During this busy time of year, it is hard to take time out to reflect on the year. We are too overwhelmed, rushing to purchase stuffings for the stockings and gifts to place under the Christmas tree, lists to check twice; then, before we know it, the New Year rolls in, with those resolutions already broken.
So, it has been helpful for me, and perhaps will be for you as well, to take a moment to reflect about several developments this past year in our church community, from the perspective of office manager and ministry admin assistant.
1) Land Closing and Events – In March we closed on land which we trust God will use to bless and serve our community. Then in May, we held our first Worship Service Celebration on the land, concluding with an outdoor picnic lunch. This fall we had our first fundraiser, “Horticulture Heaven,” with all proceeds supporting our land fund. Now, at year’s end, we are making good progress to paying off the land! We thank the Lord for all He had done to accomplish this, and how He worked through the generosity of so many of you.
2) Missionary Send-off – This year we sent off our first home-grown missionary family, Derek and Laura Dougherty, MTW/Peru. Through our prayers, support and co-sponsoring “Music for Missions Benefit Concert & Auction”, we are thankful that we could be part of their “‘key moments” that God orchestrated in their lives calling them into the mission field.
3) New and Improved Website – This year we introduced to you our new brighter, more navigable, mobile-friendly website, http://www.crosscreekchurch.net. The website was designed for both the new visitor and the Cross Creek member/participant. Directly from the homepage you can quickly link to pages to learn who we are; what it means to “Grow in truth, Live in community, Serve in the kingdom;” when things are happening at Cross Creek Church; where and how to become connected. The homepage also highlights current events and photos of activities in our church community.
4) New Pathways for Financial Giving – We also researched and implemented systems for additional pathways of financial giving besides traditional check and cash. Now you can donate online directly from our website under the Contribute link on the homepage. By setting up an account you can contribute just one time or create recurring giving schedule, view your history for online giving, edit your profile. We also offer mobile app giving, by searching for and downloading “Shelby Next | Giving” from your app store. All these are done securely through Shelby Systems, Inc. cloud based program, “ShelbyNext Giving.”
5) Welcoming New Members – We host membership classes as needed throughout the year. It is a time to learn about the vision of Cross Creek and how to Grow, Live, Serve. This year we welcomed two classes. It is exciting to see how God is working in and through you, using your gifts and talents to grow His church.
We had several ‘firsts’ this year and expect more ‘firsts’ in the coming years. We continue with those tasks that make our church ‘run’, pressing on to the calling God has for each one of us.
Wearing many hats in our office, I am so thankful to be of help to our church family, always with the thought of how best to use our resources, in helping and serving our members and our community – all to God’s Glory!
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” (Philippians 3:12-14, The Message)