Dear National City Christian Church,
It’s been quite a year. Many changes and many opportunities for growth. As moderator, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you all.
In January we said goodbye to Pastor Amy who served as our interim for a much longer period than was expected. Also in January we welcomed our new settled Senior Minister and with the dawn of March, we excitedly installed, Rev. Stephanie Kendell, who has been faithfully getting to know us as a community. She has also been re-introducing the neighbors to National City. I hope you look around every Sunday- either in person or online- and see what I see, new faces and a growing community. As is National City’s tradition we extend our welcoming nature and commitment to hospitality to all of God’s children and it is paying off.
This past year we also bid farewell to two pastoral leaders, Rev. Steven Baines and Gerald Lee Ricks. This has left our remaining staff spread exceptionally thin. A search committee for a new Executive Minister has been formed and is led by Robin Schacht. This critical position will provide much needed relief to our existing staff and minister. We hope to have a new Executive in the early part of the new year. In the meantime, consider expressing your gratitude to the current staff for all they do to support National City. We thank you for your continued support and patience as our staff soldiers on with their limited resources.
One of Pastor Stephanie’s commitments this year has been to be more intentional with the relationship between the National City Christian Church Congregation and Foundation. As Moderator, I was invited to give a congregational report to the Foundation at their fall board meeting, a first for both sides. I fully support her efforts to strengthen the relationship between Foundation and Congregation, which I hope gives you all some new hope in our ongoing and faithful relationship. At the Foundation meeting a discussion was had about what it means to be a church of national presence and witness and what it will take for all of us to live into that call. Progress was made and efforts will continue in a more collaborative manner. The Foundation is in the process of a feasibility study for a capital campaign that will have a lasting impact on our congregation and will be a way for the two entities to live into our shared mission. I was proud to watch the faithfulness of our own, Loretta Franklin accept the call to serve as the Foundations Chair for this next term. What a gift Loretta’s leadership is in both spaces, and I hope you’ll join me in praying for her leadership.
Please mark your calendars for Sunday November 26th for our Holiday Potluck Lunch where we will give thanks for all that has been and prepare ourselves for the coming season of Advent. Please also mark your calendar for Christmas Eve Sunday where we will have in-person worship at 11am and a digital worship at 5pm. Finally, please plan on joining us on Sunday Jan 21st after worship where we will have an in-person congregational meeting.
Finally, I want to thank you for the trust you put in me as your Moderator this year and I ask you to pray for all National City leaders that we will hear God’s vision for our church and that we have the faith and discipline to do the work that is necessary.
This time of year, can summon a multitude of feelings. My prayer for all of you is that God meets you at your point of need as you enter this season of Advent and New Year’s celebrations.
Karla Williams, Moderator