Wow … I just looked back over the past month and realized that Holy Week happened between our last meeting and tonight! It seems like it was ages ago to me. Crazy! That being said, the last week of Lent and Holy Week was a special time. Thanks again to the Fellowship team for providing us with a wonderful Palm Sunday brunch between services. I was very happy with our attendance this year, especially on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, which the last few years seemed to be noticeably smaller. Part of this (at least on Good Friday) was due to the good people from Harmony Lutheran Church up in Pleasant City making the trip down for worship and then dinner at Spagna’s (this is the church I continue to serve by visiting with a couple of their shut-ins). Easter this year was well attended, which was great considering there were many people who were noticeably missing due to health challenges, travel, and other reasons. As usual, it felt like a big celebration, helped along thanks to Dr. David Turrell’s trumpet and Jane Irvine’s incredible organ playing.
This past month the Evangelism team was especially active as it not only met again, but actively planned, advertised, and pulled-off a very successful “Loads of Love” washing ministry. It was great to see so many people there helping out … and extremely rewarding to hear how grateful people were for what we were doing. Many came as a result of seeing at least one form of our signs. Some were clearly in need of getting help with their wash, with people bringing multiple trash bags full of dirty laundry. It was a nice way to get to talk with people, and although we didn’t go into this event thinking that we’d gain new members, a side effect was that in getting to know one of the people there they ended up coming for worship. As I’ve been saying for a long time now, people want to be a part of something that is actively making a positive difference in the life of others. The owner of the laundromat said he was very pleased and appreciative of what we were doing there, and said we are welcome to come back as often as we’d like.
Bible study started back up the Monday and Tuesday after Easter. One of the two studies is mostly finished with our study of Philippians, and the other one just finished and has already moved on to Colossians. These shorter books are going to move fast, which requires that I do a lot of preparation ahead of time to stay prepared for teaching.
The Constitution and Bylaws team met again to further pursue the changes recommended by the Synod office. Besides some grammar, number, and wording changes, it was also advised that our bylaws actually be contained within the “body” of the constitution (designated by a different numbering system). That being said, a very big Thank You goes out to Fraser McHaffie for figuring out the appropriate places for the bylaws, making the changes, and providing the team with it ahead of time. It made our meeting together so much easier. It was discussed and agreed by the committee that we will pass it on to the Synod first, just in case there are any other changes they find, before we present it again for adoption by the congregation at our November congregational meeting, as the current constitution and bylaws are sufficient documents for the remainder of this year.
This past month we welcomed a new sister into the Body of Christ, Brielle Nicole O’Dell, daughter of Renee O’Dell and great-granddaughter of Bernice Matson.
Visits continue to go well, with shut-ins and well as with different members of the congregation. My volunteer involvement with Artsbridge also kept me busier than normal this past month, with a couple of activities that I helped out with as a board-member representative.
In Christ, with Christ, for Christ!
Pastor Steve Mahaffey