Sunday, June 27, 2010

Touching Base! Part 93

Staying Up To Date!
27 June 2010

This Touching Base is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching is discussed outside of the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build healthy community because God’s Word needs to be discussed in community.

This TB includes some brief updates on what is happening around here at Bethel. As we move into the summer months, ministry certainly does not end, however the staff does use this time for some R&R and some long-term planning. We have already had a retreat where we engaged in some long-term planning (12 months out). With the elders working on vision, this has helped us as we work in our individual areas of ministry.

Summer teaching series at the 10 a.m. service:
For the month of July, I (Mark) will not be speaking. I will be taking some holidays as well as taking a few weeks of concentrated long term planning. On July 4 I will be doing a pulpit swap with Café Church. Bethel helped plant Café Church and we continue to have a strong relationship with them. In return, Steve Fritz-Millet will be speaking here at Bethel that day. On July 11 Warren Reeve will be speaking on Acts 13 and the International Church. The International Church is one of the most exciting fronts of missions today. On July 18 and 25 Lew Worrad will be teaching from Romans 8 on the implications of the resurrection for today.

In August, I will be doing a four-part series on the Holy Spirit. Tucked in there, on August 22, Jason Hildebrand (he came and did the life of David last year) will be acting out the story of the Prodigal Son.

Last but not least, Eric Prost will be finishing off our Summer teaching on September 5.

Summer construction:
If you were at our Annual Meeting, then you will know that the plan to renovate the old gym has been approved. As I write this (Thursday, June 24) the electricians are already up in the old gym starting their work. This renovation plan is all part of a bigger plan to leverage the building as best we can for our own use and to bless the community.

Summer staff focuses:
This summer our staff will be involved in various ministry focuses:
  • Fred Grendel will be working up at IAWAH for July and part of August. Pray for him as he provides key leadership up at Iawah. When he returns he will be leading a team up to Constance Lake near the end of August.
  • Jamie Stinson will be here for most of the summer other than some holiday time July 26-August 12. While here she will be engaged in long-term planning i.e. Family Experience, and running the “Acting Up” Summer Drama Camp (July 12-16), as well as taking care of the weekly demands of running the Family Ministries program.
By the way, there is cake downstairs for parents, kids and volunteers of Upstreet and Waumba Land after the service today (June 27). Don’t miss it!
  • Carmen Gauvin-O’Donnell, our administrator, will using the summer to continue policy development (job descriptions and the Bethel Financial Policy). Her other focus this summer will also be the possible implementation of electronic giving (which many people believe would be very useful in encouraging good stewardship at Bethel). She will also be helping the ushers revamp their training to take into account changes in their duties over the years. Finally, she will be reading up on the pros and cons of incorporating Bethel Church, thus taking the potential legal and financial pressure of the shoulders of our three trustees. And of course, she and Amy the secretary will continue conspire to make Bethel’s office the best organized office in the city! 
  • Mark Adams our building superintendent will be on holidays out West from June 27 to July 12th. Please keep him and his family in your prayers as they travel.
  • Bill Duffy, who heads up Pastoral Care, is off for July and August. When you have as much seniority as Bill, you get two months off!
  • Amy Grendel our secretary will be in the office Tuesday to Friday from 9am -1pm. She is busy getting our office into shape and taking care of the day-to-day duties that come with her role. More specifically, she is currently on three-day course learning the ins and outs of QuickBooks so she can take over the bookkeeping tasks.
  • Mark Kotchapaw - I will be taking some time off, not too sure when as I try to work my holiday time around kids being back in town and my wife’s holiday schedule. As I said above, the summer is a great time for long-term planning. For example, planning in the teaching ministry, laying out special services, vision development and implementation, small group organization, and meetings with key leadership as plans for the Fall come together.
New team-members:
We would like to welcome Dirk Bouma to our Deacons team. Dirk is a welcome addition to a team that has a lot on their plate as they manage facility issues and financial issues. We would also like to welcome Ron Dickey to the Elders’ team. Ron has served in various capacities at Bethel over the years and will bring some great perspective and insight to the team. He and his wife Tooty also head up our 50-Plus ministry.

Big budget increase:
If you have read our budget then you will know that the membership voted on a 14% budget increase. Gulp! Yes, that is huge, but we believe that our growth and developing vision is leading us in this way, and we also firmly believe that our God, in His providence, is “huger”. We are not asking for faithful givers to give more, necessarily. We are looking for those who attend Bethel, but do not give regularly to start being more faithful in this area. You can get your envelopes from the office. If you are part of the team and believe in this emerging vision then we need you to pray, and to give. We would encourage you to download the “Doors” series (June 13 and 20) if you missed this important two-week series on our direction.

A Big Thank You:
We are extremely grateful for the many volunteers that make the church run as it should. The vast majority of ministry work at Bethel is done by volunteers. We would like to thank Doug Boyd and Geoff Baker for their significant contribution in leadership over the last several years. Doug has served as chairman of the elders’ board and Geoff has been the church treasurer.

Over the summer months we want to encourage you to take responsibility for the kind of culture we are attempting to develop at Bethel on Sunday mornings. As each of us Pursue, Include and Engage, we can all contribute to developing a culture that says that people matter, and that we are not some kind of private “members-only” club. We want every single person that walks through the doors of our building on a Sunday morning to know that they matter. This means busting out of our comfort zones, taking the initiative, and looking for people who need a warm greeting.

I want to encourage you to continue to pray for the work of Bethel. We must never take our unity for granted, our resources as certain, and our impact as guaranteed. Like the bow of an ice breaker that cuts through the ice and the powerful engine that thrusts the boat forward, we need Jesus Christ the Head of our Church to guide us on our journey. The Holy Spirit is the engine that empowers, and it is Christ’s Headship at the bow that leads us.


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