Church Conference and the State of the Church

Jenny and I will be presenting our “State of the Church” report tonight at Church Conference. In case you aren’t able to make it the text is below. The entire church conference packet is avaialable at www.coffeyvillefirstumc.org on the Downloads page.

STATE OF THE CHURCH REPORT
2008 Church Conference
Revs. John and Jennifer Collins

In 2007-2009 John and Jenny served consecutive terms as president of the Coffeyville Ministerial Alliance. This year John continues to serve as chair of the LTRO (Long Term Recovery Organization), which is working with the long term flood recovery in Montgomery county.

Jenny took on the role of Registrar of the District Board of Ordained Ministry. To balance this large responsibility, John pulled back on District and Conference responsibilities in order to spend more time addressing the needs of the local congregation.

Although church membership and attendance continues to decline, we have however increased our mission and outreach to the community. This year we had a work team participate in flood recovery and we continue to give financial aid to flood victims and many others in need. We collected flood buckets to observe the anniversary of the 2007 flood and have become a depository for flood buckets in this area. We have distributed much needed lice kits to both Coffeyville Schools and the Crisis Resource Center. Our substantial contribution to the Salvation Army’s back to school backpack program was very much appreciated. In keeping with our focus on children, we have agreed to adopt larger families for the Christmas basket program this year.
The Vision Team continues to work under the rubric of the Bishop’s handbook of “Effective Congregational Evangelism,” Jim Collins’ Good to Great, and Dan R. Dick’s Vital Signs: A Pathway to Congregational Wholeness. Who Stole My Church by Gordon MacDonald has been commended to the congregation.

In May the Church Council approved “Excellence in Children’s Ministry” as our BHAG (Big Holy Audacious Goal). This supplements, but does not replace our mission of “Making Disciples of Jesus Christ.” The church continues the process of spreading lay leadership across all generations.

Our youth group, while small in number, is a very dedicated group of young people. This year we have begun doing more youth events at the district and conference levels which has brought excitement into the lives of our youth and inspired them to want to share that with others. The youth have shifted from a fellowship model to a discipleship model. Our work on starting a preschool in the church again has been postponed currently, as we could not find anyone to teach it and because the public school is looking into adding on additional pre-K classes in town. Jenny is currently serving on the Early Childhood task force in town, which is looking at early childhood education and childcare needs in the community. We had a very successful Vacation Bible School this year and we continue to host Movie Events almost monthly.

John regularly visits folks in the hospital. He has also been doing the monthly care home service at Asbury village.

With our new upgrades to our worship spaces with sound and screens, we have folks trained to run both the sound and the slides in both services. With the help of Tony Wood we continue to offer the most comprehensive and functional church website in Coffeyville.

Continuing Education 2008: John attended the Kansas Area Seminar on Professional Ministry. Jenny participated in a Webinar: “Tribal Church: Ministering to the Missing Generation” by Carol Howard Merritt. John and Jenny both attended the 2007-08 Sexual Ethics Quadrennial Training, and a workshop on Dismantling Racism by by Dr. Eliezer Valentin-Castanon of the General Commission on Religion and Race.

Continuing Education 2009: Our continuing education in 2009 will depend on what is available. We would like to participate in the “Good$ense Money Management” program. John plans to attend the Kansas Area Seminar on Professional Ministry.