Since I got back from vacation, there has been a renewed sense of purpose in my work in the church. I truly feel the movement of the Holy Spirit in all the things that are happening. Sunday we will meet with potential new members. It is always exciting to have new people join the church. Each one brings a new perspective, new skills, and new energy to the congregation.
I have been working on 3 main areas of vitality for our church.
Strong family ministries
Becoming an inclusive church
We went for nearly a year without a choir director. Our previous choir director left as a result of some growing tensions of blended worship. When I arrived, our worship was 99% traditional worship - choral introit, choral call to prayer, anthem, 3 hymns, offering, with just one contemporary song, added in to the service. As I talked to people in the church and in the choir, I found a desire for that ratio to be more balanced. Many people in our church listen to Christian radio and wanted an opportunity to sing some of those songs that they loved in worship. During the pandemic Alex carried the weight of the music program and we leaned much more contemporary. Worshiping at home gave people the opportunity to learn some contemporary songs without feeling conspicuous. Linda continued to balance out worship with beautiful preludes and postludes, with the occasional bagpipe music.
When Dr. Jeffery Redding joined our staff, he erased the divisions. In our choir rehearsals, we have a sense of worship in all of the music - gospel, hymns, traditional, contemporary, and whatever style we have in front of us. Alex and Linda have been wonderfully flexible to serve in any way they can to bring about this unity. I love the way our music invites people to open their hearts to the movement of the Holy Spirit in worship. This is pure joy!
Jeff Potter has been doing a huge amount of work to navigate our new live streaming system. He has been learning this new system and troubleshooting the problems and issues that come with it. I am very excited for us to begin live streaming this Sunday. We are training some more AV people this weekend and look forward to building a strong team.
Our big announcement this Sunday is that we have a new Family Ministries Director, who will supervise all the program, but will focus on children's ministry, freeing Shrell and Ashley up to focus on youth ministry. I will say more about this in the future, but this is a game changer for our Family Ministries. Stay tuned for more about these plans.
We are working on plans to work more intentionally in our community in the areas of anti-racism and LGBTQ inclusion. We currently have a Bridge Builders group that meets on Zoom on the second Sunday of each month. Next month, we will also begin a monthly group that meets for a time of loving, learning, and leading to discern how we can love and support people who have been marginalized because of their sexual orientation.