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A Future with Hope:
Generosity Appeal 2023

A Message from Pastor Josh Evans

Beloved community,

If it’s good to be together, it must be bad to be apart.

And yet: the truth is that life has always been a rhythm of separation and togetherness, exile and return. We may prefer the “return” bit, the “bring you back to this place” bit, but that doesn’t mean separation isn’t part of the story.

Experiences of separation are at least as old as the ancient stories of the Garden of Eden, the Israelites’ exile in Babylon, and the parable of the Prodigal Son. Jesus and his followers were separated by betrayal and death, and then reunited by forgiveness and newness of life. Even on our most “normal” days, our lives are a rhythm of gathering and dispersing, coming together and going apart, calls to worship and benedictions.

Certainly the past few years of living through a pandemic and its aftermath have been another profound experience of this ancient pattern, and as challenging as it’s been, we can take solace in the knowledge that our ancestors, too, experienced seasons of exile. And here’s the point: thanks to this history, over time our faith — and our church — has been built to help us live through such seasons with grace and hope.

At our core, St. John’s is a community of reunion, homecoming, and return – from Central Avenue to Sand Creek Road, from pre-recorded “Message and Music” to embodied liturgy, from a call process to a called pastor. Now more than ever, in a world full of exile, our congregation stands as a beacon of hope, welcome, and radical hospitality.

With all of this in mind, we invite you to join us in giving thanks for all the resources — spiritual, theological, physical, and financial — that support this indispensable work. And as we look ahead, linked below you’ll find a special prayer, composed by a member of our congregation especially for this generosity appeal. Stewardship and generosity are, above all, spiritual practices, and we invite you to pray this prayer daily — perhaps even carry it in your wallet — over the coming weeks. At the culmination of this appeal, please fill out your intent card (linked below), either online or bring it with you on Intention Sunday, October 29.

Together, we’ll offer our intentions to God and to this community of faith; and together, we’ll celebrate God’s beautiful gift of “a future with hope.”

The Rev. Josh Evans, pastor
on behalf of St. John’s Congregation Council


(click to view larger or download)

Giving Prayer

Intent Card

Giving Chart

303 Sand Creek Road, Albany, New York 12205

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