This coming year the amount we contribute toward the work of the denomination at the Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly level will total $49.23 per member. Per capita is one way our members and congregation annually support the work of the whole church as that church also supports us in our ministry in this place. Your separate contribution of this amount is appreciated, as it keeps this expense from impacting our spending plan for 2018. Please mark your contribution as “per capita.”
Our History Day celebration on Sunday, November 12th was fantastic! We had over 90 people attend and rejoice in the faith-filled history of this congregation. If you would like to listen to the presentations, we have an audio file available online. We also have a link for the slide show that was shared. Please contact Pastor Amy or the Church Office and we will send you the links. Former Pastor, Bruce M., brought the quilt the Women’s Association made for him many years ago – what lovely work!
After much discussion and consideration, we are installing a French drain on the south side of the church, running from what we sometimes call “Lake Edmonds” to the drainage ditch on the east side of the property. Hooray! Thank-you to all whose faithful donations allow us to complete these projects without a need for special fundraisers! But if you’d like to make a special offering to help us offset the cost, you may do so. Please put “maintenance reserve” in the memo line of your check.
The Session met on Sunday October 15th and continued our work on preparing for the future of this congregation. Here’s an update and summary of what we have been doing since this project began.
We have asked the question, “What are the unique gifts that Edmonds Presbyterian Church brings to our members and the wider Edmonds community?” Thanks to your survey responses and a number of individual conversations, we have affirmed these gifts given to us by God:
In light of our current realities, which are not unique to our church, we need realize that numbers are declining in worship and giving is declining proportionally. In light of those facts, the session is looking at decreasing expenses (moving Pastor Amy to ¾ time was part of that process) and finding new sources of revenue. Fortunately, faithful giving over the years has blessed us with more than adequate reserves for this ‘rainy day,’ and we are in no danger of being forced to close due to finances. Therefore, we should be good stewards of the time God has given us to choose the best option for this congregation as it looks toward 2025.
So what is next? One possibility is partnering with another organization to develop our property in such a way that both blesses our community and provides a place for us to continue to worship God and enjoy fellowship together. We know that our property, held in trust by our denomination, is an asset that can be tapped as it once was to add the extension to our current building, when a row of housing lots was sold on the 98th street side of the property. The session is exploring a variety of ideas, determining what ones may be the most viable, and will report to you our top selection(s) in the coming months. We do value your input and insights, and will not make any final decisions until after we have shared our proposals with the congregation, and the congregation has had an opportunity to contribute to this discussion.
Meanwhile, it is time for us to get on with the work of being the church as we trust in God’s good plan for our future. That’s living our lives in hope. We have hope in our God’s goodness, hope in God’s plans for our future, and hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the author of the book of Hebrews reminds us: “We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.” (Hebrews 6:19).
From the members of the Session,
Elders Gay Hawkins, Don Hollingworth Sr., Don Ide, Linda Reynolds, Ruth Roberts, and Dick Sellevold. Pastor Amy Delaney, Moderator
A new roof will be installed over the east wing (offices and classrooms) of the church. Thank-you to Jim Nickle and Gay Hawkins for coordinating this effort. This will be paid for through existing funds in our maintenance reserve account. If you would like to contribute towards this and future repairs, please make a donation with “Maint reserve” in the memo line. Thank-you for your generosity.
If you were here on Sunday, September 24th, you may have attended the congregational meeting to change Pastor Amy’s terms of call from ¾ time during the summer months and full-time during the rest of the year, to ¾ time year-round. Due to decreasing attendance, giving, and activities at the church, changing her terms of call to three quarter time year-round reflects the actual needs of the congregation. This change also allows Pastor Amy to resume her very-part-time work as a Spiritual Director, which is something she has been hoping to do. It should work well for her and for the congregation. Full copies of the changes are available in the church office.
What will it look like to Praise God together in 2025?
The session is continuing to survey the congregation and our neighbors. In this second survey we are asking, “What are the needs of our neighborhood and larger community? How has it changed? How do you imagine it will change in the future?” You may complete the survey online or in paper form. We look forward to your answers as we prayerfully consider the future of this congregation. The survey can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/EPCneighbor
What will it look like to praise God together in 2025? The session is meeting on June 4th to review your responses to our first survey. Here’s a preview of what you are saying:
What makes Edmonds Presbyterian Church the place that you have chosen to worship God? What do you appreciate most? “The people are very friendly and I feel like they are part of my family and have been like that forever.”
In a few sentences, how would you describe Edmonds Presbyterian Church to a new neighbor who is looking for a church? “It is a friendly inviting place where you can share and enrich your faith. No matter where you are in your walk there is support and encouragement.”
What is your greatest hope for the future of Edmonds Presbyterian Church? “I hope it survives so that it can continue to provide a positive, genuine and insightful role in the community.”
Look for the next survey to arrive in the coming weeks. This time we will ask you to find a neighbor and ask them about the Westgate area of Edmonds – not about our church. What are the needs of our neighborhood and larger community? How has it changed? How do you imagine it will change in the future?
June is the month when we elect new church officers – Ruling Elders and Deacons. As Presbyterians, we believe that God calls us to serve, and that call often is delivered by friends and colleagues who see gifts in us that can be shared with the congregation through this ministry. So, if you look around and see someone you think God may be calling to serve, please let the Nominating Committee elders (Don H., Sr., and Don I.) know! We look forward to seeing who God is calling to serve for the coming year.
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