On June 11th the church council met with Divinity’s Council. The focus of the meeting was to discuss joint ministries and what we could look like as a single church. Although I can’t list every topic discussed in this newsletter, a few highlights are below:
- Divinity and St. John have approximately the same number of members;
- Divinity has considered relocation previously, they are not gaining membership from their pre-school;
- Impact to Immanuel Hmong - we do not want to negatively impact their congregation;
- Ministry Plan - identify a strategic plan and follow it; and
- Facility/Location - likely a new location and name.
As you can imagine, there are several pros and cons to merging the congregations. In fact, you are likely thinking of some now! Considering this, both church councils agreed to hold an open forum to bring information to members and seek input. After open forums have taken place, the church councils will meet again to continue the conversation.
St. John will hold an open forum on June 30th, immediately after the voters meeting. The purpose of the open forum is to gain feedback from St. John members if this is a path we want to continue pursuing. In the meantime, St. John will continue to focus work efforts on the four focus areas (click here for posting).
As we end this note, you may be wondering… Where will we relocate? What will it cost? How long will this take? What about our present property? Before we proceed and continue with this effort, we need to complete a feasibility study. This began with the initial meeting with Divinity’s leadership to consider the possibility. Now we need to know if you (the congregations) believe this may be the direction the Lord is taking us. If we move forward and run into obstacles that would make a merger less feasible or even impossible, the effort could be abandoned and we would have to pursue other avenues. The open forum on June 30th will let us know if we want to continue down this path for St. John.
Please continue to be prayerful during this time. Pray for St. John and pray for those leading us.