Some things will be coming up in the next few weeks that are critically important in the life of our church.  I’d like to use this month’s column to say a few words about each of them.

Constitution and By-laws Rewrite.  You may recall that we passed a motion at our Annual Meeting in January to rewrite St. Peter’s constitution and by-laws.  A small but extremely hardworking group consisting of Pastor Nancy and Craig Thorsen (with assistance from Helen Stoltz-Wood and Jennie Soine) has been engaged in the process of rewriting the documents under which St. Peter’s operates.  These documents describe who we are and how we do things (and a little bit of why) and provides the legal basis for our actions as a church.  The rewrite group has attempted to balance a number of things, including honoring the existing documents, reflecting the current state of our congregation, and incorporating the current best practices of other churches and of the UCC.  The council has had an opportunity to review and comment on drafts of the documents, and feels that they are well-written and will serve us into the future.  Elsewhere in the Net you will see a formal announcement of a congregational meeting at which we will consider the rewritten documents and vote to adopt them.  Please take some time to read through the new constitution and by-laws before the scheduled meeting, and please thank the rewrite group for the work they have done.  If you have questions, please contact Pastor Nancy, Craig, or any council member.

Giving Back.  There are a couple of opportunities coming along in which each of us must consider the role of St. Peter’s in our lives and in the broader community, and our roles in the life of St. Peter’s. 

Stewardship.  If it’s fall, it must be time for the annual stewardship campaign.  This is our opportunity to consider how we want to contribute financially to the life of our church.  You’ll be hearing a lot more about this from other members of St. Peter’s as the season progresses, and I’d ask you to think seriously about how you support our church.  While I don’t like to focus overly much on money, the reality is that our financial situation directly affects the good we can do in and for our community.

Leadership Positions.  In addition to giving monetarily, we also need to consider what we are willing to give back to St. Peter’s and the community we serve in terms of time and talent.  Like almost all small churches, we are predominantly a volunteer-led organization.  While there are many important leadership roles at St. Peter’s, the members of the church council are ultimately responsible for the day-to-day operations and strategic direction of the church.  We will be looking for 2 or 3 new members of the council when current terms end in January.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about how the church operates, to develop leadership skills in a nurturing environment (or exercise the leadership skills you already have), to return something to the church and the congregation, and to have an influence on the future of this church.  Please consider seriously and prayerfully whether this might be a role that you should play.  We will be announcing a nominating committee in the next few weeks; please contact one of them or any current council member if you’d like more information.

I know I say this all the time, but it’s because it’s how I feel:  I’m excited and optimistic about the future of St. Peter’s and about our role in the world.  Because of that, I’m committed to doing what I can to keep us moving in a positive direction.  I believe you are as well, and I sincerely thank you for that commitment