Sunday, May 04, 2008

Westminster Annual Pastor's Report

Here is my annual report for 2007:
It was so good to come back from my Sabbatical in February of 2007 and find Westminster as vibrant and healthy as ever. Thanks again for the wonderful gift of sabbatical and many thanks to everyone who worked extra hard while I was away.

God has been moving at Westminster this past year, as we have sought to know God and do God’s will as the part of the Body of Christ that meets on the corner of Shasta and The Alameda. It has been a joyful and challenging journey to discover what it means to equip and call Christians of all ages to answer the call of God on their lives.

To help us move closer to our vision, in late 2007, we decided on a plan to reduce the size of the session. The idea was to move from session being a meeting of "committee chairs" to being the group that focuses on the overall vision of the church. Most all of the usual committee work was delegated to staff, ministry teams, and committees under the direction of the session. In addition to their monthly meetings, session now holds special quarterly meetings that include all staff, ministry team leaders and committee chairs to pray, plan, and share concerns, successes and vision. This restructuring is an attempt to free people to serve in their areas of giftedness.

I was also very encouraged by the God Nights, and other special worship times and prayer ministry in 2007. We are moving and growing in our understanding and practice of worship by finding times and expressions of worship outside of traditional Sunday mornings.

Two vision areas that we are continuing to grow in are short-term missions and community outreach. I am praying that God will help us move forward in a significant way in both types of outreach. The Africa mission group started meeting in 2007, and we are ready for a pre-mission trip site visit in June, leading towards a mission trip in 2009. In the fall, I plan to start an intentional outreach strategy to reach families and singles in our church neighborhood. A special ministry team to these ends will be formed in August or September. I believe that it is important to remember that both foreign missions and local missions are equally part of God’s call to the church. Our continued involvement in the Alameda Business Association and PACT has been a vital link to our community.

Many upgrades and improvements have been made in our building and grounds in 2007 and in 2008. Thanks to everyone who has been involved! It is good to see so many folks taking pride and ownership of our facility. After a few years of struggling to replace our playground, it looks like ground will be breaking soon on that project.

I am very encouraged by the new small groups, Sunday Morning welcome table, and other ministry ideas that are in the wings to help us connect and build community at Westminster.

I feel strongly that God is moving in our fellowship and is transforming lives and saving souls. I pray for renewal in all of our lives as we joyfully follow God together at WPC. I believe that our church is a place where can walk forward to realize the dreams God has placed in our hearts. I thank God for his goodness in my life and hold dearly the privilege of being your pastor.