Just finished my Annual Report, figured I would share it here.
We have this ministry and we are not discouraged;
it is by God’s own power that we may live and serve…
We have this ministry, O God receive our living.
Here at RUC we have what is, in the end, a fairly healthy ministry. And as I look back at what has happened since our last Annual Meeting I am quite sure that indeed we are not discouraged. And let’s face it, it would be easy to be discouraged. In 2004 we had a $9 000 deficit. We were unable to find new Board Members. There were people who were openly sharing concerns about how long we would continue. We had a Sunday School that was going to sleep.
But now think about what happened in 2005. While final numbers are not in, it looks like we will come very close to breaking even financially this year – and expenses increased a bit as well. As a Board we adjusted to smaller numbers and functioned with no noticeable change. As a congregation we had very successful fellowship events. We restarted Sunday School with a small but reliable number of students. We remembered a sense of pride and hope in who we are and what we could be. In our discussions in at the end of our Stewardship campaign we remembered that RUC has made a difference not only in the lives of those who come regularly but also in the community at large. God has certainly been active in our midst in 2005
Of course challenges still face us. While we often find people willing to work on a specific project we are continue to have difficulty finding new Board members. Finances are a constant challenge in any church and we are no exception. We continue to struggle with how best to reach out to our inactive members and adherents. However, we continue to have hope. With God’s power and support we do continue to live and serve.
…Bearing hurts of those we serve, wounded bruised and bowed with pain
Holy Spirit, bread and wine, we die and rise again.
We have this ministry, O God receive our loving.
It is impossible for me to consider the past year of our lives, and our future, without remembering what happens outside this congregation. The life of Akn. both influences and is influenced by the lives of its faith communities. As we all know, this is an economically challenging time for all of NWO. Here we face the closure of a major employer. This brings pain for us and our neighbours. But still we go on. Still we talk about the promise of life beyond death, beyond all the deaths that we meet in the world. Still we stay, ready to comfort and support one another, ready to help breathe new life into a community that is terrified that they may be dying. It is not always easy but we continue the fight. We continue to offer loving hearts and willing hands to the benefit of Akn..
O Christ the tree of life, our end and our beginning
we grow to fullest flower when rooted in your love…
different cultures, different gifts the young and old a place.
We have this ministry, O God receive our giving.
May we continue to grow and flower together in 2006.
 Hymn Quoted is #510 in Voices United “We Have this Ministry” by Jim Strathdee ©1979 Desert Flower Music.