I am amazed at how much we have to celebrate as a church as God is choosing to use us in significant ways. And our Annual Meeting this past Sunday night gave us a great opportunity to “remember” as God commands us to do as a part of the way He encourages our future faithfulness. Let me highlight a few things from the night…
- We received into membership 11 new members with nearly half of them coming via Baptism.
- We had the privilege of baptizing 18 people over the last 12 months, bringing the total people baptized over Hope’s 15 years to 196. What undeniable evidence that God is still drawing people to Himself and using Hope as a part of His redemption story.
- We affirmed the following people as servant leaders:
- Elders: Scott Aponte and Bill Wood were affirmed to additional two- year terms and Andy McGowan will be serving for the first time in this role.
- Deacons: Steve Berkey, Fran Cooley, Judy Jacques, Peggy Coffey, Rebekah Cocks and Mary Luschen.
- Ministry Team leaders are Allyson Clark (Missions), Barbara Grippo (Women’s), Steve Quist (Men’s), Kevin Albee (Finance) and Rob Kilgus/Scott Connor (facilities). What a great line up of godly folks. Most churches would be thrilled to have just a few of this caliber and Hope has a full slate! They also reflect so well the multi-generational nature of Hope.
- Staff Reports. I don’t have space to summarize all they shared, but I do want to highlight the quality of the people God has brought to Hope. They would be the first ones to tell you they are not perfect. But know this, they love God, are passionate about ministry, work hard to be excellent in Kingdom work, make a great team, and are great brothers and sisters in Christ. God has given us a great group of servant leaders.
The theme of the night so to speak was “Serving the Future Now“. The spirit underlying this can be articulated this way: Recognizing that the message of the Gospel never changes but methods always change as God rolls out each new phase of history, what steps do we need to be taking now to insure Hope is still effective with the Message 20 years from now? In sync with this, the church embraced two new support staff roles in adopting its budget. One is a Digital Outreach Assistant to focus on issues of graphic design and our digital gospel presence as a church (website, Facebook, etc.). The other position, a Facilities Assistant role, is intended to allow our staff and volunteers to spend more of their energy on growing their ministries rather than dealing with set-up, take down, and facility care. If you are aware of someone who would like to work three/four mornings a week totaling around 10 hours setting up rooms, doing light maintenance and the like, please let me know. I would love to talk with them. The budget represents a good step of faith, so it needs your prayers and faithfulness.
So, given who God is, how He is currently using Hope, and the quality of the people willing to take a step of faith seeking a greater Kingdom impact, I am eager to experience the future with you.
See you Sunday, hopefully with a friend by your side. It will be nice to get to celebrate our Dad’s. I know I am missing mine.