Like most families, our church family most regularly gathers in the family room (aka the “Sanctuary” or "Worship Center" on Sundays), where our parents’ love is the primary feature. We also routinely see each other from across the table for a meal (“Communion” or “The Lord’s Supper”). Like most siblings, we squawk, fight, and squabble. We also apologize, forgive, and stick together through thick and thin. And on occasion, we talk about some family business.
This Sunday’s Congregational Meeting is exactly that: it’s for all the sisters and brothers of the Elmhurst CRC community to talk about the business of the church. While we won’t be deciding where we should go on summer vacation (though that sounds amazing) or whether or not to adjust our dietary habits (awkward), we will be discussing and deciding some serious matters.
First, we’ll vote on and elect four new Elders and four new Deacons. The family process for this is wonderfully creative. Of the eight candidates, the top six vote-getters—all anonymous—will have their names placed in a basket. After a moment of prayer for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, four names will then be drawn from the basket for both elder and deacon and are thus chosen to serve. I love this hybrid method of voting, which seeks to honor the will of the family/congregation, and the mystery of the Holy Spirit.
Second, we’ll hear short reports from the chairpersons of the Elders, Deacons, and Senior Leadership Team (SLT) as well as from the two pastors. These reports are meant to update the family on the most significant work that our leaders have been involved with over the past year. It’s like sharing an update of how your day went and is an opportunity for all of us to wonder, “How is the family really doing?”
Third, we’ll receive an accounting of our financial giving in 2021 from our treasurer, Ken Schaafsma. Ken will also present a plan for how the family finances will work in 2022. There is room for questions, clarifications, and feedback on this. The key to this moment’s success is asking whether our shared financial commitments align with the values that we profess to share together.
My prayer in advance is that there will be a good spirit in the room. I do believe that the Holy Spirit does some of its best work in moments like this. While we typically credit the Holy Spirit with moving through inspiration and even improvisation (as a musician, I love this), the Spirit is equally generous through the good gifts of administration and planning.
This will all happen at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday following quickly on the heels of the 10:00 a.m. worship service. You can click HERE to access the materials for the meeting. If you can’t be there in person, a Zoom option will also be available.
Blessings to you for a wonderful, wintry weekend. I hope to see you there.