Mick’s Memo – A Look Back
This weekend we will have our annual meeting, with membership votes on the next budget, a new elder and a new auditor. We will also consider a year-end transfer of funds from the general fund to the building fund. I’d like to look back on God’s blessings and some notable events from our twentieth year as a church. There are many options!
The most outwardly obvious is the progress on our expansion. At this time last year it was just a shell. Today the roof of the existing church has been tied into the roof of the new lobby and that lobby has a floor, electrical and plumbing lines and nearly finished walls. Open spaces have been enclosed with windows and doorways. The planning team has adjusted our phasing so that occupation of the lobby is a very likely reality by the end of the fall. A godly and skilled superintendent of our project has been found and engaged. Volunteers have contributed hundreds of hours of effort on a variety of projects. Our fund-raising efforts included a golf tournament, the “envelope” reminders and the generous regular donations that have kept us on budget and brought us beyond the half-way point in the funding needed for the project. We engaged with The Center, a church consulting firm, to assess church health and gain insight about pastoral succession issues. The resulting information has helped us identify our strengths and some areas where we can gain more momentum through the implementation of a 3-year strategic plan. They provided me with a list of “gifts” to give to my eventual successor that I found very insightful.
Our staff restructured the membership seminar from “InRoads” to the “Welcome Home”, providing better access, a streamlined schedule and a new booklet. A new forum was developed called “Leadership Exchange” for training and connecting new and existing volunteer leaders. The hospitality and welcome teams continue to create a welcoming atmosphere for our guests and a new team of parking lot greeters were added to the mix. The Married Life team had fall and spring events here at the church and a “getaway” at a local hotel with guest speaker Mike Maurer providing a venue for marriage enrichment.
Kingdom Kids (supplemented with some very talented adults) did an inspiring presentation of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, reacquainting us with the unforgettable Herdmans. Our own Steve Case wrote and directed another inspiring Easter Musical, The Replacement, bringing the Scripture to life again with a great cast, pit band and tech team. Our “InBetween” after school program provided a safe, and spiritually wholesome environment for middle school students.
We welcomed many new families and individuals and said some sad goodbyes to friends who either relocated or were called home by the Lord. Multiple Life groups gathered to encourage one another, spend time studying and discussing the truth of the Scriptures and found ways to serve together. We celebrated believers’ baptism both in Oneida Lake and here at the church and had dedication services for several new arrivals.
God has inspired, empowered and guided our labors. We are blessed to be laboring together for Him in this corner of His field here in Central NY. I am personally grateful for the opportunity to serve as your pastor and to lead alongside the gifted and committed staff and elders. I look forward to seeing you this weekend for services and for the annual meeting as we look ahead to the plans God will unfold for the next year!
Looking forward to seeing you!