Ask Me – In response to our congregation’s desire to be more intentionally warm and welcoming, we asked Susan Fortune to be our Ask Me Coordinator. Our greeter base has been expanded to include Ask Me Parking Lot Greeters and Ambassadors who help guests find their way around while engaging in conversation along the way. Guests are responding with appreciation to these efforts, and members are having fun making connections.
Discover Munsey – With “connectivity” as its theme and purpose, guests and new members “connected” with our Discipleship Team chair, clergy, and active members over six weeks to learn more about Munsey, United Methodism, and its “connectionalism.” Two seven-week series were offered, and over twenty-four people participated. We will offer Discover Munsey again in the spring and fall of 2018.
Adult Confirmation – For years, people have expressed their delight in 8th graders participating in Confirmation and their disappointment that they were not 8th graders! So we offered Adult Confirmation which was a hit! Eight people participated, were blessed, and were recognized at the end of the season. A new Adult Confirmation class has started for 2017-2018.
Home Groups – In response to our congregation’s desire to provide deeper discipleship, a Home Group ministry was initiated with Mark Gooden leading a group for staff and Patty Muse leading the inaugural group who would, the next year, have their own Home Groups – which means we now have three groups going in homes with Patty starting a new group that will multiply next year. Different than Sunday school or traditional small groups, Home Groups meet around the intimate setting of a kitchen table. This intentionality is also expressed as Home Groups reach out to others in the neighborhood or through work who may not feel comfortable coming to Munsey’s imposing structure but would feel welcome in the home of a friend.
After an extended period of discernment, working with our consultants, surveys, listenings sessions, and prayerful conversations; the futures team outlined four areas that Munsey needs to be intentional for our spiritual and congregational growth. Each topic has now been delegated to an appropriate team to begin implementation and grow these specific ministries and programs and would like to share and celebrate these directions below:
Young Adult Ministries - To grow our young adult ministries we needed a pastor focused on this ministry and are very excited to have Ryan Beavers as our new Associate Pastor. Ryan brings an enhanced energy to addressing many ministry opportunities to Munsey. There has been a Young Adult Ministry Team formed to assist Ryan and provide focus and resources for hopefully many new options for reaching our young adult community.
Small Group Development - Is an area that we feel is important due to the size and diversity of worship opportunities at Munsey. In addition to Sunday School time this focus can help our congregation connect with a group to help them grow spiritually and in service. There are plans for new bible study and home-groups that will help our congregation be accountable and grow their ministries.
Communications - As a diverse and growing congregation, we need to continually be intentional about how and where we “tell our story” as a church to our congregation and to the Johnson City community. There are so many ministries, programs, and events that deserved to be communicated effectively that we have brought Kathy Pennington on staff to help us facilitate the coordination of how we communicate internally and externally as a church.
Hospitality - As stated above, Munsey is a large congregation and has many options for worship. We needed to be more intentional about how we assist prospective and new members with all that is happening at Munsey. We have brought Susan Fortune onboard to coordinate our “Ask Me” program to place more Munsey Ambassadors throughout the building and parking areas to assist our guests to navigate our facility and help them connect with a worship and Sunday School opportunity. We are also looking to renovate our fellowship hall to create a central gathering location for Sunday mornings that should help with communication and giving our visitors a place to learn more about how they can connect at Munsey.
MINISTRY IN THE COMMUNITY
North Side Food Partnership, our partnership with Food City and other non-profits, supplies food to North Side Elementary families at risk of hunger. Our volunteers packed 125 boxes for this mission in August.
MUNSEY-NECX CHRISTMAS PARTY - This December will mark the 20th year of Munsey’s participation in a Christmas gathering at NECX. Led by Neal Francisco, 25-30 Munsey members bring Christmas to 120 residents of the correctional facility through food, song, and fellowship.
Additional Ministries to Celebrate
Our Daily Bread
Veterans Stand Down
We have 8 Life Groups who meet on Wednesday nights, with an average of 64 students & adults involved each week.
An average of 28 Sr. Highs meet at Chick-fil-A each Thursday morning for Prayer Breakfast at 6:30am.
Our Jr. High Pick-Up program has a lot of fun each week & helps with service projects monthly, serving through our Care Exchange & with North Side’s Educare program.
We have a group of 21 energized & dedicated students leading their peers in our Student Leadership Team. They meet each month to plan events & programs & to consider how to best serve all involved in Munsey Youth.
107 students & adults attended Resurrection in January.
Students led worship through their Youth Sundays in the Journey in November, Sanctuary in February, & in Open Door in May.
We started a new monthly Youth worship service called The Turnout.
We celebrated this spring with 10 eighth graders who were confirmed & 27 graduating seniors.
We sent 2 youth mission teams out this past summer. One went to Rainelle, WV in June & served through Appalachia Service Project, & the other was our JC for JC local mission team, where we stayed at Munsey & served in Johnson City in July.
We will sponsor the third annual North Side Teacher Tree at Christmas, where Munsey provides gifts for around 60 North Side staff members.
More than 250 children, youth, and adult volunteers joined us for Hero Central VBS, during which we discovered the qualities that make us all heroes with God.
Our Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Founder’s Park continues to grow in numbers each year, as the Johnson City community joins our Munsey Family for a morning of fun and fellowship.
3rd graders learned more about their Bibles during their first Munsey overnight, 4th and 5th graders enjoyed a night of Sleeping with the Sharks at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, and 6th graders prepared for their move from children’s ministry into youth group as they conquered fears and sought adventure on a high element Ropes course.
Through HWY 56, our 5th and 6th graders enjoyed fun and fellowship, participated in service projects, and experienced lessons about the Fruit of the Spirit and our Methodist heritage.
24 children explored God’s creation and shared a lot of fun and laughter during Munsey’s Day Camp.
25 Kindergarteners and 3rd graders received Bible Storybooks or Children’s Bibles as we celebrated Bible Sunday and acknowledged their growing ability to read God’s Word and the stories of His love for themselves.
In Children’s Choirs, our Munsey children learn songs to lead in worship, and become adept at African Drumming and playing Orff instruments (and have a lot of fun along the way).
Munsey Preschool and Kindergarten reached enrollment numbers just two students shy of full capacity.
CHURCH & SOCIETY
Care for Creation Sunday, Hope for Justice, Bread for the World, Blessing of the Animals and Neighborhood Reconciliation Services (NRS) highlight your Church and Society Team’s ministry during past several months.
Human trafficking is an issue impacting our region more than most of us realize. We have been working with Hope for Justice, an organization whose mission is to end human trafficking which many consider to be modern day slavery. We had an awareness program this spring attended by over 160 representatives from agencies and organizations that can help identify and help trafficking victims.
We held our annual blessing of the animals, a popular even attended by many Munsey members, guests, and their pets this spring.
Bread for the World Sunday was led by our ministers and featured sermons related to hunger and the problems it poses for millions in our world. This special day also included a letter writing campaign to our congressmen and senators to encourage funding be sustained for federal programs to help combat hunger.
Neighborhood Reconciliation Services (NRS) seeks to help people and organizations resolve conflicts and peacefully and outside of the legal system. We have developed a partnership with NRS to help develop a truancy program for Northside School. This will support our other active ministries with Northside by helping students improve attendance and subsequently their performance in the classroom.
Bimonthly Grief Support offered at the JC Mem. Community Center by Michael Lester.
40 homebound members receive regular care contacts and visits through Care Exchange. Care Exchange, formerly Munsey Service Group, connects intergenerational groups in learning from and caring for one another.
Care Cards, led by Connie Willeford, send cards each month to those who are ill, grieving, or in need of encouragement.
Homebound members receive communion monthly from servant volunteers led by Tom Corum.
Munsey Families grieving the death of a loved one are served a delicious meal by our Bereavement Committee. This is truly “comfort food”.
Pastoral counseling is offered by Michael Lester. Since last year, over 300 persons have been served through this ministry.
More and more guests are encountered each week at Journey and we are consistently welcoming new members.
A task force has been commissioned and is currently meeting to discuss how Journey can better engage young adults and young families.
More and more worshippers are choosing to serve in areas like ushering, technology, and music.
Attendance numbers are steadily increasing as we desire to open our doors to our neighbors in the surrounding areas.
Chancel Choir welcomes 10 new members in last year.
Genesis I choir celebrates 30th consecutive year of touring.
Children’s Choir enrollment include more than 50 children.
All Saints’ Concert Series initiated with the Chancel Choir, Milligan College Concert Choir, and Pianist Esther Park.
In July, an appearance by Raleigh Ringers, a world renowned performing ensemble to a standing room only audience.
OPEN DOOR WORSHIP
Open Door worship is often described as “authentic.” We hope that every worship service, everywhere, is authentic; yet there is something “rawly” authentic about Open Door worship as we Share Our Hearts and applaud a new apartment found or several consecutive days clean. We share the struggles of life, as well as rejoice in the moments of delight.
Open Door worship celebrates Stephanie Doyal, a senior at ETSU majoring in Geoscience with a concentration in Geospatial and a minor in Geology (or rocks and maps!), who has led music for over a year. She is a giant of a human being in a tiny body! She helps us put what is in our hearts in our voices as we seek to bless God with our praise.
Do you know the Call to Worship raised in the Melting Pot every Sunday? It goes like this – and is a truth:
The love of our Father is deep and wide.
We are all children of God.
God welcomes us,
and we welcome each other.
God loves us just as we are,
and God is not finished with any of us yet!