Greetings to each of you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Congratulations to our new President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. President-Elect Joe Biden has finally succeeded in the highest office of our nation after three attempts (1998, 2008 and 2020). Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris is a Bay Area product, and she is the first woman and first woman of color to be elected as the Vice President of the United States. We acclaim them, but we also acclaim many of us.
First of all, many of us are to be commended for voting. In the last Presidential Election, our country witnessed record-breaking voting with about 160 million Americans who voted. Although St. John is just a small percent of the total voters, I express my gratitude to each of us who voted. As a pastor, I have been encouraging us to vote and to encourage others to vote in this Presidential Election for the last two months, and I believe that many of us adhered. As we can see from some of the razor-thin margins, every vote was significant.
Be mindful that a lot of people are happy about the election results, but a lot of people are also unhappy about the election results; therefore, I am very careful not to make some people feel worse than what they already feel if the outcome is undesirable in their opinion. Politics has always been a “touchy” subject that many choose not to discuss, and it is seemingly “touchier” in these days. Consequently, I encourage all of us to be aware of the sensitivity of this subject matter as it pertains to a lot of people.
Secondly, many of us are to be commended for participating. For the sake of clarity, I am referring to our church participation. In the last eight months, we have been deprived of assembling together at St. John because of a current pandemic known as COVID-19. My staff and I have done all that we can to serve our congregation and keep everyone connected. On many Thursdays, I encouraged everyone to participate in our Online Ministries, and the response has been phenomenal.
Not only have we participated well in our Online Ministries, but a lot of us have participated well in our Essential Ministries. For example, we began a Grocery Giveaway Ministry in June where every Tuesday at noon we giveaway 110-175 boxes or bags of groceries to people at both our North Campus and South Campus. We applaud our parishioners who serve on Mondays to prepare the boxes or bags of groceries and our parishioners who serve on Tuesdays to giveaway these groceries.
Thirdly, many of us are to be commended for giving. The total income of St. John currently is not as much as it was before the pandemic, but it is good considering that we have not been physically together for eight months. Our current income is about 70-80% of what it was before the pandemic. Of course, this percentage would be higher if everyone was equally committed, but I am very grateful to God for each of us who faithfully support St. John financially, especially in the last eight months.
We currently contribute by mailing or dropping off our Tithes and Offerings to our St. John South Campus (662 South 52nd Street—Richmond, CA 94804) or by giving online through our website (sjmbc.org). If you are a member of St. John who is financially able but not supporting our church financially, allow God to bless you with more by giving today your Tithes and Offerings.
In conclusion, be prayerful and careful at all times. Instead of being divided, we should strive to be united; therefore, as I stated in last Sunday’s Podcast Message, “Let’s Unite!” 1 Corinthians 1:10 (ESV) reads: “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”
May God bless and sustain each of us.
Your Servant In Christ,
Dr. Kevin B. Hall, Pastor