Dear Members and Friends,
Greetings in the name of the One who calls us into the community for which we were created, by whose Son we are redeemed and forgiven for our sins, and by whose Holy Spirit we are sustained! Great is God’s faithfulness…
To me, the fall season has always felt more like a new beginning than January 1! September has always marked the start of a new school year, and September marks the beginning, or resuming, at least, of church programs and ministries. As I write this, the barely-organized chaos of September is swirling about me, to which the piles on my office table attest! There is much to lift up to God in thanks in the midst of this season of new beginnings.
In September, we welcomed Bob Dusek as our new Praise Team Leader, as we wish the best to Rocky Draper, who served us so faithfully in that position for nearly two years before resigning from the role in August. Bob is the Director of Music and Worship Arts at Family Life Network, and we are blessed by his leadership. Our Sunday School program is growing! This year, we have added a new Middle School and High School Sunday School class, and are making plans to add a second Adult Sunday School class.
Efforts are well underway to further increase the vitality of our church and our ministry and missions. In May, our church was been invited by Bishop Mark Webb to participate in a newly defined Conference-sponsored process designed to increase church vitality. We are one of the first several churches invited to participate in Team Vital, as it is called. It is a process designed to offer already-vital churches support in their efforts to become even more vital. A team for this exciting opportunity has been meeting since June. The team affirmed that our church’s current mission statement reflects who we are and what we are about: “We prayerfully and lovingly: invite and welcome people into a relationship with God; grow and equip one another as devoted followers of Jesus Christ; care for and serve others, both locally and throughout the world, by the power of the Holy Spirit.” The team is now defining specific projects aimed at increasing our vitality in one or more of five areas – worship, making new disciples, implementing small groups, mission, and giving. More will be shared about these projects in the weeks to come.
Some of what I am learning in the Team Vital process is to look with new eyes at much of what we plan and do in the life of our worship experiences and our ministries – to look with new eyes and ask very intentional questions. I’d like to leave you with what is, in my humble opinion, one of the best of those intentional questions – “Is this [fill in the blank] ministry for a reason, or a season, or a lifetime?” And depending on the answer to that question, what should happen next?
Great is God’s faithfulness...May God continue to bless this faith community as together we strive to live truly in and as God’s community and as Christ’s Church!
Together in Christ’s Love and Service,
Pastor Eleanor Collinsworth