There will be an important deacons meeting this Sunday at our usual time; 8:30am. All men are encouraged to join us for the fellowship breakfast at 8, and then our deacon’s meeting will follow. We have lots to discuss as we work to bring our church together after the vote concerning the music minister position. I know that it is a big weekend with lots of stuff going on with the Blueberry Jubilee, but please make every effort to be in your place, if at all possible.
Wednesday evening our own Raeanna Creel will be at Union with the MS Baptist All State youth Choir and Orchestra. There will be no adult prayer meeting so that we can attend this special worship service to support her. The bus will leave the parking lot at 5:30 pm if you want to join us. Don’t be late!
Bettye Nelson has served us for the last nine months as our volunteer Minister of Music. She received a majority of votes in our election process, but failed to get the 3/4ths of the quorum required for her election. As pastor, my first concern with this is for Bettye. I know that she really did love working with the choir and she is understandably disappointed with this outcome. Pray for her and for all of us who desired for her to continue. Someone expressed that it stinks to be held captive to the will of the minority! Let me address some of the issues that have been raised in this regard.
First, it needs to be understood that we really do appreciate Bettye and her generosity to step in in a difficult time to get the choir ready for Christmas music. The time was short and she did an awesome job! Then, she followed up with beautiful Easter music and many other special programs such as Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. I have enjoyed working with her, and my secretary will tell you that hands down she has been the easiest to work with of any music minister she has known.
All that being said it should be clarified that the vote was in no way “fraudulent.” as has been suggested. This is a predictable reaction when one side does not get what it desires. No, in fact you can look back on this site and see the process that we followed and realize that the church voted in regular business meeting to present her for a vote on a Sunday morning with one week notice. Some who objected to her being hired had noted prior to the vote that they felt that it should have been announced on a Sunday morning and the vote taken the following Sunday, but the committee and all those in the business meeting voted to present her the following Sunday morning. We made every effort to communicate this, and I am absolutely confident that all the deacons and their families, and all the choir members were well aware of this procedure, and were OK with it.
The ballot vote was administered as per usual, and any notion of any irregularities is without warrant. I made mention that there were some visitors with us (two couples and a few family members who were in for the holiday) but I did not see any evidence of a large block who had been rallied to bring the no vote. in fact, I was very surprised with the outcome. I knew ahead of time of a very few who opposed her service, but the vast majority I had heard from were very positive. I was stunned.
That being said, I believe that we need to pay attention to this minority report. For some it may have been not so much a vote against Bettye as it was a vote for change. Bettye and I have always striven for a blended service of worship, but some prefer a different style. I have told Bettye to try not to take this too personally. I do not think that even if a recount were taken, with absentee voting allowed, that she would take it now. She has said as much. Again, pray for her. She is a precious member who has been understandably hurt, but my prayer is that she would know that a solid majority of those who voted, and many who were absent that day, love her and would love for her to stick with us.
Where do we go from here? In prayer meetings held in the intervening time we have listened to people who are unhappy with this. We have also heard from visitors who have expressed that they understand how these things have the potential to split a church. Thankfully, I have visited with several of those prospective church members and they seem to get it. Baptist polity is messy, but in the end it is the way we do things. God works through our human frailty to bring about His will. I have also heard from those who voted no, and I am charged to be pastor to both sides of this question that was before us. At least for the ones I have spoken to, they do not wish Bettye any ill will, and prayed long and hard about their decision.
As pastor I am suggesting that we need to re-establish our search committee and begin the process again. We need to elect at least two members who have resigned. All of the seven members should be approached as to whether they are willing to serve. We need to pray for this group in their difficult assignment.
We had a great worship service Sunday and I want to express my thanks to Jim Lott for coming into this tough circumstance and doing a great job. He and Kay were a delight!
I know some of our people stayed away, either out of protest, or frustration, but I am hopeful that we can come together and move forward on our knees. God will be glorified if we are careful to love one another!
This past Sunday evening at the regularly called Business Meeting we heard a recommendation from the Music Minister Search Committee. They brought their recommendation that Betty Nelson be hired as our Permanent Part-time Director of Church Music Ministries. Betty has been interim for about nine months now, and has organized all aspects of our music ministry. She has successfully led our choir in presenting Christmas and Easter music performances as well as many other special occasions, such as Mother’s Day just a week ago.
We discussed the process and voted Sunday evening that we will present her this coming Sunday morning, May 24th, for a vote. She will be paid monthly according to the $17,000 annual amount already in the budget for 2015, beginning in June. The deacons heard a report from Finance chairman, Mitch Magee, stating that they have no objections to her being hired as this line is already in the budget. The vote requires 3/4ths of a quorum for passage. Please, come and vote your conviction on this important question at the conclusion of the morning worship service.
Sunday night of Memorial Day Weekend, May 24th at 6pm at the Pearl River County Fairgrounds the Body of Christ is invited to attend a special prayer service to lift up the families of those who have given their lives for the name of Jesus. We will also be taking an offering for the organization Voice of the Martyrs. This is not a political rally; it is not being organized by any denomination. We will not hear multiple sermons. We are calling on all believers to join us for a time of prayer for those facing persecution around the world. Some in our community have seen the news of Christians being killed simply because they are Christian and we wonder, “What can we do?” We wish to stand with them. We want to go on record asking our government to respond to these atrocities. We will give to support those who have come under attack because they are our brothers and sisters. Please, come and join with us as we pray.
Don’t miss our special Mother’s day celebration!
In addition to special music and tributes we will receive an offering for the Baptist Children’s Village. Please plan on being in your place and helping us as we honor this most important position of service. Where would we be without our mothers? Of course, not everyone has been blessed to have the best of moms, but we want to uphold a standard for the world of what Christian parenting should look like and the message of the day will include a challenge for us all to faithfully follow the Lord and to participate in nurturing and encouraging our children. There will be no PM service on May 10th. Enjoy time with your family!
What a wonderful Easter Celebration! Thanks to all who worked so hard to put it all together. Special thanks to our cooks who provided the breakfast following our early service. It was great, as usual. And how we appreciate the hard work of our wonderful choir in telling the Easter story through music. Fantastic job!
Hope you had a super time with your family. I know that we got together for a relaxed lunch and hid eggs for Campbell to find, took some pictures to mark the occasion, and even got in a Sunday afternoon nap! Awesome!