They can be special. For us it’s a chance to catch up on odds and ends working from my home office and having time with Jo Ann… and Winston of course. He kind of likes us both being around. So, with some thinking time available, there are a
FEW ITEMS OF NOTE:
I continue being encouraged by all of you. Thanks for your patience and understanding during difficult times. I recognize these days are not ‘business as usual’. How can they be? Yet, we are progressing each week and God is blessing us daily.
Mary Marie and Wendy M as Co - Presidents are taking a huge load of responsibilities; as are Gail and Wendy L.
This way I can be free to think and seek God’s guidance.
- Peace and Joy, Pastor Remo
2. An Emotional Presidential Election.
3. Church Fire.
Yikes. That’s a lot of ‘worsts’. Anytime things are confusing its simply not good times. There is a choice: Will one barely hang in there and survive or will it be an effort to strive to thrive?
Our choice is clear. We intend to thrive.
All the cards are against this church surviving so many strikes: After all, here are three strikes and with three in baseball, you are out… DONE. We have no building. It’s gutted and dangerous pollutants sit in the air. We have no office space, education space, worship space. It’s winter and we’re trying to worship outside. Thrive? How about barely survive?
Yet, we are thriving. We have determined that with God all things are possible; even though our membership size logically should not be able to take on a Re Build. It’s becoming apparent that the community, our church members, our family, our friends and even strangers are not willing to watch from the sidelines. People are pitching in from near and far.
A miracle is unfolding. The worst of times just might become in time the best of times. With God, anything is possible. In our personal lives and in our church life.
WE ARE EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THAT TENTS ARE COMING!!!
Two tents… and we are thankful to those who have made this possible. One tent will be the ‘Meeting Tent’; 30 x 60.
The other will be the ‘Children’s Tent’; 20 x 20. Heaters will be acquired. These tents will also provide us with opportunity for weekday meetings, Summer Camp, weddings and more. They have a life - span of 5 – 10 years. They will be a blessing for years to come.
This summer we’ll be a “Camp Church’” with lots of outdoor fun for all ages. Watch for news of our SUMMER CAMP AND ACTIVITIES.
THE RE - BUILD
It’s been huge to get organized but organized we are! The first step was to do all we could to mitigate the damage. It was the right thing to do and also satisfies the insurance company. The building got boarded up, security fence installed, and the interior entirely gutted due to water fire and smoke damage. We are facing some immense costs such as asbestos and lead remediation; both deeply buried under paint and layers of flooring but now exposed by the fire.
This plus having to upgrade to current standards – they’ve changed since 1950!!! – make the Re Build a significant financial challenge. We’re thankful to the many who have already started to give. It will be a rather tough journey but know that together with church and friends we can do it. The coming steps are:
1. Get the Insurance Settlement.
2. Review Re Build Options. We want to be smart about matters like handicap accessibility, giving our Food Pantry acceptable space, bathrooms, community counseling ministry, Addictions Programs (we host 15), Children’s Ministries, etc..
3. Decide on budget and plans.
One of Pastor Remo’s favorite sayings is: ‘Inch by inch it’s a cinch. Yard by yard its hard’. We will get there and we know that when people love the Lord and desire to serve Him, “All things are possible” (Phil. 4:13).
The Congregational Annual Meeting is next Sunday, January 24 at 11. We will set 2020 behind us and launch into the most challenging year we’ve ever encountered in our church history.
During tough times more kindness is needed than ever. Our newly formed Good Shepherd Kindness Crew is composed of pre school and elementary children led by teens and adults. The concept is to do acts of kindness to people who we appreciate and perhaps could use a bit of appreciation.
The first project was last Sunday to give hearts of appreciation to the Fire Department for all they have done for us and community.
Normally, Church Camp is a week in the summer when you get away and enjoy nature while building relationships and faith in Jesus. These are powerful experiences set in the outdoors. Guess what? We will be an outdoor ‘CAMP’ CHURCH for a while!.
We will make the very best of it with plenty of outdoor activities. There’ll be weiner roasts, picnics, outdoor games and singing around the campfire. It will be unique and it will be fun. Two sturdy all weather tents have been purchased; a ‘Meeting Tent” (30 x 60) and a “Children’s Tent’ (20 x 20). and arrive in a month…We’ll have lights and heaters.
We have almost completely emptied the building of contents. Very little could be saved. All books reek of smoke or are water or fire damaged. Some hard surface items have been salvaged. It’s over 250,000.00 in damage. The entire building is gutted except for the offices and they are likely to follow.
WE HAVE ASBESTOS AND LEAD. This is not good because ridding the property of these is very costly and cuts dramatically into what we have from insurance for ‘bricks and boards.’
We remain determined to Re - Build safer and better with the vision of having a building that can continue effectively serving the Lord; bringing His light to the darkness of this world.
The task is big; but our God is bigger.
Mary Marie is in charge of the “REBUILD CAMPAIGN” that includes Communications, Appreciation, Events, Prayer, Visual, and Set Up Teams. She will recruit Coordinators to lead each group who report to her. In total we need 80 different volunteers. We ask you to serve on one team only. Wendy is leading the Construction Team which has already been set.
We have a huge challenge ahead of us and we succeed as we all give of ourselves. Here is a first look at the organizational structure.
COMMUNICATIONS TEAM. This Team must ensure that all communications happen effectively via electronic mail, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Postal Service.
APPRECIATION TEAM: This is a long journey and appreciation for the giving of time, treasure and talent is important.
EVENTS TEAM: This group plans special events to inform and cheer us on. A key element is their organizing ‘Vision Events’ where we gather to talk about and get up to date information regarding our Re - Build progress.
PRAYER TEAM: This Team prays over the different periods of the campaign.
VISUAL AWARENESS TEAM: This team ensures there are relevant banners, drawings of the project etc. constantly displayed on site.
SUNDAY SET UP TEAM: The set up needs to be appealing and always give the theme that we are in the midst of with our Re - Build. Banners, signs and general atmosphere encouraging the vision is critical. A positive, Christ centered atmosphere is desired.
CONSTRUCTION TEAM: Reviews plans, hears the needs of the congregation, presents plans, meets with architect, works with Construction Company.