Looking Ahead to a New Year

                                 “Looking Forward to a New Year”


                On behalf of our church staff, I would like to wish you and your families a happy New Year and the very best in 2011.  I appreciate the ministry we share and look forward to accomplishing some good ministry in the coming year. 


                During my first four months as your pastor, I have asked a number of people about goals and aspirations for our church.  Some of these conversations took place during the Pastor’s Meet and Greet sessions organized by the deacons.  Other conversations have taken place as I have asked people individually about their hopes and dreams for our congregation.  A number of things have been shared, with several key items rising to the top of the list.  They include the following:


                *Spiritual growth of our members.  A number of people have expressed to me a desire to grow in their knowledge and understanding of the ways and truths of God.  As your pastor I am excited to hear of a desire for people to grow in this area.  Through worship, Christian education, and Bible study opportunities, it is my first priority to help people grow spiritually.  Bob Culbertson and I will be leading a Sunday school class on Sunday mornings titled, Basic Beliefs.  Using the New Testament book of Colossians as our guide, this six week class will be exploring what we believe as Christians.  This class will begin on Sunday, January 16 at 9:15 AM in the fireside room.  Other opportunities for spiritual growth will be offered throughout the year.


                *Strengthening of children’s and youth ministry programs:  Many of you have expressed a strong desire to rebuild the programs offered for children and youth.  We do have a strong youth group that meets every Wednesday evening for supper and learning.  This group has been led by a wonderful group of adult volunteers who have seen youth ministry as a vital part of who we are at First Presbyterian.  The Christian education committee continues to target next fall to launch a new mid-week program designed for children.  The CE committee is also looking at ways to enhance our program to children and youth on Sunday mornings.  With a lot of experience in the area of children and youth ministry, I will continue to work closely with this committee to implement these programs.  Your help in carrying out these new programs would be greatly appreciated.


                *Leadership development:  I will continue to work with the leadership teams in our church (session, deacons, and other committees) to provide stability and growth.  A healthy church is one that has good leadership at its core.  The acronym TEAM stands for Together Everyone Accomplishes More, and will serve as a goal for empowering our church leaders.  The church is the Body of Christ, made up of many members working for the same common goal.  I will be helping the session and deacons in this area as we carry out the mission of being Christ’s church in Billings and beyond.


                I’m looking forward to the coming year and all of the exciting things that God has in store for us as a congregation.  I am very blessed to be serving as your pastor and desire, along with you, to grow spiritually in the ways and purposes of Jesus Christ.  Happy New Year!


In Christ,


Pastor Dave