Each fall, the SPRC Chair is to complete two reports for Charge Conference. Last year, I was clueless about the information that I would need so I was guided by our pastor.  To be prepared this year, I kept notes of everything that could help me.  There wasn’t much joy in my heart to start this process this year knowing what it all entailed.  So yes, I put it off until I had to force myself to the computer.  

With insight from the Leadership Team, I completed the first report, which is Clergy Assessment.  Also with notes from the team, I began the Local Church Profile.  This report asks for numbers, trends, success stories, goals, and strategies. It asks for examples of where we see our congregation, mission field, laity leadership, and our financial health.  FIFTEEN PAGES of stuff!  Again, I wasn’t looking forward to the time this would take away from me in order to complete.

I sat at the computer entering Leadership notes, my notes ….still no joy in my heart.  But as I began to read over the examples and stories, I began to remember other events from the past year that slipped my mind.   Instead of adding one or two stories, I was typing up to four (that is the limit per question).  I found myself going back and adding more details. I wanted the conference to see what Shawnee St. Paul’s was doing and where we see ourselves going. 

Here comes the JOY!  Being able to looking back to see St. Paul’s growing, building, sharing, loving….yes, living.  I have some of you to thank for all of those memories from the past year.

 In the end, I found myself sitting at the computer crying tears of JOY!   I realized, to my amazement, what all we do each year and how we make our dreams from the year before happen in our church, neighborhood, and community.  The gift of this report is being forced to look in the rearview mirror  and find joy in what God gave us in living out His word.  So next fall, I will write my last set of reports and remember the joy I will receive in doing the task.

I want to extend two invitations…1) become a part of what is happening at St. Paul’s during the week and on Sundays, and 2) if you would like to talk about  the Local Church Profile report, I would love to visit with you.