May marks one year since we adopted our Vital Church Initiative Ministry Plan. Much has happened in this year including Pastor Bob Miller being appointed to Plymouth First UMC and my appointment here at Marble Memorial UMC. A change in pastors is always a major marker for a church and brings change of its own. Our ministry plan has resulted in even more change.
The changes as a result of our ministry plan have been made with the purpose of fulfilling our mission of ‘Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World’. In order to ‘make disciples’ we have to make sure guests feel welcome and comfortable when they are with us for worship or whenever they are in our building and on our grounds.
Some of these changes you may not have noticed or come into contact with, such as our web and Facebook pages. A web page is often visited by persons before they attend worship. Ours is now friendlier to use and is up to date. Some of you have shared our Facebook page, which is a great way to share info about the church! Guests are receiving an e-mail in addition to a hand written note on their visit and a $5 gift card to a local business donated by a member of the congregation.
Things I hope you have noticed include the ‘de-cluttering’ and more open hallways, our ‘connection cards’ and ‘Cup of Grace’. On our ‘connection cards’ we are receiving more information from guests and members alike! More of our guests are sharing contact information and members are volunteering to
be servants in various capacities – it is easier when all you have to do is check the box! ‘Cup of Grace’ has made the long hallway, which most of us walk down to get to the sanctuary, much more friendly as sound and people come to and from the room. Those of us who worship here on a regular basis don’t even notice that hallway but when someone attends for the first time, and has to walk down that long hallway, we want them to have a warm, welcoming feeling. Easter day two of our first-time guests were among the very last to
leave the Cup of Grace! That makes me think they felt welcomed. I heard them say they may be back!
These changes, and much more, have been exciting. Yet, we miss some of what we had. You have graciously and even enthusiastically welcomed me as your pastor. Yet, I know you miss Pastor Bob and Rochelle – and that is good. In a similar way, we celebrate what we have done while missing some of what we had. These are not all the changes we have experienced in the last year, and there are more are to come. We continue to make decisions based on our mission of ‘making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world’ while finding ways to keep us all ‘growing in faith’, one of the core values we adopted this year. Thank you for your patience, understanding and efforts as we seek to live out our vision statement and core values:
“Inviting people, living the love of Christ”
And, As Followers of Jesus, We Seek to Make a Difference
in the World through these Core Values:
See you Sunday and Invite Someone!