From The Pastor's Desk
Neighborhood Notes from the Pastor’s Desk
A new year is upon us, and it's time to be talking about what's to come. Before I get too far ahead, I want to thank everyone for a wonderful 2022. God has blessed us with a lot of new faces in worship. Our children's ministry
is growing thanks to the efforts of those volunteering to make that happen.
We also welcomed two new members into the neighborhood before the end
of the year. Our Free Community Dinner started back in October. We worshiped
in the park again back in August with an excellent turnout. Vacation Bible School made its return to Marble during the summer. These are just some things that have been happening in the neighborhood. I'd like to know what 2023 will look like for us. Things will continue to build upon what we did in 2022.
I want to speak about our recent growth. These last few months have been amazing to see all the people we have in worship. With growth comes change, and we need to take the next step on our journey to continue to grow. The analogy popping up in my head is of a baby and how each phase requires changes. I am not just talking about getting out of diapers but about how they physically and mentally grow. In some ways, 2020 and 2021 felt like we were still in the womb, preparing to come into the world. This past year, we started to see the fruits of our labor from our preparation of returning to things opening more. We need to take the next step if we want to continue growing as a neighborhood.
We have several areas which we need to address to move forward. First, our children's ministry is at a point where we must offer different options based on age levels. This issue means we will be looking for more of our adult neighbors to lead a group of our young neighbors. The next thing regarding this ministry would be staffing the nursery. We have new families with little ones, and I'm sure parents would like to focus more on worship than keeping their children occupied or quiet. We could also use some help with our teens and young adult programming. If you want to help with any of these things, then please speak with Joy Whitenburg.
Before the end of the year, we opened our lounge room for coffee before service. Thankfully, we have had some neighbors (Rose Timbers, Vicky Englebert, and Rod Hill) step forward to organize this ministry. On the flip side, we have some hospitality needs this year. Tammy Balk organizes our greeters but has yet to get enough for consistency and a rotating schedule. To offer proper hospitality each week, I think we need someone at the outside door (parking lot), at the top of the steps, someone helping in the lounge to stand by the entrance to invite neighbors to grab something if they want, and one or two people in the area outside of our worship space. Our vision is to be a welcoming neighborhood so that all may experience God’s love and grace, and it begins with hospitality every Sunday or event we host.
The last ministry we would like some help with is worship. The Praise Team would love anyone interested in singing or playing an instrument to talk with them. Right now, you may speak with Ronni and Rich Brennan until we hire a new music director. If you know anything about sound or someone who does, please let us know. We can always use more folks to run the media part as well. Slides for worship, Facebook Host, and the camera is what I am talking about for media. This ministry is another area that I would like a rotating schedule, too. Then those who have been behind the scenes may want to enjoy worship when they’re not helping. It takes a neighborhood to make everything work in the church!
I am sure there are some of you wondering, "Where will we get all this help that Pastor Matt is looking for?"
My response would be, "It starts with you!" As we grow, there will be more neighbors to assist with all these volunteer opportunities, but until then, we who are here are responsible for maintaining God's house. Yes, I have talked about this subject a few times, but our current neighbors must make this a focus. Also, I plan to set up some dates for training in these areas this month or next. So, whether you are new or someone that's been volunteering for a while, we want to show everybody how we would like to handle things moving forward. These last few months have been an exciting time at Marble, and it is only going to get more exciting if we get the help we are looking for to take care of the church and the neighborhood. Bring it on in 2023 because God has got our backs!
Peace be with you. Pastor Matt
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Pastor Matt West