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PONDERINGS OF PASTOR PAUL….
I am writing this message on the heels of another Annual Meeting. Many of my colleagues fear the yearly ritual in their churches when it comes time to their Annual Meetings. But me, being the Unique Pastor/Person that I am, actually love these meetings. And this year’s Annual Meeting was no different. The meeting was filled with great news, joy, celebration, reflection, and bold eye/direction towards the future.
As we celebrated our ministries and gave thanks for the past and new leadership, there was a special feeling in the air. A rush of expectancy and excitement about what is coming next could be felt. What I love about our ministry together is that we realize that there are new ministries and outreach opportunities waiting for Peace, and we face these possibilities with eyes wide open and with willing hands and hearts ready to do what needs to be done! So, thank you all for your passionate leadership and ministry.
More good news is that with our careful budgeting and planning we finished the 2013 year with a $187 positive balance (talk about careful planning)! What makes this financial ending so powerful is that in the beginning of 2013 we issued a challenge budget of $30,000 (deficit) so we could increase our support staff to provide the services needed to continue the growth of our congregation. We met our goal and YOU – YOU are the ones who made it happen. The exciting part is that we not only increased and met our budget, but our mission giving was exceptional as well.
We also shared what our next steps will be…. which leads us to the place where God is calling/leading us next. We are concluding the final part of our roofing project and the final components of the Air-Conditioning systems will be completed in a couple of weeks. The Air-Conditioning system will now allow us to have a central Air-conditioning system throughout the church. It has also eliminated our old AC units in the Fellowship Hall and Sanctuary and replaced them with quiet high-efficient systems. New ductwork has also been added to provide more consistent and effective systems.
We are also in the middle of securing an architectural firm who will provide direction for the final major components of our Master Vision Plan. The Implementation Team has been hard at work developing priorities and needs and collecting information to share. We are in the process of securing an architect to help us design a new entry/welcome center, new nursery area, make modifications to the Fellowship Hall, remodel the kitchen, remodel the basement area under the sanctuary, and provide air-handling systems for both basement areas (under Fellowship Hall and Sanctuary). In addition, the architect will be working with us on other minor remodeling areas.
The final component involves a greater expansion of our ministries and space to provide affordable-quality housing, childcare, and preschool. With this expansion of ministries comes a proposed expansion of our facilities. While nothing definitive has been identified in a building expansion, great thoughts and ideas are being shared to celebrate our future.
As all of the pieces of this plan come together, we will gather to educate, inform, and seek your final approval and support. To make this Vision – this Dream become a reality, a great commitment on the part of each one of us will be needed as we use our time-talents- and treasures to further the ministries of Peace in our community. This commitment will involve a Capital Funds Campaign that will be introduced and implemented later in 2014, and to have our GRAND CAPITAL FUNDS KICK-OFF in early 2015. But most importantly, it will involve a lot of PRAYERS and SUPPORT and BLESSINGS from each of you!
So, let’s Celebrate the ministries of PEACE UCC as we embody being a safe and inclusive church living God’s radical message. Thank you all for a great year!