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.
Both the session and its task force are hard at work! The session, as usual, is focused on the health and outreach of this congregation; worship, prayer together, educational opportunities, mission in the community and other opportunities to share the love of Christ. A healthy church is a church that is able to nurture and support those who come and see what we are all about. A healthy church is also an inviting church – so this is your reminder to continue to invite friends, neighbors, and others God puts on your heart. The task force has been charged with the task of looking at the long-term future of our congregation and its sustainability. While we only recently have begun to dip into reserves to support our budget, we do not have unlimited reserves. The session is interested in creative options that both help sustain this congregation’s ministry, and also bless our community of Edmonds. You have heard some of the wild and wonderful ideas being proposed. The task force’s job is to see what is realistic and to craft an approach toward this potentially exciting future together.
The session carefully monitors income and expenses throughout the year. January income was as anticipated. February income was less than expected. If you feel led to give a little extra this month it would help.
As one of the animals on the Ark said to the other after Noah shut the door, “Where are we going?” The response, “Only the Lord knows.”
That is the same with the Vision 2025, only the Lord knows how this is going to end up, no decisions have been made, EXCEPT one. The decision that has been made is to make sure that the Legacy of the Edmonds Presbyterian Church is one of continuing to bless those who come in contact with the church. In the past that legacy was to be, “a caring community of faith in Christ Jesus our Lord. United in service, study and worship. Committed through intentional action, to reach others with the love of God in Christ.” In the future, we hope and pray that we will continue to bless our community, perhaps in a different way, but that is subject to all things working out. So what does this mean?
We (Session) don’t feel it would be appropriate to use up the financial reserves that have been set aside by the Saints who have gone before us and when the funds run out, close the door, sell the property (the proceeds going to Presbytery) and we are through. This does not seem to bless our community and would not be responsible to the Legacy of the Saints who have served the Lord through their gifts of time, talent, and money over the last 50 years in this congregation. This is the only option your Session has indicated they want to avoid. But, if all other options fail, this is the easiest and involves the least amount of work for Session.
In our recent Town Hall meeting (January 2018) and in the Frequently Asked Questions about the Future of Edmonds Presbyterian Church document, Session has made the effort to share with the congregation that we are not being responsible to those who have gone before us by letting the church close and “sell the property”;
What we do with the property is still “up in the air (heaven).” Actually, I am sure the decision has already been worked out in heaven. I just hope we, as a Session, are able to listen for God’s voice in this issue. If you are hearing God’s voice on this issue, speak! Share your thoughts, hopes, and fears with any of the Session members.
So what are the options available to us: ALL. In trying to find a way to bless others in our community, housing frequently comes up as a major source of frustration due to its very high cost in our area. Could we bless a specific group of people by providing a key piece of that housing cost? Yes. What groups could benefit from having the property already purchased? Young families, singles, teachers, those trying to change their lives, retired people (like retired Presbyterians - do you know any?).
Which group have we as a Session decided to focus on, or should we look at other options? We are leaning towards housing, but that has not been decided. As for a specific group to bless, it has not been decided. When there is enough information to provide to the congregation to answer the questions that will be asked, you will be given an opportunity to decide. Until then, pray for your Pastor, pray for your Session, and pray for your Community.
We will attempt to keep you updated on Vision 2025 each month here in the Caller. Thank you. God Bless -
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:19,
Our congregation is part of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Synod of Alaska- Northwest, and Northwest Coast Presbytery. Each year we are assessed an amount per member (per capita) to support the operations of each of these governing bodies, including salaries, meeting expenses, and travel expenses. The 2018 per capita assessment is $48.23, and is divided in this way: NWC Presbytery ($40.00), Synod ($0.50), and General Assembly ($7.73). The synod reduced their per capita by $1, a change we were unaware of before last week, which is why the envelope in your offering box has the incorrect amount. If you are able to pay for your per capita, that keeps this expense out of our general budget. Please put “per capita” in the memo line on your check, or place the amount in your per capita envelope when you send that in to the church. Thank you!
A meeting was held Sunday, January 21st, to discuss the results of our Vision 2025 study done by the Session. The summary of the material presented at the meeting was enclosed in the printed version of the newsletter. You may pick up a copy of the handouts at church, or contact the church office to have them mailed to you. Please address any questions to Elder Don I. or Pastor Amy. We are excited about the way God is leading us into the future, and feel very blessed to be part of the community of the church at this time.
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!
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