BOILING SPRINGS UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Report of the Pastor to the Church Council
July 19, 2018
Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
“When they [all] had plenty to eat, He said to His disciples, ‘Gather up the leftover pieces,
so that nothing will be wasted.’ So they gathered them, and filled twelve
baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves that had been left
over by those who had eaten.” --John 6:12-13
These two verses come from the Gospel reading for this coming Sunday, July 22nd. In it, as we all know, Jesus had taken the lunch of a young boy, only five barley loaves and a couple of small fish and made a miracle that over five thousand people saw and felt—using virtually nothing!
I witness miracles almost every day—real miracles that cannot be explained by science, coincidence or logic. Miracles that sometimes involve only one person, and miracles that affect hundreds of people. Things that would seem impossible for us—but are not only possible, but ordinary and commonplace for God!
As we continue our ministry together, let us be mindful of the miracles around us—and all that God can and does do! Miracles of life, miracles of faith, physical miracles, emotional miracles, miraculous cures, and miraculous works by the Great Comforter, by the Great Physician, by the precious Holy Spirit that always was—always is—and always will be! Be the channel through which a miracle happens! An unexpected young boy on a mountainside in Palestine did it many years ago, with Jesus’ help and blessing. May we be there for Jesus here and now, that more miracles may be seen among us and through us!
I write this report on July 5th, two days before our vacation week in the mountains. By the time of our Church Council planning meeting today, I hope the following will have happened—perhaps individual miracles in their own right…
· A very successful “Intergenerational Kitchen”should have taken place. Much planning and hard work has gone into this event, by Sandra Padgett, Sonya Craft and a host of others—to make this a success. It is my personal hope that this will quickly become an annual tradition.
· “Strategic Planning—Forward Focus”for which we have long waited, should be under way, with dates and celebrations booked on our Church calendar to carry us through the program. Our thanks to Walt Crozier and our committee for their passion, dedication and vision. The greatest days of Boiling Springs United Methodist Church are yet to come!
· Our Committee on Finance has begun its initial steps toward formulating a Revenue and Expense Budget for 2019. I have said over and over that my hope is that Boiling Springs UMC would soon be the standard against which other churches are measured. The dedication and skill of our Committee on Finance, in my opinion, has already reached that level. Our thanks to Chairperson Roger Backman and his Committee who constantly endeavor to merge the needs of the Church in mission and ministry with financial integrity and responsibility.
· Pastoral Carecontinues to be one of my major priorities, especially to those of our membership who are in hospitals or shut-in at home or in nursing care facilities. Coupled with Charles and Carolyn Taylor’s In-Touch Ministries team efforts, there should be no one in our Church who is not visited or ministered to, once their situation is made known to us.
· “Wonderful Wednesdays” continues to be a great source of outreach and service to perhaps the most vulnerable among us. Scores of children and youth who are not from Church member families, come to us and receive the touch of Jesus through this wonderful program. At this writing, plans are underway, with the help and expertise of Ben and Melissa Treaster and Sandra Padgett, to contact these non-member households to make them aware of what we offer as a Church, and to integrate them a bit more into Church life.
At this Church Council meeting, there are a couple of matters which, I believe, need attention. I would like to have the approval of the Council…
1. Trevor and Jessica Wyndhamand family are the son, daughter-in law and grandchildren of Bruce and Iris. They have been called from their Lexington Baptist Church to become missionaries to Portland, Oregon to begin a new church, which they call East Bridge Church. I had a meeting at their home on May 30th. They were to have left for Portland the end of June. They were looking for funding for their ministry. I explained our United Methodist polity regarding new Church starts, and said that while I could not make any decisions regarding ministry funding, I thought that our Church could be an event-oriented or “specific need” oriented source for them. They had already spoken to our Lay Leader Sylvia Backman, who shared an almost identical scenario with them. I would like to make a motion that a letter be sent to them, asking for a specific need/needs to which we could respond with budget funds or a fund-raiser (school supplies/backpacks, Bibles, etc.) to assist them. I would be glad to compose and send such a letter for the signatures of Dot Black and myself.
2. “Job Descriptions and Leadership Training”— We have had questions recently, regarding the function and responsibilities of several different Committees and persons. We would like all persons to know their own responsibilities, and the responsibilities of their particular Committee, so we may be a more efficiently running “machine.” Asking a person or committee to perform duties which are not their own, only seeks to overburden them, makes them ripe for burn-out and renders the affected committee less than what it could be. I have a new booklet from the UM Discipleship Resources, with abbreviated and simplified duties and responsibilities for each chairperson and committee, which I would like to take apart and distribute. I will be available to go over these with anyone who would like to do so, at any time.
3. “Committee on Nominations” will begin meeting within the next month or so, in preparation for our annual Charge Conference (which I would guess will be in October again). We thank those of you who continue serving the ministry of the Lord Jesus here at Boiling Springs. If we are indeed called upon as a Church to “make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” we cannot be true to this mandate if we all remain in the same office for years and years. Please keep this in mind as our Committee meets. Pray for our work, that we may be true to our faith, and true to the teachings of Jesus Christ!
When our primary goal as a local Church is focused on “making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” other temporary issues and minor disagreements pale for the sake of our primary calling and responsibility as a Church. Let us continue to grow—not only in terms of numbers and dollars, but more importantly as a “fellowship of believers,” “the Body of Christ,” “brothers and sisters one of another,” and “laborers in the harvest.” While we have come so far, we have much more distance to travel in our journey of faith together. May we continue to have “unity in our diversity,” as we look to Jesus Christ for our answers!