At our recent Annual Meeting we approved the slate from the Nominating Committee, which included yours truly as Moderator. So now I am no longer ‘interim’. Thank you for that approval, I will do my best for our Church and our Congregation.
We had our first meeting of this program year’s Executive Council on the Monday after the Annual Meeting. It is a wonderful group, I look forward to working with them.
There are two major initiatives I hope to undertake with Council this year. The first, already underway, is to look at our Church’s structure and governance. We have a smaller Congregation than we did 50 or so years ago, yet we have the same number of Boards and Committees, in some cases with the same requirements for numbers of members. Executive Council has formed a task team comprised of Church members (some on Council, some not). This team will look at the number and composition of our various Boards, as well as the way we make decisions. The team’s objective is to make recommendations to Council by the fall and, pending Council’s approval, present to the Congregation for consideration at our January meeting. The intent is to streamline both our structure and decision-making, so that we can better focus on our ministry and serving God’s will.
The second initiative, to begin later this year, is to look at our Church’s future. We are currently in a sound financial condition. As our membership has declined, however, from a financial perspective we have become more dependent upon our generous endowment funds. I envision something of a reprise of our last long range planning committee, exploring options around increasing membership and securing our fiscal future. We have a wonderful, engaged, welcoming Church and all of us want to see her continue as a viable, sustaining organization.
I will share something from our last Council meeting. Several of you met Jim and Christine Gooding. They were visitors from England who were with us several Sundays, including Easter. Back home now, they sent us a letter and some photos of their church, which we shared in Council (I’ll post a copy outside Fellowship Hall). They told us that, while they were in the U.S., they were looking for a church to attend. They tried another in the area, but noted that no one spoke with them. They then came to North Church, and felt welcomed as family.
May all of us feel the same welcome in our Church, and the same embrace of God’s love.