WORD MEETING SUMMARY 8/17/2015 The WORD leadership teams came together 2 weeks ago for our quarterly meeting and I’m here to update you on our progress and future events. This first meeting under Rev. Martin’s leadership was well attended, about 45 people, and very powerful. Pastor Thomas added elements to this gathering that served to unify us and lift us up. A touching devotional encouraged us to believe in the power of working together. Performing the sacrament of Communion reminded us of our connection to God and one another. Rev. Martin attended several of the individual team meetings and we are grateful that he has quickly aligned himself with the church leadership and is dedicated to moving us in a positive direction. I am also thankful to everyone on the WORD teams for their continued work and commitment to our church. The main focus for the Worship/Welcome team was the upcoming September Spectacular on Sunday the 13th. Rev. Blair Boyd Zant will be preaching and all are invited to gather on our front lawn immediately following worship. I hear there will be a corn hole duel between the Sunday School classes so that is something you won’t want to miss. Be sure to join us for this homecoming celebration and connect with members old and new. Speaking of new members, if you are looking for ways to get involved in our church, the W team is always looking for people to become greeters and ushers. These important positions help you meet others in the church and are vital in making the Sunday morning experience a positive one for all who enter our sanctuary. The O, or Outreach team, continues to do God’s work within our church and around our community. The successful Backpack program is on track to deliver full backpacks each week for students at Lake Forrest & Ison Springs Elementary schools. School supplies collected from our generous members and the Food bank will be distributed as needed by the teachers. Members of this team were on hand the last two Fridays at Movies by Moonlight sponsored by Leadership Sandy Springs but held on our campus. This event, along with the Sandy Springs Festival Sept 19-20, are perfect opportunities to introduce people in our surrounding community to our church and extend the hand of Fellowship to them. In order for our congregation to grow, we must be visible and welcoming at these events and share with folks all of the amazing things going on at our church. The Resource team is one of the busiest groups in our church but their work in done mostly behind the scenes. They have managed multiple projects, such as renovation of the fountain, installation of energyefficient lighting throughout our campus, restriping of the parking lot & many other repairs and improvements. Mike Hadlow has provided an update of all pending and completed projects headed up by the Trustees. I’ve made copies of this extensive list and put them in the narthex if you are interested. At the meeting, the WORD Executive Council approved use of an additional $20,000 from the Hogan fund to be utilized in completing some important projects that will enhance our campus and facilities. Ed Byrd reported that our finances are in pretty good shape with expenses running lower than predicted and income numbers exceeding expectations in some areas. Although we still have a deficit, the outlook is much better than previously reported thanks to careful budgeting by our staff, financial responsibility by the Resource team and the generosity of our congregation. Members of the Discipleship team are planning our 2nd Church-wide retreat taking place Oct. 2nd-4th at Camp Glisson in Dahlonega. As one of the attendees last year, I can say that it was a very special weekend that truly strengthened our relationship with God and each other. Our worship service on the porch, surrounded by nature, is still one of my favorite, most meaningful Sunday services. When you add in Smores, ziplining, a mission project and waterfalls, you just can’t refuse to participate! Registration forms are in the narthex and Candace will reveal the itinerary for the weekend at our September Spectacular. A challenge for every church is communicating to their members and the greater community. There is so much going on all the time that it’s difficult to keep up with everything. Our staff works hard to create the weekly Blast and The Dipper newsletter so that you know what’s happening at SSUMC. Please do your part by reading them. If you’re not receiving them, let us know and we’ll make sure you’re added to the list. As a WORD team, we will continue to discuss ways that we can disseminate information so that you feel you’re being informed. I have created a Volunteer Interest Form listing the many activities and programs taking place in our church over the next several months. There are planning meetings in September for both Trunk or Treat and the Advent Event so volunteers are needed soon. The forms are in the narthex and can be turned in to the office. Please prayerfully consider how you will be an active participant in growing our church and making disciples of Jesus Christ. There are opportunities big and small for every single person in this congregation. Because there is strength in TOGETHER, I encourage you to help wherever you can and make this church a place where all feel welcome and want to be a part of our special SSUMC family.