The Grace Overflowing campaign will raise $750,000 to renew our worship space, extend the welcome and increase accessibility of St. John’s to all generations.

Specifically, in order to continue to provide a welcoming and safe space for worship and community gatherings we will use $600,000* to meet multiple capital and deferred maintenance needs for our historic, but aging structure and property.  The range of these needs includes maintaining the structural integrity both inside and outside of our building, replacing our cooling system, and refurbishing and updating our interior gathering spaces.

Your prayers and generous financial support of Grace Overflowing will fund the following needs:

Good Shepherd Window

  • $30,000 for preserving the historic Good Shepherd Stained Glass window
    • The Good Shepherd stained glass window is truly one of the gems of St. John’s. Currently, the window is sagging and pulling away from the building.  If we don’t address and fix the window we risk, likely within the year, the window completely pulling away from the building.  At best, this will cause major cracks in the window, at worst, the window will shatter.

Deferred maintenance needs:

  • $150,000 for tuck pointing/caulking and brick wash of first addition to prevent moisture from entering the interior of the building and causing major damage to inside walls and systems
  • $85,000 for replacing the aging air conditioner and upgrading thermostat controls
    • The air conditioning unit is over 30 years old and has surpassed its predicted lifespan of 20 years. New, programmable thermostats will increase energy efficiency and zone control of spaces.
    • While comfort of the sanctuary during the hot summer months is important, it is critical for the proper functioning of the organ that we have adequate cooling and humidity control. Our Dobson organ is the single most valuable item in the building, and can last for centuries if well cared for. But it can be permanently damaged by the changes in cooling and heating, just as any other woodwork such as pews, paneling, carving or pictures.  The wood and leather of the organ absorb moisture and swell if they are damp; they shrink and crack if the atmosphere is too dry.  If the air conditioning fails we risk great damage to this precious treasure of music and tradition at St. John’s.

Fellowship Hall needs:

  • $100,000 for replacing the flooring and windows
    • The Fellowship Hall is an important and needed space that supports our children, youth and family ministries, quilters and a gathering space for community organizations. The floor sits on dirt, and beetles and moisture have caused rotting of the stringers and wood floor.  The single pane windows in the Fellowship Hall are inefficient and it is difficult to control the heating and cooling of the room.

Sanctuary and Narthex Needs:

  • $17,000 to repair cracks in plaster and paint sanctuary walls.
  • $42,000 to refinish pews.
    • The pews are solid and well built. Sandblasting, staining and varnishing the pews will allow the pews to be used to welcome parishioners for the next 150 years.
  • $6,000 for upgrading the lighting in the Narthex
    • The narthex is a place of welcome, a gathering space that both prepares us for worship and sends us out do the work of Christ in our community. Upgrading the lighting in the Narthex to include new energy efficient fixtures and LED lights extends our welcome, our sending out, and helps us be good stewards of our resources.


  • $36,000 for replacing the furniture in the Commons.
    • The Commons area is a place of welcome, gathering and communion with others. Replacing the furniture will create a warm and inviting environment and exhibit care and pride with which we welcome our neighbors and community to receive the grace of God.

St. John’s Hall

  • $24,000 to replace the carpet and paint St. John’s Hall.
    • John’s Hall is one of the most used rooms in all of Northfield. Not only do the members of St. John’s gather weekly in the Hall, community groups from Just Food Co-op to the Boy Scouts use the hall for their gatherings and meetings.  The carpet in the hall is worn and beginning to fray in many places and the walls need to be refreshed to become a more welcoming environment.


  • $10,000 to improve directional communication and a clear sense of welcome. Because there have been many additions to the original building, it sometimes feels like a maze to visitors (and even long time St. John’s members) to find their way around.  Where’s the Undercroft?  Where’s the Children’s Ministry office?  Where is the movie theater?  It is critical that we have signage in place to welcome the stranger into our midst and make them feel comfortable within our building.

Commissioning of music and art

  • $40,000 for the commissioning of special music and art to celebrate the past 150 years of being a leader in creating works of music and art for the wider church. We are the founding congregation of the St. Olaf Choir and from inside our walls has come the inspiration to many composers and artists to share the love of God to the world through singing, playing and creating magnificent works of art.  We have a storied tradition in sacred music and art that deserves to be celebrated and shared with others.

*The $600,000 need is based on project cost estimates received in 2017.  The church council, executive committee, and staff have gone through a comprehensive and thoughtful process to identify the most pressing needs and estimate of costs.  An additional $60,000 is built into the campaign to address the potential of increase in estimates and any unforeseen needs that may arise from the above projects.