Dear Faith Family,
July 9 marked the start of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Tri-Annual Convention. This year’s LCMS campaign is encouraging congregation members to foster a healthy sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves and to share stories that inspire each other. This comes from the passage in 1 Peter 2:9 as believers are reminded that they are all part of the royal priesthood and a holy nation through Christ. Let’s tell the world how Jesus is working through us. The campaign is encouraging congregants and churches to use social media to highlight how they are serving and teaching by adding #thisisMYchurch to their posts.
Even if you aren’t familiar with social media, I encourage you to work towards finding ways to make Faith YOUR church or make it YOUR church again. Although Christ is the head, he calls believers to take on roles as part of the body. Does that mean committing to attend a community group regularly? Does that mean signing up to serve as a communion usher or in the praise band? Does that mean reaching deeper into your wallet to share more financial resources through tithing? Does it include seeking Christian community for conversations that transform your life? Does it mean attending weekly worship gatherings more frequently? Does it mean serving others and sharing Christ’s love with those outside our walls as well as inside? Does that look like starting up (or restarting) family or personal Bible study time on a regular basis? We are one body in Christ, as He is the head. But you are part of the body too. Without working together, we cannot stand.
At the yearly church meeting on June 26, the board shared the unfortunate fact that our budget is operating with a significant deficit, over $40,000. There are a few ways we can try to make ends meet, but many expenses have already been cut over the last four years, and our next step may include paid staff decisions. The congregation voted to approve the proposed budget but would like to encourage congregants to consider pledging to give more in the coming church year. Once pledge cards have been collected, we will hold a follow-up meeting in a few months to vote on a new budget.
There are many ways to participate in the ministry of Faith Bentonville that are explained on the following pages.
#1-31: Some areas around the church need cleaning and maintenance. We can save on cleaning costs by having more of you step up in a new model called “Jurisdictions” where families or individuals commit to keeping a specific area of the church clean on a regular basis. It is my hope that each person would sign up for at least one area (#1-31) to serve.
#32-35: There are many tasks needing filled to make Sunday mornings run smoothly or related to general up-keep. I hope that each adult would sign up for at least one ongoing commitment (#32-35). These jobs are on rotations scheduled by Sandy Brummett. If you are assigned to a week you can’t attend, just trade with someone else on the list.
#38-47: What else can you do? Some needs come up occasionally, like setting up tables for a potluck or providing food for someone who’s had a baby. If you sign up to be on any of the phone/email lists for these jobs, you are always welcome to pass on a specific activity, but knowing who is remotely interested in being called upon will be an asset to planning teams and me.
#48-55: What about those ready to step into a bit more leadership? There are many balls to juggle around the church to make regular activities happen. Many are unrelated to specific Bible study preparation but are important to helping build community in the church. Are you willing to be the coordinator of any type of areas in the church? Please consider this option as you think you’re able.
Thank you for partnering with Faith Bentonville as we grow community and share Jesus. Prayerfully consider how God may use you in a new way in the coming months, as I will be doing as well.
Pastor Cris Escher