Dear Members and Friends of St. John’s,
Tonight, Saturday, January 27th, several of the band members and vocalists who serve in St. John’s Contemporary Worship Band on Sunday mornings will be at the Rumba Café in Columbus performing in a special show for the 10th Anniversary of MojoFlo:
Tickets are still available if you would like to attend to show your support for Amber Nicole, Walter K, and the other professional musicians who serve St. John’s each week to help us grow into a new generation of faith and practice.
On Sunday morning, January 28th, join us for worship at 9am(traditional) and 11am (contemporary) and a healing service based on Jesus’ rebuking of an unclean, afflicting spirit in a man in the synagogue (Mark 1:21-28). These days we wrestle with the ancient concepts of “demons” and “unclean spirits” (“afflicting spirit” in The Message version of the Bible). We stumble over conversations about brokenness, mental illness, and evil in the world, yet we know that such things exist in our worldly reality.
This week alone, we saw another school shooting in Kentucky (two 15 year olds shot to death at school, 18 others injured); the sentencing of a world renowned sports physician and official USA Gymnastics doctor after more than 150 women and girls said in court that he sexually abused them over the past two decades; and the arrest of parents charged with starving, abusing, and imprisoning their 13 children, ages 2 to 29, for many years.
Brokenness and evil exist in our world; yet the healing words of Jesus long ago show us the way toward healing and hope today. Don’t miss Sunday’s special worship services for healing and hope in a confusing world, with worship elements designed to bring you peace, comfort, and even joy in the midst of this troubled reality.
As we continue to address mental health and wellness issues in our congregation and in our city, it was a privilege to be invited to serve as a convener of the Second Annual ADAMH Faith Leaders Symposium on March 13th, sponsored by the Columbus Foundation and NAMI Franklin County. The other Columbus faith leaders serving as conveners were announced by the ADAMH Board of Franklin County as follows:
The leaders serving as conveners this year are (pictured left to right): Rev. Dr. Timothy Ahrens, First Congregational Church; Rev. Virginia Lohmann Bauman, J.D., M.Div., St. John's UCC Church; Bishop H. Eugene Bellinger, Cathedral of The Covenant Church; Rev. Michaela A. Brown Jasper, Asbury North United Methodist Church; and, Rabbi Areyah Kaltmann, Executive Director, Lori Schottenstein Chabad Center.
We also wish to congratulate church member Elaina Ramsey, who had her letter to the editor published this week in the Columbus Dispatch: “Pro-choice includes people of faith.” You may read her letter in full via this link: http://www.dispatch.com/opinion/20180126/letter-pro-choice-includes-people-of-faith
In addition to serving as the Executive Director of the Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Elaina also serves as a writer and editor with Red Letter Christians: https://www.redletterchristians.org/
At St. John’s we continue to encourage our church members, as well as our pastors and staff, to live into all God has called them to be in this world. Do you wonder where God may be calling you to serve? Join the Network Spiritual Gifts class after worship (12:30pm) this Sunday to discover your true purpose in life and your God-given gifts!
We also continue to offer various educational opportunities for all ages during the 10am Sunday “Coffee, Connect, and Learn” hour, including the NOOMA Study featuring the work of progressive theologian Rob Bell. No preparation is needed – just come and be inspired! Information about all of our classes is available on our church website and the church Facebook page.
Ways to Financially Give to St. John’s
There are multiple ways to give to St. John’s as we continue the remarkable transformation we undertook last year to grow our church into a new generation of faith and practice. In addition to concert sponsorships, 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 giving to St. John’s to support our continued transformation, growth, and many ministries to our city!
In abundant hope for our shared future,
Senior Pastor and Teacher
St. John’s United Church of Christ