28 Jan Hold That Thought… Session Sets Stage for Strong 2021
We are so blessed! At our recent Session meeting, so many good things were set in place. While the agenda had a business tone to it, there was mission at every turn. Even the annual details of finances and statistical reports reminded us of the calling we share as a congregation. And the spirit in which your officers moved forward was contagious. You could sense that God is truly at work in these challenging times. Here are a few highlights:
Approved 2021 Budget—Thanks to your generosity, the Session was able to adopt a budget that is quite similar to the one we met last year. Contributions in 2020, including a strong giving month of December, set the tone for this coming year. You are to be commended for your commitment to the mission of our church. Our collective gifts form the foundation for the months ahead. The 2021 budget, set at 2.2 million dollars, will allow us to continue and expand our ministries.
Thornwell Partnership—Perhaps the most exciting part of the agenda was exploring a new relationship that we are seeking to establish with Thornwell. Located in Clinton, SC, this ministry serves at risk children and their families throughout the southeast. In recent years, Thornwell has been able to re-invent its ministry, moving from a primarily residential operation to a satellite focus. Two vital programs, Building Families and Foster Care, have been established in 20 local communities. Because of the great need for these services, and our long-standing support of Thornwell, we have been invited to partnership in this effort along the Grand Strand. Our Session approved starting this process, including $15,000 in the budget and exploring office space in our facilities to house this excellent mission.
Annual Congregational Meeting—This meeting has been called for Sunday, March 7, 2021, at 10:30 am. While the logistics are yet to be determined, the meeting will be either in person or by virtual communication. Both options include live streaming with votes by members of the church. Our Annual Report will be posted online by March 1. The agenda for the meeting is as follows: 1) The Election of Elders and Deacons for the Class of 2024 (The Officer Nominating Committee will present the slate of names in advance.) 2) Report on the 2021 budget with a vote to adjust the continuing education reimbursements for two ministers (All other Terms of Call remained the same for this year.) 3) Hear a brief State of the Church Address from the Senior Minister.
Columbarium Update—Plans for this much-needed part of our campus are almost finished. We should have final drawings and construction costs in the next few weeks. To date we have pre-sold 45 niches. If you are interested in purchasing one, doing so soon would be helpful to the committee.
Task Force Report– Last but not least, the Task Force shared their efforts to keep us safe during this pandemic. While they remain hopeful for better days ahead, especially as more and more persons are being vaccinated, they made the clear and unanimous decision to continue online worship for the month of February.
Please know that I am grateful to be your pastor during these most unusual days. May God bless our faithful efforts as we serve together!