Two years ago, in the summer of 2012, our church began a process of examining where we had come from, who we were, and what we hoped to be and become together. We determined our priorities, and set short and long term goals. Some of the early fruits of our labors were fixing the outside signboard light, creating a place in the sanctuary for children and families to feel more at ease in the service, and fixing the stage curtain downstairs. Long range plans were set in motion; schedules and rides were set up to make sure our seniors were able to get to and from services. Weekly after-church refreshments / coffee hour became a priority, and several cycles of dinner groups have met. (Have you signed up to sit down and to meet and eat together?) We enjoyed a Harvest Fest with cakewalks, blood pressure screening, chair massage, hula hooping and more. A little free library was built (replete with solar cells and an illuminated diorama dais), installed, and remains stocked and patronized. Online and automatic donation options have been set up, making it easier for people to contribute to our ministries. In 2013, edible gardens were plotted and planted; they are already showing yields, again, in 2014.
Our longer range projects are beginning to manifest. In order to reduce our heating costs, the church agreed to close off the area above the balcony. In order to be good stewards of both heat and money, we determined to raise the required funds in advance, and set June 1, 2014 as our goal. We fully met that aim through a bequest given to maintain our site and funds raised by church members. Thanks to all who made all of this possible through your contributions of prayer, time, imagination, and resources.
Construction is set to begin on the balcony project August 11 and projected to be complete by August 28. We plan to worship outside (weather permitting) the two Sundays there will be scaffolding in the sanctuary. Volunteers will be needed in advance to stain the panels that will complete the façade of the project. We will be staining the wood in the basement before the August 11 start time. Stay tuned for more information on this aspect of the project.
All of these endeavors, short and long range, and those still yet to come, have been possible because of your willingness to serve, dream, pray, and contribute. It is a joy to work together to live into our common mission as the church, where we, as Christians from different racial, ethnic, cultural and denominational backgrounds worship in the Baptist traditions, and are united as brothers and sisters by accepting Jesus. God calls us all to be ministers to the liberation, forgiveness, healing, and new life available through Jesus Christ, and we are living proof that Jesus Christ is our peace, who makes strangers into friends, breaks down dividing walls and builds up real persons.
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