Well, I have survived the first week! It was touch and go for a few days, but I believe we have made it! Seriously, I want to say “thank you” for everyone’s warm and generous welcome to my family and me. We are still in the transition phase but, hopefully, over the next couple of weeks, things will finally settle down. We are looking forward to a “normal” routine--- whatever normal really is.
Please continue to pray for Pokey, Sarai Grace, Juli Anna, Emma Leigh and me as we move into our new house, navigate through our new community and continue to meet and make new friends. We feel very blessed to be a part of the GBUMC family.
What a wonderful Sunday we had! Last week, over 2,300 people experienced the power and presence of The Holy Spirit at one of our three unique campuses.
There was a record attendance at GBUMC W@W. Jack is leading a powerful series on “The Shack” and has created serious conversation about God’s love and grace in the midst of difficult times.
Scott and our GBUMC Soundside family will continue where Bill Hybels left off last week, discussing the need for folks to move out their comfort zones and find the place where our hearts are “wrecked for God”.
And, at GBUMC Fairpoint, I will share the principles for “Living as an Acts 2 Church”, looking at the example of the first Christian community as described in Acts 2: 42-47.
We are so blessed to have a variety of worship opportunities at GBUMC. Truly, everyone has a place!
New Ministry Structure
Last week I mentioned the new ministry/staff structure approved by the Church Council. This new ministry design provides wonderful opportunities for focusing our ministry objectives around common tables and growing forward.
Over the next weeks, I will share more specific information about each of these ministry areas and introduce you to some of the objectives and goals for each team. However, first, I wanted to introduce you to those individuals who will provide oversight for each ministry team--- though, for most of them, no introductions are needed.
Herb Sadler, who also serves as Pastor of GBUMC, will lead our Connections Team. The Connections Team is charged with developing ministries that provide meaningful opportunities for people to connect within the life of the Church and within the purpose of God’s intentions for their place in service to the world.
Jack Kale will lead our Compassion Ministries Team, as well as continue as Campus/Lead Pastor of GBUMC W@W. The Compassion Ministries Team provides for ministries that respond to the needs of the under resourced in our local and global community and that provide outlets for the congregation to serve as the ‘hands and feet of Jesus’ in our midst.
Jennifer Keenan will lead our Family Ministries Team. Jennifer has served ably as the Director of Children’s Ministries of the Fairpoint campus since 2005 and for both campuses since January of this year. The Family Ministries Team provides foundational connections for living as the Body of Christ in Biblical community and intersects the power of faith and Biblical teaching with the practical nature and potential of our everyday lives.
Ruth Knights will lead our Congregational Care Team. Ruth has led this ministry for several years and will continue her wonderful work in caring for the needs of our church family. The Congregational Care Team provides care, concern, prayer and support for families and individuals at various stages, places and circumstances of life and to engage the congregation in service and community for one another.
Paula Reid will lead our Church Operations Team. Church Operations is a large, important and daunting task area for the church. It provides logistical, fiscal and operational support for the life of the church. Literally, we cannot function without this wonderful ministry team.
Finally, Bo Parker will lead our Worship Ministries Team. Bo is new to GBUMC but not new to worship ministry. He has been sharing his unique gifts of worship leadership for over twenty years and we are very blessed to have Bo and his family as a part of the GBUMC family. The Worship Ministries Team will provide opportunities that point the congregation back to God for praise and worship. This will be the first time, since GBUMC’s move to multi-campus ministry that our worship teams will be working in one department. We are very excited about what God will do as this great team joins together.
Scott Veroneau will serve as Campus/Lead Pastor of GBUMC Sounside and will continue to provide oversight for the Recreation Ministry of GBUMC. The growth and development of GBUMC Soundside is such a testament to the hand and work of God in this congregation.
Again, over the next weeks, I will introduce you to specifics in the life of each ministry area and, hopefully, unveil the incredible potential for taking the already unbelievable, stellar ministry of GBUMC to new heights. And, you will see more and more ways that we are organizing our congregational life around these ministry teams, including bulletin, newsletter and web information.
But, as I mentioned last week, what WILL NOT CHANGE is the continued focus on Hospitality, Hope and Healing. I feel very blessed to be a part of this team and look forward to what God will do.
GBUMC is excited to have partnered with The United Methodist Hour to provide new ministry podcast opportunities including “Making Life Matter” and “Salt and Light”. MLM is a three to four minute “life lesson”. Currently, we are talking about Jesus’ “Red Letter Words”. Salt and Light is a podcast program that takes everyday life issues and intersects them with Biblical principles. Next week, Herb and I discuss what “We Learned Yesterday About Tomorrow”, lessons from the tables of our lives.
And, of course, you will be able to listen, either through our webcast ministry or podcasts, to the worship services from both the Fairpoint and Soundside campuses. We are currently developing a way to share W@W in the upcoming weeks.
Go to www.gbumc.org to link to the podcast page.
Stars in My EyesAnd, I want to say “thank you” to the Silvertones for a wonderful presentation this past Monday at our Sharing and Caring event. The music was wonderful. The food was delicious. But, more than anything, the spirit that filled the place touched my heart. Thank you for making my family feel so welcome and for sharing your wonderful gifts of song and hospitality with us.
Watch for Crocodiles
Finally, you may want to take a second look before putting your toes in the water around here. I hear there are “crocs” in the area!
The 2009 Vacation Bible School program is “Crocodile Dock” and it promises to be a great experience. If you haven’t already done so, please plan to support the work of this important time in our church’s life. I have seen the sets and decorations and can only say “Wow!” You will not be disappointed.
Well, that should be enough for this week.
Again, thank you for your kind welcome. We have much going on and much to do, but God is way ahead of us. We are blessed.
I love you all.
Be Salt and Light… You matter.
1 Corinthians 15: 58