A new year! A new beginning! A new month! Good News! At FBC we are constantly journeying on roads less traveled. We “look behind so we can see ahead.” Doing just that, I want to bring everyone up-to-date on the results of the Semi-Annual Congregational meeting held Sunday, Jan. 12.

We gathered for soup, bread, and fruit while we conducted our official meeting. The time we spent together was upbeat and positive. Each Board member was presented with a rose to say “Thank you” for their hard work and compassionate hearts.

Members and friends of FBC were present. Among the visitors was our Executive Director of the ABCCPC region, Rev. Steve Bils. Positive reports were shared from the Endowment and 150th Major Maintenance and South Wall Committees. Additional reports from the Fellowship Fund, Star ministry, and 2019 budget committee were included in the printed Semi-Annual 2019 Statistical & Fiscal packet.

A reminder of how American Baptists churches are congregationally led was shared as the process for developing a new Vision & Mission statement was described. A ballot was provided to everyone present and a vote to affirm these new statements were taken.

Also, a review of the process to move to a one service Sunday was shared. Those present voted whether to affirm what the FBC Board and Worship and Community Engagement Team’s recommended. Both Vision & Mission statements and one Sunday service recommendations were overwhelmingly affirmed!

While the ballots and votes were counted we moved on to the discussion of our proposed 2020 budget. Since the budget is an official operating function of the life of FBC, discussion of the budget was open to all present but the vote to approve or not approve was a show of hands by members only. Exciting pieces of the budget were: restoration of some monies to mission, a small increase in staff salaries, and each area of the budget was increased. After discussion of the budget, a vote was taken and the budget was approved!

With our new vision and mission statements approved we are launched into a new decades with a fresh and energetic future. Our vision is: A world where God’s inclusive love embraces and empowers all. To work toward that future, our mission is: Together, we respond to the call of the Spirit and the teachings of Jesus to learn, love, serve, and seek justice and joy for all.

I invite each of you to join us in the many activities and programs at FBC this coming year to realize the positive and loving future we seek!

Peace, JoAnn Sims