St. Johnís History Ė 1999

Pastor Paulís annual report reviewed the many ministries of 1998 including the compassion and courage of St. Johnís people in reaching out to those who lost loved ones, the healings of illnesses and marriages, the personal commitments of individuals to Jesus Christ, the substantial amount of money donated to the building of the fellowship hall/teen center, the Buckeye Lake ministry, the donation to a flood ravaged church in North Dakota from our tithe fund, the outreach to a child who lost his leg in a mower accident, the Shoebox ministry, the Food Pantry ministry, the daily devotions on local radio, a new well was installed that will serve the new building, blueprints are being completed for the project, and it was noted that an unusual number of volunteers have demonstrated leadership during 1998.Pastor Paul thanked the church for bringing so much joy and fulfillment to his heart as he works as our shepherd.

Plans were made to train some of our widows in grief ministry, to offer training in Christian Financial Counseling, to train volunteers in youth ministry skills. + The Women of Joy continue to meet for breakfast once a month. + Council voted to end the tuition for Christian schools program. + Offering envelopes are again available. + St. Johnís will host 8 churches in the Jacksontown, Hebron, Buckeye Lake area for the World Day of Prayer celebration. + The Food Pantry is well stocked due to generous donations. + The Menís Group plans to hold a pancake breakfast once a month in the church basement. + Pastor Paulís sermon theme for lent will be on prayer. + The Enlargement Task Force spent most of a month working with the contractor to finalize the kitchen layout and appliances. Fund raising continues. The Teen Vision Board is seeking the most effective Christian leadership curriculum for the after school ministry. + Six St. Johnís men and 4 women will be part of the teams for Via de Cristo week ends.

Council was given permission by a vote of a specially called congregational meeting to secure a mortgage of up to $125,000 when the overall cost of the fellowship hall is reduced to $300,000 or below. Groundbreaking took place with an outdoor service on July 11, 1999 with members, local news reporters and Licking County dignitaries in attendance. Pastor Paul said, ďI am both in awe and humbled by the goodness and the majesty of our Heavenly Father who blesses those who accomplish His purposes!Ē He pointed out the many persons, energy, faith and hard work it took to make this day possible: the ten adults and teens on the Teen Vision Team, Tod Dilley who wrote grant proposals that were presented to area foundations and banks, the 8 members of the Enlargement Committee, the fundraising committee and all those who donated dollars.

Pastor Paul noted the similarity of the leadership committees for the fellowship hall/teen center with Nehemiahís focus on rebuilding the temple. Both accomplished Godís task. Our committees never have lost sight of why we are building: to minister to the needs of our surrounding community, to provide a gathering place to celebrate, fellowship, to learn, to cook and serve food, to provide an environment where the love and grace of Jesus Christ can be demonstrated to teens each day after school through the volunteers who serve.

A new support group was formed for those who have lost a spouse. Eighteen widows gathered at the Olive Garden for food and fellowship. This group has been dubbed the ďNaomi Womenís GroupĒ. + A mother/daughter banquet was held on May 8th. + The menís Saturday morning breakfasts were cancelled due to poor participation. + The Social Ministry Committee held a yard sale at Jim and Mary Kishlerís house to benefit the Buckeye Lake Outreach program and the Marietta family. AAL will match funds. + Another outdoor service was held on August 15th. The 4 teens that attended the Colorado convention presented a skit. Our semi-annual congregational meeting followed to elect 3 new council members. After that a pot luck was held in the church basement. + The choir resumed rehearsals the end of August. + An Ox Roast was held at the 4-Church Farm for all 4 churches with St. Johnís people bringing desserts. + St. Johnís volunteers committed to feeding homeless women & children at Faith Mission in Columbus. + After lowering the entrance age to 10, 18 youth enrolled in confirmation classes in the fall. + St. Johnís again participated in the Samaritanís Purse Shoebox program. + The Christmas Childrenís Program and Family Blessing service, traditionally at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve, was moved to the 10:30 a.m. service on December 19th. The Christmas Candlelight Communion Service remained at the usual time of 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve. + Christmas caroling took place at 3 local nursing homes on the 15th at 6 p.m. + The first Family Gathering in the new fellowship hall was held on New Yearís Eve. Fellowship, games and snacks began at 9 p.m. At 11:30 all gathered for a prayer and praise service with lots of singing, scripture and prayer.