Thursday, August 17 2016
I am very happy to share some news with you regarding several important developments for our church. All of these developments represent significant progress for FBC, and each one asks us to take considerable steps of faith. I am excited about where God is leading us.
1. Associate Pastor Search.
Last Sunday, the Church Council heard a report and recommendation from Erik Smith, Chair of the Associate Pastor Search Committee, regarding staffing needs at our church. FBC is at a unique moment in our history. This moment calls us to think not only about our church as we know it today, but to focus also on where God is leading us, and what we aspire to be and do in the future. It is critical that we assemble a staff that enables us to move from Maintenance to Mission; from Preserving to Pioneering for the gospel’s sake. Erik and his committee (Mel Doxie, Ken Ellison, Allen Norfleet, Ellen Parkhurst, and Wilma Prince) challenged the Church Council to step outside the box with them and help bring something new and different to FBC. And the Church Council took action in response.
Based on the recommendation of Erik and his committee, the Council voted unanimously to expand the search committee’s efforts to include a search for two additions to our pastoral staff: both an Associate Pastor for Youth and Young Adults and the new position of Executive Pastor. The Church Council voted unanimously to create this new position based on the recommendation of the search committee, and subject to the approval of the congregation. These two additional members of our pastoral staff would join our Senior Pastor Julie, and Associate Pastor Deborah Cochran, who will return from her sabbatical in October on a part-time basis, and focus her ministry specifically on children and families.
The position of Executive Pastor is a new concept for FBC, though this role has been around now for about 40 years. The prevailing mission of an executive pastor is to help the church execute its vision. Vision-casting is not difficult. Execution of the vision is extremely difficult and often never comes to fruition because of the constant, day-to-day administrative and internal needs of the congregation. An executive pastor acts as a “second” to the senior pastor, freeing her or him up for the critical tasks of pastoring, shepherding, preaching and teaching.
A more detailed description of these two positions will be provided in next week’s Newsletter.
Erik and his team have specific candidates in mind for both of these positions and will share information about these individuals with the congregation in the coming weeks. It is the search committee’s hope to present the candidates for both positions to the congregation for a vote to call at the regular Quarterly Business Meeting on September 25, 2016. Please continue to pray for the committee as they complete their process, and please be respectful of their need to maintain confidentiality regarding the candidates under consideration while they wrap up important details.
2. 2016-17 FBC Budget
Also on Sunday, the Church Council voted unanimously to approve the FY 2016-17 FBC Budget presented by our Stewardship Committee through its Chair, Dennis Lambert. The 2016-17 budget includes salaries for all of our existing staff and the two new positions described above, includes a 14% increase in giving to missions, and makes some of our previously under-utilized special purpose and memorial funds come alive in a meaningful way. I would like to extend my thanks to Dennis Lambert, Treasurer Mike Henson, and the FBC Trustees (Ken Ellison, Becky Ellison, and Marvin Marceron) for all of their contributions to the budget preparation effort this year. The congregation will be asked to vote to approve the 2016-17 FBC Budget at the next Quarterly Business Meeting, scheduled for September 25, 2016. Copies of the 2016-17 FBC Budget will be made available to the congregation two weeks in advance of that meeting.
As you all know, the development of the budget is a significant work of faith. But just a budget, alone, will not get us anywhere. We as a congregation must also make a renewed commitment to support the budget through our giving and generosity. Beginning on September 11, 2016, our Stewardship Committee will be working with Pastor Julie to launch a Generosity Campaign, including a 6-week sermon series focused on this important topic. More details on the Generosity Campaign in the August 25 newsletter.
3. Possible FBC Facilities Upgrades
Also on Sunday, the Church Council got an early preview of plans for possible building and facilities upgrades that was put together by Wil McBeath, Chair of the Property Management Committee. Wil and his committee continue to work on that project, and hope to be in a position to present more information to the congregation on September 25th.
All of these developments are exciting possibilities for FBC. God is with us! I hope you will keep all of these projects and the different lay leaders mentioned in this report in your prayers.