As I mentioned in the sermon last Sunday, July 15 was the six-month anniversary of the start of the “new era” of First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, when we officially reassumed administration of the church property after the approximately 18 months that the church was in schism. Since that date in January, we have achieved an extraordinary range of accomplishments to rebuild and greatly expand the congregation’s life and ministry. As we have done so, it has become clear that we need to expand our core leadership to address the dramatic increase in ministry activity.

Therefore, the Session has called a Special Congregational Meeting for Sunday, July 29, 2018, to be held in the Sanctuary immediately following the Postlude at the end of the 10:30 service. The purpose of this meeting is to act upon the recommendation of the Session (1) to expand the Session by three Elders, adding two new Elders to the Session and seating the current Clerk of Session as a full Session member; (2) to expand the Board of Deacons by two; and (3) to receive and act upon the nominees of the Congregational Nominating Committee for the new positions if the Session’s recommendations are passed.

Immediately following the Congregational Meeting, we will hold a Town Hall Meeting in the Sanctuary, as well so you as the members of the congregation can hear a “State of the Church,” in which I will talk about what we have done and learned in these first six months.  Our Finance Committee leadership present information on the current church budget and the general state of our finances, and I will map out some of the highlights that the Session sees coming in the coming year.

We will then open the floor to questions. Though we know many people are traveling during the summer, the Congregational Meeting needs to determine our leadership configuration for the fall, and the Session is committed to a church culture that is as transparent and communicative as possible.  More opportunities for these discussions will happen in the near future.

If you are in town on July 29, I hope you will make a special effort to be in worship and then at the congregational and Town Hall meetings. In the meantime, I hope to see you this Sunday!

Grace and peace,