ST JOHNíS HISTORY - 1994
The vision of St. Johns (as outlined in the January newsletter, ďGood News of Godís -- Jesus Christ; meet the needs of the hungry and poor, the homeless, the youth of our community who are looking for guidance and hope, those who are in prison, those who have never read a bible both within and outside our congregation, and discipling those who have come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior, and to train spiritual leaders in the area of evangelism and teaching ministries.
During 1994 this has taken form in many and varied worship services, Christian Education in Sunday morning classes and weekly study groups; a menís retreat, Via de Cristo and Kairos weekends; the food pantry, preparing and serving meals to Faith Mission Shelters in Columbus,† jail ministry to our Licking County jail, trips to the Homestead hurricane area in Florida to help with rebuilding, and support for the larger body of Christ through AALC by sending representatives to conventions, the national council and supporting seminarian, Tom and Kari Hilpert and baby Noelle; and even a menís softball team forming to play with Newarkís Christian Menís Softball League.
The 3-Church Farm churches have raised funds (matched by AAL) to complete the building of rest rooms at the Ballou Road property. + Sunday evening prayer services are being held at St. Johnís twice a month. + Phil Gunther and Wendell Shelley built the handicap ramp on the north side of the church. + St. Johnís Choir, under the direction of Carole Williams and accompanied by Donna Jean George, participated with other church choirs in an Easter Choir Festival at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Buckeye Lake. + In June a new monthly ministry to men called Promise Keepers began with a breakfast prepared by Phil and Electa Gunther.
Two task forces were formed to consider the use of the blessing St. Johnís received through the estate of Helen Evans Phiel. A suggestion box was placed in the vestibule. St. Johnís newsletter is now called, ďThe Spirit of St. JohnísĒ. + Rally in the Valley held in August in place of the usual Ice Cream Festival. ďSticks and StonesĒ entertained a small audience huddled under umbrellas. + A task force was formed to study recommendations to black top the parking lot. + Pastor Paul and Bonnie ministered to Heath teens and residents after the tragic train wreck that killed 2 adults and 3 teenagers.
A volunteer banquet was held in October honoring 140 volunteers with a special plaque presented to Ron Redman as Volunteer of the Year. Another tradition continued commemorating All Saints Day with the lighting of candles in memory of our loved ones who are ďabsent from the body, but together with the LordĒ.
A synopsis of the Motherspaugh and other memorial funds is given in the November 1994 newsletter by Florence Franks. It was noted that these are all recorded in a Memorial Book kept in the vestibule of the church.
†In December carolers brought musical joy to the residents of area nursing homes. Pastor Paul delivered 4 sermons about angels during Advent. Social Ministry obtained the names of 20 teens in foster care so that St. Johnís members can buy Christmas gifts for them.†