Why am I smiling?
by Ron Stansell, clerk of elders
One of the most encouraging prayers in all the Bible is found in Ephesians 3:16-19, the passage we read in our Sunday evening congregational business meeting on July 16. Glorious riches are found in Jesus from which he draws to give us inner power, allowing the eternal Son of God to live in us. The Spirit prays with Paul that the church of Christ be established in love that we might know the love that is beyond knowledge! That makes me smile!
In the spirit of those strengthening words, Newberg Friends carefully approved members of standing committees for the coming year and established an administrative committee composed of congregational clerks Carl Anderson and Dick Sartwell, clerks from the elders, stewards, and trustees, and others as needed. A part-time church administrator will be named by the administrative committee to help in transitional matters and beyond. That makes me smile!
Elders for the coming church year are Julie Anderson, Bob Hampton, Hank Helsabeck, Gail Hutchinson, Ron Stansell (clerk), Ron Woodward, and David Woolsey. That enthusiastic group is charged with caring for the spiritual life of the congregation, congregational care and visitation, worship planning, and working alongside interim pastor, Steve Fawver. Steve will assist the administrative committee and elders on immediate issues during the remainder of July and all of August. That all makes me smile too!
Why am I encouraged? Let me count still other ways!
Judy Woolsey reported for the nominating committee that nearly every person contacted for positions said “yes!”
A worship committee is working prayerfully and quickly to arrange pulpit supply and plan worship, working several weeks in advance. We have been blessed by messages from George Fox University President Robin Baker!
Sunday morning prayer gatherings have been lively and rich. Elder Julie Anderson has led these each Sunday from 8 to 8:50 a.m.
Two couples, Darin and Cathie Jo Sturdevant and Ralph and Holly Miele, opened our last two services with enthusiasm and grace. More to come!
No denying it, Newberg Friends Church has passed through hard times in the past year. Grief and sadness remain. At the same time, the Holy Spirit is leading us into a deeper place. What else makes me smile? One Sunday a younger adult stood in open worship and expressed a longing for revival and renewal for the entire believing community of Newberg! That’s what Ephesians 3:16-19 is all about. Go read it again!