Our congregation gathered for a church-wide meeting on February 26, 2023. For those who missed it or want to review what was discussed, here are my notes:
Dave Lathrop (Board Treasurer) shares a brief financial update. We have a deficit, not an emergency. Expenses are down about 25%, but income is also down about 25%. We've saved a significant amount by swapping out LiveControl.
Pastor Ben and Pastor Michael are optimistic about the future of Riverfront, but also realistic about the challenges we face. They see our members and regular attenders as a strong core group. They're also seeing tremendous growth in maturity.
Jessie B suggests partnering with the gay and lesbian chamber of commerce.
Diana S shares that there’s a real need for what she and Laura experienced, being able to be out in church.
Pastor Ben notes that we are a quadrant 4 church: affirming, contemporary worship style. That was Pastor Nancy’s heart from the beginning.
Jessie suggests sharing Diana’s testimony (and others) as a video that will resonate with others.
Deb M comes from a progressive and affirming but more liturgical style and not enough Jesus. That was the draw. She also shares that a lot of adoptive parents were/are here and that was part of how she found community.
Laura S asks if we’re networked with other churches outside Hartford area. Many people may be looking for something closer.
Ben mentions the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists (AWAB) - also notes we can be a catalyst to create a network.
Kurt M adds that he’s having a hard time with the “COVID hangover.”
Jessie suggests having scheduled lunch or other social gatherings.
Deb says she encounters lots of progressive, spiritual people who don’t want to touch church with a 10-foot pole.
Rich G expresses interest in leaning into the “family” side of RFC. Also the COVID community conversation.
Michael M says we live in a society full of loneliness and hurt and alienation. We are a community of people who can welcome them with love and fellowship. Mentions he’s going to teach a Bible study on Mark.
Ben notes that because of our small size, things can just happen without a ton of bureaucracy.
Jessie suggests doing YouTube interviews or written testimonials. Deb offers to interview people.
Michael is excited about music. Very powerful, very healing.
Ben suggests using the Changing the Sheets podcast as a front door, as well as "checking in" on social media.
Diana says we need to focus on our greeting ministry - signs, physical presence here.