A Letter from the Pastor
*This letter was delivered to congregational mailboxes the morning of January 13th. What follows is simply the content of that letter.
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ and blessings for the beginning of 2019.
I don’t write many of these letters in the course of the year, but as we flip the calendar and begin again anew in 2019 it seems fitting that I update you on a few important items before we get carried away in the busyness that another year brings. I want to briefly bring you up to speed on three things: land, membership, and staffing changes (in that order).
First, with regards to the land and the sale process. It had been announced in early 2018 that the sale of the additional 10 acres of undeveloped land had fallen through. Well I am happy to inform you today that after re-listing the property in the summer, in November of 2018, we received another offer, and the Board and the District Executive Committee together have agreed to accept it. The new sale is still subject to a due diligence period that could possibly extend through the entirety of 2019, but this time we have secured some financial concessions from the buyer that make waiting for the deal to close less risky for the church. The total value of the offer is approximately 1.9 million dollars.
Second, with regards to membership. As has been previously announced, we are holding a vote on by-law revisions on February 3rdafter the worship service. This is to amend the section of the by-laws on church membership. The story is a bit long (as those who attended our informational Q&A meeting in December understand), but the net effect is that we are proposing that memberships are reviewed and renewed annually and that current memberships (should they not be renewed) would expire December 31, 2019. A copy of the proposed revisions is posted on the bulletin board by the mailboxes and are also available on the church website.
Lastly, as a consequence of the downturn in giving in 2018, and the Board of Elders’ commitment to the congregation to not table a budget in excess of the previous year’s revenue, we have had to make a difficult staffing decision. Paul Brown, our church custodian has seen his hours cut back by 40% which means that he will be working fewer hours in the coming year and prioritizing his work to focus on core cleaning tasks. Paul will no longer have the time to do tasks like, washing up dishes, picking up toys and crafts, setting up/tearing down furniture, or shovelling snow. This will mean that everyone is going to have to pitch in a bit more and work harder to keep the facility clean going forward.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding in these changing times. Please feel free to reach out to me, or any of the members of the Board of Elders if you have questions or ideas with regards to these issues.
May God bless you and may he continue to bless this congregation as we strive to faithfully serve Him in 2019.
Pastor Chris Smith