Last year I gave the first state of the church update and while we had accomplished a lot in 2015 we were looking forward to many exciting advances in 2016.  At the time of the update, we were looking forward to upgrading our building, fine tuning the ways we welcome visitors and new members, discerning ways to put our newly discovered values to work, and addressing the bylaws.  With that in mind we set to work and over the course of the past year we did upgrade our building with new carpet and flooring, new tables, improvements to landscaping, new paint in the sanctuary, new chairs and a new sign.  We did address ways to reach out to new members and visitors by creating new member packets, professional brochures and launching a brand new website with a new format that hopefully provides clear and relevant information not just to ourselves but those outside our walls that are interested in seeing what we are doing.  We did think about our values and find ways to put those in to action through our commitment to our youth and the growth experienced there, through our new structure designed to elevate those values and through our large scale outreach projects-Backpack Brigade and Turkey Tailgate in addition to our other outreach projects such as the currently underway Angel Tree, Iron Gate Volunteer Days and Christmas in July.  Finally, we did address the Bylaws through an overhaul that not only keeps us moving forward and current but also aligns us with our values and puts them into action in our structure and governance.

So after all that, what’s next for 2017?  We will continue to keep ourselves up to date with an overhaul of our audio visual system which will allow us to make sure that our service is delivered in the clearest possible manner and will allow for better recording and distribution of sermons and musical offerings.  We will continue to engage in meaningful ways to serve the community around us through outreach and through serving as an example of acceptance and service.  We will also launch our new bylaws and structure which I believe will allow more of us to participate in the activities of the church.  Finally, I am excited to begin serving this church in the position of Coordinator of Shared Ministries, something which I believe will take Forest Park to a new level by improving our communication and our commitment and ability to serve others by getting everyone involved and excited about the opportunities to serve.

But it doesn’t end there.  There are many more great things on the horizon for Forest Park though it will take a commitment from us all-a commitment to be flexible, patient and understanding as we begin maneuvering through the new structure and the new bylaws, a commitment to being open to new ways that all of us might serve both Forest Park and our community and a willingness to give of ourselves, a commitment to giving changes a chance, a commitment to continuing to be observant of ways that we might be of service and spread God’s love to others and a commitment to holding ourselves and each other accountable to the financial commitment required for continued growth.  While all of this growth and excitement does require a large commitment from all of us, I know we can do it.  As a group, look what we have accomplished in just two short years.  As a group, think what we can accomplish in a few more.  I am excited to be on this journey with all of you and I look forward to continuing to work with each of you to show the world what Forest Park can do for God’s Kingdom.

May God’s hand continue to be on the work we do here and may each of us feel his love and encouragement as we walk this path together.

Terisa- FPCC Board Chair 2015-2016