I watched a 38 minute DVD last night. It was of the program celebrating MHCC”s 35th Anniversary as a congregation. Divided into 2 sections, the first covered the history of our church from its inception through 1990. The second portion was a series of short comments from then-members beginning with the phrase, “I remember when….” Among the faces I recognized were Ray Bristol, Frank Mabee, Stan Hagadone, Gay Gilmore, Cy Gaiser, Lou Ann Ligon and Val Cunningham. As the video played I must admit that, at first, I was a tad depressed. Before me were scenes of a full church with lots of children and many peace and justice efforts that were well documented. But by the end of the disc, I realized that I was watching my church, made up of my friends who were doing God’s work! I was excited! The spirit of our people, that time and this place have not changed!!!
But some things do change.
2011 has brought so many changes to our remarkable faith community! The most obvious and, by far, the most conspicuous, are manifested in our building and entrance. But there have been other changes that have gone by with less fanfare.
Despite some financial belt-tightening, we have maintained, and in some cases exceeded our outreach efforts. New opportunities for direct involvement are seen in members” exponential participation in Project Linus and our serving meals to young people at First Youth Texas. The Alternative Christmas raised over $10,000 for a variety of deserving non-profits and we have met our goals for mission giving from our 2011 budget, which is around 10% I believe. Still, independent of other fundraising, we have benefited from generous donors, resulting in a new piano for the renewed Sanctuary and windows for the Education Building and Community Hall plus new sliding doors for that area as well.
We have welcomed back David Hammons as our Administrative Assistant and embraced Amber Churchill as our Minister In Training, while continuing to enjoy the skills and creativity of Greg Nunn, Music Director, and the detailed work done by Barbie Lund, Bookkeeper. Lay leaders have worked diligently and intensely on our behalf all year. (So glad we don’t pay them, especially by the hour!)
We are about to begin a New Year that will bring changes and nonchanges:
a new slate of officers, but the same passion to serve; a new budget, but the same priorities for doing God’s work; the same location, but a new look.
We have a history, a legacy, and a reputation within our denomination that have been made strong through the dedication of Ray and Frank and Stan and Gay and Cy and Lou Ann and Val and so many I never had the honor to know – all who made this church the fantastic one-of-a-kind community of faith it has become! Today’s congregation bears the weight of the dreams of all who came before us. We have our own dreams, dreams that are consistent with our past, yet looking toward the future. Their coming true depends upon us. So here’s to yesterday, today and to a glorious tomorrow!