2016 Report of the Pastor

It seems impossible that my fourth Church Conference as your pastor has rolled around this Fall.  What an honor and privilege to be your pastor!

    This year finds a church which continues to serve effectively in many arenas.  Our small group ministry has grown again in participation.  The studies have offered us significant opportunities to be stronger in our faith journeys.  The outreach of our church is astounding.   From frequent youth service projects to adult service in food pantries to United Methodist Men’s Work Teams at Camp Glisson to pre-school and adult participation in the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child  shoebox ministry to Simply Sisters making of Fidget Mats for Memory Care patients for Wesley Woods to repair and construction projects for those who need assistance, Lanier people have been serving faithfully.   I am particularly proud of how we share our buildings with the community.   Including a polling place for Forsyth County, multiple Boy Scout and Girl Scout Troops, Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-a-non, and several Home Owner Associations,  we open our doors as a hospitable and inviting fellowship.  Likewise, our Lanier Christian Pre-school is a clear connection with parents and young children which makes a difference in their growth and development.

     We continue our connection with the New Life United Methodist Church in Monrovia, Liberia.  This our sister congregation has already planted two new churches from their number.  We sent dresses and shirts and shorts to the children of this church.  We are paying the pastor’s salary as we enable him to reach his community and expand to other areas.  He has a real desire to visit with us and share his testimony.  Perhaps, we can make that possible before long.

      We have every reason to celebrate our youth ministry.  Not only is it growing in numbers but also it is reaching out in ways that communicate how the church leaves the building to be its best.

       I cannot wait to see what our seasonal choir will present for us this Christmas.  One thing is certain and that is –The music and drama will be good!    This year, we will have an additional concert for the community.  The expertise of Amanda Kim and Amy Daise is so apparent.

    Our new sign is up and will soon be functional.  We had some waiting as we got power to it and are doing the necessary programing to make it ready.   It will be a much needed improvement in our ability to promote our ministries in this community.   Thanks go to our trustees and others who have had a hand in constructing this sign.

    I am blessed with an excellent group of church leaders who volunteer tirelessly, who support our church with their giving, who encourage me and each other, and who are building a stronger Lanier Church for the future.  Likewise, I am so grateful for our talented and dedicated church staff.  One cannot imagine a more gifted and committed group than Chris Williams, Amanda Kim, and Lesli Gray. 

     We have been hampered over the past few months by the road construction.  It has made it difficult for us to get in and out.  I am sure that the person who passes our church experiences confusion in knowing where and how to enter.   I am confident that this uncertainty has deterred a number of visitors from stopping for our worship.  Hopefully, the completion of the road and the new traffic light will improve that situation.  Already, our visibility is better from the road.  Now, we need to continue to improve our appearance.   The new entrance to our worship center should and will help us.  We do still need to remove the trees and growth that are along Echols Road so that entrance to our church is even clearer.

     With a new accessibility and a new building entrance, we should see some real improvement in worship attendance and number of visitors.  The year 2017 is an important year for the growth of our church.  Our ministries, our community outreach, our efforts at inviting others are critical to helping our progress.  After all, we have important work to do – “To Make Disciples of Jesus Christ!”

       Honored to be your Pastor, I am

                               Sincerely,

                                Ed Tomlinson