HELP US SAVE SAINT JOHN'S IN THE VILLAGE
We are currently facing a funding crisis, and will be forced to close unless we can secure sources of income with which to support and sustain operations. We would welcome any support, spiritual, material, or otherwise as we work to resolve the situation and save the church. We will be updating the church's website and Facebook presence as the situation develops.
Our GoFundMe campaign is live and Accepting Donations
Please contribute to the campaign to save Saint John's in the Village, and share this link as widely as you can!
The goal of $60,000 is to help us stay open through January 6 as we work to grow support for the church and secure other long-term funding sources. Any contribution will be appreciated!
A NOTE ON HOW WE GOT INTO THIS SITUATION, WHERE WE ARE NOW, AND WHAT WE HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH
OUR PAST: In 1843, in what was then the village of Huntingdon, St. John’s was established on a hilltop outside Baltimore in what would become Waverly village. The church has always been known for its traditional worship and beautiful choral music. It is now one of only two parishes in the United States who offer this unique worship style. Beginning six years ago, St. John’s fell on hard times. A benefactor of the church died, and for five years the congregation funded its shortfalls by draining its endowment. On September 1, 2016, the Rev’d Jeff Hual was called to be St. John’s new priest. In addition to his gifts for ministry, Fr. Hual is a former CPA and business owner. Over the past year, the congregation has doubled in size, and stewardship has tripled to nearly one hundred thousand dollars. The church adopted an austerity budget and was able to raise an additional fifty thousand dollars from congregants and sixty thousand from outside sources, but by September 1, 2017, St. John’s was no longer able to meet its financial obligations. The Bishop of Maryland thus made the decision that St. John’s must close its doors, declaring it to now be a “dead” church.
OUR PRESENT: St. John’s is currently a small but vibrant Christian community and presence within the Waverly neighborhood. We have grown over the past year from 28 people on Fr. Hual’s first Sunday to a congregation of more than 70 people, with 55 people per Sunday on average. We have hosted numerous community events over the past year, including a job fair that attracted more than 500 people, and an arts summer camp that benefited 40 youth from the neighborhood. We have held cookouts, trunk or treats, and bazaars to bring our neighbors onto our campus in order to foster better relationships. We have spent thousands of dollars donating food, paying for prescriptions, and helping to find housing for people in need.
OUR FUTURE: At the time we were declared dead and told to close, plans were underway for new arts camps, one over Christmas break and another over Spring break. Our campus was to be opened to the public as a park for the enjoyment of the neighborhood. Our choir was planning a series of galas and madrigal feasts to raise its own funding. A local choral group, the Bridge Ensemble, was planning a concert series. All these programs and more are still possible if we can save St. John’s. While imperilment is frightening, it gives us a chance to regroup, and find a new future forward for Saint John's. If we can craft a long-term strategic plan for St. John’s to become independently viable, then we will be able to reopen after a short pause, and continue our worship and ministry with a renewed commitment.
HOW TO HELP: St. John’s is asking everyone to share a little bit of their time, talent and treasure to keep us going. First, please share a little of your time. Our last currently scheduled Sunday Mass is November 5th, but we will keep you posted regarding other weekday services as they are scheduled. Please come and support us by your presence. Second, the number of talented people in this neighborhood has amazed us. If you have a talent that could help to save us, whatever it may be, we would welcome your help. Third, of course, we need a little of your treasure to help us stay open. A check in the offering plate, a check in the mail, a contribution to our GoFundMe campaign, all of it will help us.