State of the Church address

At the semi-annual church conference, I changed the format of my usual report and instead presented a “State of the Church” address.   It was meant to summarize the achievements of my pastorate and describe the position of our church today as I view it.   I am attaching it in pdf format.

The State of the Church

Having reflected on it now for a couple weeks since I wrote it, there is one section that I should have added to the innovations section.  But we take it so much for granted today and know that there is no going back so I did not think of it.   The item I should have noted concerns all the technological advances we have made in using the computer since I have been pastor.   I arrived at the end of the typewriter era in Kirkville.  During my tenure, all record-keeping has been computerized; we used the computer to keep records and generate mailing lists.  Our current database expert volunteer is Josh Basile.  Of course, all correspondence and bulletin preparation has been computerized.  Currently we are using Word and Publisher 2010 to accomplish our work.   After Mahlon Moon’s thoughtful memorial gift of the the projector and screen in memory of Tillie, we entered the era of projected song words, PowerPoint slides when needed, mission slide shows without carousel trays, downloaded video clips, movies on the big screen, and most recently now, joining in a national simulcast.   All this has required consistent upgrading through the years as technology advanced and equipment wore out.  Finally, with a great deal of help from Steven Sgroi, we have become a church with a viable web presence.   We now have our own domain name  –, on which we maintain our church website, publish three or four blogs and  have the capability for a sermon database in printed or video form.  In addition, again with Steven’s help, we are now on Facebook.   Our web presence is of increasing importance today as people check out churches online before visiting and expect some technical savvy when they arrive too. Ben Mackey oversees the team that makes possible our projection and sound ministry on Sundays.   Also, thanks to Ed Maum, we enjoy an in-house network.   Thank you to all the other volunteers too who make all this happen.

Finally, I would recommend an important parallel anecdotal account of the current state of our church.  If you read my wife’s book, God With Us; Fifty True Stories of God’s Faithfulness, you will see that it reflects who we are as a congregation very well.  So many of the stories describe the ministries of our church co-incidentally as she relays the first person testimonies.   Overall, a very powerful picture of our community of faith emerges.


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