06 February 2014

2013: The Year in Review by Pastor Jon Burnham

2013 was a year of growth in the life of St. John's Presbyterian Church in Houston. That growth was most evident in the four beautiful duplexes being constructed on our property on West Bellfort Avenue near Westbury United Methodist Church. The Single Parent Family Ministry is being built, financed and staffed by Presbyterian Children’s Home and Services (PCHAS), an outstanding partner in ministry. The homes are 
being built by Ryland Homes under the guidance of Home Aid Houston. New Covenant Presbytery is the other partner in this ministry. We look forward to the new ministries that may arise in the years ahead as we live into this new calling from God. 

Our church staff had a big transition this year as we lost the service of two faithful staff members. Curtis Brisch, our Financial Secretary, died on May 22, 2013. Curtis was tireless in his efforts to serve the congregation by keeping us financially grounded. After his death, Sally Shaw and Rebecca Amador took on the position of Interim Financial Secretary and we appreciate their faithful service.

Vivian Ivy, our Church Secretary for some 45 years, retired this fall due to health constraints. Vivian was an institution here with her deft pastoral care skills and organizational mind and depth of relationships. We look forward to honoring her for years of excellent service to St. John’s when she is feeling better.

We also gained a new staff member this year, Rev. Linda Herron, who volunteers her time and pastoral skills as our Parish Associate. Linda has blessed us with her preaching, singing, liturgical leadership, visitation and teaching. She has also helped fill some gaps in the church office and sings in the choir as well. We appreciate Linda’s pastoral leadership.

My time was spent serving as staff consultant for several committees: Administration and Personnel, Faith in Action, Property, Stewardship and Finance, and Worship. This work consisted of about 45 meetings, most of which were night meetings. As head of staff I led about 45 staff meetings and moderated about 14 Session meetings for a total of well over 100 meetings. I also led about 45 centering prayer meetings.

I enjoyed participating in the Southwest Ministerial Alliance and attended about 10 of their breakfast meetings and hosted one of them at our church. In the areas of pastoral care, teaching, and preaching, I made about 55 home visits, about 55 hospital visits and about 30 nursing home visits for a total of well over 100 visits in various locations around the city. I administered the Lord’s Supper about 12 times, conducted 2 memorial services, 1 baptism, 3 healing services, taught 45 adult classes, 2 officer training classes and preached about 46 sermons.

The Holy Spirit led a shift this year in the lives of many church members through the Unbinding the Gospel group studies. May God continue this movement toward deeper relationships and reaching out in mission to our community.