Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Letters from the Soul: This Month's Newsletter Column

October 2015: "(Church) School's in Session" 

Dear Church,

Over the span of the past four years that I have been humbled to be your pastor, I have learned one incredibly important truth: the ministry I do is not always the ministry that is most important.

Sometimes it is. Those calls that come saying that someone is dying, or (far happier) that someone is about to be born? That's important ministry. The week-in, week-out preaching and Bible study teaching? Also important ministry.

But some of the most important ministry done here has been done not by myself, but another member of our growing congregation--Jamie Lynn Devries, whose newborn daughter, Kali Mae, we just dedicated this past month!

I generally strive not to single out individual folks for praise in the newsletter, because so many of you do so much here that I am so thankful for, but in this case, it is very much necessary because of an additional component to our vision for First Christian Church in 2016--the creation of a "Director of Children and Family Ministries" position, which I have recommended to the Board of Directors that Jamie Lynn fill, ideally beginning in January of 2016.

First, a bit of explanation--we have an anonymous donor outside of the congregation who wishes to put together a matching donation challenge for the church: if we can raise $2,000 towards this new position's stipend, this donor will gift another $2,000 for $4,000 total, which would fund this 8 hours/week position for the first years of its existence. The position has been designed to build upon the excellent work Jamie Lynn and her stable of volunteers have done over the past few years of helping to grow our church school and nursery ministries from just a few children at most to, on many Sundays, 10 or more!

I believe that there is a need for more time to be devoted to our children ministries, not just on Sunday mornings, but also during the week as welll as for special events like Christmas pageants, Easter egg hunts, and the like. This modest sum would be able to compensate Jamie Lynn for the additional time needed to take our current children ministries, robust that they are, to the next level of involvement and enrichment for both our children and our entire congregation as we strive to have our children ministries act as an integrated, important part of our wider church life.

While we recognize that adding this position and this funding campaign represents our asking a significant financial sacrifice from all of you, the potential benefits are so great that the Board of Directors of the church has voted their full support for this new position as a part of our church's vision for the future of our family of faith, as have I by recommending it to them for approval. Our hope and prayer is that you fill find it in your heart to pledge to likewise support this new position--and Jamie as she fills it--with your own sacrificial offerings in whatever amount they may be. This represents the fruit of significant spiritual growth in our congregation, and I am very excited and proud of our church for it!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Eric

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