Can you believe we have already reached the mid-point of the year? I, for one, keep checking the calendar to see how it can possibly be August already!
At the beginning of the year during our Gathering, we reviewed our ministry as a church and set three goal areas to focus on in 2019. As we turn the corner toward the second half of the year, it seems a good time to assess how we are doing. Our three goal areas were:
Nurture: Focus on intergenerational ministry
Outreach: Increase community engagement
Witness: Share the Gospel and talk about our church
So. What have we done so far this year in these areas?
First of all let’s look at intergenerational ministry. While our congregation continues to consist predominantly of retirement aged persons, we are integrating young people into our life together as we have the opportunity. One of the major ways we witnessed this coming to fruition this year was in our confirmation class. Christian education for young people will continue to be a priority this fall as I begin a new class series with the youth to continue to help them grow in their faith. And of course, young people are participating in worship each week in a very special way as they carry out their acolyte duties. We need to continue to prayerfully prepare for a future that includes younger families and children as we look to the future of our congregation.
In the second area of focus, outreach, we set a goal to increase community engagement. Honestly, friends, we have knocked this one out of the park. In the past few months we have initiated and continued a number of ministries in and alongside our surrounding communities. Mission Sunday was a great success. We have continued our support of the Greenback Food Pantry; we have continued out prayer blanket ministry; we have begun a new partnership with Madisonville Presbyterian Church to participate in their potluck supper that feeds the less fortunate of the community; we have begun a new partnership with True Purpose Ministries, coming alongside that organization in its efforts to assist those who are in recovery from addiction; we are continuing to develop in-reach and outreach programs for veterans in our congregation and community; we are continuing to partner with Cub Scout Pack 714 as a community ministry; and we are preparing to launch a grief recovery group. This is incredibly exciting stuff and I am so grateful for the way everyone has responded to this goal of increasing community engagement.
Finally, in the area of witness, we set a goal to share the Gospel and talk about our church. In this area, we have installed a new digital sign on Highway 72; we have continued to stream our services on Facebook (with quite a large audience watching throughout the week); we have been following up with visitors; our special events have been drawing great crowds; and we are preparing a new marketing campaign and video that we hope to release early this fall. Stay tuned for more information on how you can participate in some of our future witness efforts.
Friends, this has been a great year so far and we have accomplished a ton of great work. And through all of it, we have continued to engage in vibrant worship on Sunday mornings, had great conversation and learning during our Bible study sessions, and continued our faithfulness in giving of our time and treasure to support he work of the church. I am grateful for each and every one of you, and for the ways you have all stepped out in faith to make this year so fruitful.
As we look toward the rest of 2019 let’s pray together that God will continue to lead us to do his will in our lives, in our church, and in our community.