Many of you must have been praying this prayer last week before our Annual Meeting. I’m saying this because in a word last Sunday was a great day for EPUMC. And let me be clear this is not a memo that is trying to say, “you should have been there.” It’s just that so many great things happened, I want to tell you about it and remind those of us who were there that sometimes our prayers are answered in such an obvious way that it is important to claim God’s presence with us.
We had a great crowd on the coldest morning of the winter in worship. We began the day by singing, “I’m Going to Live so God Can Use Me.” Although we said we’d learn how to clap later, somebody just couldn’t wait and those of us who could were clapping, as they say, on 2 and 4 pretty loudly by the end of it all.
Most everyone stayed for the potluck that followed. Food is always a draw. And at the meeting Don, Deb and I introduced our theme for worship in 2016 which is….
FINDING OUR PLACE IN GOD’S STORY
BY BECOMING SERVANTS OF CHRIST.
One way we’re having a little fun with this is banning the word “volunteer” from our church vocabulary. I believe volunteers choose to do things from their skills (this is a good and needed thing); servants respond to a need out of their gifts. (This is what we are called to be as the body of Christ.) We are planning to collect $1 for every time I or anyone else utters that little dirty word “volunteer” and give it to some mission project. I already have a $10 bill in what somebody called the “cuss jar.”
If you’d like to read over the different reports, there is a booklet available in the church office. It has financials, information about our membership and our roster of elected leadership. We only printed 50 so hurry up they may go quickly. (smile)
Towards the end I encouraged us to change the way we measure ourselves this year. I suggested we
Be attentive to the time we spend as servants of Christ.
Find ways to tell our stories of being servants of Christ that inspire others.
Develop and begin at least one new “signature ministry” in addition to the community garden.
And then… then… we heard from the Capital Needs Team. The results of our Stewardship and Capital Needs Campaigns exceeded our expectations. We unanimously approve a motion to proceed with our Capital Needs Project to continue to Make Great Things Happen here by: Raising the Roof, Chilling Out and Pounding the Pavement. Work is beginning very soon to repair our roof, install air conditioning in several places in our facility including the fellowship hall, and repair the parking lot.
Last Sunday was a great day! Maybe we should keep praying before every Sunday…
“Gracious God, may the passion of your Holy Spirit burn bright on Sunday at EPUMC.”