This is one of three posts looking forward to 2011 and things I am thinking about for myself and for our church community: some resolutions, some reflections and some predictions more or less off the top of my head.
Today, I’m offering reflections.
2010 was an amazing year. Just amazing.
By any measurable standard what was going on here at our parish was unparalleled in our experience and unexpected in the current church culture. Week after week attendance broke all previous records, anybody who showed up here on the weekends at prime times could see that for themselves. Month after month we saw more people taking the step into membership too. Our financial health is very strong with lots more people taking responsibility for the stewardship of the parish. More members than ever are serving in ministry and more ministers are serving as leaders among us. This past year we expanded service projects internationally and took some steps to do more locally too. Kids and students are excited and involved. We advanced our commitment to evangelization. We have moved forward with our strategic planning and are poised to make some important decisions in the coming year.
Here are some of the highlights of 2010 for me:
- Starting that book I want to write (finally)
- Relaxing during the blizzard
- My Sunday assistant, Austin, whispering to me in the middle of the 10:30 Mass: “Crowne Plaza is full”
- Being with my staff and parish leaders for the “Catalyst” conference
- The music on Easter Sunday
- Seeing kids excited about church, watching our high school students grow in their walk with the Lord, getting the idea we need to do more for young adults
- The hopeful eyes of the kids in Le Brun, Haiti, when our mission group arrived
- The births of Matthew Wesley, Kepha Corcoran and Trey Scata
- A new sister-in-law
- Our member-leaders retreat in September
- An internal reorganization that raised up new staff leaders, got others into more challenging roles and brought on additional team members
- Openly and honestly discussing anger this fall
- Our “annual report” video
- Visiting with new ministers at their orientations, meeting new members, hearing stories of life change
- The Advent Conspiracy
- Christmas Eve at the Fairgrounds
- Getting to be pastor of this church
- Catching a glimpse of what God has in mind for us in the coming year