Dear Friends and Family of First,
Transition: That’s the word of the day- TRANSITION. We certainly are at a time of transition. We said “Good bye” and “Thank you” to Aaron with song and reception finalized with a party out at Wally’s and Nettie’s. We are welcoming in Heather Goldman as she takes over the whole music program. Transition. It’s all good, yet this is a transition.
Jeff and Brie Schooley are packing up their belongings to move to BG with a lot of help from Linda Smith and, of course, the Bielens for selling them their house. The transition team is in place already with plans for welcoming them in with style and grace. August 1st will be a brand-new start for this congregation. Yes, transition.
The CE Committee is anxiously and celebratedly waiting for September 1st when Amanda Ark arrives in place to actively engage the whole congregation is new programs, activities and focus on Youth and their Families. I’ve already heard wonderful, exciting plans from Leon Wang and the Outreach Committee to reach out to the LGBTQIA+ Community at BGSU. There will be Bible Study, Activities, and Deep Discussions. (Dare we call is BADD?) More transition.
The Outreach Committee and the Mission Committee both have major plans to aid and comfort those suffering greatly from Racial Oppression and War. Outreach is supporting BRAVE with the Juneteenth Celebration (June 18th) and assisting BGOPride with an Ice Cream fund raiser June 26th. The Mission Committee has brought in a speaker and raised our awareness of the tragedy of the war in Ukraine (that was June 12). Continuing transition.
The Personnel and Governance Committee has been in overdrive compiling all the committee job descriptions and updating the Manual of Operations, as well as getting Heather’s, Amanda’s and Jeff’s contracts signed, sealed and delivered. This has truly been a yeoman’s job moving us through transition.
The Trustees are overworked and underpaid as they manage, repair, update and trouble-shoot this 100-year-old sanctuary building with a 1960’s Education Building. Add all they do, plus all the necessary adjustments as the Wood County Academy moves out making two classrooms available for new use on the first floor. Don’t forget also, the realization that, in light of the troubled world we live in, security needs to be seriously addressed. Must I say it? Transition.
The Worship Committee agenda continues to address pulpit supply, communion process during a pandemic, music, ushers, live-streaming, liturgists, and the like, but with a new staff coming on board, who know what adjustments they’ll have to make? Be ready for transitions.
The Membership Committee (or what-ever you’re going to call yourselves) is working with name tags, computer programs, special events and nurturing this congregation as it continues to grow with new members like Stacie Wittenmyer, who joins us this month. Transition.
How in the world will FPC BG finance all the incredible ministries and programs in your future? The Budget Committee managing pledges and gifts and endowments and investments during a recession- what transitions will they face? It is a brand-new day in financing.
And I am transitioning from the best congregation I’ve ever served. So I am packing my books (does anyone want some books?). I’m seeking a call which has taken me to Kentucky, Michigan, Southern Ohio, Indiana and yes, even West Texas- so I’ve been a little scattered. I’m hoping and praying that I will be able to announce where my next call will be before I leave you July 31- but I’m not promising you that I will be able to do that but I do promise you that, no matter the transition, you will continually be in my thoughts, my prayers and a very big part in my life.
Thank you for the 2 years and 10 months of grateful, rewarding, faithful ministry. You are a gift to me, to BG and to the PC(USA). Take care of that gift,