Time of the Season Several months ago, the vestry and site planning committee engaged an architect to develop a long-range site plan. Ben Heimsath, the lead architect, conducted a congregational meeting on September 22, 2019. It was a lively session with much conversation and many insights. The results will be revealed later this fall. Gene Ashlock, our senior warden and members of the vestry conducted visioning sessions with the various ministries in the congregation. What was learned in these sessions has been passed along to the architect and ministry leaders. The results of those sessions can be found in a notebook in the church office. A summary was handed out at worship several weeks ago. Cullen Senger, our executive coordinator and I have reviewed how the staff functions and how to improve communications among the ministries and congregation. What we discovered is that we have a dedicated group of ministers. However, we need more people to be part of who we are. The staff and I have been working diligently these past few months to put programming in place for the fall. A renewed emphasis on spiritual growth means that we have developed more adult formation offerings, renewed the Wednesday evening healing service, and hope for more opportunities for fellowship and service. We have two seminarians from the seminary of the southwest doing their field education with us. Corrie Cabes and Lissie Rhoton are seniors. They are on site 10 hours a week and have contributed greatly to the life of the congregation. DeJuwuan Pope, our Christian Formation Coordinator, has worked hard--with little breathing room-- to build the children’s and teen program. The curriculum is solid, and his energy and faith are fantastic. All in all, the past few months, have been full and exciting. All mentioned above, however, can also produce tension and uncertainty as the future unfolds. This is normal. The normal response can range from excitement to anxiety. What we have noticed is a drop in Sunday attended and monetary giving this summer. This too is normal. However, more than ever before, we need your presence. In an anxious world, the church can be a place of safety and joy. This next year will be critical time for Christ Church. In the past the congregation and leadership have stood at the doorstep to move forward but not crossed the threshold. Now is the time! But it will take re-engagement from those who are here and those who have been here in the past. While we are planning for the future, we depend on those who are here now to bridge the past and the future. The stage and structures are in place for engagement in ministry. New folks will arrive to be engaged in ministry worship and mission. Please continue to be engaged and to give. The future of Christ Episcopal Church depends on engagement of the laity. Clergy lead and cast a vision. The faithful at CEC are the continuing body of Christ. If you have questions or concerns, we want to hear your voice. Please contact me—make an appointment to come and talk. Or email me at email@example.com.
Peace and Blessings, Father Malone