The Church Board meets on the second Tuesday of every month, and as Board chair, I look to provide the congregation a summary report of what was discussed and what action was taken. This week we met in-person (in the Chapel) for the first time since March.
After opening with prayer and approving the minutes of the July Board meeting, we received various REPORTS starting with an update from Church Treasurer Ron Strite. Ron reported that we ended the month with $62,000 in our General Fund (up from $59,000 at the end of July).
I was able to provide the Board with an update in regard to attendance/views of our corporate worship services. We resumed “in-person” services 8 weeks ago, and since then we have been averaging 62 at our 8:00 service and 100 at the 10:30 service. This is about 30% of what had been our normal Sunday average, which appears to be consistent with what other churches across the country are experiencing. In addition, we have averaged 51 views of the 8:00 live stream service, with an average of 75 views for the 10:30 service. We know that many of these views include multiple family members.
It was also reported that 153 we able to attend the outdoor service held this past Saturday evening. We received very positive feedback from those who attended, and so we are planning on doing this again sometime in the latter part of September. Finally, it was reported that we will be receiving communion at the conclusion of both services on August 30th. The church has purchased individually packaged Communion elements that will be handed out as people enter the Auditorium that morning.
After receiving all of these reports, we then moved on to two ACTION ITEMS.
First, the Board voted to contribute $3,500 to Fairview Avenue School for the purchase of five carbonite tables which would be used when taking students outside the school building. The school has a goal of 25 tables and is approaching various churches/organizations in the community for support.
Second, at last month’s meeting, the board discussed changing the titles of both Chris and Brady from “Director” to “Pastor.” As stated in last month’s report to the congregation, both Chris and Brady have assumed and carried out a broad scope of responsibilities ever since they joined the staff in the later part of 2019. Both are actively pursuing further education in the credentialing process. Therefore, on Tuesday evening the Board voted and made official this change in their titles. This does not mean that the Board would not be hiring Directors in the future, as various factors will be taken into account when such a decision is made.
We concluded the Board meeting with a broad discussion of how best to move forward in the short term, with an eye on the long term, as we continue to deal with the impact of COVID19. For the past 8 weeks, our opportunity to gather has been limited primarily to the two worship services held every Sunday morning. We have recognized that while this affords adults the opportunity to gather, we need to take steps to allow opportunities for everyone in our church family to participate in the life of the church.
Therefore, starting next Sunday, August 23rd, Pastor Brady, youth leaders, and our youth will resume gathering, meeting in the Student Ministry Center from 10:30 till 11:30.
Beginning Sunday, September 13th, children in kindergarten through 5th grade will be invited to leave the Auditorium halfway through the service and gather in the Children’s Wing from 11:00 until 11:30 for a lesson and other activities led by Pastor Chris and a team of volunteers. We believe it will be great to have the children worshipping Jesus with us for the first half of the service, and are glad they will have the opportunity to gather with friends and learn about Jesus during the second half.
In addition to these opportunities for our youth and our children, some of our adults are making plans to resume gathering for class in early September. For example, it appears likely that the Golden Link Class will resume meeting in the Chapel, most likely from 9:15 to 10:15 so that people can join in regardless of which service they attend. The staff will be working to determine appropriate locations for any and all discipleship groups that wish to gather during this open time block between services.
As always, if you have any questions or are interested in further details on any of the discussions listed above, please feel free to contact me (Pastor Bill), or Pastor Shaun, who serves as co-chair, or any member of the Church Board.
Your Church Board consists of:
Staff: Bill Shank, Shaun Kipe (Note: Ray, Chris, and Brady attend and participate in the Board meetings, but only the chair and co-chair are able to vote)
Congregational Representatives (elected at Annual Council): Chris Bumbaugh, Peggy Dawson, Brian Egolf, Sandy Gray, Harvey Payne, Angie Petersheim, Jean Showalter, Lin Yoder
Deacon Representative: Ed Herald
Church Treasurer: Ron Strite
Recording Secretary: Christina Martin (non-voting)
Please visit the Five Forks Church website (FFBIC.org) and click on About Us and then Church Board to get additional information regarding the Board.