A community church in North Andover, Massachusetts

Out Of My Mind – The New Church Year

It has been a summer of getting to know each other, travel, worship and planning. It has been my pleasure to serve as your interim part time pastor since last May, and now, with autumn almost upon us, I’ll have the opportunity to serve you full time, beginning Sept. 1.

I write this at the end of the first full week of August, so some plans are still to be made, but there are other ministries which are definitely in the works, with only specific times and places need to be set.

The Deacons have asked that the weekly Bible study be continued, and I look forward to leading that, if the participants approve. Choir will be starting up this month. The different groups in the church will be beginning their fall schedules. Look in the Open Door newsletter and in the Sunday bulletins for times, dates and locations.

The next is still tentative, but with God’s guidance, we may also be starting some sort of Christian education opportunity for the children. Please keep this potential ministry in your prayers. As I write, it’s still very much in the planning stage.

Finally, perhaps the biggest news for the entire congregation is the onset of the formal pastoral search process. A Kingdom Business Meeting has been set for Sept. 8 to elect a Search Committee which will be commissioned to do the leg work in the search for a new pastor.

With that in mind, the Deacons have scheduled a Church Retreat, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 28 in Friendship Hall. Please keep this in your prayers as well, and please plan to attend. The retreat will be an opportunity for every member and concerned friend to express their hopes, ideas, and plans for the future of this church. That information will be priceless for the Search Committee.

An old editor I worked with in the 90s once observed, “No one knows what you want if you don’t tell them. And if you don’t tell them, you’re bound to be disappointed.” The same is true about the Church Retreat and the calling of a new pastor. It will be a chance to speak up and be heard. I can’t over emphasize how important it is for everyone, members and concerned friends, to attend. There will be more information in future Sunday bulletings and notifications.

First-Calvary Baptist Church is beginning an exciting and challenging time. We want to keep praying for each other, for the church leadership, for the Search Committee and process, and for the ministries that are starting or restarting. And remember, God is always with us.

Pastor Rob Branch, interim