Ministry in 2015 has been fruitful. Did you know that our budget was the best it’s ever been! Because of our extensive surplus, we have been excellent stewards to stretch each dollar to maximize our reach in the community. While churches shrink and close, we are faithfully pursuing God and his people.
Honoring our niche! The good people of our church family have increasing appreciated our blend of worship weaving elements of ancient and traditional with elements of contemporary and new. We have redesigned our worship space to reflect both ancient and new with the use of lighting, sound, and décor. Where we were once limited with movement and steps, we now have a free range of flexibility with what we can do. Walls are coming down by the grace of God.
Likewise, our claim to fame in our community is our Preschool. Did you know that it is the only five star rated preschool in Polk County? For the last three years, we have achieved this honor. While other preschools shrink and close, we increased our capacity to 150 children. That’s 300 little feet skipping, jumping, and dancing here in our space from 6am-6pm Monday through Friday. Growth by leaps and bounds! This has required us to license more space to keep our credentials. Therefore, we have added fire alarms to the modulars and the Sanctuary building as well as add a covering between the modulars.
But wait, there’s more! To reach further with God’s Word and reach shut-ins or out-of-towners, we have begun to live stream our worship services. We’ve added stellar musicians and upgraded our CCLI licenses to perform and stream our music so more people can experience Jesus Christ. In addition, we have redesigned our website with credit to Ashley Musick.
Our Spring Festival, Fall Festival, Pumpkin Patch, and Thanksgiving Lunch to the Preschool hit record numbers this year. Jesus Christ changes lives and we are excited at the potential impact Jesus has through our reach within the community. This is the year that our After School Ministry to children has taken off. We were filled to capacity from the first day of school in the Fall! We have been gifted an incredible staff whom make our ministries such high quality.
We have celebrated the lives of Larry Clevenger and Pauline Perch. Pillars of our faith have graduated to the church triumphant. We added Elena Leiter, Norma Hage, Clare & John DeYoung, and Warren & Ann Frei to our membership roles. We baptizedElle Hartsell and Beckett Meyer. My excitement builds as I look toward 2016 when we grow into our space, our faith, and our relationships with each other through God’s Story. Let us step forward in faith towards a better tomorrow bathed in the Holy Spirit.
Building the Kingdom of God one Spark at a time!
Rev. Shaun Hartsell