Declaring & Teaching – Jesus is Lord!

“Long though they way may seem, there is not one inch too much. I, your Lord, am not only with you on the journey, I planned, and am planning, the journey.”

So, starts one of my devotionals for March 21, the morning of the council meeting, a second devotional in Portals of Prayer asks us to read John 12:1-8, really it does. Then, I open Portals of Prayer and I see it. God placed this scripture in my heart weeks ago as we started looking at a sanctuary restoration project. I had searched for this scripture, thinking, what was that scripture from Sunday School? The one where Jesus rebuked one of disciples who thought Mary ought not waste the expensive perfume on Jesus’s feet, that it should be sold, and the money used for the poor. May we use the gifts God has given us as a congregation to honor Him.

Where do we stand? We stand on the threshold of a church of great traditions and one that is wholly devoted to declaring and serving our Lord Jesus Christ. How are we going to serve Him today, and the coming weeks, and this summer?  We’ve had a few meetings and we’ve gathered some great data, the numbers are interesting, and they tell a story of sorts. We have prepared a summary of the comments received and thank you all who provided your comments and input, it is much appreciated and very valuable in helping to guide us on our journey. It is a good start to a process and is going to take some time to figure out where God is leading us.

So here are some numbers. There was a total of 35 responses received to the survey, the average of the numerical response is included below. The survey asked respondents to rate each item on a scale of 0-5, where 0 is “Okay as is” and 5 means we should develop a plan to update or refresh. A neutral response is 2.5, this is the average of the possible responses. 

Sanctuary Items:  Carpet (2.5), Paint (3.3), Refinish Wood Pews(2.4), Replace Fabric and Cushions on Pews (2.9), Install (Conceal) AudioCables (2.5), Remove Ceiling Fans (1.8), Add Air Conditioning (2.1), EnhanceOverhead Lighting (2.4), Enhance Wall Sconce Lighting (1.7), Repaint Ceiling& Seal Cracks (3.6).

Lower Level ofthe Church:  Carpet (3.3), Paint(3.0), Upgrade to Commercial Kitchen (3.1). Do you think the church needs a newbuilding?  (1.7) How likely are you toattend the March Voters Meeting? (3.1)

Wow, what does that mean? Good question. Council tried to determine the same thing Thursday, March 21. We decided to propose to the voters that we develop a plan to proceed with the top five (5) responses. Voters will be asked on March 31 if they agree to proceed to develop a plan to Replace Fabric and Cushions on Pews (2.9), Repaint Ceiling & Seal Cracks (3.6) replace carpet downstairs in the Lower Level of the Church (3.3), Painting (3.0) and Upgrading to Commercial Kitchen (3.1).

So, is that it? Well not completely, the trustees are looking into some structural issues relating to the stage in the Grove and will be reporting back to council in the coming weeks. There may be a need to do some work there. There is some noticeable deterioration of the siding.

HELP US! We need people to step up and make specific suggestions of what you want in the Grove,some of the survey responses addressed this but we need folks to followthrough. Everyone that would like to see something done in the Grove prior tosummer services starting there, you are hereby invited to both the March 31 Voters meeting as well as theApril, May and June Trustees meetings.

Did I mention we are seeking additional members for both the Trustees and the Board of Education? If you are interested, please attend the next meeting listed on the church calendar.

What else has God placed in our hearts? Back to the scripture John 12:1-8 and the devotional. I had been thinking that this scripture was applicable to our situation at St.Paul. So here I am preparing myself to type the agenda for the council meetingand there the scripture is, listed by the devotional author, and the second paragraph he says, “Solomon spared noexpense or extravagance to build and adorn the temple.”

Possible Funding: In my previous newsletter article, I had indicated that I would try to getadditional information on possible funding for our project. At the time I wasconsidering proposing the use of the building fund for this purpose, I havebeen reminded that there was a meeting on October 2, 2011 where the Votersestablished (22 in favor vs. 9 opposed) that the church accept the findings ofa task force report that essentially indicates the fund is to be used for newbuildings. The task force summary included a definition of the building fundcontaining a statement that funds are to be withdrawn only with the expressapproval of the voting body. I have sought out council on this subject frommany including Pastor Rich, I asked him immediately after having read theminutes from the 2011 meeting, so is that it? His response, the voters can decidesomething different.

We have this tension,what are we to do? When are we to do it? How are we to pay for it? The answer is always the same, we need topray until God makes it clear to us what our path forward is. After learningabout the possibility of a connector street between Roy Rogers Road and EdyRoad my thought was, it is very important that we have a building fund for newbuildings and that we trust that God has a purpose for that fund. The councilhas determined some very limited priorities as noted above, the most involveditem would be the kitchen. It has been suggested that we engage a designer tohelp us figure out what an improved design of our kitchen would look like withfour basic components, stainless steel stoves, dishwasher, three compartmentsink and new refrigerators. Sounds simple to me.

Your church needs your continued support and input – I hope you’ll be able to attend the voters meeting. Before the meeting, prayerfully consider volunteering for one of our boards and/or the two committees we will need to form, (1) to figure out what we want to do in the kitchen and (2) another to figure out if we want to make any major improvements in the grove stage area. Blessings, looking forward to an exciting voters meeting and seeing what new things God will do with us this coming year.

In His Service,