Tuesday, February 23 2021
It’s been a busy month, and it’s about to get even busier. We hope to move back into the Sanctuary in the first half of March once the asbestos work is done; we’ll announce that timeline in The Messenger once we know exactly when. And once we’ve moved back into the Sanctuary, we have another milestone to look forward to: the possibility of resuming in-person worship. Thankfully, the number of new cases of Covid-19 have been dropping in Thurston County, and unless there’s a spike in cases in the next few weeks, we will be planning on having Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter back in our sanctuary with a congregation in the pews.
To be clear, it won’t look exactly like it did on March 8, 2020, which was the last time we had in-person worship at St. John’s | San Juan. Congregational hymn-singing isn’t allowed under the current rules, for instance, and we won’t be able to do fellowship together following the services. Reservations will be required for each service, so we know exactly how many people are planning on attending and can ensure their proper social distancing. And we will continue to stream the services in all the same places we currently do, so anyone who isn’t comfortable coming back to church yet will be able to continue worshiping in the safety of their home. It’ll be a big step toward life returning to normal, after this season of social distancing and isolation.
We’ll have weekly updates in The Messenger as we continue to plan, and we will have more information on resuming worship in next month’s edition of The Chronicle. In the meantime, thank you for being part of this community, and we look forward to seeing you online this Sunday, and (hopefully) in person sooner than later.
Tuesday, February 23 2021
That being said, most of us met on February 18 to make follow-up calls for the Annual Pledge Drive. We’ve had some success in connecting with those parishioners who pledged in 2020, but did not submit a card for 2021. And, most have committed to filling out a pledge card for 2021. Filling out a card helps St. John’s | San Juan to plan better. In addition to these calls, there has been activity on the Capital Campaign. You will see the results of those meetings very soon.
The Vestry will be participating in some virtual sessions (starting soon and going for a few weeks) so we can get to know one other. Someone said that I was still holding a grudge because there was no vestry retreat last year. And, they’re right! Last year, the new class of vestry members never really had the opportunity to hang out with other “seasoned” vestry members. That’s because at the time we were scheduling the retreat, Covid happened. It’s taken me an entire year to feel like I know the other members, and now four of them have retired. Now we have a new team and we are still dealing with Covid restrictions. This year, however, we have time to figure out how to do mini-retreats to connect with one another so the new class can get to know the upper classes. There was no such luxury last year when the main focus at St. John’s | San Juan was just figuring out how to celebrate church on-line. Thank you, R.C., for hanging in there and getting it done!
We are also committed to engaging in some fun activities with our congregation. If you have any ideas for what might be a fun on-line event, please let me know. I hate re-inventing the wheel, so if you’ve participated in something that you thought was fun, perhaps we could recreate that. You may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via cell phone (360) 259-5933.
Please keep reading this issue since the others who regularly submit articles for The Chronicle will have done their job.
I do have a favorite story that I wanted to share. I don’t know where or when I found it, and I didn’t note the name of the writer, but it has always spoken to me. Enjoy!
God Has His Eye on You
Malachi 3:3 says: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”
This verse puzzled some women in a Bible Study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.
One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.
As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot, then she thought again about the verse that says: “He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.” She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.
The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was a left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?”
He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that’s easy – when I see my image in it.”
If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.
Tuesday, February 23 2021
St. John’s Episcopal Church
With the addition of new members Andrew Bird and Fawn Hacker, regular monthly meetings of the Finance Committee will resume in March. We would still like to add one or two additional members to continue the work of this important committee. If you are interested in serving on the Finance Committee, or know someone who may be, please contact me.
Our Current Financial Condition
Our Budget Report for January 2021 may be found by clicking here, or 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 January 31, 2021, our year-to-date operating deficit was -$2,394.74, a positive variance to budget of $8,895.79 attributable primarily to the timing of the payment of some recurring bills in February rather than January. Pledge payments in January were $19,193.00, ahead of budget by $318.00.
We are still awaiting documents from Bessemer Trust in New York City regarding a $10,000.00 unrestricted cash bequest. We have two additional sources of funds for operating expenses: the EIDL loan proceeds and our (endowment) account with the Diocese of Olympia Master Trust.
The EIDL funds, $134,900.00, are currently invested in an Investment Advisory Account with Edward Jones. Currently, the market value of the account is $140,592.07.
With Vestry approval, we have withdrawn $115,000.00 from the General (Unrestricted) Account with the Diocese of Olympia Master Trust to apply to the cost of the asbestos abatement currently underway in our sanctuary. The current balance in this account is approximately $35,000.00.
Capital Campaign Update
Exciting work continues on our capital campaign! We have completed the writing and creative design work for our brochure, pledge card, and envelopes and delivered them to the printer. I hope you are enjoying our “Campaign Corner” updates each week in The Messenger.
I’d like to acknowledge and thank the members of our “Capital Campaign Team” for giving so generously of their energy, insight, time, and talent: Andrew Bird (Gift Worker), Caitlin Bird (Communications, Gift Worker), Jerry Campbell (Consultant), Michael Clifthorne (Gift Worker), Fawn Hacker (Gift Worker), Anne Hall (Campaign Coordination, Database Management), Lou MacMillan (Gift Worker, Photographer), Bob Peck (Campaign Prayer), Barbara Scheppele (Creative Design, Print Materials), and Tieran Sweeny- Bender (Administrative and Technical Support, Communications).
Early gift solicitation will begin on Sunday, March 7; our campaign kick-off will be on Easter Sunday, April 4, and we will celebrate the conclusion of the campaign on Pentecost, May 23.
We are accepting gifts to the capital campaign. If you would like to make your gift online, please go to our website to our website, www.stjohnsoly.org, click on the “Give Online | Done aqui” button, and select the new “Capital Campaign” option. If you prefer to make your gift by check, please make the check payable to “St. John’s Episcopal Church Capital Campaign” and mail it to St. John’s Episcopal Church, PO Box 977, Olympia, WA 98507. If you would like to make a gift of stock, please contact me at email@example.com for instructions on how to transfer the stock to the St. John’s | San Juan account.
As always, I welcome your comments and questions about our financial condition and capital campaign.
Tuesday, February 23 2021
RENOVATION COMMITEE – For the February 23, 2021 Chronicle
Part I Construction
Solar Power Array