Members of St John,
It has been 3 years since Pastor Voigt accepted a call to be the pastor of another congregation. Since that time, we have had 3 Vacancy Pastors at St John.
We hired Pastor Stroh to help us move forward at St Johnshortly after Pastor Voigt left. Some of the plans were to call another pastor and become a breakout congregation, merge with another congregation, or to close our doors and help our members find another congregation to join.
The members at St John decided that we should merge with another congregation. We have pursued that effort and tried to merge with Divinity. That endeavor did not come to fruition. Then our members decided to merge with Immanuel Hmong and that endeavor did not happen due to the cultural differences between us.
At our last open forum meeting, we concluded that St John could not sustain ourselves both financially and do the work needed here at St John due to the number of members who volunteer their time to accomplish that work.
Our God has been watching over us. He has given us the financial means to continue serving Him at St John. The Journey School’s interest to start a Charter School at St John was delayed, but when that looked like it would not happen for a while, God gave us another opportunity to lease our school facility to CLUES. The 5 year lease with CLUES is in the final stages and would be enough to provide for a pastor’s expenses. God also provided an endowment that would help us to continue His work at St John.
We have been in contact with the MN Mission Board and they expressed the need for a WELS presence on the east side of St Paul. We are in a good location for outreach to our neighbors. Our efforts to bring them into our congregation to hear His Word have not been fruitful and we need to pray that God will guide and strengthen us in our efforts.
Since our last merger attempt with Immanuel Hmong, the Council decided to have an Open Forum meeting to decide what we should do next.
We are asking for your thoughts and input on the following options. This will not be a final decision, just a straw poll to find out what our members believe would be in the best interest of our people and the Lord’s church. Please circle your first and possibly second choice and provide the reasoning for your selections. We will be mailing this agenda to our members who could not make it to the meeting today. This feedback will assist the Council in determining our next steps as a congregation. We look forward to sharing the results and planning our future with the help of our Lord here at St John. Please return this sheet by October 31.
1. Merge with another congregation. Possibly considering a merger with Mt Olive.
2. Become a breakout congregation and call a pastor. Breakout means that we are willing to put additional efforts into outreach. However. there is a currently a shortage of WELS pastors.
3. Find a pastor in our area that would be willing to serve 2 congregations at different locations.
4. Close our doors and help our members to find another WELS church to join.
5. Other ideas. Comments sheet on next page