Our theme for the 
2020 Stewardship Campaign
"Faith-filled Generosity"

Our Fall Festival of Fiscal Fitness
Why Pledge?

What is a pledge? I checked various places for definitions and synonyms. The one I thought best describes what we mean when we talk about pledging was vouchsafe. We have seen this word in the Bible, liturgical texts, and in our worship services. Vouchsafe means to give, promise, or offer something to someone who you trust. We can all say giving, promising, and offering our treasure to St. John’s is providing financial support to someone we trust.

When pledging, I immediately go to our country’s Pledge of Allegiance. The words in that pledge serve to honor our past, allow us to live confidently in the present, and provide our hope for the future. The same is true for the responsible use of our treasure when contributing to St. John’s.

  • We learn from our past and build on that experience
  • We live in the present and care for our physical plant, our human resources, and our ministries
  • We establish hope for the future in the confident expectation that God will guide us to demonstrate good stewardship and leave a legacy for those who follow

Why do we come to you every year in the fall to ask for your commitment? There is a very practical reason. Our church fiscal year is January – December. The Vestry and our Ministry Leaders budget for the coming year starting in October – through December. As you do with your home or business, we are in a much better position to allocate our resources when we are confident of the expected income.

In the next couple of weeks, you will receive a pledge form in the mail. On behalf of St. John’s, the Stewardship Committee asks you to consider the following:

  • If you have never pledged to St. John’s before, consider committing some of the treasure God has given you to support the ministries at St. John’s.
  • If you are giving consistently through a pledge, direct debit or other means, please consider increasing your annual gift by 5-10% in 2021.

“Giving is a way to thank God for His grace and generosity”. Please take this time to prayerfully reflect on how you benefit and how the broader community benefits from our many ministries at St. John’s. Then, make your commitment to support the programs and people doing God’s work for 2021 and beyond. 

Randy Russell
Stewardship Committee

Are you Riding the Waves
or a Current?

Ocean waves rise and fall in an instant. They are as fickle as the wind that forms them. In a similar way, our careers, financial metrics, fortunes, and political campaigns rise and fade quickly. They toss us about and are fleeting.  Ocean currents are predictable and steady. They move massive amounts of water and energy around the planet. They are persistent and can carry messages in bottles or travelers for long distances.

We can choose to hitch our rides, spend our lives, and put our resources into things that are fleeting or those that persist. Nothing is more persistent or reliable than God’s faithfulness.

During our Stewardship Campaign, we invite you to hear God’s call to commit your resources to his work, which is steady as a current and outlasts any waves of this world. 

If you have not returned your pledge, we ask that you do so as soon as possible as this will help our Budget Committee plan for the new year.

What Motivates your Giving, 
the Present or the Future?

Giving for the present day is a good motivator, but it also risks losing sight of the real reasons behind our generosity. Calculating tax credits, determining worthiness of receiving organizations, fretting about how recipients spend what we give them, and focusing on near-term budget impacts from the pandemic are symptoms of giving that are focused on the present. Giving for the long-term does not care about these short-term issues. Giving for the future is characterized by considering the legacy and impact that we leave behind after we are gone. It is about sustaining a community of believers that lasts from generation to generation. It is about where we are going, not where we happen to be now.    

During our stewardship campaign, we invite you to hear God’s call to commit your resources to his work, giving to the future in a spirit of optimism that comes only from faith in God. If you have not returned your pledge, we ask that you do so as soon as possible as this will help our Budget Committee plan for the new year.

A Note to Share

If you are like me, I desire to be well known by God, I want to be on His “A” team, His go-to guy. But I would also like to audit the reports he receives in case there is something in there that I don’t really want Him to know. I’m not sure being fully known by God is particularly advantageous to my well-being. I understand that He has forgiven me and continues to do so. For that I am grateful. I guess I keep Him busy. But where I grow a bit uncertain is how he feels about what I do with my time and my money. To what extent is enough, enough? I don’t have the answer, but I wonder if you struggle with this at times like I do.

The Stewardship Committee has been reminding us to pray about and then send in our annual commitment (pledge) to St. John’s. Earlier the committee’s focus was on time and talent and now it is time we focus on treasure. Will God be pleased with my response? Do I need to reconsider the adequacy of my commitment? Or is enough, enough? Let me know if you have figured this out and may God bless us all for our effort.

Dick Barr

Stewardship Committee

from the Stewardship Committee

This congregation is amazing! In the midst of all that is going on in our world – maybe because of it, the response to our postcard reminder message was wonderful. The financial commitments for 2021 show that our people love God, love our neighbors, and love each other. A big thank you to all who have made a 2021 commitment. If you have not yet responded to the request for your financial commitment for 2021, please do so as soon as you can. If you have questions, please contact Mary Beth in the Parish Office, Mike Demyanovich, our treasurer, or any member of the Stewardship Committee.    


We hope everyone has an enjoyable Thanksgiving and a blessed Advent season.

What is Stewardship?

Stewardship is about our faithfulness to God. All that we have is provided by God. What resources has God given us to do the meaningful work that advances God's mission in the world? We need to be good stewards of what God has placed under our care including relationships, financial resources, and spiritual gifts. 

In the coming weeks we hope to highlight the abundance of time and talent all of you contribute to the St. John's community in the many ministries as well as understand how we all can joyously share in a portion of the treasure we have received to support the programs and people doing God's work. 

Let us first get to know the stewardship committee. All are welcome to join! If you are interested in joining us, please contact the Parish Office, .

Meet the Stewardship Committee

Dick Barr has been a member of St. John's for over 30 years. He has served in many ministries and currently is on the Vestry. He is a LEM and LEV and runs the Annual Golf Outing. He enjoys anything golf and is a member of the PGA.

Andy Cooper has been a member of St. John's for 13 years and is a former Vestry member and warden. He serves as a Sunday school teacher and spearheaded the recent Capital Campaign. He enjoys running and family time. 

Sarah Dore has been a member of St. John's for over 30 years. She started God's Gardeners and has been a Vestry member and warden as well as a LEM.  Sara is active in DAR, the Naperville Women's Club and the Chicago Sinfonietta.

Lois Garland-Patterson has been a member of St. John's since 2015.  She is our current Senior Warden.  She has served as an usher and as part of the the Farmer's Market, Buildings and Grounds and Budget committees. She is a member of the Daughters of the King.  She enjoys cooking, sewing, reading and walking. 

Birnie Harper has been a member of St. John's for 11 years. He is involved in the Farmer's Market, Outreach Board, Righteous Brothers and Wednesday Morning Bible study. He enjoys reading, cooking, yard work and watching movies and sports.

Deb Oleskowicz has been a member of St. John's for 30 years. She has served on the Vestry, as a Sunday school teacher, Pennywise volunteer, and Outreach Board member. She enjoys gardening, biking, kayaking, hiking and traveling.

Randy Russell is a former Vestry member and warden. He serves as an usher, lay reader, and is a member of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, Men's Bible Study and Welcome Center staff. He is a representative for the Boy Scout Troop 133 and enjoys wine, traveling, college basketball and golf.

Allyson Salisbury has been a member of St. John's for 2 years moving here from New Jersey. She serves on the Farmer's Market committee and enjoys gardening, knitting, cooking and bike riding.

Show Us Your Light

Hello from the Stewardship Committee! We hope you are all doing well. As we live through Covid-19, we would love to hear for you! What are you doing while staying at home? How is the ministry you are involved in been working? What has your faith journey been like during this time? How are you acting as a good steward?  Please us us a short 1 minute video from you phone to,  that we can share.  

                              Aylish                              Bernie                                Deb
                                               Michelle                               Randy

Bringing the Stewardship Campaign to Life

Recently the Stewardship Committee recorded panel discussions with parishioners to have some thoughtful conversation about St. John’s. We hoped to capture diverse personal and positive experiences to bring the Stewardship Campaign to life. We will continue to share clips of these panel discussions in our E-News, St. John’s Facebook page and our website to promote our “Faith-Filled Generosity” campaign. Below are the short, video clips responding to the questions posed. 

What Do You Love About St. John's?



Mark & Suzanne

How Has Your Faith and Relationship to St. John's Sustained You?

Beth Dianne Pat & Sandy

Why Do You Give to St. John's?

Beth Dianne Kevin

Our Love for St. John’s and Being Good Stewards of their Gifts of Time, Talent, and Treasure

Michelle Steve

Garden Group Ministry

Gardens are a great example that we reap what we sow. Take a walk around St. John’s and see the beauty of the many varieties of flowers and plants volunteers work so hard taking care of. 

The Gardening Group Ministry has been a part of St. John’s for many years cultivating and caring for the landscape around the church. Some individuals share their expertise on what and where to plant, while others spend countless hours watering and weeding to keep the gardens beautiful. The group is now working on sustainable gardens requiring little or no care.

If you are interested in being a part of this rewarding ministry please contact the Parish Office, parishlife@


Then the Lord took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.                                                                                         Genesis 2:15


Miracles: transformational moments
By J. Davey Gerhard

The Gospels of August 2020 contain two transformational stories in the ministry of Jesus that weave the strongest threads in our Christian tapestry. What do these stories have in common? Radical hospitality and abundance. Together these two hallmarks of Christian values form our view of the Kingdom of Heaven and inform how we relate to our neighbors. August is a month of Faith-Filled Generosity. 

The first of these transformational moments occurs beside the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus spends a long day healing and teaching a great crowd. Do you, like me, wonder what he was teaching? Was he empowering them to free themselves from the oppression of worry and to focus on loving their neighbor? Was he reminding them that they were perfectly created children of God? Did he cure all kinds of diseases that day: emotional pain, disease, spiritual bleakness? Whatever it was, it lasted late into the day, and, in yet another act of compassion, the Savior did not want them to leave before they had their fill of teaching, of healing, and of nourishment. 

Scholars debate the actual miracle that occurred next. Did Jesus make a feast from a few scraps of food? Or did he unlock the sharing and compassion of the crowd, so that their own pocketful of food created a feast when combined with their neighbors’ pocketful? Debating this miracle, to me, seems like counting angels on the head of a pin – the truth is that people were fed, a problem that needed a solution was solved, love happened here.

Scraps of food also feature in the second of August’s transformational Gospel passages, as we learn about Jesus’ conflicted relationship with the Syrophoenician Woman. Jesus does not appear in this story as the virtuous, blameless hero — quite the opposite. If a passerby had filmed this on their phone and uploaded the scene to Twitter, would we have canceled Jesus for the racist and dismissive way he treats this woman who is outside the fold of the chosen people of God? When Jesus demands to be fed before tending to a sick child, and then compares the child to a dog, some might have backed down. Who is to argue with a man rumored throughout the countryside to be the Son of God? 

When the Syrophoenician Woman advocates for her child, and stands up to Jesus, two transformative miracles occur. The first is that the child is healed. The second, the transformation that echoes throughout the rest of history, is that Jesus himself is changed. From this moment he realizes his ministry is to heal all who come to him: Galilean, Samaritan, Phoenician, Jew, Pagan, regardless of religion or culture. We are the inheritors of this grace, of this generosity. When we share our gifts with the world, extending hospitality and creating abundance, it’s nothing short of a miracle. Amen.

J. Davey Gerhard is the Executive Director of The Episcopal Network for Stewardship, and lives and teaches his faith in San Francisco, California.