April 19, 2018
As you know, we’ve been holding a series of what we have called cottage meetings in people’s homes and at the church. Please note that as we have advertised in the bulletin and in the newsletter, everyone is invited to attend a cottage meeting. We identified 20 host/hostesses around our geographical area and invited them to consider hosting a meeting. Busy schedules prevailed and we were not able to achieve that goal. So, we added meetings at the church at various times to ensure that everyone had an opportunity to participate. We have one more home cottage meeting scheduled in May and two are awaiting at Homewood. If you would like to host a gathering, please let me know.
The purpose of the cottage meetings was to bring people together and talk about these past few years of transition and where we are going. They were to give people an opportunity to express their concerns as well as their excitement about the future. Most of our hosts identified people they know from the church that live in their neighborhood as the first set of invitations. Then we identified newer folks in the area to join them.
Jill White and I are very grateful for those who have hosted meetings and for all who have attended and provided valuable insight.
But please note that our hope is that everyone has an opportunity to attend one of these gatherings. Why? We are well aware that without our social room for a long period of time that it’s been a challenge to try and get people to remain connected together. What a difference it has made to be able to have after church fellowship in the basement of the sanctuary again where we can stand at the high top tables and mingle and, if the weather is nice, take our conversations outside. Thanks to the hard work of volunteers, we also have the Thomas Room cleaned, painted, and furnished comfortably to use as another gathering space.
We know it’s not the ideal situation but it is a way to connect.
In addition to after church fellowship there are many of other opportunities to connect that have never stopped during our construction. Let’s remember that we have Tuesday and Wednesday Bible study groups, a monthly book group, youth group, Tiny Tots, God’s Kids’ Club, Monday Mess Hall. The choir is a fabulous fellowship group. Smaller groups of members go out for lunch following worship or choir practice on Sundays. There’s a a group that plays mah jong on a regular basis. The mid-week Lenten services with lunch was also a time to meet up with people.
Then there was the ERUCC work week when various people came in and out and painted, cleaned, organized, put down new floor, replaced lights and ceiling tile. Those tasks brought people together and new friendships were formed. At last evening’s cottage meeting, one of the participants expressed that the work week really helped her feel more connected to the church. And some of those work week participants are still coming in and working on various projects.
We have been taking detailed notes at the cottage meetings to capture concerns, questions, and ideas for the future. The information will be shared with the Consistory and then with the congregation when all the meetings have been held.
Some very cool ideas have emerged along with people willing to work on these new projects and tasks.
We continue to be committed to timely communication and transparency as you saw in yesterday’s detailed email about the delay in completion of the project. We share news on multiple news platforms in order to reach the broadest audience possible. But if you have a question or are missing something, please do not hesitate to call the church office.
Food for Thought:
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ
15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701