Bear Creek is a Generous Church!

As we move into the fall season, I just want to share with you how fortunate we are to have such generous givers here at Bear Creek UMC.   As soon as I say the word “givers” though, many of you will automatically think that I am talking about money. That’s understandable!  We in the church have not always been good about sharing the full message of stewardship.   This year we hope to help everyone open their eyes to all the ways we can and do give to the church with a new program called “Time, Talent, and Treasure.”   For indeed, Bear Creek UMC, is a church full of folks who give of their time, talent, and treasure to God through the Bear Creek UMC!   

This past Easter season is a good example of that.   Right before Easter Sunday, our worship team got together and decided we wanted to pull out all the stops as far as decorating the church for Easter.   There was one issue…Congregation Kol Ami had their big Seder meal and celebration on the Saturday night before Easter!   That would mean that we would have to “flip” the sanctuary late that night.   As we worked with our team, we knew this was going to be a challenge.  It was going to take a dedicated team to pull this off.  That night, as I entered the sanctuary to check on things and to help move chairs around, I saw a flurry of folks sitting on the floor of the front of the church working feverishly to put decorations together.  There was stuff everywhere.  It looked like I had entered the backstage of a theater production on Broadway and it felt like I was in college pulling an all-nighter! After encouraging this dedicated team to keep going, I headed home to get my heart ready for Easter Sunrise service and Easter Sunday!   That morning, about 5:30, as I walked into the sanctuary before dawn and turned on the lights, my heart was strangely warmed as I read the banner above the cross “He is Risen, indeed!” and witnessed the power of the Easter decoration.  It was as if the entire front of our sanctuary was shouting “Christ is Risen, Christ is Risen, indeed!”  But as I pondered this beautiful moment, it meant so much more to me because I knew the sacrifice our team had put in to make this “Easter” moment happen!  

That Easter effort took time, talent, and treasure and is an amazing example of what it takes to make a church really hit on all cylinders. 

As we enter the fall season here at Bear Creek UMC you will hopefully notice some amazing changes going on at Bear Creek.  First, we have a whole handful of new faces on our staff.   We’ve added two new positions and expanded another one.  The key new position we’ve added is the Congregational Assistant: Danielle Walsh!  Danielle puts in 30 hours every week.  Her primary task is to make our new vision here at Bear Creek a reality. A big part of her job is to help volunteers in our church become invested in helping our church become vibrant and alive.  Deep in the heart of this ministry is a belief that everyone wants to serve God and our church in some significant way and Danielle is there to help you find that place!  

We’ve also added a communications person to our team: Tim Schaaf.   Tim gives Bear Creek 10-15 hours a week putting together our social media presence, preparing our communication pieces for Sunday, and helping us get the message of what Bear Creek is all about out into the world and out to our congregation.  The initial “flagship” of that work has been designing our new website! Please check it out at bcumc.org!   

We have also combined and expanded the role of our new choir director/band leader and renamed it “Music Coordinator”.   We are excited to have Simon Hill as the lead in this role.  Simon’s job is to lead, direct, and coordinate our worship service musically so that we can utilize and cultivate all the musical talent we have in a way that will enhance our worship service in new and exciting ways.  

I share all of this, because all these changes do come at a risk and a price.   This year we added almost $28,000 to our budget for these additions and next year that cost will be about $55,000.   My hope and prayer is that each of you might consider giving above and beyond your current gift to help us with those costs and prayerfully consider increasing next year’s pledge to help this happen!

But, in order for this investment to really pay off, we aren’t going to just need your treasure!  Each of these positions are counting on us to find new ways to give of our time and talents.  Can you help us with that?  Can you help us find ways to use your time and talents?   Is there some way you might serve God and Bear Creek that would give you joy and make you feel needed and appreciated?  Is there a way we might step up our appreciation of volunteers to make you feel wanted?   We need you!  And we give thanks for you every day!   You are the life-blood of this church and your gifts…your time, talents, and treasures are so greatly appreciated!   I thank God every day for all that you are and give.  I can’t wait for this fall launch to begin!

Your Pastor and friend, forever grateful for the generosity of Bear Creek UMC, Brook

Tim Schaaf