There is a lot going on at BBC that we want to keep you informed about. The Annual Meeting on February 4 went well and I appreciate everyone who completed a term of service as a volunteer and all of you who continue to serve or who are beginning a new term. At the meeting, it was my pleasure to thank Bob Williams for his fine work as BBC Treasurer for the last ten years. Bob was instrumental in the establishment of our Operating and Reserve Funds, the Will and Estate Giving program, and he wrote all of our Eddy Grants for which we have received $299,000 for improvements all around our building. We’re grateful for Bob’s service to the church and are happy to welcome Dan Ryan as our new Treasurer.
It’s been a pleasure for me to work with Senior Secretary Cindy Caldwell for 14 ½ years. She began at the church in the fall of 1999 when the two of us were at desks about six feet apart in the older part of the building. Cindy has been a kind, dependable, spiritually mature presence in our office and on our staff. Cindy and her husband, Fred, have been looking forward for more than a year to moving to Colorado where they will be close to their children and grandchildren. We’ll miss Cindy and wish her and Fred much happiness. We’ll be recognizing Cindy in our worship services on March 9; her final day in the office will be March 12. The Human Resources Team and Church Administrator Jane Wallbrown will be conducting a search to find someone to fill this important role; anyone who’s interested may contact the office.
It has come to my attention that some people were unsure of how our church staff is deployed. I am the Lead Pastor and primarily responsible for the vision, worship, preaching, missions, stewardship, church growth, and the overall leadership of BBC. I’m also involved in pastoral care, especially in leading memorial services and weddings. Pastor Mary Scheer is responsible for three Core Ministries: Deacons, Assimilation, and Adult Discipleship. She sings on the Worship Team, too, because she enjoys doing so. Pastor Patti Ricotta, who is not full-time, visits people in the hospital, in places like Liberty Commons and Pleasant Bay, or at home. She also leads a Woman’s Bible Study and teaches the Parent Class on Sunday. Patti is working on being ordained by The American Baptist Churches and we hope she will be able to have her ordination council and be ordained (that’s what makes someone a “Reverend”) sometime in 2014. Both Mary and Patti also participate in worship on Sunday, although the amount of their involvement will be changing as we get to the new Sunday morning schedule and seek to involve more lay people. Bill Morrow is BBC’s Financial Manager and Chris Morris is our Music Director; those two roles are self-explanatory. Jane Wallbrown has been our Church Administrator for nine years. She oversees the operational side of BBC working closely with the Building and Grounds Team, Joanne Bassett, our Lead Sexton, and with Cindy and Sandy Light in the office. In 2014 Jane has taken on some additional responsibilities to help me by working with Mary and Patti as well as some of our Core Ministry Leaders in Children, Students, and Parents.
The two new positions we’re searching for are an Executive Pastor/Director and a Pastor to Families. The Executive Pastor will assume all of Jane’s duties as well as some additional ones and will be a full-time position. The Pastor to Families is the umbrella term the search firm is using to look for a full-time person to oversee the Children’s and Student ministries.
We’re in the planning stages for going to three worship services on Sunday morning beginning on Easter Sunday, April 20. The services will be held at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 a.m. with the first two being contemporary in terms of music and the 11:00 being more traditional or classical. The Scriptures and sermon will be the same at all services. Sunday school will take place during the 9:30 service.
With so much going on, it’s important to give the church a focus on which to center. We’re doing that for four weeks beginning March 16 with a worship and small group series called Walk Across the Room. You can see more about that on page 3 in The Beacon. I really hope you will sign up to be a part of a group or consider hosting a group in your home. It’s a great way both to make new friends and to learn and grow.
Finally, I want to personally invite anyone who has been coming to BBC but who has not yet taken the step of joining the church to attend the New Member’s Information Session I am offering on Sunday, March 2, at 12:30 p.m. and to become a part of the New Member Class that Pastor Mary will lead that starts on Sunday, March 9.
On page 6 of The Beacon you will read about the America For Christ Offering which we receive throughout the month of March, which goes to spread the gospel and to support ministries throughout Massachusetts and the rest of the USA and Puerto Rico.
You’ll also see an article on page 5 about a BBC trip to Italy from November 2–14 that is being organized by Tom Ryan who led our trip to Israel and Jordan in 2011. Jill and I are excited about the trip and you can read more details about that as well. Even though we’ve just begun to get the word out, about one third of the spots have already been filled. We’re encouraged by this response and invite you to speak with me or Jill if you have any questions. We want to accommodate everyone from BBC who would like to go before we let other people know about the opportunity.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Doug Scalise