Deans' Note August 21, 2022
At the Vestry meeting this week, we shared the good news that the Corporation of the Diocese gave its approval to our development plan. We then signed the agreement and the developers' signatures will be forthcoming.
You may recall, we signed the original agreement on Christmas Day, 2020. Since then there were significant changes in the project that required further negotiation. The project now is much improved over the original. St. John's will have a whole new building for ministry, including a parish hall, kitchen, offices and meeting rooms. As you may have seen at the January annual meeting the building design has been enhanced. Our rent increases have also improved and there will be opportunities for a low interest loan to fund needed restoration and renovation of the Cathedral Church, soon to turn 100 years old.
This project will not only improve the entire property of St. John's, but more importantly will provide ongoing income to assist the mission of the Cathedral for the next 100 years. This is significant as the Episcopal church and many others continue to decline in membership. St. John's will be an anchor for the faith in our larger community because of its stable resources. Many other smaller churches unfortunately will not be able to sustain themselves in the coming years, but we will be able to be a gathering place for the people of God for many years to come.
That being said, the purpose of St. John's is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to demonstrate in word and deed that the kingdom of God is a reality, that the vision of Jesus and his Church in the world still is powerful and vibrant despite the clatter of the world around us. Financial and physical resources will help to fuel that mission not replace it.
That means that you as the people of God will need to stand strong and be courageous in the face of adversity, to give of your time, talent and treasure especially in the next few years as the development project begins to move ahead. Remember that the new buildings and financial benefit will probably not be realized until about five to seven years from now. But even then, you the people of St. John's cannot rest on what has already been done.
Together, you will be missionaries to the world. You will be faithful members of the body of Christ. You will be light for the world. You will have the resources to go forward, but the work will be yours to do under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, as you continue to be the heart of Jesus in the heart of the city.
The Very Rev. Canon Mark Kowalewski and the Very Rev. Canon Daniel Ade