Presbyterians Today

AUG-SEP 2018

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Pr e s by te r i a n s To d ay | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018 15 opened some long-closed spaces for the children's Sunday school classes and hosted a work day before Holy Week, tidying up the property inside and out. As the work of the newly invigo- rated committees continued, some- thing began to happen. More members felt connected to the mission and ministry of the church and invested more time in the work of the church. Attendees started attending more regularly because they had been invited to be part of the work. "Members are becoming better acquainted with other members by working side by side on projects and programs," said Ronny Greer, an elder on session. Another plus is that session meetings are now shorter. "Committees report their efforts, seeking approval when needed. The session can focus on other tasks, had its first called meeting and discussed goals, responsibilities and opportunities. It didn't take long for the efforts of the session members to bear fruit. The newly structured committees and members added energy and imagination to the everyday tasks of the church. It was now time to start new ventures. For example, with the direction of the education committee, a new adult Sunday school class was started. A class that usually saw three to four participants in the past suddenly had up to 20. The children's Sunday school teachers joined the education committee and created a churchwide education calendar. The calendar, says education committee chair Kirk Vandivort, added much-needed orga- nization that paved the way toward getting more accomplished. "Previously, there was less order. Now, we're better organized and we have a better system for delegation of duties and volunteering," he said. Education wasn't the only area getting a boost. Other committees were experiencing renewal. The membership committee, tasked with updating the member- ship rolls, went a step further. They distributed a form that collected contact information and asked where members had interest in volunteer- ing, creating yet another opportunity to involve congregation members. The communications committee created a website to reach out to the rapidly growing city of Dickson. They even revamped the church's Facebook page, allowing the children's Sunday school class to post pictures. The worship committee, invited to think creatively about the service, considered ways to make children and their families feel welcome and connected, creating a note to put in the pew racks that emphasized the church's understanding of wiggles and giggles during worship. They created a welcome bag for first-time visitors. And the property committee like calling a new pastor, instead of agreeing who will call the plumber or who will pick up the graduation gifts for the youth," Greer said. In taking the time to identify the needs of the church and to create and re-create committees, the session of First Presbyterian has shared the load of running a church with the body of Christ. This sharing of tasks has not only created energy that was lacking, it has helped the session to no longer look out at the congregation and see a dearth of leadership. Now, they say, they see many leaders — and potential leaders — sitting in the pews. Jeannie Hunter is a pastor in the PC(USA) with training in interim ministry. She served as interim minister at First Presbyterian of Dickson, Tennessee, during its committee transformation. SEND FOR OUR FREE INFORMATION KIT & DVD 1011Military Road, P.O. Box 39, Buffalo, NY 14217; Toll Free 1-866-276-3686, e-mail: Info@armento.net Visit us at www.Armento-Columbarium.com BLENDING ARTISTRY & CRAFTSMANSHIP SINCE 1946 C O L U M B A R I U M S A Columbarium in the life of the Church preserves a tradition of remembrance. An Armento Columbarium is an affordable alternative that preserves cherished memories & delivers a message of comfort in the knowledge that those that have touched our lives will always remain in the company of family & friends.

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