The Annual Meeting of the congregation will be celebrated this Sunday after the 10:00 a.m. worship service. Why do I use the word celebrated to describe what takes place at a congregational meeting? It’s because this meeting and the distribution of the written Annual Report invite us to look back and look forward and take stock of the ministry of this vibrant congregation and the deep investment of its members.
In Richard Lischer’s memoir, Open Secrets, A Spiritual Journey Through a Country Church, which is about his experience of serving at his first church, he remembers his congregation’s annual report writing:
Somehow we had gotten the idea that we could capture a year of grace by listing how many baptisms had taken place, how many “souls” had communed, and how many funerals had been conducted. No one ever attempted to render the stories behind the numbers. Perhaps we thought that if we were still generating statistics, we must be a church. Which was ironic because we lived as an organism, not an organization. The last thing we truly cared about was numbers.
Those who care about the numbers will hear and see them this coming Sunday at the Annual Meeting, but they hardly communicate the stories behind the highlights of being in ministry together through the seasons of a church year. It’s testimony you don’t want to miss! It’s the sharing of stories about what is going on that offer a glimpse of the vibrancy of our ministry.
Thanks to all of you who make this community of people a living organism of faith by being a part of the story. See you on Sunday.