Letter to the Community

Dear Community,

The membership of St. John United gathered over zoom on Sunday, January 23rd. I thank God for the faithful and discerning quorum that showed up! Here are some of the highlights.

First we reflected, with gratitude, that we continue to exist and have a positive impact, despite another difficult and unexpected year of change and uncertainty.  Many thanks to you who have contributed volunteer hours, inquisitive questions, grace and good will, and financial gifts. 

Second, you passed the 2022 Budget!  It is a deficit budget, with strategic investments that will be funded in part by Undesignated Memorial Gifts. These funds come from members who died and who remembered St. John United in the final distribution of their estates, as a way to continue our mission and ministry.. It will also be funded in part by new attention to good fundraising and stewardship practices. 

The 2022 Budget makes strong investments in our values, including to:

  • Fund a second Street Trees project carried out by Green Team;
  • Provide Cost of Living increases for staff;
  • Raise the Pastor’s salary based on new synod recommendations;
  • Increase the weekly hours of our Church Administrator, to incorporate communication and fundraising tasks that have emerged from our Community Engagement project; 
  • Increase hours for our Tech Director, who runs our livestream, as well as funding for equipment upgrades.  
  • Provide for worship leadership and pastoral care coverage during Pastor Anna’s sabbatical (May-July 2022) and $500 for sabbatical expenses.

In addition to passing the budget, you approved 2022 disbursements from our Mission Endowment Fund, including three new recipients that reflect our growing commitment to racial equity, Real Rent Duwamish, 66th Synod Reparations Fund and Core Tanzania.  You also enthusiastically approved a new Inclusive Welcome Statement and commitments to Reconciling Works: Lutherans for Full Participation.

You also spoke clearly about ensuring our building remains fully accessible for people of all physical abilities. In light of our aging elevator (The 20 year anniversary of its installation is this February!), you voted to form an ad hoc committee that will research replacement options and return to the congregation, before the Pastor’s Sabbatical in May, to share information and discern a way forward. You also approved spending, with a cap, to repair the elevator and get it working in the meantime. 

All I can say is, “Wow!”.  You have invested in a way that shows me this will be another year of regrouping, updating and innovating.  I am so excited to get back to work, taking your guidance to heart, and celebrating our generous God made known in this loving community.

Your sibling in Christ,

Pastor Anna

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