Dear Friends,

 

As your pastor I would like to share with you something that I have been wrestling with for the past nine months in the midst of this pandemic. It has been a hard time to be church in the ways that we so love to be church.

 

We have been struggling for the past nine months to make worship available online to each of you as we take the precautions necessary during the pandemic. Our success is limited by the equipment we own which is outdated for the task before us. We have taken the first step, which was to upgrade our internet service for the entire building. It has been a tremendous help in getting a stable internet connection.

 

It is difficult for those who work so hard to make worship online a good experience and it is frustrating for those of you who so want to be a part of the worship at St. John’s Chapel.

 

The By-Laws of St. John’s Chapel state in Article II, Section 1 Privileges of Members:

All members are entitled to a full share in the fellowship and the spiritual blessings of the congregation, and the service of its Pastor, officials, and other workers, as well as to the Christian sympathy and support of all members.

 

This is a difficult promise to fulfill in this time of a worldwide pandemic. We simply do not have the equipment for the kind of outreach to our members that we need.

 

An online presence is vital to any congregation in this time. It will make all the difference in how we come out on the other side of this pandemic. It is not only vital for each of our members, but also the only way to reach others in our community. We are called to be servants to our communities, and we are missing an opportunity to do that via online worship and events.

 

The equipment that we own is at least twenty-five years old and is rapidly deteriorating. We have already lost one channel on the sound board in the back of the church and it is only a matter of time before it goes out entirely.

 

An investment in new audio/visual equipment would give St. John’s Chapel the opportunity to be a real presence to each of you and to our community, not only for worship but for other events that enrich the lives of all people.

 

Here are some of the things we could do if we make an investment in new equipment:

  • Enhanced livestream of audio/visual worship on Sunday mornings

  • Live stream events from the sanctuary

    • Recitals for MSU students

    • Jazz group venue

    • Folk music venue

  • Provide study and support groups via online and in-person so that we feel like we are together more often

    • Children’s activity/moment during the week for moms and children

    • Livestream Preschool activities – with a fee for the use

    • OMG, Friendship Circle, Women’s Guild, Committee Meetings

    • Bible Study, Book study, whatever you want to talk about study

    • Conversations just because we miss each other

  • We could livestream to nursing homes – both Sunday morning worship and other events

  • We could promote musical events to the entire community and ask for a love offering

  • We could host a virtual art show

 

Hopefully, this list will spark your own creativity and ideas for how we can do mission in the wider community of Springfield. That kind of mission work will grow our church.

           

According to Benjamin Edwards the total of St. John’s Endowment Fund as of January 6, 2021 is $733,126.00.  The original principal amount is around $500,000. We are committed to protecting that initial investment.

 

Please prayerfully consider an investment from our Endowment Fund of $10,000 to $12,000 to keep our promise to our members and to serve the greater community.

 

Yours in Christ.

 

 

Pastor Sue

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