Pastoral Post 4.29.2016

(This post was included in the week’s “First Words.”)

It’s May—almost—and in the next few weeks there are many exciting services and opportunities. This Sunday you will not want to miss the Music Makers leadership in morning worship as they present “All God’s Children.” There will be two services only this Sunday—8:40 in the gym and 11:00 in the sanctuary. Don’t miss experiencing the incredible ministry of our children leading us in morning worship.

 Check details elsewhere, but upcoming are the Community Chorus Concert Sunday at 4:00; Mother’s Day/Festival of the Christian Home on May 8; Pentecost and reception of the confirmation class on May 15; Wilson preaching May 22; Becky Brown Preaching May 29; Community Impact Day June 4 (volunteer to help in a community agency!); and Pig Pickin’ on June 5. A special part of Pig Pickin’ this year will be our recognition of and expressions of gratitude for Central Elementary, its faculty and staff, its students and parents, as Central will close permanently at the end of the school term. We will miss our partner school!

 We have named Grady Wiley our Director of Audio Visual Ministries.Grady, who has been our associate youth director, will also be responsible for all of our audio-visual equipment and their use, including all worship services, special presentations and concerts, a-v needs of Sunday School classes and other groups, TV ministry, creation of digital media, etc. He will, of course, need volunteers to assist him. Having this person on staff will make communications and coordination flow smoothly, provide for good stewardship of resources, and help us operate with efficiency. We are grateful to Randy Nelson, who contracted his services to operate sound for the sanctuary services and some special services for the past several years.

 On Sunday David Brown, chair of our Human Resources or Staff-Parish Relations team, announced that Susan Giles will be appointed by our bishop as ½ time associate pastor effective July 1, when Hardy Tippett and Wilson Strickausen retire. Yes, Susan is my wife. Yes, sometimes clergy couples are appointed to the same church. Her primary responsibilities will be pastoral care, including working with the Congregational Care network of some 100 volunteers, and worship leadership. She has filled in on occasion for Wilson Strickhausen and has assisted with communion, so many of you have witnessed her worship leadership. As David said on Sunday, we have worked with the bishop and district superintendent and believe that Susan brings the gifts and graces to effectively fulfill the ministerial needs of this church. She and I are excited for this opportunity to serve the church together as part of our wonderful staff team.

 For some months, we have had a Master Plan team working with architects on plans for the church’s future ministry and resulting needs, including, but not limited to facilities. On May 18, in the Faith Classroom, following the Wonderful Wednesday meal (about 6:15), members of the Master Plan team will share some of what they have learned and give opportunity to interested persons to share their ideas, dreams, and understanding of God’s will for the future of First Church. All interested persons are welcome to participate.

 See You Sunday,


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