Attached and below is an update from our Peace With Justice Steward, Ellery...
As we wait for Pastor Mike to arrive please do not forget we still have work to do. St Pete Pride is 30 Jun. The United Church of Christ will be represented in the parade and at the street festival. The area congregations will either have participants in the parade or have volunteers at the UCC booth along the parade route for the street festival. If you would like to participate in either one please let me know. The parade starts about 10 AM. To prepare for the parade participants need to be in the loading area by 9 AM. The route is long. Be prepared for a long walk or if you plan to ride we will need to know so we can make arrangements. The booth is manned in two hour shifts. A big impression is made when non-gay members are there. Also keep in mind it will be very hot. It is a good idea to bring a plenty of water.
We had a very successful FAST Investment Drive. Our goal was $2000. We exceeded that and FAST is so impressed with Faith UCC. At May FAST Board Meeting I was asked to talk about how we achieved our goal. At the June FAST Board Meeting on Monday I was asked to give the vision statement, again relating it to how well we did. It was important to mention all the transitions Faith UCC has been through the past few years and how we did not lose our mission to do justice. In fact I think our justice ministry is stronger. Fran Mitchell, Bob and Helen Tulenko, Pam and Chuck Stiers are a very large part of our ministry. As of today, Faith UCC has invested $3000 in FAST. We still have two commitments for a combined $500. We are a powerful congregation!
We came very close to having our average worship attendance at the Nehemiah Action Meeting. Our commitment was 75 people and we fell just short at 68 participants.
As I said, we still have work to do. Our goal for Nehemiah Action 2013 is 100 participants (see what happens when no one joins me at the FAST Board Meetings). You may notice the number might be larger than our average worship attendance. My point is Pastor Mike is not going to do our work. We cannot wait or expect Pastor Mike to come to Faith UCC like a knight in shining armor.
Pastor Mike was drawn to Faith UCC based on our work in our ministries. He said when he read our profile he felt “tingling” in his body. He wanted to come to Faith UCC from that point forward. The Search Committee had been in communication with Mike since last fall. Let’s not disappointment him by taking time off from our mission to delight God. Mike will be attending a justice ministry DART training along with me at USF his first week on the job.
So this is our work ahead of us. Put these dates in your calendar. The FAST Assembly is 29 Oct 2012, FAST Rally 25 Feb 2013 and Nehemiah Action 11 Mar 2013. The FAST Celebration is 9 May 2013. For Faith UCC to have 100 participants we will need 25 Network Members.
Our work on Drugs and Crime is going well. FAST will continue to work with the Sheriff’s Department, but it will be put on a monitoring status. In the fall we will be looking at a new issue to address. During the summer FAST and Faith UCC will start the Listening Process to develop what to take to Nehemiah next year. One area that has come up the past few years is health care. Start thinking about what issues are important to you.
The School Board is continuing to drag their feet with regards to Direct Instruction and improving reading in our schools. FAST has been talking to education CEOs. They are very interested in Direct Instruction, so interested they are joining FAST members in a trip to Baltimore to see DI in action.
Please do not take a vacation from being at church on Sundays until 15 Jul. We are the church and seeing a nearly empty church is very disappointing. Faith UCC is a powerful congregation, now is not the time to lose momentum.
Peace with Justice