Dear Parish Family,
St. John Parish is Pandemic-Proof! Thanks to YOU, the faithful parishioners of the Mother Church of Jackson! We concluded the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020 by not only surviving, but allowing the difficult times to test our mettle, which unfortunately was not the case for many parishes throughout the country. Your commitment to the 5-4-1 model of stewardship, remaining faithful to your Sunday offertory pledge even when you were not able to be physically present at Holy Mass, was HUGE in keeping us going. And when you heard about the financial challenges we faced in April and May of this pandemic, you responded!
By bringing our outreach online, many parishioners were able to participate and keep in touch virtually. Many of you tuned into our daily Mass, thanks to the behind-the-scenes coordination by our Director of Parish Life, Shayne Slough, day in and day out. The coordinated efforts of our Faith Formation team created loads of online content and hosted Zoom meetings and classes. “Praying with the Padres” (and our summer seminarian Riley O’Shea) was a big hit for many of you in gathering together in nightly prayer for over three months straight until the restrictions were eased in the Holy Eucharist. Through our virtual Marian Consecration, many of you experienced the consolation and strength that Mother Mary continues to give us through these tumultuous times.
The big question now for many parishes including our own is, “Will everyone come back?” We have begun publishing in the bulletin the Sunday attendance at each of our six Masses. We currently are not reaching the 30% capacity limit in our six Masses. While we had 467 households turn in their Sunday offertory pledge for the fiscal year 2019-20, we are right now at 398 pledges for 2020-21. In order to continue the strong showing we had in the first half of 2020 and return to the thriving parish life we had pre-Covid, we need more of our parishioners to return and support our parish. So please reach out to your fellow parishioners, tell them we miss them, and invite them back! We desire our WHOLE family and more to be gathered once again at the table of the Lord.
Here’s the good news! Something tells me that, while we may not get everyone back, we will nonetheless be stronger as a parish! Perhaps smaller, but definitely stronger! That’s the confidence your pastor has in the true believers like you!
A big opportunity awaits! The world is crying; we see so much anger, brokenness, and despair around us. And you and I know that the answer to their search for meaning and purpose amidst all this chaos and division lies in the Prince of Peace, he who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. As St. Augustine exclaimed, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, O Lord.” The Church’s whole existence lies in being the bridge by which people discover their eternal purpose and destiny. We fulfill our mission by living with joy and hope as a community of missionary disciples. The world and Jackson more specifically need that witness more than ever. Let’s live as that community of missionary disciples committed to one another, so that people can not just hear, but SEE the Gospel lived out.
Yours in Christ,