2017's online Hope Conference sessions were provided to the ministry chairs for viewing/discussion. Steve, Matt, and Dave attended this conference last June. The elders plan further review and discussion of the these in the next two months in order to assist in long term church planning and growth. As part of this, a process for assimilating visitors/new attenders into the body is under development.
Development of an endowment or planned giving option toward the church has been initiated. The first step will include education of the congregation as to their options for gifts through wills and trusts.
A voter petition policy was developed to address requests from our body regarding placement in the church.
A part of periodic review of leadership structure and organization of our church body, an examination is ongoing on the scriptural purpose and/or relevance of identifying deacons and deaconesses within the church body. Most of our existing committee or team chairs already serve in this capacity.
Jon Benson is on indefinite leave of absence from the elder council while he and Marika minister to the care needs of Marika's father who lives with them.
Craig and Clare Schmidt are moving to Idaho near the end of April and Craig will therefore be resigning from his position as elder. Jeff Funderburg has agreed to fill Craig's ministry position as head usher.
Approved last year, Pastor Steve is planning to travel to Vietnam again this fall for a couple weeks to teach and train their indigenous pastors/church leadership.
Your Elder Council
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.