by Tricia Schlegel, Leadership Team

Thank you all for coming tonight to our congregational forum. The leadership team is honored to host these forums twice a year. As you know it’s an opportunity to get updates on the life of the body, ask questions and of course, for members, it’s an opportunity for to vote on the church’s business. Tonight, I’ve asked people from our standing committees to give us a brief report.

First, I wanted to give you some updates from the LT. During our last forum meeting, I suggested that the LT was going to be focusing on a time of visioning. To prepare for a visioning time, the LT, along with the ECOB staff has started to gather information from various stakeholders. We’ve sent out survey’s to both our members and businesses in Ephrata. We met with our denomination representative, Stan Dueck for some education about why strategic plans are important. During that meeting, Stan taught us that “the strength of a congregation depends on the quality of our conversations.” To that end, ECOB is partnering with Stan and Architect Ministries to discern where God is calling us. Last weekend, you were all invited to participate in listening sessions with Ministry Architects. I hope that you were able to take part in one of the many sessions. Pastor Brian is going to be giving us an update shortly.

We are gearing up; we are moving and I can’t wait to see what God is doing with and through this body of believers. At our last forum meeting, I challenged every person who calls ECOB their church home to become involved. I challenged myself too. With that challenge, I started teaching Kids church in our toddler/pre-K room Initially, I volunteered because I knew that help was needed and if I wasn’t willing to step up, then how could I ask any of you? But God is so good. Originally, I thought that I would serve in this new way but God actually used these kids to encourage my heart. The kids reminded me of the wonder of Jesus and the joy of knowing him. They have the purest of hearts; easily comforted and not worried at all about this world. You just have to watch Jackson, Avery or Lincoln to see how easy it is to love Jesus…and how complicated that adults make things. I’m not telling you this because I want you to see how I stepped up; I’m telling you that maybe, if you have yet to step up, the blessing that you think you’re bringing may actually be the blessing that you receive. I can’t wait to watch these little ones grow into who God made them to be.

Last, I want to mention that we have two people going off the leadership team this year; Scott Johnson and Greg Snyder. Scott and Greg have faithfully served this congregation for at least 5 years. So, I wanted to take a moment to publicly thank them for their service, for their unique voices, for their various viewpoints and for their hearts as each one of them seek to serve all of you with compassion and honesty. It’s been a joy to work with them over the past years. They both taught me a lot about what it means to surrender, trust in God, how to carry others when faith is challenged and there’s not a clear cut “right” answer. I’m grateful for these brothers in Christ.

I’ll end this update with some statistics:

  • We have about 160 people participating in Life groups
  • 11 people joined our church family through membership
  • We baptized 4 people and had men and women’s events that had almost 50 people at each.
  • Weekly, we are seeing more and more new families walking through our church doors.

God is good and we are a very blessed people. Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to anyone on the LT. The desire of the leadership team is that we are obedient to God and serve you well. Please know that you are in our prayers. We’re excited for the next season as we move and work together to further God’s Kingdom. Thank you.

Tricia Schlegel

ECOB contributor

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