As we reflect on 2014, we are in awe of the many ways God has moved through our congregation this year. What an amazing year of renewal! We have served beside one another, prayed for one another, and celebrated with one another.
God Sized Vision
In the spring, the Deacons walked alongside the congregation while the God-Sized Vision Team launched a major campaign to raise funds for our Renovation Projects.
Ten Year Anniversary for Sterling
Also in the spring, we celebrated Rev. Sterling Severns 10th Anniversary as pastor of the church. The Deacons led a fundraising initiative to purchase 300 new bibles for the sanctuary that were presented to the congregation in honor of Sterling’s 10-Year Anniversary.
Beginning in May, we prepared for Sterling’s Sabbatical through a deliberate weekend led by Bo Prosser. Mr. Prosser led the church staff and deacons in an Exit Gathering on Saturday, May 31st, and then spoke with the congregation during worship the following Sunday. Sterling and his family were sent with Bread for the Journey for a summer Sabbatical, which officially began on June 1, 2014. While Sterling was away this summer, the church planned several renewal activities of our own. We attended picnics, baseball games, and movie nights together, while embracing the theme of Coming Home. It was a meaningful time of fellowship. Upon Sterling’s return, the Deacons attended a Re-entry Retreat led again by Bo Prosser at the Baptist Theological Seminary of Richmond. This was a valuable experience for reflection and helped us to prepare the deacons for how to welcome Sterling back into the fold. The Deacons would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the amazing pastoral staff that worked diligently all summer to keep things moving smoothly: Rev. Dan Schumacher (Associate Pastor), Dr. Judy Fiske (Minister of Music and Worship), and Kristen Koger (Full Time Summer Intern).
Tabernacle was honored to ordain several gifted ministers in 2014. Julie Gaines Walton and Jeff Walton both had ordination services in the fall of 2014. We are thankful for their ministry every day and grateful to be a part of the ordination process with them.
• The Deacons created a team that revised our Church Constitution and Church Manual this year. This was a major undertaking and we are grateful to those individuals that served on that team: Gerry Strong, Nathan Hatfield, William Strollo, and Jessica Corbitt.
• The Deacons also created several subgroups that meet prior to Deacon Meetings to discuss key areas of ministry within the church. Those groups are: Team Based Ministry Subgroup, Homebound/Extended Family Care, Visitation Encouragement Group, and the Church Business Group. These new groups have focused our meetings and allowed them to run smoothly and effectively.
• In the fall of 2014, we created an additional temporary group that would look into the function and focus of the Tabernacle Child Care Committee. The temporary group is discerning how that standing committee can be utilized to fulfill the ministry of the center and to focus on relations between the church and child care center.
• On September 3, the Deacons led a Summer Highlight Night and Ministry Fair showcasing the work of our ministry teams and how God has used the Teams over the past year. We welcomed the Conversational English Group as a new team in 2014.
• In December, we created a transition team that would assist the congregation in preparing for Rev. Schumacher’s departure. The church supported Dan as he began the search for a senior pastor position. We prayed for Christen and Dan as they sought out the location to which God was calling them and celebrated with them in their decision. On January 4, 2015 we offered Dan and Christen bread for the journey and offered our gratitude for their ministry at Tabernacle. We wish them both well as they prepare to move and serve at the First Baptist Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
It has been our honor to serve our Church family in this amazing year of renewal. Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement.