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Springing Forward

I hope you have enjoyed these beautiful days of early spring!  I have officially put away the sled that sits on our front porch, and the snow men that sit on our piano.  They do not seem to fit in, as the crocuses and daffodils start to peek out through the dead leaves.  It’s time to clear a space, and see what is ready to bloom.

As we look towards the spring, I wanted to make sure you are aware of where we are in our strategic planning process at Orchard Park.  As you know, in 2016, we unearthed many projects and now as we move into 2017, we will be doing more of the same, and adding some new projects in the mix.

Our theme for 2017 is carried over from 2016:  Live the Word!  Welcome, Engage and Serve! 

It is our hope and understanding that our focus for 2017, will be centered on these actions:

To live the Word of God, to continue to create a culture of Welcome, Community Engagement, and Service.

Here are the initiatives we plan to address in the coming year.

Live the Word!
In the coming year, we will be living the Word by exploring some new worship experiences, offering a women’s retreat, and continuing to offer intergenerational fellowship events, small group opportunities and thought provoking Bible studies.

The Reach, Engage and Connect Committees are all working on creating a culture of welcome, connection, and engagement for visitors and new members.  Many initiatives are taking place across the board in this area.  Please consider working alongside Elders Connie Cohrs, Norma Schehl and Sheryl Johnson on these endeavors.  We really need all of you.

We will continue to evaluate and restructure our confirmation class.  We are beginning this initiative with a survey.  If you have not yet filled out a survey on your confirmation experience, you can do so by clicking here.

We will be building up our children’s ministry program, which is alive and well and we want to keep it that way.  We will continue to evaluate and further develop those programs already in place.

We will be increasing our participation in local and global mission opportunities.  Please come to worship this Sunday to hear about a new program that we hope will increase participation in the entire congregation in hands on mission.  We are really excited to offer this program to the congregation, and we look forward to seeing it take shape in the coming year. 

We are in the middle of addressing the needs identified in our building audit.  It is our goal to repair the most important needs this year.  At the same time we are in the middle of addressing our staffing structure.  We have two more administrative positions to fill and will then begin the process of calling an Associate Pastor Nominating Committee.  More information on these administrative issues will be forthcoming, as we have information to share.

I look forward to being in ministry with you, as we clear a space for spring.

May the Peace of Christ be with you today.

In Christ,
Rev. Dr. Shelly Wood

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