…FOR SUNDAY MORNING ANNOUNCEMENT_DECEMBER 2, 2018…Roanoke Church of Christ
Good Morning congregation!
I’ve got good news, and good news, and that equals great news for Keith and us!
Our most favored senior minister has been trying to find a way to retire for several years. But because of his affection for the flock here, not wanting to appear to be abandoning you and me – his church family, and several unexpected turns in the life road over the last couple of years, he has delayed his formal retirement. Until now.
You may already know that at one time he and Jo were thinking they’d retire, pack up, and move to Florida to be near Todd – a Florida ‘feet up in the warm southern sunshine’ kind of plan. However, they seem to find Roanoke a comfortable home, and this church family a loving and secure place for their next phase in life’s journey.
So 2019 will find the steering committee – Del, Judy, Martha Foy, Wayne, Susan and me more actively steering us, guiding this little fishing boat across some new waters – I’m trying for a biblical metaphor here, though none of us has any walk-on-water experience.
And we’ll be soliciting your input as well. Input along three parallel tracks :
1.coming up with a list of potential guest speakers, and inviting these new voices for Sunday messages; this to complement Keith as he slows back to preaching only one Sunday a month,
2.recruiting an associate minister to at some point possibly take on the traditional role Keith has filled for the last 30 years,
3.examine our church family’s needs, wants, wishes, and spiritual character as we transition and transform, who we are in God / in Christ / in the Holy Spirit…
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12:2 ESV
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”
1 John 3:2 ESV
…along our church family’s path. To try to determine the fruits and gifts of our congregation in a refreshed and more visible and discernible way than we may currently be aware. Keith pointed out last Sunday some of our folks and their particular projects of benevolence and works for and with the community within the immediate family and around our neighborhood.
Please give Keith and Jo a supportive and encouraging hug, not one of goodbye, but of a welcome and “we’ve got your back” encouragement for their transition. As Keith and I have discussed, and I know, retirement can be a real challenge!
There will be much work to do, much self-examination, much stepping back and looking at who we are and where we want to head, and we’re going to all need to be positive and supportive and prayerful. Please know that the Steering Committee is counting on everyone here, our whole church family, to pitch in, throw us your thoughts and ideas. A former member, who has moved away, recently gave us a thumbs up by saying, and I quote “Roanoke Church is the kind of church the world needs”. Almost made me tear up, then of course I immediately felt a pretty big weight of responsibility land on OUR shoulders.
Pray for Keith and Jo…
Pray for the Steering Committee…
Pray for our church family…
Pray with me… “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
Psalms 51:10-12 ESV
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”
Psalms 139:23-24 ESV
Blessings to us all,
Mike Branch, for the Steering Committee