Reflections from this past month almost take my breath away. The continued opportunities for service and worship, the many activities that are occurring and the fellowship in which we all are engaged, leads me to know that we are a strong and vibrant church. Are we all that we can be? No, but who is? This I know is true: we are a people following Christ and serving our Lord. Just look around, read the bulletin, check this newsletter-all ages have something that involves learning, leading, and serving.
Your Deacon body continues to do all three. At our last Deacon meeting, we addressed and approved the application of our church for an IRS determination letter confirming our exempt status as a 501(c)3. Although our church has had that status for a long time, we needed an official documentation to allow us to make some significant savings with our Google services, Microsoft Software, and computer purchases.
The Deacons approved a new ministerial evaluation protocol, one that is much shorter and reflective of the ministry plans outlined by our ministers. A similar evaluation protocol will be used with the office/sexton staff, although it will have different components due to the nature of the differences between the responsibilities of ministerial and non-ministerial staff.
The Deacon subcommittee formed last year to study and develop a Facilities Use Policy and Fee Guidelines based on research from other churches and input from our facilities manager, administrator and ministers was presented and approved. This Policy and Fee Guidelines will be presented at the business meeting on May 23.
The Finance Committee presented their giving analysis that was shared with the congregation at their Lunch and Learn on Sunday, April 22. For those of you who, upon reading this, were not able to attend, please call the church office. A copy of the PowerPoint presentation will be available as well as a DVD should you rather view the entire presentation.
The Deacons approved a request from your Deacon Chair to move our Stewardship Emphasis to September of this year rather than October. This will allow the Finance Committee adequate time to review our stewardship results and offer a budget recommendation that allows us to be fiscally responsible and sustainable into 2019 and beyond. They also approved a request to close the office on Friday, May 4.
We continue to be blessed by worship services that include our baby dedications. Eleanor Whitehead was lovingly affirmed and embraced by our congregation on April 22. These dedications and our baptisms are truly two of the most beautiful traditions of our faith.
Your Deacon body continues to give thanks for the many volunteers that work with our ministers to develop and implement the countless programs, activities, services that are a part of our church life. Every one of you is deeply appreciated for all that you have done and all you continue to do. Your faithful attendance and stewardship have allowed us to navigate through transition and embrace our future. As we close out April and look forward to our, most usually, beautiful May, perhaps we need to echo the familiar Derby refrain, "AND THEY'RE OFF"...off to a future that is in God's hands and in our hearts.
Blessings to you all,