Into the Future

Lara Schopp Articles, Carla Aday, Senior Minister Blog

Usually I write to you to share a meditation or reflection. But today I write more of a pastoral letter. We are experiencing multiple transitions in the life of our faith community and I want to share with you a few inside glimpses of what is unfolding.

First, thank you. Over the past 12 months of the church’s fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) you have loved and served in countless amazing ways. I am deeply grateful to you who made masks, reached out with phone calls, fed the hungry of Kansas City, facilitated small groups, delivered ornaments, wrote kind notes, planted gardens, weeded lawns, and delivered supplies to our mission partners. A special kudos goes out to our board and committees who ably led us through an unusual chapter of history. Tepring Crocker as board chair and Jayson Parker as elder chair led with vision and courage and grace. They steered our ship well!

Second, thank you. Because of your generosity over the years, we, at this moment, are investing $145,000 in new cameras and other equipment to enable us to shift from pre-recorded streamed worship to actually live streaming every Sunday. This is a major undertaking and our staff, especially technology and worship staff, are working at breakneck speed to accomplish this. What you will notice as improvements this fall: a) instead of streaming only at 11:00 a.m. as we did pre-pandemic, we will stream at 9:01, 10:00 and 11:00 a.m., as well as having in person worship at those three times; b) the quality of the online worship experience will dramatically improve over our pre-pandemic experience to be closer to what you have experienced during the last 12 months when we were able to use cameras at close range in an empty sanctuary. We will also make worship more meaningful by adding images such as scripture, hymns and prayers. The goal is to remain engaged with those in the faith community who need to worship remotely due to distance, mobility, schedule or illness, while creating a warm, welcoming and dynamic in-person worship in the sanctuary and chapel. I invite your prayers for this process.

Third, thank you. You inspire me. You as a congregation have committed to partner in ministry through financial giving. We are currently at $1,069,691 towards our annual goal of $1,224,000. And on our Next 100 campaign, we are at $9.4 million towards our goal of $11 million. Eighty-six of you have increased your annual giving, and 20 of you made new commitments to the annual campaign. Thank you to those of you who are still prayerfully considering your gift.

Finally, congratulations! We have not only survived a global pandemic but we have thrived as a church and now we are ready to launch the Next 100. We begin that on August 15 with a Centennial Block Party celebrating 100 years of love and service at 61st and Ward Parkway. For the first time in 17 months we will worship in person at 9:01 and 11:00 a.m. in the sanctuary and 10:00 a.m. in the chapel. I still remember where you sat way back when and I can’t wait to see you in that pew. Please come and bring a friend and help us welcome the neighborhood to our campus at the block party after worship.

I am humbled to be your pastor. We walk this journey together. I am in awe of your devotion to God and your compassion for God’s people.

Ready to walk with you into the future,

To send a message to Carla, click HERE.