There were so many great things this past week. As the Pumpkin Patch and Rummage Sale were happening, we celebrated the wedding of Justin and Brooke Day in our sanctuary. They are not members of our church, but have felt a connection to us from coming to our Pumpkins Patch and Christmas Eve service.
Sunday evening was a wonderful community event with so many people from the church working together. Trunk or Treat reached out in love to the children and their families in our community and the Chili Cook Off raised over $500 for our Cuba ministry. A pastor from a nearby church brought his kids and commented on how welcoming everyone was from the people directing the parking to each person who had a trunk. I look forward to us expanding on this kind of ministry!
Monday we had a clergy meeting of UMC pastors from the East Central District with speaker Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove. He also spoke at the District Anti-Racism event on Saturday morning and our TUMC anti-racism task force were all present. While he was born the year I graduated from high school, Jonathan has written several books and has truly walked the walk of doing the work of anti-racism. Both workshops were very though provoking and challenging. We have a long way to go in this work.
Monday evening our Finance Team met. With a trimmed down budget, the pledges we have received, and a conservative projection of loose plate giving, we are still $80,000 short of funding our budget for 2022. While the pledges that have come in are strong, many members of the church still have not pledged. I really appreciate the faithfulness of those who have committed to supporting the church with their tithes. I will be reaching out to those who haven't pledged to better understand what people are going through. It has been a difficult season with COVID, but our church came through it with faithfulness. Together we can continue to be a vital church.
Tuesday, I met with the Bridge Builders clergy group and we discussed the previous day's workshop. Everyone is processing it in their own way, but we feel the struggle in this diverse group to know each other and understand each other, since we have had such different experiences with race.
Tuesday evening we had our Mission Team meeting. We discussed the missions that were listed in a handout we gave out in worship on Oct 14 and also discussed some possibilities for developing a campus ministry.
Wednesday, the Casselberry Area Ministry Leaders met and are excited to work together on the Neighbor to Neighbor work day on November 13. Despite our denominational and theological differences, we are growing in our relationship together and are seeking to find the ways that we can come together to transform the community.
Wednesday evening the choir began working on Christmas music. This is going to be a beautiful season. We want to have people from every group in the church take part in the liturgy during the Advent and Christmas season.
Thursday morning our worship team met and talked about our upcoming worship services. November 7 will be All Saints Sunday and Pastor Bonnie will preach. The next two weeks will be Heavenly Living and then we enter Advent on November 28 with a series called Close To Home.
Thursday afternoon we celebrated the life of Bee Gee Wilkerson, a very kind member of our church who had an evangelical heart and embraced a spirit of hospitality.
I am spending time with my grandchildren today and then going to Universal Studios tomorrow with the family. I'm looking forward to our worship service on Sunday as we have some special guests sharing about their experiences of going out into the world.