As we start November and the upcoming Thanksgiving season, I have been looking at my own gratitude for this congregation. I can finally say my stuff has arrived, and I am now a homeowner in the Bay Area after 11 months. I never imagined my transition would take so long. St. John’s has been super supportive in my transition, and the people who have hosted me in their homes has been so helpful. I want to thank Laurie Bennett, Cynthia O’Malley, Ruben Simpliciano & David Coe and Cathy Crocker, who all have been gracious hosts.
As I reflect on our common life together, I think about the creative things we have done with stewardship - delivering the poppies, delivering the bread and wine for communion, the VISION program for feeding the hungry in our city and many other ways we have been staying connected. We had an interesting Vestry meeting last month where we looked over our strategic plan to see if we are still going in a direction that makes sense. We also had a joint meeting between the Vestry and Ministry Catalysts to see if St. John’s is looking at our neighborhood and asking if we are engaging with their needs.
Lastly, the Anti-Racism committee has been moving forward, looking at adult education, liturgy and many other aspects of our church to create a new framework and lens for looking at truly building a culture that acknowledges our privilege and welcomes all people. I also had the opportunity to spend a week in Baton Rouge, LA, visiting my friend The Rev. Tommy Dillion, who used to serve in San Francisco. It was exciting to get a taste of two different church communities, see where they are with COVID regathering and also learn how their congregations are changing. St. Margaret’s in Baton Rouge is one of the 10% of growing congregations there. I made notes of ideas we may want to try at St. John’s.
This month I am excited about a visit to our church by Harriet Tubman who will be schooling us on Faith and Servant Leadership. Author Karol Brown is a colleague of mine from the Robert K Green Leaf Center for Servant Leadership. When I learned of her unique dedication to educating people about the life of Harriet Tubman through reenactments, I thought, “We have to get this person to St. John’s.!” I hope you will join us for her presentation on Nov. 21st at 11am. I pledge to send everyone who attends a Harriet Tubman Bookmark in the mail! My prayer this November is that you take time to reflect on all of God’s goodness in your life. Although these are trying times, there is so much we can be thankful for.
Article from fromThe Mouse Newsletter 11/2/20
The Mouse is the long-running news source for St. John's. With decades of history, our blog now features the same great news about what's happening at St. John's with a more frequent publication cycle.