Three to four times each year, our congregation informally gathers for an update on how important aspects of our life together are going, usually during the School of Discipleship hour. These “Town Meetings” are, in essence, progress reports. How is God blessing us? Where are we in terms of our vision and goals? Are there needs for adjustments and changes?
The goal of these meetings is not primarily business, though it may seem that way. The desire is to create deeper community. We hear more of what is happening from the leadership’s perspective and there is an invitation for the rest of the congregation to ask questions and make comments. In the end, we want everyone to gather together to pray for wisdom and for God’s providence to work things out for his glory. Sometimes all of that happens at the moment. But the desire for interaction and prayer is an ongoing invitation and need for all of us to be the body Christ wants us to be.
This past Sunday’s meeting carried several important messages. Tim Gorbey, who has been serving as our CrossRoads ministry leader (young adults), will add Jr. High youth leadership to his current roles for this coming year. Tim starts this new role officially on July 1, though he’ll probably be involved in a more informal level here in June.
We also heard a summary of our current financial situation. It is normal for giving to trail the budget at this time of year. But the deficit is larger this year than usual, and we are encouraged to give generously and regularly over the summer.
Much of our focus is on the search for a lead pastor who will succeed Ron when he retires next summer. The search committee gave a summary of their progress to this point. They are looking carefully into four candidates at the moment on whom they will continue to gather data and interview. When the committee is at the point of unanimously recommending a candidate, that candidate will meet with the elders, their spouses, the staff, and a focus group or two before coming before the congregation as a whole. That candidate will also preach a sermon.
The search committee believes they are on schedule to recommend someone by December. There were questions, including some on the evaluation of candidates both from Biblical qualifications as well as from a practical viewpoint. Then we broke down into small groups to pray.
Please continue to pray for us as we move through this important time in our church’s history.