October 26th Update:
Two important things I need you to know. First, on Sat. November 21st. Dr. Mike Smith will be meeting with us at First Baptist Church Mexia for our JBS overview. I would like for all of us to gather for coffee and fellowship around 9:30 AM and then Mike will start his presentation at 10:00 AM. We should be done by noon. We will plan to go together to a Dutch Treat Lunch at Farmhouse. I hope you can come and be with us. Please share this with others to invite them.
Second, I was so impressed with the responses to our survey. We are working on that diligently. Each person who responded should receive a "Spiritual Gifts Inventory" survey to complete and return to bro. Lowell. Once those are done, we will prayerfully look at your surveys and seek to help you to find a place of service in which you can serve and be a part of what God is doing in our Association. We are aware that not all who may be interested were at the meeting. If you know someone whom you think would enjoy this opportunity to serve together in our Association, please let Bro. Lowell know and he will contact them.
I think we have great days ahead that will positively impact all of our churches in wonderful ways for our work in the Kingdom of God. I look forward to getting to work with each team and to get to know each member of the teams. Let's see what Jesus can do with an Association so willing to respond to His leadership
In His Love,
October 12th Update-
I want to thank our wonderful Association for giving me another year to serve Jesus by serving you as your Moderator. I think this next year, 2020-2021 might be one of the most exciting years in the history of our Association. Judging by what I heard and saw last night at our Annual Meeting, you are ready to see all the God has in store for us in this year to come, and that each of you that attended desires to be a part of what God will be doing in and through our Association. I thank each of you that responded to our survey. Your Leadership Team has scheduled a special meeting to begin working on that right away. We hope by November to begin contacting you personally and working with you to get you on one of these wonderful Ministry Teams that will make such a huge difference for our Association and how we can best serve our Member churches.
I think last night was wonderful but a little too long. There is no doubt in my mind that our Lord was present with us and guiding us in all the decisions we made last night. I have waited a long time to see this begin to happen in our Association, and I could not be more excited at the prospect of our future work together.
I have been working on our Website all this morning and will continue to make changes that reflect the new directions in which we, as an Association are moving.
Below you will see a copy of the Moderator's Report from last night as it appeared in your Book of Reports. I will be doing the same thing for each Ministry Team's page. We want you to know what is happening. Also, I have added a page for Latham Springs Camp and Retreat Center with links to their site so your church can know what is happening at the camp that you and this Associaton continues to support and be a partner with in ministry. I hope you enjoy what you find on this site. Please let me know if you think anything else needs to be added to this site. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
In His Love,
2019-2020 Annual Meeting
I want to thank each of our churches for the opportunity you have given to me to serve you as our Moderator in this last year. It has been an interesting experience doing this ministry as we had to search to bring in our new Associational Mission Strategist (DOM) Dr. Lowell Warren. In our search, we received over 20 resumés, of which 5 expressed an interest in the position. After much prayer by your Lead Team, serving as your Search Committee, we unanimously came to present Dr. Warren as our candidate for this most important position. Then, coming to an Executive Board Meeting, Dr. Warren was unanimously elected by a Quorum of our churches to serve as our new Associational Mission Strategist (ASM).
In the midst of this important process, the COVID-19 Pandemic came to Texas. This caused us to have to make some serious adjustments as to how we met and functioned as an Association. It has always been my desire that all the members of our member churches would feel welcome and encouraged to attend any of our meetings. The Association is not a club for pastors, but, it is a mission force for Jesus in our region made up of the members of all of our churches. Truly, as our theme for this meeting says, “Together, We Can Do More.” But with the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to limit our attendance to ensure our ability to keep a safe environment for our churches to come together to meet and to make important decisions as an Association. Your cooperation was well received and noted by your Lead Team. I know we missed the fellowship of the meals that we usually had, but in this given circumstance, it was better to cancel them and to keep our meetings as brief as possible to limit the possibility of exposure to the virus. Now that it appears the number of active cases in our region is slowly beginning to reduce, we planned our meeting for tonight with a meal. However, that meal is different from what we normally would do by having it catered and served individually to again reduce the possibility of exposure.
With Dr. Warren on staff, you will notice a few things changing in this coming year. With the help of Dr. Warren, each of our Lead Team Members has planned for very special events in this coming year that we hope will be a blessing and a help to all of our member churches. For example, in December this year, we are planning an Associational Christmas Party for all to attend and be a part of on December 4th at a location to be announced soon. Dr. Warren is planning for some special entertainment for the enjoyment of our whole Association. More information will come out later this month for you to be able to plan to attend. Other conferences are being planned to include a January Bible Study Overview for later this year. More information will come out this month on that event.
Also, in this last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it was growing in our area at the time, we had, with great sorrow, to cancel our annual State Missions Banquet. We will reschedule that for next year and we will look forward to the wonderful time of encouragement and fellowship this offers to us each year. Last year we had invited Shane Pruitt, Director of NextGen (generation) Evangelism for the North American Mission Board (NAMB). We hope to have him re-scheduled for next year. That event will be a wonderful and useful time together as we all seek to reach the younger generations for faith in Christ.
Lastly, I want to thank and to commend Dr. Warren for his presence and his work to reach out to all of the churches of our Association. His love of churches, of their pastors, and of the families of the churches is a welcome addition to the ministry of our Association. He has been faithful to reach out to our member churches, and if you have not yet had him in your church, I would encourage you to contact him tonight and to schedule him and his beloved wife Peggy to come and to be with you in your church. The spirit of love in him and Peggy for our churches is very warm and alive. Our Association is very fortunate that the Lord has blessed us with Dr. and Mrs. Peggy Warren, and I hope and pray that each church of our Association will make the effort and take the time to get to know these wonderful people.
Let me also say that in the 50 or so years I have had the privilege to serve our Lord in eight different churches, and in four different Associations, that our Association is the most loving and unified Association I have ever experienced. It has been a real privilege to serve this last year as your Moderator. I pray that in the coming year that God will open up to doors of Heaven and that the blessings for our faithful churches will fall from the hands of our Lord to help us, as an Association and as individual churches, to reach our region for faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
In His Love,
Chuck Sturgeon, Moderator
Pastor, First Baptist Church, Coolidge.