Remembering 2013 at NBUMC…We gathered our hearts and our resources around a vision to “Engage the Spirit and Embrace the Future” as we launched our successful capital campaign. By the end of the year we were very near our goal of $1.1 million and construction was begun. We celebrated with Pastor Anna as she was ordained, and then sadly bid her blessing and farewell as she moved to her next ministry. We welcomed new staff members– Pastor Peter, Pastor David and Administrative Assistant Jody Hepp. Anthony Adriance joined our maintenance/custodial staff and Chrissy Hilt to our Childcare staff.
We served 11 meals at The Family Center to an average of 150 persons each time; we served breakfast for the CRC community 8 times and gathered 12 carts full of food and resources along with many Christmas gifts. We served breakfast 3 times at Church for All People, and our annual meal at New Life Church. We sent people to assist in recovery after Superstorm Sandy, and our youth to inner city ministry in Cleveland. We housed 4 different families for 7 nights each in November and December. We emptied the church for “Church Outside the Walls” and served in our community on a Sunday morning. (These numbers are my estimates!)
We marched in the Pride parade, reminding the community that we welcome and include all people in our ministries.
We gave generously, as we always do, to UMCOR special appeals, to special offerings and to the ministries of our District and Conference.
We opened the doors of the sanctuary every Sunday morning and gathered to worship God with gratitude for the week past, and hope for the days to come. We were blessed by beautiful space, beautiful altar tables, wonderful music and the Word of God read and proclaimed. We served Holy Communion regularly at a table where all are welcome, and we shared special moments during Holy Week and Advent as we journeyed through the year.
We welcomed wedding couples and their guests, and we cared for grieving families and their loved ones. We baptized babies, and were blessed by the presence and the ministry of children and youth.
We hosted important Adult Education topics, a lively Vacation Bible School, and some great parties, including a School Supply give away to neighborhood children.
We welcomed guests and visitors, and new members to the church.
A new adult Sunday School class began.
We did these things in 2013 (and much, much more!), continuing a nearly 90 year legacy of ministry.
Here is my paraphrase of a favorite prayer for the church: “May God make the doors of this church wide enough to welcome little children, and all who are seeking the welcome and hospitality of Christ. And May God make the threshold of this church low enough that it is never a barrier to the sending out of faith-formed people who can change the world.” May the amazing flow of blessing that passes through the doors of North Broadway become more abundant than ever in the year ahead.
It is a joy and a privilege to serve in ministry with you, and I look forward to what God will do through us in 2014! God’s blessing and peace rest upon you each and every day of this New Year.
Pastor Deb Stevens