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Homecoming 2021

Dear Friends of St. John,

Greetings from the St. John Board of Directors! We are excited to share with you plans for the 2021 homecoming and update you on several capital improvement projects for the coming year.

The service is scheduled for August 15 at 11:00 am. During the service we will be observing Virginia Department of Health guidelines for personal safety that are in effect at that time. After the service we encourage each family to bring their own picnic lunch. Folding chairs, tables, and bottled water will be provided, but please feel free to bring your own comfortable chairs and shelters.

We would like to welcome our preacher this year, Pastor Amy Wagner. She was the last Vicar at Holy Trinity with Pastor Steve Ridenhour from 2014-2015. She graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettsyburg in 2017, as the last class before it became United Lutheran Seminary, and she was ordained on June 2, 2017. Pastor Amy resides in Carlisle, PA with her husband Andy and their two year old son Luke. She serves as Chaplain of Spirit Trust Lutheran in Gettysburg and Chambersburg, PA. In the summer Pastor Amy enjoys visiting her parents at Smith Mountain Lake. We are honored to have her preach at the St. John homecoming service.

Our window project is moving forward, slowly but surely. The plan is for the windows to be built, one at a time, by a restoration specialist using the original glass panes and custom tooling designed to follow the foundational guidelines. Hopefully you will see some results of the work at the service. A special window fund has been set up for this project.

The wet weather of the past two years has brought to the forefront the drainage issue we have on the southwestern corner of the property. While these wet weather springs were a blessing to the early Lutheran travelers that first camped here, they pose a problem to today's groundskeepers. A local company has been contracted to solve the problem.

The board was recently informed that the family owned business that had been mowing and trimming the cemetery for the past twenty years can no longer continue to do so. We would like to thank the Hurst family for their work and dedication to the St. John grounds over the past years. We are currently in the process of locating a qualified replacement and do not foresee any interruption in service. As it is with most things nowadays, we would anticipate an increase in costs associated with this change.

This past year has been difficult for many of us and the St. John Board is no exception. With the passing of Dayne Umberger and Jean Davis, our community lost two dedicated board members that will be remembered forever in our hearts. We give thanks for the time we were allowed to know and work with them. They will be missed.

Thanks to all the annual and memorial gifts shared, St. John continues to be a place of spiritual encouragement and comfort, natural beauty, and historic importance. Gifts of any size are vital to the maintenance of this beloved place. We invite you to consider making a contribution to St. John with the enclosed envelope. This coming year, we will undertake the window replacement as well as continue the historic preservation of headstones. We welcome questions, suggestions, and feedback in relation to the care of St. John's property.

A 2016 revised and updated edition of the St. John Lutheran Cemetery Survey and index for burial plots are still available for $10.00 (plus shipping) by contacting the Holy Trinity Church office at 276-228-2171.

In closing, we thank God for all the saints who have passed before us bearing witness to the Gospel in this place. As we reflect upon their faithful witness to Christ, may we also renew our commitment to share the good news of Godís love in Jesus Christ.