August is here and with it comes plenty of important opportunities for us to consider as a church family. First, please give a big welcome to James and Cara Srodulski. James officially begins as our executive pastor on August 1. He will come to join us at one of the busiest times of the year for our church, the beginning of the new school year. Sunday school promotion for K-5 through 12th grade takes place on Sunday, August 5.
Our Wednesday night meal and adult choir practice will start back on Wednesday night, August 1. There will also be a business report and Bible study in the New Life Building that evening at 6:00pm. Sunday, July 29, was the final sermon in the series “O Church Arise.” On the first Sunday of the month, Cody Turner will be preaching for us in both worship services. He will preach on August 5 out of his passion for reaching the next generation. Don’t miss it!
Wednesday night, August 15, is children’s ministry kickoff. Our children will have another exciting year learning Scripture together in IGNITE and worshiping the Lord through song in the age-graded children’s choir ministry.
As you know, unity has been an important theme for us in the past year. Over these summer months the church staff has been looking at what we do together on Wednesday nights as a church body. We also have been thinking about the high numbers of students who worship on Wednesday nights when school starts back. The fall semester is always the strongest attendance of the year for student ministry. We also have been very mindful as a staff about the financial investment that you have made as a church into our facility, in particular the New Life Building.
August 8 is the Wednesday night kickoff for our student ministry. Just like last year, they will meet in the New Life Building for a special worship service (parents are invited to come and sit in the balcony). The students will also be treated to Chick-fil-A and Frios—thank you, Rob Bowman and Matthew Oleson! That evening, all dining and the pastor’s Bible study and prayer time will take place in the CFLC.
We are excited to bring our people together into one space to fellowship around the dinner tables beginning on Wednesday night, August 8, when the students use the New Life Building for their kickoff service. As the staff has thought through the goal for unity, fellowship, stewardship, and opening doors for growth in our student ministry, we plan to keep this model in place moving forward in August – dining taking place in the CFLC and youth worship taking place in the New Life Building. Here are the reasons to make this change:
If our goal as a church is to bring people together in unity, it makes sense to bring everyone together around the tables in one room.
By remaining in one room, there will be more opportunities for all of us to mix together rather than following our natural human tendency to circle up with the same people every week.
The New Life Building is an excellent multipurpose space but is not being utilized to its full technological capacity and design by keeping the Wednesday night adult Bible study in the room. Youth worship on Wednesdays and a future college ministry worship service there will maximize the room’s potential as multipurpose and worship space.
It is much easier for new students and parents to find the New Life Building than the youth space on the fourth floor. All youth rooms will continue to be used on Sunday mornings.
The youth can also do their recreation activities in the New Life Building rather than putting dividers in the CFLC and asking people eating to move near the end of the dining hour for students to play dodge ball.
With our current two-room dining setup, it is tempting for folks to stay and linger in the CFLC after 6pm rather than connect in the pastor’s Bible study or another Bible study. We will retain more people by doing the Bible study in the same room where dining takes place.
We have wonderful kitchen volunteers on Wednesday nights (most of whom are willing to serve every week), but this new dining configuration of utilizing only the CFLC allows our volunteers to be able to rotate and share the volunteer opportunity.
We have looked at numbers and the CFLC will accommodate our total Wednesday night crowds. By putting everyone in the same space to eat, we want to be mindful of the traffic flow so the following will be done to accommodate:
One line will open for dinner at 4:45 for those who want to come early to avoid any lines and also get their choice of preferred tables and seats.
We are working to have a second line for folks to pay for their meal with a card in the CFLC lobby. You will still be able to pay in the usual line by cash or check.
The adult Bible study will move back to beginning at 6:15 rather than 6:00 to allow more time for those who are unable to come early for dinner.
On Sunday, August 12, we will begin a new sermon series on the Apostles’ Creed. This creed was not actually written by the apostles but is one of the oldest creeds in church history. Regardless of how little we have recited the Apostles’ Creed as a church and denomination, the Apostles’ Creed is worthy of our attention. The Bible is our ultimate authority when it comes to our doctrinal beliefs. Still, creeds and confessions of faith are valuable tools that can help us remember what the Bible says. After journeying together through this new sermon series, our church will have a stronger foundation of biblical theology.
In this month’s Evangel you will also see the deacons selected by the nominating committee and approved by our current deacons to come before the church for congregational vote on Sunday, August 26. Per our bylaws, this will be our church’s annual meeting where we will vote to confirm the deacon nominations and new committee chairs and members. Any other items needing congregational approval will be brought before the church that same morning.
Most importantly on Sunday, August 26, we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper together as a congregation. In all that we do let us continue to fix our eyes on Jesus, realizing that everything that we do as a church must revolve around exalting Jesus and making Him known to as many people as possible. As we move forward as a church let us truly love one another, for this is how the world will know that we are Jesus’ disciples (John 13:34-35)
In Christ’s love,