1) At the encouragement of our conference superintendent, planning and preparation for about a two month sabbatical for Pastor Steve has been going on for nearly a year. This involved approval from the elder council and an application/acceptance process with the conference which included a funding grant with their approval. You'll hear more about this from P. Steve in the coming weeks, but we wanted to let you know we are excited for this opportunity and Steve has done a great deal of preparation in advance for his absence.
2) Proceeds from the sale of the properties. Some of it was used to pay down a portion of the remaining mortgage principle, some of it was used to replace the roof on the sanctuary, a small amount was used to repair dry rot damage to a couple bathrooms in the Family Life Center, and the rest, about half, remains in the bank.
3) Hope Conference follow up: The council has been reviewing and discussing the online sessions of the Hope Conference attended by Matt, Steve, and Dave last spring in CA. The plan is to provide these session to our ministry chairs for reviewing sometime after the first of the year. It's difficult for three of us to express and articulate the encouragement and ideas we gleaned from this conference, and online viewing is a great opportunity we have to build excitement and vision throughout the leadership within our body.
4) We are researching the establishment of estate/planned giving opportunities to FirstE for our church body.