Pastor's Notes

News from Church Council

October 10, 2017

News from Church Council

Last Sunday evening, our Church Council approved the recommendation from our Nominations Committee that we begin 2018 with a streamlined structure of leadership. The structure is often referred to as the One-Board model of leadership. Churches of all sizes utilize this structure from larger (First Broad UMC for example) to smaller membership churches (less than 50 in attendance). After approving the model, we then approved an outstanding, committed group of women and men who will be charged with this important work.

Advantages for this model include: Bringing together Trustees, Finances, Staff-Parish Relations, and Nominations to one table rather than going from committee to committee to discuss and re-discuss the same issues, while complying fully with our Book of Discipline requirements. Another advantage is that our leadership will not be spending as much of their limited volunteer hours in meetings, but freeing folk up for more hours of Ministry. Our current committees have served well and have things on a good footing for our future. So our Church Council can now spend more time on all the issues surrounding making disciples for Jesus Christ.

The ministries of our church will continue as we have volunteers to carry them out. To the person in the pew, the new structure will not change anything. But to our new leadership team, they will be able to focus more wholly on how we can reach new people for Christ. Be in prayer for our new Church Council members for 2018. In addition to our pastor, the 12 members are as follows:

Ray Conkin, chair of Church Council and Nom 2019; Kathy Jeffries Trustee 2019; Bill Bailey Trustee 2018; LuAnna Dougherty Nominations 2020; Roger Lowe Trustee 2020; Elaine Faust Nominations 2018; Ned Morrell Staff-Parish Relations 2020; Pam Bachman Staff-Parish Relations 2018; Gary Sproles Lay Leader 2018; Yvette Martin Staff-Parish Relations 2019; Eddie Williams Finance/Treasurer 2018; Allison Faust Young Adult 2020.

This committee complies with the Book of Discipline and the 12-member 1-Board Model guidelines. We are extremely appreciative of the outgoing class of leaders, (those who have served long terms, some short, serving faithfully regardless) and yet excited about the future of Glen Alpine United Methodist Church (as emerging times come clearer, God is our guide). If you have specific questions, please see Rev. Hayes.

How can you help?

Our volunteer checklist was distributed last Sunday as a bulletin insert and as an insert to this newsletter. We will continue to make those available. Thanks to those who have already stepped up in sacrificial ways!

A devotional guidebook from 1996 contained these words based on the Scripture from Exodus 14:24-31:

We have all heard this story of the parting of the sea. We wonder how deep was the water, really? Is the story no more than part of a body of Hebrew legend? To a people of faith, these arguments miss the point.

The point is that we can trust God to care. God is involved with us. God does not abandon us. If we can count on anything, we can count on God to come through during the worst of times. God is a God of the impossible.

Here, in the middle of the sea on dry ground, is where the lessons of faith are learned. Here, trembling as we make our escape while the enemy shouts behind us, we discover the joyful reality of who God is and what God is like.

This knowledge pushes against much bad theology and legalistic notions about God as a punishing God. No! God delivers. God saves. God opens a way through the worst and rescues us. God is a saving presence of the pilgrim people.

If we focus on the logistics of the miracle of the parting of the sea (the facts and only the facts), we miss what is happening in the people of God. They are passing from death to life. They are being birthed by water and fire. The people of God are being called forth and named as God's own by the One who swirls winds and waters.

The building of community is inherent to these passages. While each person crossing over on dry ground is an individual, to God they are called together as one group, saved together, commission to be the people of God-a community. And here, in the passage often referred to in the New Testament as a type of baptism, they are baptized into God as a community.

Suggestion for meditation and prayer: Ask yourself, How have I built community? Have there been times when I have dismantled genuine community? Ask God to show you the places and ways that you can be a loving, nurturing partner in community.

Blessings, Richie

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