Last October, we gathered as a church to give everyone an update about how we were doing as a church and our plans for the future. It was, in a way, like the family sitting down at the kitchen table for a conversation where we check in about how people are feeling, share some information about the church, and ask some questions of each other. Please accept the invitation of the Trustees to our next church-wide gathering which is set for Sunday, February 17 following the 10:00 a.m. worship service.
We have made great progress on the goals we articulated at our first meeting. In some respects, these goals were created long before I knew much about the church. It is has been a pleasure to work on these priorities with you. Here are just three examples:
- We wish to do a better job of extending a warm welcome to a wide variety of people in our community; welcoming all into our common life. We now have in place a group of volunteers who are meeting regularly and working to help us welcome visitors and guests, and those who are re-entering the church.
- We seek to be better organized to offer pastoral care for people in a variety of situations. We have put in place a team of volunteers, the “Pastoral Care Partners,” who are now meeting with staff every two weeks to coordinate this effort.
- We seek to create a service of worship where the Gospel comes alive through word and music, and where people of different ages and with a variety of backgrounds can fully participate. Our staff team meets weekly to plan well-coordinated worship services.
On Sunday the 17th, we will gather for another “kitchen table” conversation after worship, at 11:30 in the dining room (child-care will be available). This time around, we will talk together in more depth about the initiatives which are helping us be a more vibrant and faith-filled congregation. During this meeting we will also open up a conversation about the budget for the 2013/2014 fiscal year. Together we will learn how we can support and grow the ministry of First Congregational Church. This will be a great time to ask questions and share ideas. This conversation will prepare the way for the upcoming person-to-person stewardship campaign. Once the campaign is complete (in May) we will gather again to vote on a budget that matches our expenses with our income.
In addition to the meeting on February 17, all are welcome to join us at the Prudential Committee (4:30 p.m.) and Trustee (7:30 p.m.) meetings on Tuesday, February 12 as we prepare for the Congregational Meeting on February 17.
Thank you to everyone for your support and interest.
May the peace of Christ be with you.
Rev. Peter Cook