St. John’s History – 2000
The congregational budget meeting was held on January 16th. + The fellowship hall neared completion with the furnace, doors, septic system, basketball backboards, and sound system installed, and siding, insulation, computer stations, tables & chairs, carpet & vinyl flooring, kitchen cabinets etc. were funded and ordered. + St. John’s is committed to asset building in guiding the teens attending the teen center. Assets are simply abilities and relationships, family support, communication, boundaries, safety, self-esteem, etc. + Co-ed softball practice began in April at Geller Park. + The Lenten sermon series was on parables, “The Kingdom of God is Like…..” Maundy Thursday potluck was followed by a special drama of the Last Supper. A Candlelight service was held on Good Friday. The 6:30 a.m. Easter Sunrise Service was held at the church followed by the 8:30 & 10:30 a.m. Communion Service. + An overnight confirmation class retreat was held at Salt Fork Lodge with drama, bell choir practice, bible study, games and swimming in the pool. + The congregation was encouraged to continue buying grocery store coupons to help raise funds for the new building. + A Victorian Spring Tea replaced the Mother/Child Banquet with special refreshments and a Weekenders style show. + The May to September schedule included a 4th Sunday combined outdoor service on the hillside behind the church plus a 30 minute communion service in the sanctuary on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays at 5 p.m. Also to accommodate a growing number of campers in the congregation, a standing camp-out was held on the 4th weekend of each month at the Lazy R Campground with a campfire, singing, s’mores, and good fellowship. + The Naomi Widow’s Group held a progressive dinner in May with salad & appetizers at Marie Wood’s house, the main course at Carolyn Gardner’s house and dessert in the dining room of the Washington Square Apartments. A trip to Roscoe Village was taken in July. They served the homeless at Faith Mission in August. + The Women of Joy continued their Saturday morning breakfasts. Their activities included a Billy Graham movie called “The Ride”, trips to the Longaberger Homestead and to Cleveland to attend a Joyce Myer’s conference. A Thursday afternoon study was begun using Joyce Myer’s resources. + Final work and inspections were completed on the fellowship hall. Resources for tutoring were gathered and rental policies and pricing were approved. “The St. John’s Fellowship Hall” was voted as the official name of the center. The “Linnville Lighthouse” is the name chosen for the teen program. + The Buckeye Lake summer ministry to youth on Monday evenings at Ryan Park continued for the 5th year in a row, serving a light supper and offering sports, crafts, prayer and lots of love. The ministry averaged 50 – 75 youth per week ranging in age from 4 to 16 years old. They wait anxiously for Monday nights when “those St. John’s people come”. + The AAL branches of St. Paul’s and St. John’s joined together to make some much needed repairs to a member’s home. + Worship attendance dramatically increased to over 200 each Sunday as God moved the hearts and minds of those hungering and thirsting to be spiritually fed. + Pastor Paul and 2 members attended the 13th Annual Convention of the Association of American Lutheran Churches (AALC). Pastor Paul shared, “It is such a blessing to be able to attend a national church body convention and know that we are clear on our stands regarding the authority of Holy Scripture, homosexuality, abortion and other issues which are tearing other denominations apart. We meet in unity, we pray in unity, we decide in unity. It is a true joy……” + The Teen Center kicked off activities on July 24th for Monday and Wednesday nights with ping pong, basketball, table games available in the great room, a computer lab with state-of-the-art equipment, a bible study in the youth lounge, and picnic tables for coffee and visiting on the patio. Jeannie Marietta and Jamie Bogden began as the center coordinators on August 1st, handling all rentals, programming, training of volunteers and outreach. + Pastor Paul shared his heart in his September “Letter from the Pastor” entitled “Our Proven Provider”, lifting up the “powerful almighty miracle working God who has brought us this far. The Fellowship Hall is finished and it’s phenomenal”! He explained that the hall is merely a vehicle God has provided for His ministry to teens and families of Licking County. “Now the vision will begin to take on flesh and blood”. While wondering where the money would come from to buy sporting equipment for the gymnasium, it was learned that Meijer’s had a donation program which gives free sporting goods to community groups working with kids. The Linnville Lighthouse Teen Project was part of the Licking County Asset Building Initiative, functioning in partnership with Licking County Schools, Courts, Churches, Parents Health Organizations and Service Groups. Supervised after-school opportunities for teens included sports, computer lab, tutoring, teen issue discussions, and service opportunities. + In addition to a candlelight service on Christmas Eve, end of year activities included both a men’s retreat at Geneva Hills in Lancaster and a women’s retreat at Crockett’s Run in Logan, a volunteer recognition Sunday, Christmas caroling at various local nursing homes, a chili supper with Santa seeking donations for the National Youth Convention in June, and “Elves in Action” on the Newark Square collecting food to help feed the hungry in Licking County. Also our St. John’s Food Pantry continued to work for those in need in the area.