It seems like everybody is doing a “state of the something” review, so why not our church. However, rather than launching into a multi-page report on the good, the bad and the ugly, I want to lift up a few areas in the life of our church which are indicative of our life together. And, happily, there are amazing things happening here.
Probably the single biggest item that everyone wants to know about is our building project. This past fall our church supported (with a 95+% yes vote) an amazing vision for First UMC. I purposely did not say they supported a building project, because what we are doing with our expansion is supporting a wonderful vision and mission which will allow us to become a community-centered, mission-minded church!
To make this project a reality and double the size of our facility so that we can do ministry in many exciting ways, our financial goal is $13.2 million. At first this goal seemed out of reach, but the great thing about dreaming and living God-sized visions is that God is as invested in our project as we are. Believe it or not, we are only about $500,000 short of our goal and hope to reach that by our groundbreaking on February 26th.
A second exciting part of our life together is the introduction of an entire new program for “faith formation”. We have developed a full-range of learnings for adults in every aspect of their faith journeys. We launched this program with our introductory class dealing with “faith” as well as searching and claiming our understandings of a theology in our own lives.
Another major item in our life is the first ever DeKalb County Child Abuse Awareness Summit. This event will be held at our church on April 13th. We will have as our keynoters Judge Charles Pratt of Allen County and Antwone Fisher (nationally known speaker and writer whose story was told in the movie “Antwone Fisher”). Although this is a community supported event, the idea and much of the driving force came from First UMC!
Besides these wonderful things, here are some other signs of hope within our life together:
- • Continued growth in our community involvement
- • Missions trips for youth and adults
- • Baptisms, professions of faith
Our church had an exciting year in 2016, and we are looking forward to living out God’s vision and mission in the year ahead!