Pastor Ryan Update ~ April 8, 2016
Blessings in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ! The following is an update on the continuing progress of several areas of work at Christ UMC, Selinsgrove.
• Building Plans that are 80% complete will be posted on our website (www.christ-umc.net) this coming week. We are going to have a town hall meeting to discuss the building plans and answer questions on Sunday, April 24, 2016 from 9:15am to 10:15am. There will be no adult or youth Sunday School that day. There will be children’s Sunday School on that day. The building committee met on Wednesday, April 6 and went over several items including what the Conference Volunteers in Missions can do for us. Bill Toner from Conference Volunteers in Mission met with the committee. Items that we along with conference volunteers might possibly be doing to save money include moldings & trim, door frames & doors, painting, drywall (not Sanctuary/Multi-purpose room drywall), drop ceilings, stage, some mason & effis work (this might be something CUMC does), stage, some kitchen fit out work, cross and flame on outside of the building, landscaping, top soil/rock hounding, seeding, wheel stops, traffic signs, dumpster pad, and wood frame dumpster enclosure with gate. We might not do all of this as CUMC and Conference VIM volunteers but these are all options. When we put out for bid, we will list this as options to do and receive pricing for us doing labor and us not doing the labor plus what the cost of materials from general or sub-contractors will be. Building Committee will meet again with the architect on Wednesday, April 20 to prepare for the town hall meeting and to work on getting the drawings to 100% for the bidding process with options listed for the Conference Volunteers in Missions and us to do some of the labor.
• Imagine Christ pledges for March/April 2016 to March/April 2017 total $85,644.00 with possibly a couple more one time gifts still to be pledged. The Imagine Christ Building Fund is currently at $160,205.06 with $6,543.00 received into that fund from 2016-2017 pledged funds and $2,371.00 received in non-pledged funds. Around $80,000 will then be received in pledged funds over the next 11 months and other non-pledged amounts will continue to be received into Imagine Christ. This places us pretty close to what we would like to have in this fund and praise be to God allows us to go forward with the bidding and building process. Christ UMC by the power of the Holy Spirit, you are awesome!
• We decommissioned the 8th and Mill Street CUMC building and land. We had a service on Sunday, April 3 at 3pm and as part of the service these words were spoken by Pastor Ryan: “This building, having been consecrated and named Christ United Methodist Church; together with the land on which it stands and all objects remaining in it not designated for future use of Christ United Methodist Church, we now deconsecrate and release for any honorable use. We declare that it is no longer a place of meeting of a United Methodist congregation.”
• The 8th Street Sale continues. There was some confusion on when the sixty day clock started for closing. Did it start when we signed the agreement or when the Snyder County Coalition for Kids voted as a board to sign the agreement? Either way, choosing the most liberal interpretation, and knowing that we still needed to decommission the church and get some paperwork done (with Attorney Tom Clark finishing the deed, the paperwork on our end is completed); the sale should close by the end of April. I hope to have a date for closing by next Sunday, April 17. I will continue to keep the congregation updated on the progress of closing.
• The prayer shawl ministry continues to grow thanks to many of you who are making them and providing ways for them to be distributed. More prayer shawls will be given out over the course of April & May.
• Many thanks to all of you who are giving to Imagine Christ, raising funds through soup sales, bake sales and other means for the building. Your dedication is deeply appreciated and a testament to the work of God through our church.
At last Sunday’s decommissioning service we read these words from Ecclesiastes 3 ~ “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot . . . .” Living in the midst of both birthing something new while decommissioning another place, living in the midst of both planting new ministries, missions and places to do both while uprooting from one holy place to another is both heart-wrenching and beautiful at the same time. It is God who goes before us while we are doing both. Comforting us in the uprooting by God’s grace for it was grace that won at the cross even in the midst of death. And, God’s Spirit moves us beautifully as we are planted into something new for we serve a God of resurrection who stated by the empty tomb that we are people of new life. I thank God that I get to be your pastor during this time of “both/and”, this time of transition. May the peace that Jesus Christ left with us be with you all throughout this process. You are an absolutely beautifully loving congregation of Christ followers!
In Christ’s Love