At its May meeting this week, the St. John’s Vestry warmly received two important documents from the Faith in Action Committee. The first, a white paper entitled St. John’s COVID-19 Response and Beyond outlines how St. John’s can pivot to become more nimble, responsive, and unified in our response to our community’s heightened needs during the pandemic. As the document notes, the ground is shifting quickly under our feet – and the post-COVID world will be different, too. As an organization, we need to retool so that we can lean more fully into our roles of disciples of Christ.
I encourage you to read the document, which is available if you click here.
Second, the Vestry approved a letter to go out this week on St. John’s letterhead and signed by the rector and wardens to Montgomery County Council members. They are currently debating the budget for post-COVID Montgomery County. The essential debate centers on whether the County should regard our future with fiscal austerity or consider using reserves to address many of the social and economic inequities. Our letter supports the latter approach. We believe that ignoring the very real needs in our community will only exacerbate the widening gulf between haves and have nots in our community for years. We want our county leadership to hear our voices.
I am delighted to attach a link to the letter from St. John’s here.
I have one last thing to ask of you: Please consider writing your own letter to the County Council. It will take three minutes or less if you click on this link.
In the box asking you to describe your issue, you can use the following if you would like:
We urge the Council to include plans and funds for the post-COVID recovery in the FY21 budget. It is worth dipping into the budget reserves, if necessary, to support these programs, as you did earlier this month to help food insecurity in the region. As a community of faith, we believe the budget and subsequent appropriations should reflect who we are as a county and what we value. Countless county residents are being left behind and may never recover from the consequences of the pandemic. What we do, how we plan, and how we prioritize our funds should reflect our love and care for all of our neighbors, especially those that need help to make ends meet, and then to grow and flourish after this crisis passes.
Our voices joined together as a church and as individual citizens can make a difference! It is what we are called to do. And it is important to do it now.
Thank you, St. John’s, for all the fine work that you are doing!
Chair, Faith in Action Committee