In addition to approving reports, electing officers, receiving a budget, and approving the terms of my call for 2013, the January 27th Congregational Meeting featured a thoughtful presentation by one of our members regarding concerns and questions about our future. When Session met on February 12th, we made a list of what we heard. A brief synopsis follows:

1. The Future of Our Buildings – Do we have a master plan for managing and maintaining them?

2. The Pastor’s Retirement – What is being done to prepare for it?

3. Committees – If there are fewer committees and fewer people serving
on the ones that exist, then what’s the most effective way
to get important things done?

4. Problem Solving – As busy and preoccupied as so many of us are, are there
disciplines of organization and communication which we
need to practice in order to insure that problems are dealt
with creatively and cooperatively?

5. Declining Numbers – Like almost every mainline Protestant
congregation in this part of the country, we have fewer participants today than we did 20 years ago. What difference does that make in how we follow Christ together?

6. Leadership and Vision – We need it to meet the today’s
challenges. Where is it?

Discussion of these and other concerns will continue at our next meeting, after which we’ll report. Meanwhile, I consider it appropriate – maybe even helpful – for me to tell you what I know about my retirement. To put it as succinctly and accurately as I can: I don’t expect it to be soon! I have too many college bills to pay and there are too many fascinating challenges with which I look forward to wrestling. Care to join me?