Beloved Saints, The pages of this 2016 Annual Report contain pictures and words sharing another year of life in this community of faith. They are not definitive, and we have surely missed many moments, and have, no doubt, made unintentional mistakes. And yet it is our hope they are enough to share the profound and life-changing elements of what it means to belong to each other, to a community, and to a God that keeps pulling us forward in love. We live in a culture where the dominant voices would have us deny our primal need for connection and belonging. Thankfully, St. John’s continues to offer a counterpoint to the narrative of rugged individualism by inviting authentic connection and constantly encouraging us to reach out to others with generous hearts, open minds and a willingness to give and receive love. Dying to self in order to be born again for a life of service, connection, courage and compassion has been St. John’s invitation for over a 100 years in this community. And while many things have changed since 1898 when a group 6 women organized the “Women’s Guild of St. John’s Mission” and became our founders, what stays consistent is the ancient yet modern dream we will continue to seek out and find ways to live and love wholeheartedly. I pray this booklet is a poignant snapshot, not of perfection or a finished product, but rather, a collection of moments in time spent trying to live into that invitation. To those who have come before us, thank you for carving out the path. For those who are traveling with us now, thank you for staying the course. And for those just discovering our community, thank you for being here and welcome home. May all of us find the courage to let down our guard, open our hearts and “move in” to this spiritual home we create together each and every time two or more are gathered in Christ’s name. We hope that the words and pictures that follow paint an exciting picture of St. John’s, the Episcopal Church in Plymouth. And at the same time, we know nothing can compare to the actual experience of coming together for good and for God. So, for that reason, I end this introduction with the theme of this booklet taken from Jesus’ response to the disciples when asked where he was staying. He said to them, as we do as well, “COME AND SEE!” May you never forget that you are loved.
St John's Plymouth Episcopal Church 2016 Annual Report