On the Horizon
It is with much joy that I officially announce that I am projected to return to South Hill UMC for another year. While not “fixed” until Annual Conference in June, this is the action that we can expect. As we wrap up our fourth year (can you believe it?) together, I am excited about where we are and what seems to be just on the horizon. This is a fantastic church in an amazing community. We are blessed with active participants in the life of the town and the life and ministry of the church. In the midst of that celebration, I see a few areas where we can use some improvement.
- Missions. We have a tremendous mission arm in our Upper Room Ministries. This ministry brings together people from across the community to a common set of goals to provide clothing and other items for reasonable prices and to raise money to support both local and distance mission work. Our SHEEP program is making a difference in the lives of the children that are able to attend. We continually receive notices and accolades from parents, teachers, and administrators. Both the Upper Room and SHEEP need our support, most visibly through volunteering. For these amazing programs to continue, we need volunteers. But these should not be our only mission outreaches. In the next year, we should begin plans for a distance mission trip. These trips involve a wide variety of people and make a difference in our journey of faith together. Interested? Talk to me or Rick Carroll.
- Facilities. Much to the credit of Stuart Taylor, our facilities look better than they have in a while. With that being said, we have some upcoming needs we must pay attention to. Our 100 year old slate roof is in need of some repair. Our 58 year old fellowship hall and kitchen are in need of freshening up and updating. Our accessibility for those for whom stairs are an issue is very poor and can only be fully resolved with an elevator. The carpeting in the education wing is showing its age and needs to be replaced. The good news is that all of these weaknesses are fixable, but at a tangible cost. Please consider helping with the capital improvement fund so that these future repairs and updates can be accomplished.
- Communication. We are doing better here. But, there are plenty of times that critical information arrives in the office too late to do anything about it. We have to work weeks, or even months, ahead so that all the pieces fit together. Additionally, neither Patsy nor I are mind readers. If you require information to be put out, or calendars scheduled, please do so with as much lead time as possible. There is no such thing as too early. Likewise, I cannot respond to your needs if I am not informed. If you would like a visit or a confidential conversation, I would be absolutely thrilled to do so, but you need to let me know that desire. If you need me or would like my presence, I will make every reasonable effort to be there.
- Fellowship. We love getting together, and that is a wonderful thing! Our fifth Sunday and third Tuesday luncheons are clearly hits. It seems to me that we really need to increase our opportunities to be with each other. With our new van, we can even do so on the road. But, these gatherings and trips require coordination, which requires a coordinator. If you would like to serve in that capacity, we have gatherings to plan and places to see.
I am so excited about who we are and where we are going. The decisions at a higher level of the church do not change the work we have to. This church is uniquely poised to be a beacon in our community. Be excited about that, and let others know you are excited about that. Excitement breeds growth, and growth together is our goal. After all, we exist “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Let’s keep doing that, together.