We are having a great week of VBS! Visit this Facebook album for pictures. This year's theme is A Mighty Fortress, the title of the great hymn by Martin Luther. We chose to go with a Reformation themed VBS to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Our children are learning the great Biblical truths that the Reformers endeavored to make clear. These pillars of gospel truth are often called the Five Solas of the Reformation: Faith Alone, Grace Alone, Christ Alone, Scripture Alone and For the Glory of God Alone.
The Session approved a recommendation from the Finance Committee to adjust our budget down to $870,000 to reflect changes in giving at the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. The church remains in a strong financial position. The changes in giving were due to a variety of factors including members moving away, change in employment status, and change in church due to preferences, with a fairly even spread across those categories. If you would like more detail please see Bob Almond, the Chairman of the Finance Committee.
When we plan for the 2018 budget we will have the added benefit of our new ministry structure. Our ministry teams in Shepherding/Discipleship, Mission/Outreach, and Covenant Homes will provide forums for prayer and vision for ministry. In turn, they will also be the place where ministry plans are developed and resources requested to fulfill those plans. This is a significant development from past practice in which staff and ministry leaders proposed their portions of the budget to the Finance Committee. We believe that this change will provide a context for more collaboration between members, officers and staff with developing the budget. Join a ministry team by clicking here.
The Finance Committee, officers and staff are encouraged as we move into the Fall: God continues to draw new people to EPC; we have been able to add some key staff support with the addition of Rev. Don Post in a part-time capacity; and, there are three strong candidates being interviewed for a full time position in youth ministry, assimilation and evangelism. A September 1 start date is not unfeasible at this point. And, as we begin to look toward the fall there is much that awaits us as a church.
We have a number of significant outreach events to our community planned for the fall, including a major concert entitled Life on Broadway. Well known vocalists from our community will sing selections from famous musicals. We will have some brief narration for these selections to place them in context and will relate them to the gospel at the close of the program. Dr. Peter Lillback will be our guest speaker at the first last Tuesday luncheon in September. Our Mission/Outreach and Shepherding/Discipleship Teams are also discussing weekend seminars that we may offer to the community with a view to how the gospel and the Word of God can help us. Some topics under consideration are conflict resolution, care-giving, depression and anxiety, marriage/family/parenting, and grieving.
Your elders, deacons and staff love this congregation and are grateful for your support in prayer, giving and service. May the Lord be gloried among us as we seek to follow Christ in every dimension of our lives as his bride. In the spirit of the Reformation may we believe in our hearts and make it true in our lives, "To God Alone be the Glory."