Amber Congregational Church - To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose.
The ShoreLight - Amber Church Newsletter
January 2019


Membership Responsibilities

   Recently I received in the mail a small book, although I have no idea who sent it.  I didn’t order it and didn’t particularly need something new to read, but I looked it over and then ended up reading it cover to cover.  It is a short book, 79 pages, and an easy read.  I recommend it to you and have placed this copy in the church library. 
 
   The title of the book is I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude that Makes the Difference by Thom S. Rainer.  The author advances the radical idea that being a member means that one believes in the reasons for the organizations existence and is willing to do something to keep that ideal going.  Membership is not merely about rights and privileges but about duties and responsibilities.  In terms of the local church six pledges are advanced that the author states will not only change one’s own life but will also change one’s church and its impact in the community. The six chapters and pledges are:
 
     1. I Will Be a Functioning Church Member
     2. I Will Be a Unifying Church Member
     3. I will Not Let My Church Be about My
         Preferences and Desires
     4. I Will Pray for My Church Leaders
     5. I Will Lead My Family to Be Healthy Church
         Members
     6. I Will Treasure Church Membership as a Gift.
 
   Now it is true that some folk attend church, perhaps even on a regular basis, but they don’t join.  They aren’t members. There may be a variety of reasons for this from the simple, “No one ever asked me to join,” to “I already paid my dues and don’t want to be asked to do something more.”  Most folk probably fall somewhere in between these statements.  But the truth is that the New Testament describes membership in terms of body parts (1 Corinthians 12-14).  The point is that not only do we need each other in order to be strong and healthy, but even what one might consider to be the most attractive or useful body part is a hideous image when seen in isolation.  It is the stuff of science fiction to envision one’s body as consisting of just a giant eyeball or a walking hand.  Any body part severed from the rest will lose the vital blood flow and die.  The body must have the support and connection of each part or disease and death will be inevitable. 
 
    This is the concept and principle taught repeatedly in the New Testament.  It is what the church is all about, people devoted to Jesus coming together to serve others in Jesus’ name.  Or, as our Conference states it: “love God, love others, and make disciples.” 
 
   As we begin a new year together and particularly as we approach our Annual Meeting and thoughts of where we want to go in the future, it seemed especially appropriate to me to remind you all of our own church Covenant with regard to membership.  We categorize church membership under three classifications: Covenant Members, Inactive Members, and Non-Parish Members.  Each one of these is defined in our Constitution by identity, duties, rights and discipline.  And although the three types of membership vary from each other depending upon one’s commitment or proximity what is crucial to each one is the keeping of covenant together.  Inactive members have failed to keep covenant, Non-Parish members are unable to do so, both consequently loose some of their rights.  But in our definition the duties for all remain unchanged.  Each one is responsible to “attend regularly the services of the Church, to give regularly for its support and its charities, to share in its organized work for the world and to seek in every way to win those about them to Christ.”  (That’s the long version of “love God, love others, and make disciples.”) 
 
   What this small little book by Thom Rainer does is suggest that much of the task of church membership comes down to attitude.  And although certainly we all need an attitude adjustment from time to time what he is saying is that church membership is the pledge to follow Jesus allowing his agenda to override ours.  Or as the Apostle Paul said, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:6).  Let’s work on that together. See you in Worship.
                   Rick


 Amber Congregational Church Church Officers (2019)

Board of Elders   (3 year terms)
     term expiring 2020 - Carl Barber, Mark Henderson, Sally Wilson
     term expiring 2021 - James Frary
     term expiring 2022 - Cathy Smith, Sherry Persad, Deb O’Brien
 
Board of Trustees   (3 year terms)
    term expiring 2020 - David Heath, Jack Seymour, Matt Henderson,
                                      Chuck Harris
    term expiring 2021 - Mike Curtis, Teal Trendowski
    term expiring 2022 - Cheryl Curtis, Jeff Southard, Terry Wheeler
 
Ministry Directors   (3 year terms)
     Outreach Director (2020) - Cathy Smith
     Worship Director (2021) - Nancy Barber
     Christian Education Director (2022) - Sue Ellen Harris
 
Nominating Committee  (2 year terms)
     term expiring 2020 - Deb O’Brien, Teal Trendowski, Cindy Casler
     term expiring 2021 - David Angelo, Mark Henderson (Chairperson)
 
Other Officers  (1 year terms expiring 2020)
    Clerk - Cheryl Curtis
    Treasurer - Gail Frary
    Financial Secretary - Faith Stopyro
    Assistant to the Treasurer and Finacial Secretary - Jenn Schultz
    Ministerial Relations Chairman - Mike Curtis
 
Samaritan Fund Committee  (2 year terms)
     term expiring 2020 - Sally Wilson, Cheryl Curtis
                                       (appointed from the Elders and Trustees)
     term expiring 2021 - Faith Stopyro  (elected by congregation), 
                                       Jim Frary, Matt Henderson 
                                       (appointed from the Elders and Trustees)
     permanent members - Rick Chaffee, Cathy Smith 
                                        (Minister and Outreach Director)
 
Other 1 Year Appointed Positions (1 year terms expiring in 2020)
    Overseer of Greeters - Deb O’Brien  (appointed by the Worship Director)
    Overseer of Acolytes and Nursery – Nancy Barber 
                                                                  (appointed by the Worship Director)
    Librarian – Cheryl Curtis  (appointed by the Education Director)
    Historian – Sally Wilson  (appointed by the Clerk)
 
Appointed Positions by the Trustees  (indefinite term)
    Janitor - Rich McVicar
    Music Director - Lois Chaffee
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