From the pastor's pen...
Dear Church Family,
On January 27th, we held our annual congregational meeting. I would like to share some of the updates on the state of the church that were provided at the annual meeting.
I believe that Community Church of Keyport continues to be a small but vital church, a family-oriented church, a loving church. Our average weekly attendance in worship in 2018 was 65, which is the same as last year’s average attendance. We have 70 adults and 18 children on our membership and active adherent rolls. We are always encouraging faithful attendance in Sunday worship.
In 2018, we received one new member, celebrated two baptisms and the confirmations of two of our young people. We already have 6 people who have expressed interest in membership in 2019. We have well-received adult Bible study and Sunday School programs. We’ve made some recent organizational changes to our Kids’ CLUB and we started a new Toddler Room for our 2 and 3 year olds. We continue to move forward with our choir and in contemporary music, we added Debbie and Paul Gangemi in 2018. In 2018, we established an Instagram page and we continue to maintain an up-to-date website.
Our community ministries are going strong. The Bayshore Lunch Program continues to serve a free hot meal five days a week. We usually serve between 50 and 70 meals a day. Our counseling program through Church Based Mental Health Services provides free and low cost counseling to our community, and 5 people attended our chronic pain support group this month. The Keyport Food Pantry here on property is serving over 250 families a month. Our social justice committee does a lot to sponsor and support activities to support our ministries.
Financially, we still have our challenges. We have one of the lowest incomes of the 28 churches in our classis. We entered the last months of 2018 with a $5000 deficit- but this amazing congregation, with the grace of God, finished the financial year by meeting ALL expenses. This included charitable benevolence donations and deacons’ fund assistance to those in need. We were one of only 6 churches to receive a grant for building improvement from the RCA in 2018. They gave us $17,000 to replace the fellowship hall floor in support of our ministries and this project has been completed. At our meeting, Treasurer Tom Baldino spoke about our 2018 financial year and deacon Jim Cortiglia presented our 2019 budget. Our 2019 budget was affirmed by the congregation at the Jan. 27th meeting.
In November, we became a dually affiliated congregation of the United Church of Christ. Dual affiliation allows us to remain in the Reformed Church in America (RCA) and to advocate for what we feel is right in the ongoing denominational disputes around same-sex marriage and polity. But it also offers us as a congregation -and me as your minister- the protections of a welcoming and affirming denomination. I will be representing our classis at the RCA’s 2019 General synod in Michigan this May.
As always, may we continue as a church to look back with thanksgiving and look forward with faith, and may God’s leading continue to go with us. I remain privileged to be your pastor.
In Christ's service,
Rev. Dawn Seaman