Building Relationships

“More than ever in our lifetimes, we are being called to minister in those places that we can actually influence — to the people God has physically placed next door to us, across the street, around the corner.” — The Rev. Dr. R. Leigh Spruill

This past May, we launched a new neighborhood ministry, focused on building relationships with other people at St. John the Divine who live in the same areas. Led by a group called the SJD Champions, this ministry is driven by our collective need to be in caring relationships with other people. Everyone in our church family has been assigned a Champion in their area. The Champion acts as a hub for their group by organizing group gatherings and meetups. It has been amazing to witness the relationships that are forming and deepening through these groups. One of our parishioners, Cody Mayo, has found his group meetings very meaningful:

“Pandemic restrictions really interfered with our church routine. We were lost like Moses with the Israelites in the desert! Fortunately, St. John’s quickly embraced modern technology, and we adapted to watching the services on Sunday mornings. However, we really missed the physical building and the fellowship of interacting with other church members. When we heard about the local gatherings, it felt like our church family was emerging from hibernation. Our entire family really enjoyed the Champions group event meeting for Zone 13 at the Griffins’ house, and I can’t wait to meet up with those same folks again soon.”

We are so excited to see what this ministry continues to have in store for our church family in the coming season. Our wish is for everyone to have a connection with a neighborhood group so they can build relationships with members of our church family in their area.


If you haven’t heard from a Champion or have questions about this ministry, contact Tori Gilliand or Kim Jameson.

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