What will the community of St. John look like in 25 years? It’s hard to imagine—just as it would have been hard for those first six families of St. John back in 1997 to imagine how our community today would look. However there are some things we can envision as we look with anticipation toward our shared future…
Our beloved bookstore, that bastion of Orthodoxy, will continue to be a magnet for seekers and inquirers, offering the eternal wisdom which this present age painfully lacks. Visitors will be introduced to our family in Christ—Panagia and the saints—and be nourished by “the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:2-3)
As our community moves toward its 50th year, the warmth and receptivity of our people will remain—by God’s grace. St. John’s will grow more mature—finding its permanent home and constructing the permanent church—yet the people who make St. John what it is will still be here, cheerfully greeting visitors and engaging in conversation during fellowship. And they will have their task before them! As the dedicated House of God rises from the ground, it will draw even more people, spiritually hungry and wearied by the world. When the doors open and the church is consecrated, streams of people will flow through the doors, to drink from the pure, life-giving spring of the Church.
Sadly, in 25 years, unless our society makes a dramatic turn from its present course, there will be more confusion, more delusion, and more temptation in the world around us. Yet God is victorious, so despite—and through—these evils in our society, He will be drawing countless souls into the Ark of Salvation, the Holy Orthodox Church. We must be ready! This is, in fact, the primary reason why we are relentlessly moving toward the construction of a beautiful and God-pleasing church: because the storm-tossed need a refuge! (This is why the largest part of the church building is called the nave—it is a ship that saves those who are drowning!)
In 25 years, the facilities at 14485 SW Walker Road will likely have been demolished, as some new building will replace the walls that have contained our community for so many years. But our wistful nostalgia for these familiar walls will be pacified by the new walls and dome rising over our permanent spiritual home. St. John’s will fulfill its purpose—its telos—when we have a dedicated and consecrated church.
In the coming months, continue to pray fervently for God to guide us in our search. We know that He has a plan for us to put down our roots, we just don’t yet know when and where.
God willing, in the next few weeks we will see the first drawings from Andrew Gould, our architect, so that we can visualize the one-day future home of St. John.
May God guide us, protect us, and strengthen us by His grace!