LOCATION. LOCATION. LOCATION! You’ve heard it when buying or selling a home. In real estate, location matters. St. John’s Lutheran Church sits in the historic district of Springfield, just above downtown Jacksonville. It is the oldest Lutheran church on the First Coast, located in the urban core and incarnating the gospel of grace in a neighborhood desperate to hear God’s favor. Every week our food pantry distributes 300 – 400 pounds of food to 30 – 50 households. Although facing aggressive gentrification, the median household income remains below $23k annually. Many have lost their jobs, lack healthcare, and are struggling through the pandemic. A houseless person regularly sleeps on our covered porch. It’s the center of the city where people live on the margins. It is where Jesus does ministry in the New Testament.
St. John’s leadership team is mighty in spirit in the face of daunting challenges. They were finding their sea legs during an extended interim when the pandemic hit. That disconnected the faithful in the congregation. Retired military chaplain Pr. Eric Wester filled the pulpit during the second half of last year, preaching from the sidewalk outside. In December, Pastor Russell Meyer was appointed to serve as interim pastor. We have restarted in-person worship following strict protocols and have had up to a dozen attend. Every service is live streamed on Facebook, reaching more of the congregation and welcoming a larger audience. During Lent, we have been doing an online Bible study called “Our Daily Bread” that looks at how Jesus feeds us according to the Gospel of Mark.
Our big challenge is repairing our facilities. The roof leaks, windows are broken, ceilings have fallen, and the building must be sealed to keep animals out. We must create secure meeting and storage space. We are excited about our potential. We want to expand our food pantry. As the pandemic lifts, we want to welcome more community groups dedicated to loving our neighbors and promoting justice in the streets. We are eager to invite our neighbors to re-discover worship and experience spiritual renewal. We are at the right place, we have the core desire, and real need surrounds us. Your help will make the difference. Your Mission Partners 100 gifts combined with our sweat equity, with both embedded in common prayer, will rejuvenate St. John’s Lutheran Church and make Christ known in the historic Springfield area.
Founded in 1877, St. John’s grew with Jacksonville, then experienced the decline many city churches had as people moved to the suburbs and highways carved out the impoverished areas left behind. Through ups and downs, the congregation has remained faithful to the gospel. Now the area is desirable again. St. John’s is here for those who remain and those who are moving in. We are the place where love pleads for all. We have the location in the neighborhood, the location in the gospel, and the location in our members. We need your prayers and support. Help us make this place truly a place where welcome is known and felt in Christ’s name.
Over the years Mission Partners 100 program has been able to make a difference in our congregations/new developments of the Florida-Bahamas Synod. Over the last two years these congregations have benefit from this wonderful program and a total of $29,488.90 has been raised:
- Atonement Lutheran Church, Wesley Chapel – Equipment for their Fellowship Hall.
- Zion Lutheran Church, Deerfield Beach -Restore and maintain their facilities.
- Immanuel Lutheran Church, Miami – Roof repairs for their sanctuary.
- The Community, ELCA, Babcock Ranch – Worshipping community building.
To support the MP100 appeal, please use the envelope enclosed in your MP100 letter with a check made out to the Florida-Bahamas Synod, OR visit our website homepage: https://fbsynod.com/ and click “Give Now!”.
Mission Partner 100 (MP100) FAQs
What is MP100?
MP100 is a synod campaign that invites donors to support specific projects for congregations designated by the Office of the Bishop. MP100 recipients are often congregations that have a specific construction or facility need related to their ministry priorities and vision for mission. The vision of MP100 is that if a large group of donors contribute $100 each, the funding available for specific projects increases. MP100 is an example of how we can be ‘church together for the sake of the world’ as the Florida-Bahamas Synod.
How do I contribute?
You can send in a donation to the synod office designated for “MP100”. You can also designate your electronic gift for MP100 through the “Give Now” link on the home page of the web site.
How are recipients chosen?
Each year, MP100 recipients are chosen in consultation between the Directors for Evangelical Mission and the Bishop. The recipient (congregation) is invited to submit a brief description of the target project that is then shared with the donor list.
How do I get onto the donor list?
You may send a note to Yuliet Garcia, Administrative Assistant to the DEMs (firstname.lastname@example.org), to request an MP100 letter. When you make a donation to MP100, you are automatically added to the list for following years.
Many Ways to Give
First, please give your prayer support, and then select which option works best for you.
Over the years Mission Partners 100 has expanded to include opportunities to give in addition to the central and primary $100 gift for those looking to empower mission development further in special circumstances called Mission Partners Plus.
Through Mission Partners Plus you can provide a second $100 gift:
- To the Mission Partner 100 current appeal!
- Other Developing Ministries
- For Multi-Cultural Development
- Evangelism Training Events
Go to https://fbsynod.com/ and click “Give Now!”. Designate your gift to one of the 3 MP100 categories:
- MP100 Current Appeal (provides support for specific project identified)
- MP100 Multicultural Development (provides support for any multicultural development ministry)
- MP100 Mission Development (provides support for any mission development ministry)
SPREAD the word about MP100 in your congregation: Speakers are available to come to your congregation and tell the Mission Partners 100 story and invite individuals from your congregation to become partners. E-mail Yuliet Garcia at email@example.com about your interest to schedule.