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(704) 857-5034,
750 Mount Moriah Church Road,
China Grove, NC  28023
Pastor's Page

AUGUST, 2007


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As we come to the end of another summer we look forward to the beginning of a new year in Christian Education. Janet Parsons has put up a sign-up sheet for Sunday School teachers. At the end of the month we will kick off things with Rally Day and our annual Sunday School picnic at Dan Nicholas Park. Confirmation classes will also begin again soon. As children eagerly(?) await the start of a new school year we will again have a blessing of the book bags this month before school starts. 

August is also a month to look outward to the larger work of the Church. The tenth is the deadline to sign up to work on the Thrivent/Habitat project in the ongoing effort to recover from Hurricane Katrina. If you are interested you can call toll free 866-375-8211. Then on August twelfth we welcome Pastor Schmeelcke, a retired Lutheran minister. He will share with us the ministry of Food for the Poor during his sermon as well as being available during Sunday School to discuss their work. This group focuses on the poorest of the poor in sixteen nations throughout Central America and the Caribbean. 

During this yearly transition it is good to remember how many people take part in our shared ministry. Sometimes it seems like a few people do everything. While it is true that a few people do a lot we need to remember that many people are involved in our overall ministry. When you think of all those who sing in choirs, teach the various classes, plan and lead Godsquad, serve on the council and committees, assist with worship and children's church, chaperone the youth, plan the youth and senior activities, care for the property, lead the circles, deliver tapes, etc., it adds up to a lot of people. In addition, members minister in the community in varied ways that serve to witness to the Gospel. There are also members who regularly pray for the congregation and other members as well as our community and world. 

I give thanks everyday that we do have so many who seek to serve God through our congregation. Is there room for more? Certainly! There are always tasks to do and we need to remember the old adage many hands make light work. Sometimes things happen and people have to switch what they do or take some time off due to work or family changes. I know many folks hate to volunteer but, if you don't now serve, please consider participating in one of the choirs, a committee, or Sunday School. And please say yes, if at all possible, when you are asked to help.

As we again approach autumn I especially want to thank all those who serve on the Congregation Council. While it is a great privilege to be chosen to serve in this way it is also a lot of work. In addition, the members tend to hear and have to respond to any difficulties or concerns, break-ins for example, especially the vice-chairperson. That can be very frustrating at times. Please remember that they strive hard to do what is best for the whole congregation. Sometimes that is hard to decide. Meetings always begin with prayer and we make every effort to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Most work is done in committees and most decisions begin with the recommendations of committees. That allows us to use the shared wisdom of more people. Do we make mistakes, probably. But that simply reflects our human imperfection. As a group we work hard to keep the meetings efficient while adequately discussing things and carefully making decisions. 

We have an excellent model, I think, because it is structured to involve a lot of members. Every three years we have 18 different individuals serving on the council. (The traditional constitutional model allows people to serve two consecutive three year terms with only a year off before returning. That often resulted in a small group always being in charge.) By having two year terms and requiring at least two years off we include more people in leadership and give people a break. There are challenges with any model and each requires compromises but I truly believe ours is the best I have ever seen. We will soon be seeking candidates for the next term and I hope if you are asked you will prayerfully consider saying yes. And why not take a moment to thank those who serve?

In Christ's love and service,
Pastor Joseph