The Session has voted to participate in the Presbytery’s Vital Congregations Initiative! This is a national initiative to help congregations become more vital in the seven marks of vitality. Pastor Amy is the Presbytery coordinator for the initiative, so we will have lots of support in this process. The initiative lasts two years. In the first year we will celebrate all the signs of vitality that we find in our congregation and its ministry. In the second year we will seek to become more vital in one of the other areas. Already it is clear to the session that we do some things well. Look for more information about the initiative and how you can participate in January.
At last we have a meeting scheduled in November with the Presbytery, the architect, and Pastor Amy to go over options. Once again, please keep us in your prayers and look for an update soon.
We are awaiting the revised plans from the architect for the remodel of our building to support additional rooms for our Presbytery offices and several counseling rooms. Good things come to those who wait … while that’s not biblical, it is our hope! And we will share with you what we learn when we learn it. Thanks for your patience!
A congregational meeting was held on September 22nd to elect a new class of elders and approve the changes in Pastor Amy’s terms of call. Elders for the class of 2022 are Gay H. and Don H., Sr. Thank-you to both for their service to the church! We will elect a new class of deacons at another date. Pastor Amy’s terms of call have been three-quarters time. On Sunday we approved reducing her hours to half-time in recognition of the smaller congregational size. Much of what she does for the congregation will remain the same. A full copy of the new terms of call is available in the office.
It is a joy to have Kim W. as our new Administrative Assistant in the office. If you did not get an opportunity to meet her after worship on September 22nd, please feel free to stop by and introduce yourself during office hours. Welcome, Kim!
The session has called a congregational meeting for Sunday, September 22nd following worship to elect new officers (elders and deacons) and to revise Pastor Amy’s terms of call to reflect our smaller church size.
“I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:19
Wednesday, May 29th, 15 people gathered together in the Fellowship Hall for an architectural design charrette. Five of the participants were from Edmonds Pres: Gay Hawkins, Nancy Evans, Margaret Kulkin, Linda Reynolds and me. The participants were from the original task force that studied the space requirements for the ministries of our church early on in the process. The other stake holders included: Presbytery of Northwest Coast (office and meeting space), the Samaritan Center counseling service (office and meeting space), our church, and a future preschool. Representatives from the amazing bilingual preschool, Pepitas, hosted at Lake Forest Park Presbyterian church, volunteered their time as consultants for this project so that whatever space we design would meet the needs for a similar niche preschool here.
The meeting was really a “charrette.” What is a charrette? It is, according to the dictionary, “a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions.” And that’s what we did! The architect brought with him the start of a design that reflected what each stakeholder was required to do in their particular form of ministry, and how these needs might all fit together into a remodeled building. Many of our needs overlap, and a large common multi-use space was one of the clear features of the plan. Our architect began his presentation with the words, “I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a project.” And his excitement was clearly reflected in each of the four stakeholders.
After the architect presented his initial design, we picked it apart. Where is the childcare room? What about storage? Would the parking be adequate? Is that the janitor’s closet? How many people could the meeting room seat? What about the seating in the sanctuary? How would access to the outdoor spaces work? The architect took notes of the concerns raised, and the suggestions for improvement. And at the end of the meeting we left the building even more excited by this redevelopment than we had been before.
The other side of this exciting change includes the need for patience, flexibility, faith, and perseverance. While the design will allow for us to continue to worship in this space while new spaces are being built, it will still be disruptive. We will need to be adaptable, to learn to share our spaces with even more people, and to be willing to try new ways of being with each other.
What is next? In conjunction with the other stakeholders we will be developing a plan for ministry on this site, explaining the hopes and dreams for each area of ministry and how the redeveloped building fits those desires. Funding sources will need to be explored and confirmed, and a time-line developed so that we know what is next and when we need to be prepared for the changes.
I left the meeting feeling hopeful. While a cathedral takes 500 years to build, and the Israelites wandered 40 years in the desert, we may see the “promised land” in a much shorter time frame. Several wise folks in the group said, from their own experience, take the time estimates and double them. In which case we are looking not at 3 years but at 6, and that gives us plenty of time to get ready to live fully into this new thing that God has in mind for us.
Please hold this continuing process in your prayers, as we prepare for the God’s new thing among us – do you perceive it?
A big thank-you to the saints of the church who spent up to five days in a row at the church, hedge, and tree trimming, repairing, sanding and painting. The cross and eaves have been re-painted. 5.6 TONS of yard waste were taken to the transfer station for composting. If you see them, please thank Eric M., Don I., Nancy E., Jerry & Jean G., Kathy M., Kathryn G., and anyone else I may have missed. Thank-you to all!
Did you notice that there has been some work done around the church? The cross was sanded & painted, trees & hedges were trimmed (over 5 tons of yard waste!!). Please please give a big thank-you to Don I., Nancy E., Eric M., Kathy M, Kathryn G., Don H Sr., Jean and Jerry G. and everyone else who assisted. Many hands really do make light work!
Selected members from the session and last year’s Property Task Force met with the architect for the building remodel during March. The next step is a joint meeting with all four stakeholders and the architect to review preliminary plans.
The others who are in this remodel with us are Northwest Coast Presbytery (office space), Samaritan Center of Puget Sound (counseling office space for several therapists) and representatives from an existing preschool that are helping us to design appropriate space for a possible new preschool program here.
Look for updates in April about the preliminary design! Change is coming – and we ARE ready for it! It is an exciting time to be part of this church community.
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