Bienvenidos a la casa de Dios.
This weekend begins a whirlwind week which will involve two graduations and a lot of celebrating with family. Saturday Janae will graduate from Ball State University and we have planned a reception in honor of her and Saisha who is graduating the following Friday from Vanderbilt. You are invited to come to the Eagle Nest Clubhouse located at 8075 Teel Way. The reception will run from 2-5 pm this Sunday.
The Youth Mission Spaghetti Dinner & Dessert Auction was a lot of fun as Ron Phillips brought his quick wit and humor to the auctioning process. May I brag once again that my pineapple cheesecake brought the highest single bid, but I have to concede that Marilyn Clark’s baking brought in the most overall proceeds as she sold five pans of cinnamon rolls at $60 and above per pan. Thank goodness I got one of those pans. Don’t be surprised if I look a little plump on Sunday. We believe the dinner and auction brought in over $2,700 to the Youth Mission Trip to White Oak, Tennessee this June.
Monday night we learned at Administrative Council that 91 pledges were made for our Faith Promise Missions for a total of $34,000 pledged so far. We typically will receive more pledges after Missions Sunday so we believe we will surpass last year’s totals. The most exciting piece of this good news was that 41 pledges came from our 11:00 service with many coming from our newest worshippers. Thanks to Ben Life and Ric Gasaway for leading the service and Nate Sparks for putting together a great interpretive video. One motion approved at the Administrative Council, was to fund the training for Pastor Matthew Phipps to attend the Bridges Out of Poverty and Getting Ahead Workshops in November with the Kroger Community Reward receipts. These will be essential pieces to building the Bridges/Circles Ministry we will be launching in early 2016.
We also learned at the council meeting that the Food Pantry has experienced a 10% shrinkage in shoppers after declining all Lawrence Township residents beginning in January. Lawrence residents are now adequately served by two new pantries in their township. This is a good thing! We are still serving around 3,000 shoppers a month. We are also changing the name to Old Bethel & Partners Food Pantry and making a sign which will have our new Old Bethel logo on it. We believe this will better tie this vital ministry to the church while acknowledging the support we receive from the Warren Township community.
A few more tidbits from our staff meeting: I can announce that we have completed our drive for $3,400 in camp scholarship funds to make sure we pay ½ of the cost for our children and youth going to United Methodist camps this summer. This week Pastor Matthew Phipps, Nathaniel Asperger, Liz Mason, and Nancy Bellinger are in Atlanta attending the Orange Conference. On Friday June Hannah will be with several of our Bell Choir ringers at the Ring-re-Treat in French Lick, Indiana. Pray for their safe travels.
This Sunday we will hold our first fellowship time after the 11:00 worship experiences in Fellowship Hall from 12:00-12:30 pm. Our plan is to hold these the first Sunday of each month as part of our strategy to keep our Hispanic and Anglo communities integrated. I invite you to use the Spanish greeting we learned in staff this week: Bienvenidos a la casa de Dios, which means Welcome to the house of God. In worship Sunday, I will continue the Resurrection Factor series by which we are examining the post-Resurrection appearances of Jesus in the Gospel of John. We are asking what these stories teach us about incorporating a true Resurrection Faith in our everyday lives. In preparation, read John 21:1-14.
See you Sunday,
Rev. Jerry Rairdon