We will be halfway through the year at the end of this month. Where does the time go? It feels like Easter was just a couple of weeks ago. Before you know it, we will be getting ready for Christmas again! As time seems to fly by us, we are continuing to work to be the neighborhood church to everyone. New neighbors have joined us for our Modern Worship Service, and our snowbirds have returned to Traditional Service. Spending time with both worship services has been a blessing. I pray that each week the clock seems to slow down for everyone so we can enjoy our time together worshiping God.
Another thing I would like to share is about the work our Church Council is doing. This year, we have been going through a process to move to a Simplified Accountability Structure. We are looking at this model to free up more time for ministry and not spend so much of it in meetings. This is one of the reasons leadership would like to move to this simplified structure. Over the next few months, Church Council will get more information to you explaining what this structure looks like and how it works. I appreciate all the time and effort the council is putting in to create new opportunities for everyone in our church. Keep up the great work!
Let me talk about our other teams and what they are doing. Starting with Trustees, they are continuing to address the needs of our building. The classrooms have been painted, and now they are ready for us to decorate. As we reach more people in the neighborhood, we have the chance to make things look fresh and exciting to them. I can hardly wait to see how things turn out and what people will say when they know what we have done. This month, there will be new and more energy- efficient windows installed. This change should make a big difference come this next winter. Finally, they are looking into some air conditioner issues we are having in Fellowship Hall and the Lounge. At the same time, the trustees are considering our finances as they plan future projects.
The Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) is doing some wonderful things to support our staff. They are also developing ways to support our laity and encourage leaders in our neighborhood. Tools are being implemented to build on the connection between SPRC liaisons and staff members to help with annual reviews. They are using their time also to create new policies to make the workload easier down the road. SPRC is doing an excellent job of looking out for Lisa, Justin and Aby. Thank you for all your efforts!
As for Finance, not everyone likes to talk about money when it comes to the church. Thankfully, this team is tackling the conversation and discussing options to get us back in the black. Finance put together a new way to accept memorials to let us use the money to help carry out our mission and vision. The team is also discussing giving plans and new ways to approach stewardship. While all this is happening, they are working with the money we have to allow us to be good neighbors to everybody. Being on this committee isn't easy, and you are appreciated!
The Outreach Team is supporting and helping organize some awesome events for the rest of the year. 3rd Thursdays are next with Marble hosting the “Kid Zone.” We are looking to bring some high energy out this summer to reach our families in the community and invite them to check out our church. The next thing is getting ready for Church in the Park on August 7th. The team and other churches joining us are discussing an after-worship party. Get ready for a big event day in October and a return visit from Santa after the Christmas Parade. The new Congregational Care Team is up and running and assisting me in caring for the neighborhood. One other significant thing Outreach is working on is a Free Community Dinner. We want to open our doors and invite our neighbors to break bread with us without worrying if they can afford it. Again, these events and activities are steps towards living out our vision and mission at Marble.
Let me wrap things up by discussing a couple of other things we are working on currently. First, we started our Neighborhood Kidz Time during the 10:30 service. Our young neighbors begin worship with us, go out during the message, and come back to enjoy the rest of the service. Joy Whitenburg has taken the lead on this ministry, but we are looking for others to lead or assist with this time each Sunday. We want to train people for their safety and the kids and to love on the future generation of Marble. Second, on August 16th-18th, we will be hosting Vacation Bible School in the evening. “Food Truck Rally” is the theme this year, and we will finish up on a 3rd Thursday to end with a bang! If you are available one day or all three, we would love your help.
Hopefully, I have got everyone up to speed now! I thank you for your continued support and ask that you keep praying for all our teams. God has great things in store for us, but it will take a neighborhood to do all of it. Get involved, invite, engage, and be a good neighbor!
Peace be with you.