Dear Friends in Christ:

We hope your summer months are filled with fun, family and fellowship, and we look forward to seeing you at Bethesda for the many exciting events that are planned here this summer. Now as the church fiscal year begins to wind down, your Council wanted to provide this update on a number of things we know may be on your mind.

It’s appropriate and important to begin with an update on your Stewardship and Giving. Much has been published in regard to the success of the parsonage Capital Appeal and THANK YOU can’t be said often enough in that regard. We have been able to purchase the parsonage modular home with the cash gifts that have been received and the three year pledges that have been received will cover the mortgage that is needed to complete the project. Of course we remember and appreciate the generosity of Dale Siems whose generous cash gifts were the corner stone of the cash received, but we thank all of you who gave generously to the Appeal.

In regard to our annual budget, we are running about $12,000 behind budgeted income through May. But May was a very strong month of giving which we hope is an indicator for summer offerings and hopeful by the time we reach the end of August we can overcome this shortfall. Summer is traditionally our strongest giving season so we have reason to be hopeful.

While we are not surprised by the ongoing generosity of our Bethesda congregation, we are grateful for your generosity and thankful that you prioritize giving to the Church for God’s work in our local area and around the world.

You don’t have to do anything but look toward the parsonage location to know that the building project is well underway. Due to a number of delays the project is a bit behind schedule, but we’re hopeful if the weather cooperates and the contracted workers follow through that we can complete the project by early August. We are grateful to have Barry Ansell acting as our project manager and confident in his leadership.

We have scheduled a day of parsonage celebration for Sunday August 6. Please mark this day on your calendar as it will be a morning of celebration and gratitude. We will hold one worship service that morning with music provided by a wonderful band named Dakota Road. The service will be followed by an open house of the new parsonage and a light picnic. It should be a great day of celebration, so please plan to participate. And…….please pray the parsonage is completed by then!

The Call Committee has been busy and has completed our Ministry Site Profile and submitted it to the synod. The committee is now awaiting the initial list of potential candidates. Please keep the committee in your prayers as they go about the important process of identifying and hiring our new Pastor.

As part of the 2017/18 budgeting cycle the Stewardship and Finance Committee has asked our committees to suggest and recommend potential future upgrades for the church. This has spawned an interesting list of things that would enhance our church and the overall worship service experience. The council is now prioritizing these items and completing a list of short and long term enhancements. This is proving to be an excellent planning process for our church and hopefully a number of these enhancements can be completed yet this year.

Finally, there will be a significant number of open council positions at the end of this fiscal year. So far two parishioners have expressed interest in these positions for which we are grateful. As you know it is vital that the church have active and engaged leadership within the council and important to have all positions filled. So we would encourage you to prayerfully consider serving on the council and helping our new Pastor get established at this important time within our church. Don’t hesitate to speak with any of the current council members regarding what it’s like to serve on the council if you have any questions, and thanks in advance for considering serving in this important role within our church.

Have a great summer and we’ll see you in church!

Yours in Christ,

The Church Council