The congregation has done a great job of sharing needs, concerns, and dreams during the Intentional Interim Ministry process to date. We’ve heard you say that Bible study and fellowship are important – along with Moravian traditions and a strong sense of openness toward and support for one another. (See the July 7 Transition Team Report/Update).
You’ve also expressed interest in continuing to strengthen our children and youth ministries, developing more robust networks for ministry to the South Fork community, streamlining our organizational structures, and exploring some appropriate variety in our worship services. (See the Executive Summary: Transition Team Report from July 28 Joint Sunday School Exercise). We’ve heard you there, too – and we sense the Lord’s voice was in all of that as well.
As we mentioned earlier, some of the input we’ve received will influence our vision and values statements. Some of it will help determine the skills a new Senior Pastor needs in order to be effective among us moving forward. Some of it will find its way into the Short-Term Ministry Plan that a new Senior Pastor will have as a “to do list” from which to work during his or her first few months after arrival. And some of what you’ve brought up can and should claim our attention and energy now.
So, here are some of the things being done right away to help us continue our preparation for the days ahead. This is a great time to be part of New Philadelphia Moravian Church!
Structure and Communication
- A new committee proposal has been approved by the Joint Board and announced to the church. It will be presented at the annual Congregational Council meeting in October.
- The Communications Committee is working on concerns mentioned on the recent Transition Team surveys – and will report back to the church soon.
- The Transition Team and Human Resources Advisory Committee are updating staff position descriptions. They will also draft a church “organizational chart.”
- An OPERATIONS MANUAL is being developed to publish and consolidate policies, procedures, and other important documents.
- Joe and Larry are sketching recommendations to update our Rules and Regulations. These will be vetted through the Joint Board and presented to the church for consideration.
- We will add (at least temporarily) two or more “Denominational Representatives” to our lay leadership roster to enhance communication with the Provincial Elders Conference and the various boards and agencies of the Southern Province.
- Our values, priorities, and preferred ministry skill sets have been shared with the Provincial Elders Conference through the Joint Board, and the Pastor Search process is under way!
Worship and Bible Study
- We will continue to use hymns and choruses suggested by the congregation this summer.
- We are planning for a series of combined worship services during Advent.
- We are experimenting with a model for a mid-week Bible study and worship opportunity. Over 50 people attended the first session in October. The next one is planned for November 14.
- Two new Sunday School classes have recently been formed – one for men and one for college and young adults.
- Joe has agreed to champion the research into and development of a small groups ministry for our church. He is also scheduling some outside guest teachers to bring special lessons from time to time.
- In early November we will look at the Old Testament book of Nehemiah in worship, and seek to answer the question “now what?”
- An exciting new relationship is being forged with Tapestry Church (which meets in the school next door) to reach out to the South Fork community. Their pastor will bring the message for our Thanksgiving Lovefeast on November 24.
- We now have a mission and ministry liaison in most of our adult Sunday School classes and will soon be working on a new Mission and Ministry Council structure for our Missions and Social Concerns Committee.
Fellowship and Support
- We now have a pastoral care liaison in most of our adult Sunday School classes and have developed a plan to enhance congregational care by “sharing” that responsibility between staff, class leadership, and Stephen Ministers.
- The combined worship services during Advent will allow time for a refreshment fellowship each of those Sunday mornings.
- Our new pictorial directory will be available soon.
- Supper clubs are set to return by February of 2020.
Children and Youth/Other
- Daniel Godfrey is off to a great start in his new role as Director of Youth Ministries.
- Two of our young people are currently serving on the Regional Youth Advisory Council for Moravian churches in the area.
- As part of the current position description update, Evie will be able to devote more time to building a “second-to-none” Children’s ministry.
- Clyde will “officially” assume new responsibilities soon in the areas of special events and outreach/communication.