WHAT’S UP? An Exciting Announcement

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By Martin Schlomer, Senior Pastor

Six months ago, we found ourselves faced with the need for a new Children’s Ministries Director. Now, in case you haven’t noticed, Elim has A LOT of children running around (80+ kids 5th grade and under)! We have A LOT of volunteers who lead out in this ministry (50 leaders and helpers)! It can feel overwhelming.

“What are we going to do?” was my first thought. My second thought was, “Father, these circumstances did not take You by surprise. What do You want to do?” As the elders and staff prayed, there was peace. We sensed the need to wait to see how things developed over the next four to six months. Cheryl Weller stepped back in as our interim Children’s Ministries Director.

Then, we waited. We prayed. We clarified the skills we wanted the person to have. This was going to be a big decision. Ministry to children is VERY IMPORTANT in this body and to our Father.

In late June, we sensed it was time to take the next step. We put the information out to the congregation and invited those interested in the position to apply. We were blessed to have two well-qualified, enthusiastic people apply. The decision was difficult!

But now I want to introduce to you Geneva Mooney as our next Children’s Ministries Director. Geneva is no stranger to Elim or Children’s Ministries. Jean and Geneva have been actively serving at Elim for three years. Geneva brings a lot of spiritual maturity and discernment, enthusiasm, creativity, organization, and team-building skills to this core ministry. Her heart is to serve the volunteers so that they can thrive as they use their gifts. When Pastor Nate resigned, she volunteered to lead Elim’s Sunday-morning children’s program. Her passion is to serve!

As we prepare to enter the fall months filled with activities and ministries, please pray for Geneva and the entire Children’s Ministries team. Their task is huge, and the weight we all feel to nurture our children as passionate followers of Jesus is significant! While we have a great team of volunteers, there are some specific leadership positions we need to fill with qualified individuals. There are opportunities on Sunday mornings and on Wednesday evenings with AWANA. Would you consider serving and discipling our children? It is a significant calling our Father has placed on this community as He has blessed us with these children.

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What’s Next? Navigating Our Needs in Children’s and Worship Ministries

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By Pastor Martin Schlomer, Senior Pastor

It’s been about six weeks since Nate Champneys resigned as Associate Pastor of Worship and Children’s Ministries. Many have asked, “What’s next?” Transitions always raise questions, and I want to address some of these in this week’s Last Word.

“Will we hire another full-time pastor to lead Children’s and Worship Ministries?” At this point in our transition process, the answer is, probably not. Right now, we are evaluating our lay leadership resources and looking for ways to equip and empower them to lead these important ministry areas.

“Will Children’s Ministries continue to be a high priority at Elim?” YES! Elim has always placed a high priority on our ministry to children. This commitment has guided our decisions for the past 25 years and will continue to do so. In collaboration with our current children’s ministry leadership and volunteers, we are assessing our needs and identifying ways to improve our ministry effectiveness. We are also currently in the planning stages of determining how this core commitment will shape our facility expansion plan in the near future. As new and more young families continue to join Elim’s ranks, we will continue to make resourcing Children’s Ministries a high priority.

“Who is overseeing Children’s Ministries?” Cheryl Weller has graciously stepped into this role. Cheryl was our Children’s Ministries Director for 17 years, so she brings a wealth of experience. She is working closely with Julie Davis and the rest of the Awana leadership to oversee Awana, as well as with Geneva Mooney and the other Sunday-morning coordinators to oversee our Sunday-morning children’s program. She is also forming a team who will lead our summer children’s ministries. If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please see Cheryl Weller or Brian Sharpe. They welcome the opportunity to talk further.

“What is our strategy for leadership for Worship Ministries?” In January, Nate developed four worship teams with four worship leaders, leading one himself and being joined by Brian Waple, Tomina Sharpe, and Roger Petersohn. With his resignation, we have consolidated the four teams to three very strong teams, led by Brian, Tomina, and Roger. Brian Sharpe is working closely with our sound and video teams. Together, Brian and I are moving forward with training and developing our leaders.

“Are we considering hiring a part-time Children’s Ministries Director and a part-time Worship Ministries Director?” Yes. We are praying and waiting to see whom God brings to the surface. Our prayerful goal is to have a part-time director in place over Children’s Ministries by September. Regarding a part-time director of worship, we will need to wait and see how things develop.

Please keep praying for your church during this process. We want to have the right people in place when the time is right. This will take wisdom and patience. It will also require transparency and congregational support. As a leadership team (staff and elders), we are committed to this process being transparent. We want to hear your questions and answer them as best we can. We need your prayer support. Elim is the bride of Jesus, and we want to love her and lead her well.

Moreover, as a congregation, we need everyone to remain faithful financially. Some of what we are able to accomplish will be dependent on that faithfulness.
Finally, I want to say THANK YOU to all our leaders and volunteers! Everyone has pulled together during this transition, and they’re serving others and our Lord well! When you see someone serving, tell them “Thank you!” We are all energized when others notice.

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My Sabbatical and Decision

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by Cheryl Weller

I’m so grateful to God and how He provides for us, not only for our physical needs, but for our emotional needs as well. I didn’t know I needed a sabbatical, but He knew. I didn’t know I needed time for my family and my dear friend, but He knew. I didn’t know what to expect from the time off, but He knew.

So many times we feel like we need to know “Why?” before we step out, or before we go forward, or before we change. I’m thankful for the Elders and my family here at Elim for graciously giving me the time off recently. Let me share with you what God showed me during that time.

While on my sabbatical, Martin and the Elders challenged me to look at what I really wanted do in the next three to five years, and what that would look like for me as Children’s Director. I was able to meet with Steven Johnson, Cindy Waple and Frances Amos for some coaching and processing. Over the last couple of years I have been struggling with my role as Children’s Director – not feeling like I could really do anything more or anything new! Children’s ministry is very dear to my heart, but like parents realize when our children grow older, we have to let them go.

I look at children’s ministry here at Elim like a child that I have raised over the last 17 years, and now it is time for me to let it go. It’s time for someone else to come in and take children’s ministry to a new level, with new ideas and new dreams. I’m excited about that, and like a proud parent, I’m ready to let go and let this ministry grow. I have hopes that bringing Nate Champneys on as Worship/Children’s Associate Pastor will bring lots of excitement and new blood. This excites me!

With the new changes that the elders are doing within the staff to make sure we are all working within our gifting and wiring they have offered me a position on the staff as Church Administrator. I love working here at Elim and it is a blessing for me to be able to continue doing something I love to do … administrate!

God knew I needed a change and He brought that about through the Elders and through you, my church family. I love this family here at Elim and I’m honored to be able to serve you as I serve my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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