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Much is happening within this church. We have finished the self-evaluation part of the Hope Partnership for Missional Transformation and have now begun the journey to live into our new mission statement; We Seek to Love God by Loving Others.

We have entered into a joint project with Faith Lutheran Church and All Saints Episcopal Church to provide an after school program for children of Westside Elementary School. The program, “Path to Shine”, seeks to help borderline students in early elementary school. It meets once per week while school is in session. It is a Jubilee Ministry of the Episcopal Church. We already have a list of volunteers to fill in a variety of roles in the program.

We are also gearing up to host a Fall Festival for the students, parents, and staff of Miller Elementary School. We will play games, have inflatable equipment, serve hotdogs and chips and have a good time during the October 1st event. The Fall Festival team began meeting August 24th to put it all together.

We are also trying to arrange a special worship event for the blessing of animals and involve rescue groups as well as people wishing to have their pets blessed. Having had two daughters who had pet albino corn snakes, I will bless the reptiles. (I won’t handle the venomous varieties.) Watch for the date to be announced and bring your pets to be blessed.

First Christian undertook these efforts so that we could answer one question, “If our church ceased to exist, would anyone in the community notice?” We want that answer to be a resounding yes. Therefore, we have begun the process to serve our community, not just to serve ourselves. This includes seeking a college student to work with our youth on Sundays and midweek. We will also begin training opportunities for better equipping this congregation to do the work before us, to be better Disciples.

The immediate goal is to become a flexible congregation that can quickly respond to our needs and the needs of the surrounding community. We will strive to respond as Jesus taught His disciples to respond, with grace, forgiveness, and love. We do not have to be a big church to make a big impact.

Shalom, Darrell