Word of the Week

Reflecting on the Year

Everybody loves a good church business meeting, right? You wouldn't be a good Baptist if you didn't love them, of course (well, not always). As Washington Plaza makes plans to host its annual meeting on Sunday (for all of you Methodists out there, it is a lot like Charge Conference), I did some writing today about what I could say about 2010. I share this with you, church folks as a preview with the hopes that you might at least hear some of the good things I want to say about you. And, for those of you in the larger community cheering us on, you'll know how to keep cheering for us!

This year has been a great year of transition and growth for Washington Plaza. Over the course of the year, we’ve welcomed 17 new members. Some were new to the community; some were long time attendees seeking to become more involved and some were so glad to find a loving and welcoming church like ours in the Washington, DC area after a long search. This group represents an increased growth in the values of our mission: diversity in age, gender, race, sexual orientation and theological beliefs. I couldn’t be more pleased to celebrate these that God has brought to us.

Where would this church be in 2010 without the selfless dedication of our Trustees, our Office Administrator, and moderator?  I am forever grateful for our Facilities Chair, who has managed tirelessly our major repair project. You have no idea the hours that these folks have put in to ensure that the church continues to be a safe and welcoming place for generations of worshippers to come. We are blessed as a congregation to have such dedicated leaders who have given more of themselves to this congregation than anyone could ever ask for! I know you join me in celebrating the (almost) completion of our building repair project. 

We’ve also grown in our spiritual lives together—walking through liturgical seasons of the year such as Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Ordinary Time and now Advent. I’ve offered special courses such as Life Together, Speaking of Sin, Companions in Christ and Advent Vespers which have given congregation members opportunities to deepen their understanding of faith and traditions of the church. Richard Williams, has also be a valuable teacher during weekday classes. The newest weekly class, Lectio Divina, organized by Richard is one of the secret gems of the church which meets on Tuesday evenings to discuss and sit with scripture lections for an hour. Thanks to the leadership some dedicated teachers, the Sunday Bible Discussion class has continued to go strong along with a new Sunday School class which meeting upstairs around the choir members' schedule. Folks who have never regularly attended a Sunday morning study are now coming to the new class. How great!

Yet, we have walked through times of transition as well. We’ve seen the departure of Glenn to other vocational pursuits and a new direction for the choir through our new music director, Ken. As sad as we were to see Glenn go, we have been blessed to welcome Ken to our fellowship both through membership and as a staff person with a vision for a spiritually driven worship choir. I know Ken has big dreams for what Washington Plaza’s ministry can be in the larger Washington DC community and we've already be blessed by his deep sense of faith and musical creativity!

2011 will hold unique challenges for WPBC. We will be challenged to come to a greater consensus about our vision for the future which will then begin to shape all of our future programming. As our reserves have been used to complete our building repairs and to have a balanced budget, our call as a congregation will be to grow in even greater financial stewardship if we want to sustain our current staff and programming. We will continue to be stretched in the area of Christian Education to provide quality programming for children and youth so that all newcomers to the church feel welcomed.  To do all of this, the new Church Council officers which you will vote on this afternoon, will need all of your support. They will need YOU to join in their ministries and share your ideas and passions for ministry.

I still believe that the best of WPBC’s history is yet to be as we all continue working together to strengthen our strong bonds of Christian community and outreach.  There just aren't other churches like Washington Plaza who are redefining in everything we do the best of what church can be. Let me tell you again how proud I am of you!