Greetings to each of you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. In these unprecedented times, people are faced with many challenges and forced to make many adjustments. Nobody envisioned most of the world, even churches, being shut down 15 months ago, but by the grace of God, we are gradually returning to normality.
As of June 15th, the state of California has reopened to a great extent. Although we are still in a state of emergency, California has dismissed its color-coded tier system, capacity limits, and mask mandates for vaccinated individuals in most settings. Notwithstanding the current changes, St. John will continue at least throughout June to adhere to our safety protocols. Temperatures will continue to be checked and hand sanitizing will continue to be urged upon entering, social distancing will continue to be applied regarding where people shall sit and walk, wearing masks will continue to be strongly encouraged, utilization of restrooms will continue to be restricted to 2-4 people at a time (depending on the size of the restroom), and congregating before and after Services will continue to be prohibited.
Currently, we have two Worship Celebrations: The North Campus at 9:00 a.m. and South Campus at 11:00 a.m. These Worship Celebrations have been Spirit-filled, inspirational, and dynamic even though they are shortened (about 1 hour and 15 minutes). We encourage everyone to arrive at least 10 minutes beforehand. People, who arrive too late at the North Campus to enter because we reached capacity, are encouraged to then go to the South Campus for the 11:00 a.m. Worship Celebration. To parishioners of St. John who are unable or uncomfortable at this time to participate in corporate worship, I am working diligently to accommodate you. As we did the last two Sundays, we will try to provide you an opportunity to listen to the Worship Celebration each Sunday by 2 p.m. or thereafter via our website (sjmbc.org). We are progressively upgrading our A/V equipment so that we can soon provide quality live streaming each Sunday or thereafter of one of our Worship Celebrations.
Don’t forget to spread the word about our online Church School each Wednesday at 7 p.m. This is a weekly experience that we don’t want to miss. I encourage everyone to begin at 12 p.m. and/or 6:30 p.m. with prayer. After the 6:30 p.m. Prayer Service and my brief words of encouragement or direction, we will reconnect at 7 p.m. with the class of our choice.
We congratulate our 2021 graduates! If you are a St. John member and interested in receiving recognition from our church, you should contact Min. Peggy Alexander (Minister of Christian Education) at firstname.lastname@example.org by June 30th. If you are graduating from High School and you will be attending college or vocational school, you may qualify for a scholarship. Applications are available via our church website at sjmbc.org. Moreover, if you desire to give towards scholarships, you can do so in person at either of our campuses, via mail, or online at sjmbc.org.
PRAYERS FOR THE PASTOR
As the pastor, I solicit your prayers. Making decisions that affect so many people is tough! I realize that everyone will not be pleased with every decision that I make; however, I desire to make good decisions that please God and benefit St. John. To ensure good decisions, you can help by praying for me daily and asking God to lead, guide, and direct me as the pastor of our great congregation. Furthermore, regarding the pastor, Pastor Edification Month will be acknowledged and celebrated in August. Even though we have celebrated it in June for many years (except for last year due to the pandemic), Pastor Edification Month will be in August. Actually, this is befitting because I became the pastor of St. John on August 7, 1994.
Last but not least, we thank so many of you who have been supporting St. John financially, especially in the last 15 months. With everything that we are doing and trying to do, your financial contributions are needed. We currently give in-person during Sunday Morning Worship Celebrations, by mailing or dropping off our Tithes and Offerings at our Administration Building or South Campus 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.
May God bless and sustain each of us.
Your Servant In Christ,
Dr. Kevin B. Hall, Pastor