St. Johnís History Ė 1990
Pastor Paul Hansen and 4 other pastors have been appointed by the bishop to formulate a statement on the biblical understanding of human sexuality to be presented at the spring convention of the So. Ohio Synod. Bishop Herbert W. Chilstrom states the action of the 2 San Francisco churches that called practicing homosexuals to their pulpits undermined the unity of the ELCA.
Construction began on the new upstairs bathroom. + A new computer system was installed in the office. + The shepherding ministry calls on all shut-ins each week. + A bell choir has been formed. + Over 500 books, cassettes and VHS tapes are available in the newly formed library. + Colored calendar stickers were given out by Social Ministry to remind people to bring food for the food pantry on 3rd Sundays. + Bi-monthly outdoor services were held on Sunday evenings during summer and fall.
St. Johnís to adopt a new constitution under mandate of the newly formed ELCA. As a member of the ELCA, we are also a member of the World Council of Churches which has rewritten the entire bible under feminist pressure. The Church in Society Committee is addressing many of these concerns, examining the Christian faith according to the teachings of Martin Luther and some organizational structure that would better facilitate the operation of the church. Three Sunday evenings in May were scheduled to inform, discuss and give input before voting to adopt. If adopted, a copy will be forwarded to the Ohio Synod Office for their approval or rejection. A presentation was prepared comparing the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), the AALC (American Association of Lutheran Churches) and the new constitution to be presented to the synod in June.
A soup & sandwich dinner, with a hymn sing and 2 bible studies was the Thursday evening program during Lent. + Steve Comisford was hired as janitor. + Choir requested and received permission to have fund raisers to purchase new choir robes. It will sponsor the Mother/Daughter banquet this year with proceeds applied to the choir robe fund. + The property committee recommended the Secretaryís office be moved to the house to cut heating bills in the church building.
Pastor Paul & Bonnie attended the June Synod convention. Biblical authority was discussed on the convention floor. St. Johnís was recognized as having the 2nd highest adult baptisms and the St. Johnís video was recognized.
Two new member classes were conducted in May. + In the fall Pastor Paul preached a seven-Sunday series on the Lordís Prayer and asked for commitment in attending so that members of St. Johnís would bind themselves around the love and truth of our Lordís teachings so that they can become the salt, light and leaven in the world.
A great deal of upheaval took place in the ELCA and new groups were formed out of concern for the endorsement of homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle, the promotion of feminist theology †and especially the erosion of scriptural authority. Some congregations are withholding funds from the ELCA and funding worthwhile ministries directly.
Some St. Johnís members are involved in Via de Cristo and the Kairos Prison Ministry. + A new worship schedule was prepared with the 1st Sunday of the month a formal Lutheran service, the 2nd Sunday emphasized life in the body with temple talks etc., the 3rd Sunday is Evangelism Sunday with lots of familiar hymns, personal testimony, and time at the cross for prayer and dedication, the 4th Sunday is a folk setting with guitar music and a special focus such as children with a childrenís sermon. + St. Johnís members participated in the building of a house by Habitat for Humanity by raising funds and laying block. + St. Johnís is fortunate to have many Christian Education instructors offering classes from preschool to adulthood during Sunday School. + Special donations enabled St. Johnís to supply complete Thanksgiving meals for 13 families.