to our community that ALL are welcome at St. John’s, no exceptions.
We are also able to advocate for those who are marginalized in our culture because of your financial support of our ministry team. On Thursday, I had the privilege of joining my fellow clergy and interfaith leaders at the Statehouse to testify before the Ohio House Community and Family Advancement Committee in opposition to the so-called “Pastor Protection Act,” which attempts to legitimize discrimination against our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. We were joined by Rev. J. Bennett Guess, who traveled from Cleveland where he has served on the national staff of the United Church of Christ. We were also joined by the leadership of Equality Ohio, where I serve on the board, and many others for a more than four hour hearing on this important piece of legislation.
This Sunday is the Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany, with a focus on our Gospel reading for the day, Matthew 5:38-48 (where Jesus proclaims: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.) Please join us for a special Sunday as we continue to support our United Church of Christ seminary students. This Sunday we will have a guest preacher, Ms. Beth Staten, who is in her final year of seminary at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Please warmly welcome Beth as she delivers a sermon she prepared in seminary as part of her studies and training in ministry.
Finally, part of our justice work at St. John’s is to commemorate Black History Month in February each year. This year we will be singing select anthems during the 11am offertory to live into this special time.
Our new worship schedule is:
9am Traditional Worship Service
10am Coffee, Connect, and Learn
11am Contemporary Worship Service
With abundant hope for our future,