So, here we are. We said our goodbyes to Vicar Anthony, Riley and his girls (Chick & Daisy). We gave him a weekend of reluctant farewells. We wished him and Riley nothing but the best; and we thanked him for being a part of our lives for the last 20 months.
The weekend began Saturday night with a Trivia Competition in the Fellowship Hall. About 70 people gathered for pizza and fellowship prior to the competition. Smiles and laughs were all around. Nine teams competed for the chance to distribute a total of $6,000 of Task Force money to a charity of their choice. (See page 2 for more information on Trivia Night.)
Then came Sunday, Vicar Anthony’s last worship service with us. With over 140 in attendance, once again there were smiles and laughs, but this time they were joined by tears and hugs. Rev. Jen Beamsley, assistant to the Bishop, joined us as we officially ended our contract with Vicar Anthony as our Interim that began on January 16, 2023. The worship service was beautiful in so many ways. From the music provided by Raise the Praise band, the extra special music from Delle and Vicki, the closing Benediction from our St. John’s Choir, the Backpack Blessing, the welcoming of Al and Kari Huff as new members, to the Laying on of Hands on both Anthony and Riley and of course, that special little hug from Lily Grace to Anthony. The service was followed with a wonderful reception organized by the Service Team, where we enjoyed cake and punch and each of us had a chance to say goodbye and wish Anthony well.
As I reflect on the time we shared with Anthony, first as our intern then as our interim, I can’t help but point out that he came to us as a second chance. For some reason, God decided that Anthony needed to be here at St. John’s, and He was right. I believe that Anthony needed us as much as we needed him. Pastor Ken was certainly a great mentor to Anthony for that first year, but for the last 8 months, we, the congregation of St. John’s, became his mentor, his teacher and his family. If you think about it, what Anthony accomplished here is unprecedented and we should be very proud. Our Synod not only believed that he could step into the shoes of an interim pastor but trusted that we would not allow him to fail. And by God, he didn’t! He blossomed into a one of a kind leader, filled with love and compassion for all of God’s children. We’ve all said it. We were blessed to have Anthony here. But he was blessed to have us as well.
As we move forward, I ask that we all look back at what we’ve been through. Not to lament but to be excited for what is to come. We don’t know when or who it will be, but God will decide. After all, we did pretty well when he sent us Anthony. He won’t let us down. But we, as a church family, need to continue to gather together each and every Sunday until that void is filled. Lean on each other. Hug each other. And know that good things are on the way! Don’t ever forget that St. John’s is a special, well-established congregation with 165 years of experience; and we will continue Celebrating God’s word with God’s people, Living God’s Great Commandment through His Great Commission for many, many more years to come!
Words cannot express my gratitude for the outpouring of love and support you all have shown. Thank you for the cards, gifts, and cake celebrating my time with you. Thank you!
With love, Anthony and Riley
Our Quilting Ladies have replenished the walker bags in the Narthex with lots of new bags. If you know of someone who would enjoy a walker bag, or if you would like one, please feel free to help yourself.
The quilting group will meet on Tuesday, October 24th. You are invited to join them at 9am in the fellowship hall. You do not need to know how to quilt or sew to help create these beautiful quilts. All are welcome to join us for a morning of work and fellowship!
If you find yourself in need of pastoral care or you or a family member are hospitalized, please contact the church office. Remember that because of privacy laws, the hospitals do not contact us when you or a family member are admitted.
Church Office Hours
The church office is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 3pm.
The church office is CLOSEDon Fridays.
JOIN US FOR WORSHIP! In-person worship takes place in the Sanctuary each Sunday at 9am. Worship is also live-streamed on our YouTube channel. Sunday School classes for Kindergarten through High School students begin at 10am.