With the long awaited and over-the-top successful 40th Anniversary behind us, we set our eyes on the next decade. Planning for ten years may be a bit much, but focusing on what we can do in the next three years may be more achievable. Some of those changes we will see in the next year. God is already there. One real change that will soon take place is the raising of the cell tower. In the next two to three weeks construction will begin to place the tower on the back of our property. We will be receiving a check for just over $900 for August and beginning in September we will receive a check for $1500 each month to be applied as extra principal to our monthly mortgage payment. This will allow us to pay off our mortgage in late 2023. Retiring the mortgage will free us from a $9000 monthly payment from that day forward. This past month we took a swipe at getting the parking lot sealed. Unfortunately we ran into some bumps with the company we were planning to use. We also learned that the best time to seal a parking lot is when temperatures are warmer. Since we are anticipating the building of the tower and entering into the fall season of cooler evenings we will be delaying the work until until next summer. We are still committed to seeing this work done and feel good about the direction we are going with this improvement.
Changes to our children and youth ministry are slowly being made. This fall we changed our fall retreat into a lock in and trip to the city to serve the hungry. It received great reviews. Next, we have a ski trip planned for the beginning of next year. Can I say everyone wants to go?
We are also making use of new technological tools when scheduling acolytes. We are hoping this will empower the youth in service. In addition, a room previously used for storage has been converted to a practice room for the youth band. This change was made so the musicians would be in close proximity to the rest of the planning team. The shift should aide collaboration when planning services. The change has immediately improved the number of youth wanting to be part of this group. So, as we continue to make changes we hope to see more kids and youth participating. What you cannot see is some behind the scenes changes. Last week Kathryn Gibbs (our volunteer Financial Secretary) and staff member Janice Aldridge, Parish Administrator, pulled the trigger purchasing a new church management system software in hope to better serve this congregation.
We recently upgraded our internet service to Comcast and with the help of Donald Aldridge, we will see new changes to the network infrastructure and ultimately we will have a dependable and secure Wi-Fi signal throughout the church. These changes may take a few months and some of them may not directly touch you, but from where we sit in the office, life will run a lot smoother and make it easier for us to effectively minister. One big change that will touch us all is Laura Bryant’s retirement next May. While this may make us all feel sad, we are also aware of God presence with us and believe He will direct us in this transition. In fact, we learned from our anniversary celebration that this congregation has under gone lots of change and transition in 40 years. God has ALWAYS been with us and we still serve him today. NOW, you can help with this change. We are looking at every lead that we get to consider for her position. If you have any leads for a new keyboardist and choir director, please pass those on to us. We will consider all possibilities. Your eyes and ears could really make a difference in our search. There is never time to sit. God calls us forward into the future. We will always be in transition. Your staff and church council are always listening to your ideas and are open to those we can implement. We had a great time looking back on 40 years, but now we look together to many more years of serving God every day we rise.
In His Service, Pastor Mitchell