“I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers”
- Ephesians 1:16
You are in my prayers as we begin this new year. I pray that 2012 in marked with a generosity of spirit - a way of living life that welcomes and invites all people to experience God’s goodness and grace through our words, actions and presence.
2011 was a year for getting things done thanks to many people who were willing to take the lead and get their hands dirty.
In the area of building maintenance and financial stewardship several needed repairs were attended to. The roof at the brick church was damaged and repaired. Soon there will be need for the whole roof to be attended to, but for the short term the damage is fixed. In an effort to be more energy efficient insulation was blown into the rafters of the brick church.
At the end of 2011 the bank portion of education building loan was paid off!! Approximately $25,000 of debt remains as a 0% interest loan from the Ray Davis Memorial Fund.
During the Fall of 2011 people were encouraged to consider paying their regular offering using electronic transfers from their bank account to the church’s account (the program is called “Simply Giving”). As a result of the effort there was a 50% increase of members who use the program - which is to say we now have six households!
Your generosity extended well beyond our own congregation needs, but to our thirsty, hungry and poor neighbors - local and around the world. In 2011 you gave away over $10,550 above and beyond your normal offering. Close to $10,000 more was given to the Synod for mission through and with them. You, through your generosity, make a difference both locally and globally!
In addition to special collections, NBC is active in our community by cleaning up County Road C, through LWR health kits, layettes for babies, quilts and school kits. That and taking the lead in community worships - baccalaureates and Cheesfest.
This summer we had some “unusual” worship experiences. In June we has a second annual Farmer Blessing Worship. In August we had our first Biker Blessing Sunday followed by a meal together. This November we added a day to celebrate Holy Communion especially inviting our 2nd graders to think about what Holy Communion means. Ann Ekern continues to come up with creative ways to enhance our worship life through music. Thank you Ann!
Our youth have been busy in 2011 beginning with a Christmas Tree Bonfire, making and selling Superbowl Pizzas, hosting a Dodgeball Tournament, and providing Lent Soup Suppers. Our confirmation students led Palm Sunday, 10 youth went to Lifest, and 17 people went on the Milwaukee Trip. This Fall NBC joined forces with area churches to offer a monthly open gym night. Now the youth are getting ready for a mission trip to Toronto.
Our children began the school year learning about the Fruits of the Spirit and then preparing for this year’s delightful Christmas Program. During the summer several youth attended Sugar Creek! Eight 3rd graders received Bibles during Rally Sunday and 3 year olds got Bibles in November. Our children can be seen taking a more active role in worship by greeting, helping with ushering, acoylting and even providing special music! Thank you goes to our great teaching team and Sunday School superintendent Jayme Thompson.
Thanks also goes to Ann Legreid who has made it possible for some of our oldest church records to be scanned, put into a DVD and preserved for future generation.
2011 has been a good year for getting things done, for exploring new ways to connect our faith with our daily lives and for “reaching out to in our community - to nurture and strengthen families and all in need” (NBC mission statement).
For you generosity of spirit - your welcome, your humor, your sharing - I give thanks to God as I remember you in my prayers and look forward to what God will do through us in 20121
Pastor Liz Albertson
15 January 2012