Back in February of this year, I was invited to a Clergy Summit at the Museum of Aviation.  At this summit we learned about the struggles taking place in the lives of the civilian work force.  The Wing Chaplain and the Base Chaplain explained how the Chaplains serve the military personnel, but are limited in what they can do for the civilian workers.  They also shared some of the struggles when people do not understand the work of the military chaplain.

As a result of this summit, The Robins Ministerial Alliance has been created.  The goal of this alliance is to bring together faith communities to provide support not only for the military but specifically for the civilians who work on base.

The 21st Century group has created a website that lists all the programs offering help in a variety of ways and a variety of faith traditions.

A group of on-call clergy responders is being created to respond at a moment’s notice to any emergency situation faced by civilian workers.  These men and women will meet people on the base or where ever they need to go to offer support.

A training program is being developed to provide education for civilian employees within faith communities so that they can recognize and respond to co-workers in need.  The goal is to have people already on base, who have been trained in how to contact and help provide the information, or where to acquire the information, to get people the help they need.

I am involved in this program, so watch for more information and future events that will provide the members of our congregation about the work of supporting base personnel.

On Wednesday, September 9th, the New Beginning Assessment from the Hope Partnership will be at our church to begin the process of providing us with guidance as we look to the future of our church.  Mr. Jim Bane will be here starting in the mid-afternoon and will meet with a variety of people, and finally will have time to talk to a larger group of our congregation that night.
3:00 Meet at the church for a tour of the building and property.
4:00 Review the finances with the Treasurer and/or Financial Secretary.
4:30 Windshield tour of the community.
5:30 Dinner with the Pastor, Board Chair, and Regional partner.
7:00 Appreciative Inquiry Session with up to 30 church participants who are interested in the future of the congregation.

This can be a great opportunity, if we fully participate and are open to possibilities.  I want to encourage everyone interested and available to take part in this program, especially the Appreciative Inquiry.

On Sunday, September 13th at 3:00 p.m. there will be a meeting of the Corporate Board of the Vineville Christian Tower at First Christian Church in Macon.  As many of you are aware, for the past several years there has been a lawsuit in the courts involving the VCT Board.  That suit was withdrawn over six months ago, and since it has not been reintroduced in that time frame, the suit is over.  Even though the Christian Church Homes of Northern California (a Disciples of Christ group) bought the Vineville Christian Tower property a couple of years ago, it was necessary to maintain the VCT Board during the court case.  Now that the case is finished, the Board can meet to take final actions to end the corporation.

This does not mean that we no longer have a mission with the Vineville Tower.  There are still people living there who continue to need people to reach out for worship and special events.  I know that for many, Macon is a long trip, yet it is no farther away than going to Perry, or Fort Valley, or Hawkinsville.  We may no longer own the building, but the Tower remains a witness to the ministry of the Christian Churches of Macon and Warner Robins.  Pray for the VCT Board, and dream of ways to continue the ministry at the Tower.

Shalom, Darrell