Dear Friends in Christ,
Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest rustle with praise! (Psalm 96:12) New Living Translation
Spring is in the air, and all of God’s creation is called to rejoice and renew! In this Eastertide season, my heart is full and I just want to shout “Alleluia” at all of God’s goodness and beauty that surrounds us. In May and June, the church calendar is full of opportunities for worship, praise, service and celebration. In May our Confirmation Class is headed to Weston Priory for a Retreat (May 6-7). In worship we will celebrate Mother’s Day (May 8), Pentecost (May 15 – wear red), and Confirmation (May 22). Our Spring Rummage Sale is May 13 & 14. In June we will have our second annual Sunday of Service (June 5) with service projects in the community, Celebration Sunday (date TBA) marking the end of the Church School year and presenting Bibles to youth, and Father’s Day (June 19). In June we also celebrate two years of ministry together – my how the time flies! I continue to feel blessed to serve as your pastor.
On April 14, our newly invigorated Church Council had our first meeting with Rev. Dr. Claire Bamberg, the Director of Coaching with the Center for Progressive Renewal www.progressiverenewal.org. RCC is one of four churches in the Vermont Conference UCC selected to work with Claire over the next two years as a Next Level Church. The other churches in the program are Rutland, Randolph and Middlebury. The program is fully funded by the Vermont Conference UCC, and the goal is to help our Council identify what our Next Level is as a church, and work to get there. Other UCC churches in Vermont have used the Next Level program to plan a Capitol Campaign, reinvigorate their Christian Education Program or plan a Community Solar Fest. For two years, Claire will meet monthly with the Council either electronically or via conference call, to coach us and provide us with resources. I am optimistic that this program will help the Church Council live into its stated purpose in our governance structure of being a visionary body for the church. As we begin, Claire provided us with four questions to answer together as a congregation. We will be gathering your responses electronically and in writing throughout May. But if you would like to ponder in advance, here are the questions:
- Why did you come to Richmond Congregational Church, United Church of Christ?
- Why do you stay?
- Where would you like the church to be in five years?
- What would it take to get there?
Your thoughtful responses will help us identify and determine our Next Level.
Wishing you days filled with God’s peace and sustained by the Spirit’s presence,