Happy New Year, Westmoreland Baptist Church!
Before you decide that the old Preacher has completely lost it, please understand I’m talking about the “New Church Year” which begins the first of September.
Now, your question might be, “Why does the church year begin on September 1st, when our fiscal year begins on January 1st?”
And the answer to that is simple.
I don’t know.
As the old saying goes, “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”
There has got to be a reason that it’s always been done that way, but I’m afraid I am not privy to that information. I do know, however, that it seems to be somewhat common across the SBC (or at least with the SBC churches I know) to start the church year on the first Sunday in September.
Most State Conventions are held in late October or early November, so, the “Annual Church Profile” which is the uniform church reporting letter across the Convention, usually comes to the local churches by the end of August, so the information can be listed and sent to the State and National Convention offices in time for the State and Local Association’s Book of Reports.
Our Greater Huntington Association’s Annual Meeting is always in mid or late October, and the State Convention is always the first week end in November. This year the State Convention Annual Meeting is at Oglebay Park in Wheeling, WV on November 4-5.
At any rate, it is the new church year, and this is the time when we elect Deacons to the three year active deacon rotation, as well as install new committee members to the rotating committees that make up our church’s Administrative Team. Deacon Election took place on Aug 21st, and for some reason, we do not officially elect the other officers and teachers until the September Business Meeting, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO TAKE OFFICE BY SEPTEMBER 1ST.
I promise you, I will be working with our Nominating Committee and the Administrative Team to make sure this is the last year that this will happen! We’re going to get that fixed!
There are some exciting things awaiting us in this next church year. The 2015-2016 church year has seen more baptisms than the last two full years – combined, and we want to thank God for that. With our new Associate Pastor for Discipleship and Student Ministries (Matt Maynard) now on board, we are already seeing new strides made in those areas. In Matt’s first month we have seen the youth group increase from 3 to 12! We have also had a Teacher Appreciation Breakfast, and seen the groundwork laid for periodic and regular departmental, teacher training and communication sessions.
Other good things are in store that I will be able to announce to you in next month’s Newsletter. Let’s bathe all we do in prayer. Let’s “Cath-Up” on our tithes and offerings that have been way down over the Summer months, and let’s commit to be in our place, and in our respective places of ministry this year, for the sake of the Kingdom and for the Glory of our