St. John’s History - 1995

January bad weather caused a lack of a quorum at the regularly scheduled congregational meeting and the cancellation of the postponed meeting.

An education fund has been developed for families wishing to send their children to Christian schools. Plans have been finalized for blacktopping the parking lot. A Caring and Sharing committee has been planning monthly social events for the parish. Laminated cards have been placed in the pew racks outlining our basic beliefs as Christians belonging to the AALC (American Association of Lutheran Churches). Also a brochure outlining who we are as a congregation and the ministries we offer. Men’s and Women’s spring Via de Cristo renewal weekends announced.

 Fifteen members of the Women’s group enjoyed a retreat at Burr Oak State Park in March with devotions, bible study, “glamour glitz”, a puppet show, craft activities, table tennis, line dancing, swimming and hiking, and a commitment to serve one another in prayer. An International Dinner was sponsored by the Caring and Sharing committee. Lew Hildreth continues his outstanding bible teaching in his “Seekers Class”. The choir has been outdoing themselves with some difficult yet beautifully done anthems under the direction and accompaniment of CaroleWilliams and Donna Jean George. A Lenten series featured video tapes by Chuck Swindoll entitled “Strengthening Your Grip” on Thursday evenings. A work day at 3-Church Farm prepared for the Sunrise Service on Easter.

Holy Week Traditions continue with Maunday Thursday pot luck and a special service comparing Holy Eucharist with the Jewish Passover; the carrying of the cross from downtown Newark to St. John’s church and a candlelight service of Word and music on Good Friday; an Easter egg hunt on Saturday sponsored by the Caring and Sharing Committee; Sunrise Service at 3-Church Farm at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday followed by a fundraising breakfast at the church for our  youth to attend their conference in July, and then 2 jubilant services celebrating Jesus Christ’s victory and resurrection from the grave.

The Social Ministry Committee conducted an outreach to anorexia victim Crystal receiving treatment in Canada. Kairos weekend #3 for the residents of the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville took place in May requesting 10,000 dozen home-baked cookies, prayers and Agape letters. 

Eight junior high youth were confirmed on Mothers’ Day. Nine high school graduates were treated to dinner at Red Lobster as a gift from the congregation in honor of their graduation.

The Caring and Sharing committee planned and coordinated a wonderful congregational camp out at Wild Bill’s on Memorial Day weekend. Over 70 women and children attended a catered Mother-Child banquet and style show in our church basement decorated with flowers and trellises.

In May, Council held a special meeting to consider the problem of not enough funds to meet our expenses. Although Council expressed gratefulness for contributions to other funds, the members were asked to consider tithing first to the operating budget until we are able to meet the expenses of the church.

Wendell and Vera Shelley, Doug and Kathy Sheck and Pastor Paul attended the AALC Convention at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. Varied Lutheran backgrounds and teachings combined with human nature led to some conflict and diversity, but the Holy Spirit worked to unite and bless the deliberations under a bond of peace and much prayer. This was interspersed with inspiring and uplifting worship services 3 times a day with different styles of worship. Wendell also serves on the National Joint Council.

July 1995 Congregational meeting voted to change the voting requirements so that all confirmed members will be eligible to vote. Also a motion was passed changing the criteria for a quorum to the “confirmed members present at a congregational meeting”. It was also voted that August 13th and September 10th be designated for special offerings toward the deficit, and that on September 17th a special congregational meeting be held to review the deficit. The result was God “opened the gates of heaven”, and enough was contributed to wipe out the deficit and leave a healthy balance. 

Sixty youngsters and 15 staff and helpers attended Vacation Bible School where they were taught about Christ’s love through a puppet named Seymour, the Mut. Fifteen members attended the “Living Word Drama” of Christ’s life in Cambridge, Ohio amidst heat, thunder, lightning and downpour. Five children were baptized in August as well as 2 teens and 2 adults baptized by submersion at Shiloh Baptist Church by Pastor Paul.

Tragedy struck here in Ohio when Dave Comisford lost his life in a car accident while his wife and our secretary, Chris and other relatives were attending the Youth Convention in Estes Park, Colorado. The Holy Spirit poured out His love and comfort both in Colorado and here in Ohio while we all walked through this deep valley with the Comisford family.

October: Vera & Wendell Shelley named 1995 Volunteers of the Year. A newly formed praise team with songs from a praise and worship service called “Firm Foundation” gives the choir a break on 4th Sundays. St. John’s choir participated in a choir concert at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church raising funds for Crystal, a friend of the congregations battling Anorexia in Canada. The congregation continues to support seminary student, Tim Hilpert and his family. Members serve on Via de Cristo and Kairos weekends. A break-in at the church was foiled when a man hit a deer on the road out front and police were called.

A special congregational meeting was held in September, and the following motions were passed: Surplus in checking account will be kept there until the January meeting; the definition of voting members are all those who are confirmed and the requirements for a quorum are those members present at a duly called meeting with a majority being 2/3rds; the distribution of the $70,000 Helen Evans Phiel Fund will be a 10% tithe to the AALC, $5000 towards architect fees for the proposed fellowship hall, and the remainder to stay in the building fund earning interest.

In November the first “Young at Heart” meeting was held with a noon meal and fellowship for members 55 and over.