A Special Message From Pastor David Hall to St. John

Rev. Andy and the St. John’s Congregation,

I pray this letter finds you well and in good spirits following the earthquake on November 30th and the many aftershocks we have experienced since then.  I was excited to see the generosity of St. John’s highlighted in reference to sheltering those displaced from Karluk Manor as a result of the damage sustained to the residence by the earthquake.  The love of the congregation of your church is found in the quote from Rev Andy in the article regarding the opening of your doors, “If the church does not exist for this, then why do we exist?”

To love.  To serve. To glorify God in all we do.  It sounds so simple, but can be so difficult because those actions make us look outside of ourselves and our own desires in order to be the hands and feet of the body of Christ.  Your willingness to give of time and self is inspiring and noticeable, not just as the people of St. John’s, but as the inhabitants of the Kingdom of God.

Last week, we had the opportunity to read a letter to our congregation penned by Rev. Andy stating the intent of your church to donate the entirety of your Christmas offering to Girdwood Chapel.  I wish the events of the weekend had not interrupted the planned delivery of that message from Von and Jan Cawvey at our service, so they could have seen the smiles and heard the gasps from our congregation.

The Spirit is moving in Girdwood and we are growing in our ability to provide services and outreach to the Girdwood community.  As this involvement grows, the need for a full time pastor becomes more readily apparent. There are many insertion points within the community for the pastor to have a relevant voice in planning and outreach, as well as, pastoral care.  Your generous gift and continued partnership will help Girdwood Chapel achieve this goal by helping to build a parsonage on the existing church property.

Although we do not know the timeline for the completion of this project and the realization of this goal, your generosity, and the heavy discernment you went through before deciding to act, has given us the affirmation that we are on the right track and are listening to the nudges of the Spirit in our own congregation.  Thank you for the gift of funding, but also, thank you for the gift of affirmation.
May God bless you and your families this Advent Season as we experience the yet, but not yet, presence of Christ.
Your brother in Christ,

Pastor David Hall
Girdwood Chapel UMC