Dear Friends in Christ,
These days one hears more and more about “local”. From food to finance, and from architecture to agriculture, the world seems to now be full of folks intent on keeping it (whatever “it” is) closer to home. Perhaps a reaction against globalism, or another effect of our long recession, or even a sign of the world’s growing consciousness of our need for stronger communities – whatever the reason, more people are trying to find ways to act, buy, invest, and consume locally. Instead of heading to the chain burger factory off of the main highway next to the Target and Best Buy franchises, today’s consumer is more likely to head somewhere like the Blue Door, or the Happy Gnome, or, as I recently “discovered” Matt’s Bar, in Minneapolis on Cedar Street, the oh so very neighborhoody home of the “Juicy Lucy”. I’ve got an informal research project going to see just how many of you locals have enjoyed this shrine to burgerdom – where not even the décor has changed in the last 30+ years.
I love wandering a neighborhood like an explorer in a foreign land, and stumbling upon local treasures, little out of the way places that celebrate something unique yet essential to the character of the neighborhood. I was walking through my own neighborhood last week and came upon a local church that had two Adirondack chairs tucked in off the sidewalk in a comfy patch of grass, facing a park, where neighbors could sit and read the paper, watch the kids on the playground, and watch the world pass by. Here was a church that had its fingers to the pulse of the neighborhood, knew that we were a small community of book readers and dog walkers and lazy Saturday morning paper reading coffee drinkers, and that every now and again, a comfy chair facing the world was just what we wanted. This church was most definitely “locally minded”.
I sense too as I get to know St. John’s that we are locally minded, a unique and essential part of our neighborhood. We have neighbors over for a pickup basketball league, and we open our doors for recovery groups to meet, and we offer ministries for the community that has so many needs. We’ve got our finger to the pulse of the community too, and when we’ve listened and watched, our posture over time has shifted ever so slightly so we can continue to meet our neighbors where they are, with what they need. Or, this is the story I have been hearing as I discover more and more about St. John’s.
One of the ways that St. John’s is and continues to be a local treasure is through our now twice annual Huge Sale, which I am told sells thousands of dollars of donated goods each year to benefit the mission and ministry of St. John the Evangelist. If you want to participate, you can, of course, donate goods soon for the sale that begins on October 1st. Or, more importantly, you can sign up this Sunday and next Sunday to volunteer for one of the shifts for sorting, pricing, and selling these items. Huge Sale reps will be in the Narthex and at coffee hour these next two weeks looking to sign you up – so bring your calendars and help us in this local celebration of bargains and good will!
See you there, and see you in church this Sunday!