Hello Brothers & Sisters,
Advent officially begins this Sunday! As I said in my most recent message, let’s leave some space for God to speak to our hearts during this special time of year.
The sanctuary has been decorated for the holiday season and we’re preparing for a meaningful sermon series called, God is Coming. If you didn’t grow up in a congregation that followed the church calendar, Advent is the season that Christians anticipate the coming of Christ and his Kingdom on the earth—first when he came in a lowly manger, but also when he will come again in the future. This means that we live in the middle of two comings. We refer to this in-between time as “the already, but not yet” of the Kingdom of God.
In our Advent 2018 series, God is Coming, we will reflect on what biblical scholars call inaugurated eschatology, and celebrate the signs that the Kingdom is already in our midst. On top of inspiring worship and encouraging sermons, we will also be hearing testimonies of how God is at work in the lives of people in our congregation. Please join us for worship over the next four weeks as we take this hopeful journey toward Christmas. This Sunday morning we will kick off the series by dedicating 10 babies/children and turning our thoughts to the hope God is bringing into a world that so desperately needs it.
This Sunday evening at 6:00 pm is our end-of-year Congregational Council meeting. The church staff and board are happy to report that we are not only on a trajectory to exceed our budgeted expenses for the year, but we will be presenting a balanced budget for 2019. Please come ready with any questions you have before we vote on various items, including the election of new board members.
As you will see on the agenda in your council booklet, I will be sharing some reflections on where we’ve been in 2018 and where I see us going in 2019.
Here are a few things I’ll be addressing:
Our progress in 2018 and the exciting things God has done/is doing.
2018 additions and changes to staff (see Org Chart on pg. 27)
Being more missional/incarnational as a church, less attractional (program-driven)
Where is God at work? Where is the wind of his Spirit blowing?
Changes for 2019 – suspending Eat & Run and cancelling Wednesday night programs; focus energy on Sunday ministries and being more missional during the week
Since our mid-year council 6 months ago, there has been a great deal of prayer, thoughtful reflection, conversation, and consultation (e.g. among church staff, church board, volunteers, other pastors, our bishop, etc.) that has happened around our current “program-driven” model of ministry, a process that I mentioned at our last council meeting would be happening this year. Many things have changed in America within the past 10-20 years, and it has become clear to church leadership that it’s time to adjust our approach to ministry as a growing church living within a post-Christian culture.
Therefore, I’ll be sharing about the changes we believe that needs to be made regarding Wednesday programming, as well as the process, reasoning, and our intentions to become more missional and incarnational in our approach to ministry. You will also have a chance to hear from other staff and board members about this process. We expect that you may have some questions related to this change, which is totally understandable. Please bring any questions and concerns you might have to the council meeting and we can talk about it together as a church family.
Finally, let me just say that our staff and board are really excited about where we are as a church and where we’re going. We’re in a great place as a congregation and we know that God wants us to continue growing and moving with his Spirit into his good future. We are finishing this year with much to celebrate and reasons to be hopeful about the future. Thank God for pouring out his grace on Grantham Church.
I look forward to seeing you at church this Sunday morning and then again at Congregational Council. May God continue to bless our church as we seek to be faithful to his leading in our lives.
Grace & Peace,
* This post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org