Uncertain Times, Certain Love
The past year has been a time of uncertainty. A time of stops and starts—this has been the reality for the whole world these past twelve months. Looking back at the past year at Pine Lake Covenant Church, we see the starts and stops. It’s been both challenging and invigorating as we adapt to fulfill our purpose as a church. Sometimes it worked well, other times not so much. Yet, the current that runs underneath every ministry start and stop is the neverending love of God. This love, received and then expressed to others, has been the wellspring of our life as a church. We continue to live into our purpose of loving God passionately, loving others deeply, and blessing the world radically.
It’s been a privilege during this year to serve alongside a creative and hard-working staff. As we faced the departure of two key staff members, the remaining team has adapted and stayed focus on our mission. We miss the wise perspective that Amy Quinn brought to our administrative work and Pastor Jedidiah Kim’s creative passion for corporate worship. Yet, God has provided new people with fresh gifts to our shared ministry. I am grateful for many people who have contributed to worship leadership in the past six months. First, Kim Witherbee, Mike Best, and now Ralph Aye have served with true servant hearts. Desiray O’Brien began as office manager in June and has brought energy and initiative to her role on the team.
We praise God for the faithful financial support from our congregation. Thanks to you, we ended the year in a strong position. The leadership and finance teams’ dedicated work furthered our mission of love to our community and beyond.
Renovation plans are well underway to repurpose the lower level of the main building to provide children’s and office space. Accelerate the Vision campaign funds continue to bring this dream into reality. We look forward to seeing the remodeled space in the coming year.
Church ministry has changed dramatically in the past two years. I doubt we will ever go back to the ways things were before the pandemic gripped the world. Yet, the pandemic has stretched us to fulfill our mission in new ways. Sunday evening Vespers allowed us to enter the sanctuary until we resumed Sunday morning corporate worship. Significant work from our tech team enabled us to live-stream our services. In addition, the technical, musical, and speaking roles all contributed to expanded ways to love God passionately through worship.
From outdoor campfires with youth to care packages delivered to isolated senior adults, we have sought to love each other deeply. We welcomed children in our church and community through the Harvest Hop and Easter Hop outdoor events, and the summer Sports Camp. Our mission events shifted to smaller, home-based expressions of blessing the world radically. Despite the many challenges, the love of God continues to motivate and energize our mission as a church.
The neverending, unchanging love of God is our foundation. We are sure to face new challenges in the upcoming year, but His love will never fail.
In His love,
Interim Lead Pastor
Mindy Richardson, Bookkeeper
Sharon Anderson, Interim Lead Pastor
Desiray O’Brien, Office Manager
Kim Witherbee, Ministries Coordinator
Mark Neely, Associate Pastor
Scott Jones, Communications Coordinator
Nancy de Jong, Associate Pastor
- Monthly Drive-Thru Communion begins
- Began hosting virtual coffee times with pastors
- Started Encore online videos with Scott Jones
- Surviving the Holidays seminars through GriefShare and DivorceCare
- Drive-thru baby shower for Mark & Lauren Neely
- Started 12@12 weekly online prayer time
- Welcomed Mike Best to assist with online worship leading
- Celebrated the arrival of baby Trey Neely!
- Collected more than 700 handmade masks and 600 dresses for Children of the Nations
- Launched live-streaming worship services
- Said farewell to Amy Quinn
- Raised $4,000 through Global 6K for Clean Water
- Welcomed Desiray O’Brien as Office Manager
- Welcomed Ralph Aye as Interim Director of Worship
- Summer fun at the Ice Cream Social and PLCC Summer Olympics
- Sports Camp welcomed children from church and community
- Moving Day to prepare for lower-level renovation
- Hosted Parties with the Pastors!
- Hosted a hybrid annual meeting
LEAD PASTOR SEARCH
Following Pastor Mark Meredith’s retirement, a Pastor Search Team was formed in September 2020 to conduct the search for PLCC’s new Lead Pastor. The Team has met at least weekly over the ensuing year, identifying the most critical characteristics to fit the needs of the church, preparing a detailed job posting, holding an informational webinar for prospective candidates, carefully reviewing applications, and holding extensive interviews—all in the midst of the pandemic that has brought some unique challenges to the search process. The team’s diligent work has culminated in its identification of a Lead Pastor candidate who will be visiting PLCC in late October 2021 for a candidating weekend.
LEADERSHIP TEAM REPORT
by Ivan Judson, Chair
As our fiscal and ministry year comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on and remember the myriad ways God has been faithful. This past year has been full of change and surprise. The leadership team was hoping for a post-pandemic reality in 2021. Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to be our reality; however, God has sustained and strengthened us. We have hope as we enter into a new ministry year. We see hope every day, in every person we meet, through every interaction we have. God’s faithfulness in this past year stirs hope for a new era. Here are some highlights from 2021:
- Interim Lead Pastor Sharon Anderson has been a faithful and creative shepherd for whom we give thanks;
- We are searching for a new worship director, and we thank Ralph Aye for serving in the interim;
- Restructured staff to meet our congregation’s needs to three pastors and two directors, and support staff;
- Met the ever-evolving safety requirements for safety during the pandemic.
While the pandemic has resulted in lower overall giving, we’ve adapted. Financially, we are ending 2021 on solid ground:
- We sold the second home;
- We paid off the mortgage;
- We funded the renovation of the lower level of Building A;
- We are proposing a Pastoral Housing Assistance Program—to ensure housing is equitably accessible for any Pastors serving in our community.
We’ve met the goals for selling the homes:
- To fund the future Vision of PLCC;
- To establish an equitable housing assistance program for our pastors;
- To replenish reserve funds;
- To pay down debt.
We fulfilled these goals:
- The reserves are replenished;
- The renovation is in progress;
- The debt is paid off;
- We propose a plan to create equitable access to housing;
- We maintained a healthy financial outlook for what comes next using existing funds and staff.
Rather than close this report focusing on the post-pandemic future, let’s embrace the reality before us and the blessings of a faithful God. We stand alongside those within our church and within our community that are grieving. We continue to share God’s love with compassion and empathy to all. The Leadership Team thanks all our Missions, Finance, Home Sales, Renovation, and Facilities teams. We invite you to serve on these teams or in another way in our PLCC community. We welcome your questions, comments, and suggestions . Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2021-2022 LEADERSHIP TEAM
Ivan Judson (Chair), Nici Baughman, Jen Lescher, Eric Loper, Curtis Repp, Jessica Wilgus, Pastor Sharon Anderson (Ex officio)
by Tony Pound, Finance Officer
Our fiscal year was September 2020 through August 2021. We were working with a balanced budget where both income and expenses were budgeted to be $941,000. We surpassed our income budget by $18,000 and on the expense side we were $50,000 under budget, resulting in a net surplus of $68,000 for our fiscal year. Additionally, we were forgiven the PPP loan ($121,000) and we recognized the gain on the sale of the second rental home ($434,000). We’re pleased to report that we were able to pay off our mortgage and PLCC is now debt free with a very healthy balance sheet!
At our annual meeting this year we voted on and approved another balanced budget. Thank you PLCC for your giving!
|Financial Overview: 9/1/20 – 8/31/21||Budget||Actual|
|Tithes & Offerings||$886,464||$900,678|
|Gain on sale of rental home||$434,172|
|Net surplus with PPP and rental home||$623,429|
REMEMBRANCE & GRATITUDE
The end of the year is a time of looking back and counting blessings as well as looking to the new year. We thank all the people involved in serving despite the pandemic—you have been a blessing to PLCC. We pray that 2022 will provide opportunities for more people to become involved in life at Pine Lake Covenant Church. Together we are the church!
Below is just a partial list of those who have served at PLCC in the last year: