Dear Members and Friends of St. John’s,
We had an extraordinary and redemptive Christmas season at St. John’s, and we have entered this New Year full of hope and promise for the “new thing” God is creating for our mission and ministry in the city of Columbus. If you missed our Christmas Eve service, you are invited to view the service online at our church website, www.stjohnschurchcolumbus.org.
We enjoyed familiar traditional music of the season organized by our Minister of Music May Schwarz, the Chancel Choir, the Carillon Bell Choir, soloists, and our new Alleluia Children’s Choir formed by Director of Faith Formation Mary Torok. Then, for the first time in our Christmas Eve history, we also enjoyed remarkable contemporary music of the season organized by our Contemporary Music Pastor Dan Clark. My sermon was entitled God’s Revolutionary Christmas Gift, and you are invited to view the sermon online on the church Facebook page. Our worship team continues to be encouraged by the many Christmas compliments and expressions of care we received as we continue to help St. John’s shine the light of Christ to a new generation!
We also received abundant appreciation for Mary Torok’s hard work and dedication in helping St. John’s bring more new people into membership in 2017 than any year in recent memory! Mary continues to equip our pastors and leaders with tools for outreach and engagement to bring more people into relationship with Christ and with our church. Interested in learning more? Mary’s “Network” Spiritual Gifts class starts on January 14th at 12:30pm (three sessions), and the new “New Members Class” starts on February 11th at 12:30pm (three sessions).
Saturday, January 6th at 2pm, our own Pastor Rachael Gardner Purdy will be ordained in her home church, First Congregational Church, 444 East Broad Street, Columbus. All are invited to join in this festive celebration with clergy from across the United Church of Christ, followed by a reception for Rachael and her family. If you are not familiar with the rite of ordination, here is one definition:
"Ordination is the rite whereby the United Church of Christ, through an Association in cooperation with the person and a local church of the United Church of Christ, recognizes and authorizes that member whom God has called to ordained ministry, and sets that person apart by prayer and the laying on of hands.”
Congratulations Pastor Rachael!
We are also pleased to announce that Marla Tomastik has joined our office staff as St. John’s new Director of Finance and Administration. Marla received her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from OSU, as well as a Master’s degree in Software Development Project Management and a PMI certification from The George Washington University. In addition to her successful professional career in Columbus with companies like AT&T, Lucent, and Juniper, Marla is a person of deep faith who was seeking to use her substantial skills in furtherance of the Gospel mission. We were so grateful that Marla was willing to leave another position to join us when the opening became available in our church office. Marla is engaged to Phil Clark, a well known local musician, and her daughter Jessica is a senior at Upper Arlington High School. Please join us in warmly welcoming Marla to our professional staff team at St. John’s
A time honored giving tradition is the “check/cash and envelope” method for paying your donation to the church either by mail or in the worship offering plate, and donation envelopes are available in the church office. We also have new, convenient ways to give to St. John’s. These include:
1) Automatic, recurring donations through direct deposit(contact the church office or your bank for details);
2) Recurring or one time donations through our church website:
3) Our new online giving “kiosk” at the back of the Welcome Center.
Thank you for believing in our new future at St. John’s, and sharing your support with our families in need this time of year. May your New Year be filled with unsurpassed peace, abundant opportunities, overflowing love, and amazing grace, all possible because of the fearless love of a baby who changed the world.
In abundant hope for our shared future,