January 26th, 2013

Highlights of the FWC Board – January 2013

  • Thanks for your prayers and support when the Board of Directors of Faithful and Welcoming Churches (FWC) met at the UCC’s “Church House” January 17-19, 2013.  Board members came from Nebraska (1), Illinois (3), North Carolina (4), Pennsylvania (3), Indiana (1),Ohio (1),  and Massachusetts (1).
  • Meetings like this remind us why FWC exists.  We feel a bit isolated across the country, but when wee gather to share, listen, pray, and eat together, we find encouragement in the Lord.  This year we also made a special effort to thank our supporting churches, reconnect with FWClergy, and update our list of FWChurches.  Be patient with us while we update our lists on the FWC web page, but we’re working on it!
  • We meet at the UCC’s “church house” to connect with national staff, and once again, we were able to meet with several key members in the Cleveland office.  The UCC Nominating Committee for General Synod also met at the same time, and while we had no formal contact, we met several members of the NC in the halls and bathed their meeting in prayer.
  • Thanks to about 10 supporting congregations and many individuals who contribute to our scholarship fund, we reported about $24,000 in income during 2012.  The Scholarship Fund supports ECOT seminarians who declare their intention to enter ministry in the UCC.  One such student, Joshua Moore, is completing his training in May at Reformed Theological Seminary and hopefully will be serving a church later this year.  Click here to read Josh’s blog.
  • We also heard updates on others who share our FWC principles
    • An Associate Pastor hit “like” on our Facebook page, and we learned about a UCC church where the Great Commission is at the heart of this UCC church’s passion,
    • A pastor was falsely accused of leading his church out of the UCC, but exonerated after a hearing with his Church and Ministry Commission
    • A UCC chaplain posted FWC principles and strategies in her office,
    • A church asked for our help to find another ECOT pastor when their current pastor retires
    • Overseed, a sister organization led by board member Jim Harrell, continues its mission of renewing one church at a time with evangelical pastors and helpful resources.
    • An FWC supportive pastor wants prayer and networking after being asked to resign
    • Our primary agenda item was preparing for General Synod in Long Beach, CA, this summer.  FWC will represent ECOTs at the Synod through our exhibit, a sponsored meal, and our Voice without Vote status.  About 6-8 board members and spouses will represent us again with our bright green “Have You Hugged an ECOT Today?” tshirts.  If you are attending General Synod this year, we would like to connect with you.  Be sure to sign up for our FWC sponsored meal on Monday evening, July 1.
    • We love keeping in touch!  We’re a small organization who get our work done by volunteers.  So we count on you to let us know how we can pray for and support you, and vice versa.  If you want some FWC brochures for your church, let us know at [email protected].  Share what’s going on in your life or church on our Facebook page.  I’d love for you to check in on my blog as well – currently I’m sharing daily devotions from the book of Romans.
    • We have tentatively scheduled our 2014 board meeting at Corinth Reformed Church in Hickory, NC, for April 2014, including a one-day event April 24 for pastors and laity (including but beyond our board) on compassionate, biblical ministry to gays and lesbians.  Stay tuned for details.

Bob Thompson, President, Faithful and Welcoming Churches

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