Church Board Prayers - Week 17

mountain headshot b and wIt was early June 2001, Amanda and I looked at each other, with anticipation and a whole lot of fear (at least for me!) and smiled as we said, “Tomorrow at this time we will no longer be a couple, we’ll be a family.” Claire was a planned C-Section because she wouldn’t cooperate with the doctor. Because she was planned and the first grandchild on both sides of the family we had a hospital full of visitors. She was the first, our first and she changed us.

That change was expected, we knew it was coming, but what followed no one could have described. In fact many had tried to tell us (at times maybe warn us) about what we were heading into. I could describe the fact that until she was 7 she didn’t sleep through the night. I could tell you that she wouldn’t take a bottle for me when Amanda went back to work, but no one believed me until she wouldn’t take one for grandma either! Oh, there are so many other moments when she changed our lives, making it so much better. Then Kate joined our family. Already having one we were now ready, or so we thought, for the second. The start was a bit rocky, we seemed to hit every bump in the road and then I held her for the first time. I don’t know what I expected, but it has been so much better. Same parents and yet so very different. Yeah Kate’s punishment at 2 was to take away her makeup, who knew that was a method of parenting! Learn as you go, I’ll likely never write a parenting book!

This weekend we celebrate the ministry of Jack and LeAnn McCormick. For some of us Jack and LeAnn are the only pastors we have ever known. They have been with us through life’s many events. The list would go on for pages if we began to outline all of the things they have been a part of in the last 33 years. I count Jack and LeAnn as not only pastors, but friends, as so many of us do. As I write these things I feel like I am saying goodbye, as though this is the end. The great news is that it is simply a new beginning. As Jack and LeAnn take a step into their new phase of life, Manteno Church of the Nazarene steps into a new phase as well.

For some of us we may be saying, “Well soon we will no longer have Jack and LeAnn as our pastors, things will be different.” We have the awesome privilege of allowing Ken and Teresa to step in to begin a new phase in their ministry, leading our Manteno church family. Our hope is that the days ahead are even better than the days we have already seen. We will have changes, there will be some firsts ahead of us and I look forward to journeying through those adventures together.

Join me and the rest of your church leadership team in praying for Manteno Church of the Nazarene and our pastoral staff team.

Pray for Jack and LeAnn as they adjust to this new phase of life and continue to serve the church and enjoy time with family and friends.

Pray for Ken and Teresa as they step into their roles leading our church and adjust to changes in their ministry.

Pray for Amy and Lance and their ministry to our kids and their families.

Pray for Hannah and David as they adjust to ministry and marriage serving our teens and their families.

Mark Mountain

Church Board Prayers - Week 16

krueger headshotI was recently at a wellness center, and the room I was in had a beautiful mural. It was a group of trees, with the sun peeking through with rays of sunlight reaching all the way to the ground. Every time I see sunlight rays peaking through something, I’m always reminded of God’s love reaching down to us. In the mural, the underneath of the canopy shows branches from each tree that spread out and intertwine together to the point that you have to look closely to see which tree each one belongs to. The leaves are different shades from yellow to green, depending on how the sunlight shows through. They are different sizes and at different stages of growth. Above this mural is posted this saying “If the root is deep – there is no reason to fear the wind.” As I was studying this mural and the saying, it brought to mind that if we are rooted in Christ we have no reason to fear what is before us, God is with us each step of the way.

As a church family, our lives have intertwined as we have journeyed life together. We have shared in each other joys with weddings, births, job promotions, anniversaries, and every happy occasion. We have stood by each other with prayers, tears, hugs, and encouragement when an illness strikes, while grieving the death of a loved one, losing a job, people moving away and other life situations. During different stages of spiritual growth, we have relied and gained strength, wisdom and guidance from God and each other. I am so thankful that God has allowed me to be part of this church family and know without a doubt that this is His church and we have no reason to fear what is before us. Colossians 2:7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Father, we know that our church is rooted in you and ask for your continued guidance in the days ahead. We pray for our church, our staff, our board members, and every area of ministry as we reach out to share your love, may you be glorified. We are thankful for Jack and LeAnn’s leadership and are excited for them as Jack begins the adventures of retirement. We look forward to them continuing to worship with us and pray that you will guide them as they seek to find their place of service. We ask all this in the precious name of Jesus.

Martha Krueger

Church Board Prayers - Week 15

stroud headshotIt seems that the world we live in continues to change at an ever increasing pace. While there is comfort in things staying the same, much of this change is out of our control. With change there is always uncertainty because we don't know exactly how it's all going to work out. I'm reminded of a conversation I had recently with a co-worker who is dealing with a spouse with ailing health. I had asked him how things were going and he responded with a quote from an old gospel song. "I don't know about tomorrow but I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand."

As we continue in our transition, I know there is uncertainty as we transition from what we know worked so well for so many years. We have been so blessed to have had Jack and LeAnn as our Pastors for so many years. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Jack and LeAnn for your years of selfless leadership. It is unheard of for a pastor to stay at one church for as long as they have and that is a testament to Jack and LeAnn and to them truly being servant leaders. They now deserve to be able to step back and hand that leadership role to someone else. That all said, I'm confident that God has had and will continue to have his hand in putting Ken and Teresa, Amy and Lance, and Hannah and David in position to carry the baton that has been handed to them. I'm confident this group will bring new ideas that will help us as we Journey together, Love God and Serve others. But more importantly, we can rest assured that God is still in control and that he is and will be holding our hand through whatever comes.

I know that God's hand will be present in the days and years to come in our transition, but I pray that His presence will be ever evident to all involved. While many decisions will be debated, I pray that the right decisions will be made and that there will be harmony among all doing His work.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." (Romans 15:13).

Mike Stroud

 

Church Board Prayers - Week 14

kevin reardanz headshotVBS

Well, we just finished our annual Vacation Bible School. Amy, Kristin and the rest of the crew pulled off a week that I thought went very smoothly. Every night Angela and the VBS singers would inspire and fire everyone up with the songs and of course, the hand motions! Adam and Kristin did a great job leading up front each night and I have to say, Max is my favorite cowboy! Of course you can’t have VBS without decorations, and ours are second to none! Martha and her decorating crew outdo themselves every year! I heard one mom say that she goes to church somewhere else but she always brings her kids to our VBS because of our decorations. The kitchen crew works very hard to keep the kids fueled up so they can last the whole night and thanks to Alison for the meals each night to keep us workers fueled up too. There are many people running around with “Love God • Journey Together • Serve Others” T-shirts on to make the whole week a success; crew leaders, Bible lesson teachers, nursery workers, pre-school teachers, registration and games. The kids are so generous, bringing money to help other kids have materials for their own VBS. Some kids did lemonade stands and some worked around the house to raise money so they could bring an offering each night. But the coolest night is when countless kids go up front to pray and give their lives to Jesus, a very moving experience for everyone. We have everyone involved, from 8 to 80 years old, guys and girls. We don’t leave anyone out.

I am telling you all this because for five nights, once a year, our whole church comes together as one, with the same goal, and that is to tell the story of salvation in Jesus. I bet if you ask all the people with the same T-shirts on this week, if just one child comes to know Jesus from VBS, would your exhausting week be worth it. I suspect you would hear a loud YES! My wife, Dawn and I do the games for the kids and by the end of the week I don’t know who’s had the most fun, us or the kids. Wow, what a week, there goes God blessing me again!!!

My prayer is that if any of those kids the past week is hearing that still small voice, they would give their heart and life to Jesus.

Kevin Reardanz