Tuesday, May 25 2021
Welcome to the May edition of The Chronicle. Happy Pentecost! It has been so wonderful to see the Holy Spirit doing incredible work in this place! Our Capital Campaign, Sing to the Lord a New Song, finished on Pentecost Sunday and we raised over $1 million! Thank you to everyone who pledged to the campaign. If you would still like to make a pledge, there is still time! You can pledge from the capital campaign website (anewsongforstjohns.org).
In-person worship has continued through Eastertide and what a joy it has been to get to be able to worship in-person together and see each other’s faces. We are still awaiting more guidance from the Bishop’s Office about how to move forward with the CDC’s new guidelines for fully vaccinated people. For now, we will continue to follow the same distancing and masking guidelines that we have been using since we resumed in-person services. Thank you for your patience as we continue to adjust to this new part of the pandemic.
Two things to draw your attention to: the vestry will be hosting two zoom calls, on June 9 and June 23, at 7 pm, to share the details of their plan to address this year’s budget deficit, and to get your input on that plan. Our treasurer, Bob Le Roy, has written about this plan below, and I hope you will read his letter fully and prayerfully. The second thing to look for is the letter from our Junior Warden, Lou MacMillan, addressing issues around the timeline for the renovation work that the capital campaign funded and the completion of the process to receive bridge funding from the diocese. I commend that letter to your careful attention as well.
Bob and Lou have both been working incredible hours on behalf of St. John’s | San Juan, and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude that we can never repay. If you see them around, please be sure to thank them for all that they have done for our community.
It’s an exciting and Spirit-filled time to be part of St. John’s | San Juan! I’m so glad you’re with us for this adventure!
Tuesday, May 25 2021
Although I have lived in Washington since early 1983, I have never truly taken proper notice of the movement of the sun as it journeys northward across the spring sky to set in the northwest. Being from Hawaii, where the sun doesn’t seem to move this significantly, I am so totally astonished by it. When we first moved to our current dwelling in late December, the sun was far to my left (south) as I looked out my window. Last night, it was far to my right (north) out the same window. WOW! This world is so amazing! I’ll be sure to continue watching and noticing the position of the sun through the entire year!
Truth be told, I have never been totally comfortable with the cardinal directions. I do much better with landmarks. I guess it’s because in Hawaii, we rarely use those directions, preferring instead to refer to the mountains (mauka) or the ocean (makai). The use of these directions doesn’t matter where on the island you are, the mountains and the ocean are immovable. Then, depending on where you were headed, we use place names, like Pearl Harbor (indicating west from Honolulu) or Hawaii Kai (indicating east from Honolulu) or Kaneohe-Kailua (indicating that you have to go around or through the Ko’olau mountains to get there. We’re also big on windward and leeward. I can remember getting onto the H1 Freeway and not knowing which way I wanted to go, east or west – can’t tell you how many times (in the beginning) I got on the freeway going in the opposite direction of what I really wanted. Doesn’t matter where I live, I’m usually second guessing myself about which way I really need to go.
That reminds me of an Up With People song I used to perform in the late 1960s with Sing-Out Hawai’i and with Up With People (International cast B). The song is called, “Which Way America,” and asks which way this nation should be heading. Relevant even today. Fascinating note, Glenn Close helped write this song way back in 1965, before she was an actor. Interestingly, she calls UWP a cult, having been raised in it from age 7 until she broke free at 22. It probably was a cult in those early days of the Moral Re-Armament (MRA) movement. I was in it for the singing, not so much their message, although I’m sure I was affected by all their “Absolutes.”
The St. John’s | San Juan Capital Campaign, Sing to the Lord a New Song! has reached the goal set for the campaign which officially ended on Pentecost. Don’t worry, it’s not too late to send in a pledge card! This is a complicated time to be doing construction, but with the help of our Heavenly Father, we will have enough to proceed. Look for other articles in this Chronicle about the campaign and where we go from here.
We had a very good Vestry meeting last week Thursday. There are so many moving pieces to the renovation project that I thank God for the wonderful members guiding all the parts. Thank you especially to Father R.C., Junior Warden Lou MacMillan, and Treasurer Bob LeRoy, who share these shepherding responsibilities.
I’m still excited about being in the church for services! It’s also been wonderful to be able to have funeral services again to give families/friends that closure which has been lacking during this time of pandemic. I may be even more excited when we are out of the sanctuary and the roofing/seismic work has begun.
Our Bible Study group continues to meet. We will soon be choosing a novel to read over the summer. Please join us if you can, or if 1:00 p.m. on Thursdays doesn’t work for you, please let someone at the church know a good day and time, when YOU could be there. My St. John’s | San Juan email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call me at (360) 259-5933 and leave a message – I will call you back.
I’m still thinking about which way I’m heading; which way I need to go. Since the Holy Spirit came with wind and fire on Pentecost, and is a new beginning, I’m hoping to find more truth and life from here forward. The renewal of our baptismal vows always makes me think harder about the way, the truth, the light, the life.
Thanks for reading my ramblings and for being so supportive! Remember to contact me with any concerns, comments, or issues. My information is shown above. Have a wonderful week and enjoy the long Memorial Day weekend! I look forward to seeing you and worshiping with you soon at St. John’s | San Juan!
Tuesday, May 25 2021
JUNIOR WARDEN’S REPORT – May 2021 Chronicle
My report is meant to be both practical and aspirational, so I’ll start with the practical by updating you on recent developments, which are something of a mixed bag:
Lastly, remember that large-scale renovations are often hard to predict and usually include a few surprises. Plans must be flexible to account for unknowns, adapt to moving targets, and accept those things beyond our control. Despite all these changes, we’re making progress, moving onward together.
ON AUDACITY & TRUST
After years of prayer and planning, and now amid a global pandemic, we are attempting the audacious again. Replacing the roof preserves the building, and fortifying the structure against earthquakes makes it safer, but I envision this renovation as much more than a simple repair job or even an homage to the past.
Lincoln and Churchill saw their respective buildings not simply as structures, but as symbols of trust that shaped the people who engaged with them. Reimagining our mid 1950s structure will both shape and support our 21st-century mission of hospitality, openness, inclusivity and welcome to the community.
Together, we’re building and renewing a community of trust in God’s unending love and abundance. This can be our gift to the St. John’s | San Juan of the future.
Tuesday, May 25 2021
St. John’s | San Juan Episcopal Church
May 25, 2021
The regular monthly meeting of the Finance Committee was held on May 18, 2021. Joining me were members Fawn Hacker, R.C. Laird, and Christian MacMillan. We reviewed our current financial condition and an updated Plan to Address the Deficit and Increase Revenue June through December 2021.
Our Current Financial Condition
Our Budget Report and Statement of Financial Position for April 2021 may be found by going to our website, www.stjohnsoly.org, clicking on “About Us”, then clicking on “Our Vestry” and scrolling to the bottom of the page. As of April 30, 2021, we are projecting a budget deficit of -$181,622 for 2021. This deficit has been reduced by $10,000 received from Bessemer Trust representing an unrestricted bequest from the Peter Overton Living Trust, $10,000 resulting from a revised estimate of the amount we will spend for parish health work in 2021, and $2,415 reflecting a decrease in health insurance premiums for Jim French and his wife. Thanks to financial relief made available to us in the pandemic we will be able to reduce the deficit further to -$61,255:
Individual Contributions are over budget year-to-date by $7,950 (9.8%), including Income from Pledges over budget by $11,682 (15.4%) and Contributions/Loose Plate Offerings below budget by -$3,879 (83.1%).
Last month, the Vestry approved a “Plan to Address the Deficit and Increase Revenue July through December 2021”. On June 9 and June 23 at 7:00 p.m., we will host meetings via Zoom to share this plan with the congregation and respond to any questions you may have. Details about the meetings will be provided shortly. Please plan to join us.
Capital Campaign Update
Last Sunday, Pentecost, was a festival day—a day for celebration and gratitude, a milestone on a journey that began nearly five years ago.
In August 2016, St. John’s | San Juan engaged the Episcopal Church Foundation to guide us through a proposed capital campaign which would fund a comprehensive project to address our leaky roof, seismic structural concerns, and the overall design of our worship space. From December 2016 to early 2019, our congregation engaged in a discernment process regarding the proposed campaign. In the Summer of 2019, many of you participated in interviews and a survey as part of a feasibility study conducted by the Episcopal Church Foundation and its consultant, Jerry Campbell. From the feasibility study, the Foundation concluded that we could raise $964,000.
Sunday, as we formally concluded our capital campaign, nearly five years after we first spoke of it, 64 years after our roof first began to leak, and in the midst of a global pandemic—thanks to 98 of you who have pledged and given, perhaps more than you originally thought possible—we have raised $1,060,137.
And for those of you still considering a gift or pledge, you are not too late. Please reach out to anyone on our team or visit our website, A New Song for St. John's | San Juan (anewsongforstjohns.org), and walk with us.
I’ve been accompanied and inspired on this journey by a wonderful team: Andrew and Caitlin Bird, Lucy and Michael Clifthorne, Fawn Hacker, Anne Hall, Pat Le Roy, Lou MacMillan, Bob Peck, Adele Roberts, Joby Winans, Tieran Sweeny-Bender, Jerry Campbell (our consultant), and Barbara Scheppele (R.C.’s aunt, who created and provided all our printed material and these commemorative pins). THANKS TEAM— great work! You know, asking other people for money ranks for many on our team somewhere between root canals and broccoli on their list of favorite things—but they did. We asked you to meet with us and take our calls—and you did. THANK YOU. We asked you to be kind when we asked you for money—and you were. THANK YOU. We asked you to make a commitment that challenges you and goes beyond the usual limits of your giving, that causes you to catch your breath, but not choke—and you did. THANK YOU.
In the coming weeks, we will continue our discussions with the Diocese of Olympia about a loan for the balance of the funds we need to complete the replacement of our roof and the enhancement of our sanctuary for seismic safety. Your generous commitments to our capital campaign have given us vital leverage to carry these negotiations forward in a meaningful way and significantly increased our chances for a successful outcome.
With our capital campaign, we have truly sung to the Lord a new song. But there are more verses yet to sing before we fully realize our vision of our building as a welcoming, inclusive, safe, accessible, beautiful space for worship and fellowship. Now, let us commit to singing these new verses together and celebrate how far we have already come on this long and winding journey in faith and friendship.