—from Ron Stansell, clerk of elders
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18). I continue to believe that injunction can be completed, even when circumstances are difficult. Let me share some of my thankfulness and at the same time bring the Newberg Friends Church congregation up to date.
- An administrative committee has been formed of congregational clerks, clerks or a representative of standing committees, and our administrator. This includes a member from the newly formed Christian education committee. While elders are charged with the spiritual care and nurture of God’s people and spiritual outreach, our administrative committee will work in partnership with the elders to care for business, office personnel, property, and financial concerns brought to them from the various committees
- Sherry Macy’s work has been partially redefined and she will continue to help us as office administrator and with publications. Denise Lyman continues as bookkeeper, record keeping. Interim pastor Steve Fawver has been helpful in recent weeks in transition consultation and personnel contacts.
- NFC elders are recommending a ¼ time visitation coordinator position to begin very soon. The NFC administrative committee will consider this. A congregational care committee of volunteers for visitation has been active for several weeks already.
- REAL: a place for women to study God’s word—has been approved as a Newberg Friends ministry to begin September 7, following the format of Women’s Bible Fellowship, open to all women of the community and with childcare provided.
- Finality on a Covenant of Separation between Newberg Friends and the Newberg Emerging Friends Church is close. The plan is to seek separate approval by both congregations for an orderly and respectful moving forward in ministry.
- NFC elders and a worship planning group continue to secure pulpit supply and participants in worship. We have been blessed! This will likely continue through October.
- NFC elders are actively evaluating possibilities for an interim pastor to serve until June 30. By that time we hope to have extended a pastoral call for long-term pastoral leadership.
A few weeks ago, I counted reasons for “why I’m smiling,” and several people asked if I was still smiling. Now you can ask me, “what are you thankful for today?” And I will have some answers for you! Pray for the leaders of Newberg Friends Church and for those God is calling to minister with us.
NOTE: In future issues of Friday Focus you will see similar reports from presiding and committee clerks in an effort to keep you informed of our ongoing rebuilding progress.