I am writing this on a warm, clear July afternoon. After spring and early summer rains we have been having some lovely weather in Michigan – I hope you are all enjoying your summer.
As I remarked in my June note, Executive Council has formed a task team to look at North Church’s structure and governance. We have a smaller Congregation today than we did 50 or so years ago, yet we have the same number of Boards. Per our current bylaws we have some 81 mandated positions to fill on standing Boards and Committees, in addition to other, temporary roles during the year. The task team, comprised of Church members (a mix of Council members and others), has now met twice. The team is looking at the number and composition of our various Boards, as well as the way we make decisions. Rev. Biedron has shared different models that other Congregational churches use, some that make greater use of volunteers for specific events or activities, thereby reducing the number of required year-round slots to fill. Our 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.
In June several of you participated in a local mission event, helping the Detroit branch of Camp Restore construct bunk beds for visiting volunteers. Our mission trips to New Orleans have stayed for many years at the original Camp Restore there. Thanks to all that participated (you can see a few photos on our website). The SEMACC missions committee will be evaluating this and other opportunities for local mission work, as well as considering future trips to New Orleans.
Speaking of missions, in August North Church will once again be hosting SOS for a week. I encourage you to consider participating – you can review open volunteer positions via our website, or by calling the Church office.
Back in May we introduced our host program, developed by our Communications Committee. Hopefully you have all had a chance to read the North Church Host Guidebook (the office has copies if you need one). A reminder, there are ‘host’ name tag labels in the right hand drawer of the visitors’ information table in the link. I look forward to joining many of you in serving as hosts to our Sunday worship and fellowship hour visitors.
In June I had the opportunity to travel to Europe. The first week I was in Normandy, observing some of the events commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day. While there I had the opportunity to see and greet several dozen veterans who had made the trip. It was extraordinarily moving. To them, and to all our veterans, thank you, thank you. They have given us a world of hope and of freedom to follow Jesus’ teachings.