By Pastor Bill
We’re halfway through the year and so I thought it would be a good time to look back over the first 6 months of 2017 and address some of the positives and some of the concerns here at the halfway point.
2 people were baptized in 2016. So far this year 17 have been baptized with 4 more being baptized this weekend. 21 Baptisms is something to rejoice about…and we are!
In 2016 our Sunday morning average attendance declined by 70. Though the rate of decline has slowed, our Sunday morning attendance continues to go down. This year our Sunday morning attendance has declined by 22. Last year at the end of June our average attendance for the year was 785. This year we stand at 763.
At the halfway point of the year our giving has increased by $12,272 over last year at this time.
The change that was made in regards to each sermon series has met with positive feedback. This year each pastor does an entire series of his own rather than have a different pastor preaching each week. There is more continuity within each series and the feedback we have received has been positive.
Our search for a Youth Director continues. Because we have not yet filled this position, we have not been able to move Pastor Shaun into the vacancy created by Pastor Adam’s departure last fall. Being short-staffed, we (the pastors) are concerned about whether we are giving the level of care that our lay leaders and congregation deserves.
The addition of Josh Roach to the staff has been helpful in a number of areas. Josh has been instrumental in bringing about numerous technical improvements in the area of worship. He has been intentional about giving people opportunities to become involved in Worship Ministry, and has provided valuable input to the pastors each week as sermons are prepared for the upcoming worship services. The learning curve continues for Josh and for us, and we are thankful for the contributions he has brought thus far.
Back in January at Annual Council we acknowledged that our purpose as a church had become somewhat muddled and murky. What do we believe, why are we here, what are we about? I would think that from your perspective not much has changed. But I will say that your Church Board has been devoting a significant amount of time in working on defining what we believe and what we are about. This work will continue – with your involvement – throughout the rest of the year. In the meantime, let’s look to grow in our awareness of His love for us, and share His love with others by caring for them and helping to meet their needs.
Here in 2017 two young women from our congregation have heard and responded to God’s call to serve abroad. Hailee Martin is currently serving in Mozambique and Caitlin Recard will begin serving in Kenya in just a few weeks. We are thrilled to be able to partner with Hailee and Caitlin by providing prayer and financial support for the two of them.
Surely there are other positive things that come to your mind, as well as other concerns. I would like to hear from you, so please take the time to email me Your Positives and Your Concerns from the first 6 months of 2017.
Thanks for reading!