by John Armstrong
As we head into “high Summer” I thought it appropriate that we talk about some issues that we are having around the church. Some issues are good to have and we have them. I thought I would address some of these because they will change how we regularly function as a church. We are growing and that means things are going to have to change. As much as we may resist change, we’ve been praying for growth in grace as disciples and growth in number as the Lord brings people to our fellowship. So, what are the issues? I’m going to address these in no particular order. First, let’s talk about children, they are a blessing from the Lord and an answer to prayer. So, first let me say, “Praise the Lord for our children!!” With the blessing of children comes the reality that they require a lot of attention and space. We are concerned to protect our children and thus we are making changes to our nursery procedures and the way we approach safety and security in the church. In today’s environment, that means we have to do background checks and a lot of other things to make sure we are providing a safe environment. Lots of kids means we need increased vigilance and enough adults (screened and trained) to take care of those covenant children. Another aspect of more kids is a mobility issue. Kids are highly mobile and have a tendency to run in the church, which in and of itself is not bad, until you add other people. Kids running through the hall or dodging and darting around more seasoned, less mobile folks can be dangerous. Currently, there are particular concerns when adults are crowding around in the narthex or in the aisles to get out of the sanctuary. When kids run through that maze of folks, it makes many uncomfortable, because they are fearful of falling, and rightfully so. We don’t want people uncomfortable in our church gatherings. We don’t want anyone getting hurt. So, we need to work on encouraging our kids to take their exuberant running and playing outside. This is a parental issue as well as any member of the church that has taken vows, to help with encouraging the children to walk carefully around others and to do their running and playing outside away from where adults are congregating. A third issue is storage space. As we grow, our space is at a premium and we are beginning to take steps to work on managing our space better. That means we are working on storage space. We are going to be organizing and cleaning out. That means some things are going away. Good organization and cleaning requires a bit of ruthlessness when it comes to getting rid of stuff. We have lots of stuff that needs to go away. That said, if you have stuff at the church that you want, take it home. Also, don’t bring more stuff here, unless it is something we have asked for. Our church facility often ends up being the dumping ground for well-meaning people who bring “good” stuff that never ends up being used. That stuff needs to go away and your bringing it here adds more work. The ReStore, Salvation Army, Rescue Mission, and Goodwill are very good options for your stuff. You don’t have to come to Faith Church for long before you realize meeting space is also at a premium. We thank God for our facility! As we grow, we are feeling the need to steward the space well and that requires more coordination. You are welcome to use our facility, we want it used, but we don’t have enough space to let that go unregulated. Therefore, we need the committees, small groups, etc. who want to meet to coordinate with Brittney for space and time.
One last thing in terms of space. The Sr. High room belongs to the Sr. High for Sunday school and Youth Group meetings. After Sunday school and during the Worship service that space is currently being used for nursing mothers. Please respect that space. We ask that no one enter that space but nursing mothers with their children during those times. We are growing and whether we like it or not, that means change has to take place and change is often painful. The Session and Diaconate are looking at ways for us to deal with the issues that are arising and we covet your prayers for wisdom for how best to deal with these. Please mark your calendars for Saturday, September 21st because we are going to celebrate the 40th  Anniversary of being in our building and at that time the Session in conjunction with our Strategic Committee will present the results of our Church Health Survey and some of the priorities that we believe the Lord would have us pursue as a congregation with regard to our facility, and our function as a church. Exciting times are ahead and I hope that you are as encouraged as I am to see the Lord at work in our midst. May the Lord richly bless Faith Church with wisdom and strength as He grows us for His glory.