ANNUAL CHARGE CONFERENCE: OCTOBER 25, 2017
REPORT OF THE PASTOR
“…Grace, mercy and peace from God our Creator and the Lord Jesus Christ.
For by grace [we] have been saved through faith; and that not of [ourselves],
it is the gift of God. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace
given us, each is to exercise them accordingly…”
(II Timothy 1:2, Ephesians 2:8, Romans 12:6)
These words, taken from the writings of the apostle Paul, are as timely and relevant for us here at Boiling Springs as they were for Paul’s close friend and colleague Timothy, and for the churches at Ephesus and Rome. That is part of the Divine magic of Holy Scripture—words spoken to those for whom they were first written which continue speaking to God’s people, even today!
I hope the above Scripture verse and paragraph sound familiar to each of you, as they are a “cut and paste” from my report of last year! These words still hold true, and the grace of Almighty God has certainly been most evident! Although our Charge Conference dates (2016 vs. 2017) differ by only two days, we have come so far in the past twelve months. It seems our momentum keeps accelerating, as it should be, as we continue to “…make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!”
In just a few short months (March 1st to be exact) I will have completed three years as your Pastor. Sylvia joins me in gratitude for your love, support, discipleship and prayers as we seek to be the disciples of Jesus Christ in these challenging times. Personal integrity, transparency, openness and mutual respect by all of us have benefitted our mutual ministry here at Boiling Springs. Let’s all keep up the good work!
So… What’s new???
· We have left the attitudes of the past, only to remember the lessons they have taught us, and have focused our vision on the future! We have in place a “Forward Focus – Strategic Planning” committee under the able chairmanship of Walt Crozier, and are awaiting further support, cooperation and implementation from our Columbia District. Not to be wasting any time, at this Charge Conference we hope to consolidate form and function by combining Evangelism, Mission and Outreach into one committee. Out thanks to Dianne Kinzly who will be the chair of this newly expanded area. Just formed last month, a separate committee has been created to create and publish a new pictorial directory. Our thanks to Neil Craps for leading this effort.
· Our Committee on Finance continues to operate at full steam, providing the best oversight on our budgeting and cost control. Roger Backman keeps us focused on the “bottom line” always, and he has our thanks and appreciation. We have a new Church treasurer in Rebecca Lutz, and we continue to update our financial systems as needed.
· Our “In-Touch Ministries” headed up by Charles and Carolyn Taylor, continues to provide expanded help and assistance to me, relative to congregational care—especially to our shut-ins and nursing home residents. As a group of “super-seniors,” these are the once-active folks who have been the officers, the movers and shakers, the deal-makers and true disciples, whose legacy of hard work and their love of Jesus has enabled this Church to survive and to thrive. We must neither forget them nor let them become any less than the sages and mentors they are.
· This past Sunday on October 22nd, we received into Church membership the Johnstone/ Wolf/ Sites family. For those of you who might have missed it, they represent four generations of the same family, joining our Boiling Springs Church family. It was a glorious day, indeed! Our Church continues to grow in numbers and depth of faith—and I am grateful to be a small part of that.
· Homecoming Sundayis this coming Sunday, October 29th. Special music by our Praise team and our Chancel Choir will highlight this special 10:30 AM Combined Service. Please join us for Church School at 9:30 AM, and stay after Worship for a tradition United Methodist Covered Dish Luncheon at 12:00 Noon. These are indeed glorious days for Boiling Springs Church!
These are but five areas that come to mind. There are so many others. My personal thanks, and the gratitude of our whole Boiling Springs UMC community, for all of our officers, committee members and task force persons who
As an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church, I am ordained to “…Word, Sacrament and Order.” I try my best with all my being, to be faithful to this mandate. For John Wesley and for Ken Prill, Scripture always comes first. It is central to our belief and our practice. Scripture is always read from the pulpit each Sunday at both services of worship, and the effective application of these Divine words to our life today is central to every sermon. The Sacraments (Baptism and Holy Communion) are celebrated regularly and often, to both Church attendees and shut-ins, in a manner which is traditional to our faith. As Pastor, I am also mandated to “order the life of the Church.” The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church states that the Pastor shall be “…the chief administrator of the local church.” I also take this very seriously. This does not mean that the Pastor makes all the local Church’s decisions. It does mean that when decisions are made (the Charge Conference and the Church Council being the highest local Church judicatories), I am mandated to put these majority decisions into practice. Fortunately, we have a great team of leaders who continually help me to make this happen.
Each year, our District Superintendent asks me, “Well, Ken—how much longer do you want to do this, before you retire for the second and last time?” My answer for the past three years has been, “Oh, maybe a couple more years!” Then she says, “That’s what you said last year, and the year before that!” Well folks, I think God has been extremely good to all of us—to all of you as well as to Sylvia and me—as we seek to do great ministry together! As long as it’s working well, let’s not try and fix it! Let’s leave it up to Almighty God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to motivate us to reach even higher—to achieve even more—and to be the best at “…making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!” Thanks be to God—and “To God be the glory—Great things He has done!”
Together in Christ,