Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Looking Ahead to a New Year

I believe that 2007 will prove to be a banner year for Kirk of the Hills. We came out of 2006 in great health:
  • Mission giving in 2006 exceeded $1,000,000 for the first time.
  • The number of Kirk people participating in mission and service is way up.
  • Even though we had unplanned substantial legal expenses, we may come close to being in the black for 2006.
  • Pledges are significantly up for 2007.
  • The congregation’s response to the New Wineskins Convocation demonstrated that we can effectively host national events.
  • We have had incredibly encouraging support from local (non-presbyterian) congregations during our disaffiliation. The Tulsa church community, apart from some mainliners, are solidly behind us.
  • There has never been a greater sense of unity in the Kirk congregation (at least in the 25 years I've been here).
What about 2007? What can we expect of the new year?
  • We will increase the number of mission trip opportunities for Kirk members.
  • We will greatly expand our mission work in Tulsa.
  • We will be close to starting one new church in the Tulsa region.
  • Worship attendance and membership will increase.
  • We will know where we stand on the 61st Street property.
  • We will be admitted into the Evangelical Presbyterian Church denomination.
  • A significant number of PCUSA churches will either disaffiliate or ask for dismissal. The New Wineskins’ task force anticipates that more than 100 will leave. We’ll see.
What else?
  • Don't expect the PCUSA or EOP to be kinder or gentler to us or churches like us.
  • Typical church problems will not go away: we'll still need to remind folks to give, to minister to difficult (and lovely) people, and we will still need to solve problems as they present themselves.
  • The new denomination (EPC) will not be perfect for us, but it will be Biblically faithful.
  • On any give Sunday I'll get two notes--one saying that the hymns are too fast, the other saying that they're too slow.
  • My sermons won't get any shorter; Wayne's won't get any longer (he won't get any taller, either--even though I'm getting shorter).
Keep praying--keep the faith,