December 30, 2011 - Big Fred's Bytes
On behalf of all our Pastors and Elders, I would like to wish each of you a prosperous new year and challenge you to increase your relationship with our Lord and Savior over the coming months. There are many traditions that we could talk about coming into a new year, but the one that I encourage each of you to think about is going deeper in your relationship with God. Where ever you may be in your understanding and application of God’s Word, there is room to grow.
You will find many opportunities to increase your spiritual maturity throughout 2012 around the Harvest Community Church family. I would be happy to discuss any questions that you may have regarding any of our ministry opportunities if you would like a little more information. Just give me a call and we can go from there.
One of our first steps in developing a growing relationship is participation in Community Groups. This might be something you are holding back from participating in and I can understand the anxiety associated with your going to a group if you have not already done so. Let me assure you though, once you try it, this will not be a problem. It quickly becomes something that you look forward to and are excited to attend. If you are not already attending a group or would like to consider another group, you can sign up at church or email Pastor Fred at firstname.lastname@example.org . I would also be happy to talk with you on this topic and even travel to a group of your choice with you if you would be more comfortable trying it that way. There are groups meeting every night of the week and we are willing to look at starting other groups where there are needs so let us know what might help you get connected into a community group.
We are nearing completion of the construction phase in the remodeling of the area just outside the main sanctuary at the Kittanning Campus. We soon will be painting and installing the floor covering in this area. Thank you all for supporting the remodeling efforts and bearing with the dust. We have already experienced this area becoming an active area following each service that is now facilitating conversation and connections. I look forward to our café being set up in this area and I will need to come up with some other exercise plan to walk off the donuts. I hope you all will take advantage of this space to talk with our visitors and others you may not see often. Hospitality is very important in helping guests become comfortable and willing to return. Please take this as a personal request for you to talk with others before and after each service. Do not hesitate to offer personal invitations to ministry opportunities around the church.
Fred Wood is leading our First Impression/Greeter and Usher effort. If you are willing to help serve in any of these areas, you can email Fred Wood at email@example.com and he will discuss your availability. We would like to develop our team to a level of not only distributing brochures each week but to be willing to escort guests to appropriate classrooms for their children, answering questions regarding the church, and helping them find a seat in the sanctuary. This can be very intimidating and we would like to do all we can to help visitors be comfortable.
The church office will be sending 2011 Giving Statements out during the 3rd week in January. They will be sent by U.S. Mail to all givers on record at the church office. You will not need to request one; we will send them to all of our donors. If you have not received this statement by January 25th, send me an email after that time and we will track your copy and get it to you.
The mission’s team is planning to offer a mission trip to Guatemala in midsummer and looking to identify 1 or 2 other trip opportunities for teams in 2012. No specific details are available at this point but we will share them as soon as the specifics are known. If you have been considering participation in one of these trips, this might be the year to give it a try. All participants will need U.S. Passports as well as be reviewed and confirmed by the Mission Team. We then hold training classes for all trip participants that are designed to build team unity and increase you skills and understanding of the culture you will be serving on the trip. Fundraising for trip expenses is permitted under appropriate guidelines with the approval of the Mission’s team.
Updating our Records
Starting in a couple days, we will undertake a concerted effort to update and verify the contact information of our membership as well as our regular attendees. We will email a data sheet to each email address on record as well as hand out copies of this data sheet on Sunday morning for a few weeks. We will also reference it in a couple other settings. Please complete one of these as completely as possible for each person in your household over the age of 18. You only need to complete it once BUT, please complete it. If there is any sensitive information you are not comfortable sharing, just indicate that and we will work with what we get. Harvest Community Church will not distribute any of this information to other organizations or agencies. Basic contact information is available to those attending Harvest via the “My Harvest” portion of our website and can be limited or removed where necessary.
It is very important for your church leaders to maintain accurate contact information to serve your ministry needs. In addition, we need to keep up to date with the people that are trusting Harvest Pastors and Elders to lead their spiritual growth. We consistently take steps to keep your information confidential and can work with you to discuss specific options to meet your concerns. Please give me a call directly to discuss any specific concerns at 724-664-9962. You are of course, free to not share such information if you prefer and still attend all Harvest opportunities but it would potentially impact our ability to keep you informed and up-to-date.
I look forward to 2012 being an exciting ministry time around Harvest and opportunity for each of us to grow closer to our Lord and with each other. Always know that we are just a phone call away if you need more information or help working through any situation.