Annual Congregational Meeting Sunday, February 18, 2018
I am often reminded of the words “I will and I ask God to help and guide me”.These are the words I recited before I was installed as Ministry of nurture nearly 10years ago. I am also reminded of one of my favorite hymns – Lead Me, Guide Me. Over this next year I will be asking for help and guidance as we move forward in our journey for consistency in pastoral leadership.
Pierre Chatman and I would talk about myself becoming president and I would always say “not yet,” or “I’m not quite ready,” or “you’re doing such a great job why would you want to give this up”? I feel when making a commitment such as this you have to be ready to accept the challenges that lie ahead of you. I am not sure anyone is ever “Ready” for a task as important as this.
This past July Pierre asked me again, “So…Are you ready?” At this point, I clearly knew that this is what God has prepared me for. To his question, I replied with yes! I am honored to have the support and confidence that Pierre sees in me. Pierre has given me his blessing and will support me and the congregation in any way he can.
I want to thank the current members of the council for their long standing service to this church. This year we have introduced 2 new members to the council Winthrop Heard, Minister of Outreach, and Deana Iliff, Minister of Nurture. They are great additions to help enhance the experience of the council.
This year we will be breathing new life into each of the church ministries, finance, properties, Nurture and Special Concerns. I am challenging each of you to join one committee this year, each committee will be led by our council members. In addition to these newly reformed committees, we have two committees that meet on a regular basis. The Worship & Music committee led by Jeannette Marble and an outreach committee led by Winthrop Heard.
Since the departure of our Pastor, Wayne Nabors, we have been working with the Synod to find more consistent pastoral leadership. They have worked with Jeanette and Myself on a consistent basis to provide Licensed Lay Ministers and
Pastors to lead our worship every Sunday morning. I am in constant contact with an assistant to the Bishop and I want to make it perfectly clear that they are there to support us in any way they can. As a church we need to be trusting with themso they can continue to give us that support. The Synod is working on behalf of IACLC, we need to tell the Synod what we need in leadership for this church.
I would like to like to take the next five minutes to have each of you write down 5 things that you would like to see in the next Pastor of IACLC. I will take the responses and compile them. The church council will review and we will present a recommendation to the congregation based on the input you provide today.
A separate meeting will be scheduled for the review of the pastoral needs of the congregation, where we can all vote to approve the functions of the position. We have to be open and honest with what our needs are so that the synod can find us the right match for our church.
This year I have represented our church at the Synod house with the Co Deans of the Detroit area churches, some pastors were in attendance and also some lay leaders like myself who were representing churches without a pastor. This was an informational meeting and a chance to talk openly about what our concerns are as a congregation and what we are going through as a congregation. This will be a quarterly meeting and I look forward to bringing you updates from these meetings.
I have also been contacted by a member of St. James Lutheran Church, Grosse Pointe Farms, and she is in charge of a committee that would like to work with our outreach committee and help us with outreach projects in our community. This is a great opportunity to help expand our outreach and grow our community.
In closing, I would like to encourage each of you to reflect upon these words from 1st Thessalonians Chapter 5, starting at verse 13: ”Go out into the world in peace, be of good courage, hold to what is good, return no evil for evil, strengthen the faint hearted, support the weak, help the suffering, honor all people, love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Remember to thank the members that got us this far. It is important to know that we are the future. I am honored to walk in the footsteps of the presidents who got us to 2018.
Hope for the future of our congregation and pastoral leadership,
Justin A. Martin IACLC President
Note: Copies of additional reports submitted at the February, 18, 2018 Annual Congregational Meeting are available at the church office.