State of the Church Report
“Getting to know you, getting to know all about you,
Getting to like you, getting to hope you like me.”
from “The King and I”
That’s what this first year has been all about – getting to know one another. From my first Sunday as your pastor, when I sang this song to you in worship, we have been building relationships and trust between us. We’ve worked and played, worshiped and prayed, thrown confetti and shed painful tears. We’ve questioned and studied, planned and dreamed, and shared so many meals together that the number of them only shows up on my bathroom scale. We have spent precious time together, and you have welcomed me into your lives and hearts. I am thankful and greatly blessed to serve with and among you.
I continue to be impressed by you! You are generous, faithful, and hospitable people. You respond with enthusiasm to ongoing or mission or special giving requests, and you are an amazing group of volunteers and staff. You have a true love for the community, reaching out to touch the hearts and lives of the children, youth, adults, and elders of Clio. You proclaim your faith in word, song, prayer and action, and live your faith with courage and hope. The sadness and wounding I sensed among you when I first arrived has begun to heal, and your spirit has grown more confident and joyful. You have opened yourselves to the power of God’s renewing grace, and the Holy Spirit dwells and moves here in a mighty way.
As we prepared for this Church Conference, the Ad Board reviewed the overall statistics of the last 10 years. We noted a slow but steady decline in attendance and membership, while our financial base remains strong. Although we are not at crisis levels yet, we agreed to actively and intentionally address this reality before it becomes a more serious problem. You can see the numbers and read more of our ideas in the Church Profile in the packet.
I am eager to see where God will lead us, and I believe we are ready to discern and take our next steps. With the resources, spiritual gifts, faith and energy that God has already planted here, and the healing that God has already given, it is time for us to look boldly to the future. In the coming year, we will pray expectantly, listen deeply, and dream wildly. We will welcome new leaders and encourage those who have served for many years. We will watch for God to open new doors, and we will hold hands and walk through them together. With God’s guidance and grace, we will be the church, so that others will come to know and love the God who has redeemed us. May it be so.
Shalom, Pastor Cathi
P.S. This report was given as part of our Church Conference on September 23, 2018. It is included in the Conference packet along with several pieces of helpful information. You may pick up a packet at the back of the church or in the church office.