Dear members and friends of Valley Park,
May and June are two of the most important months of the year at Valley Park because in these months the church membership meets two times to approve leadership and a budget that gives direction to the ministries for the next fiscal year. The fiscal year runs from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. Our meetings are:
The Annual Church Business Meeting – An annual business meeting shall be held on the first Sunday in May, at which the church officers shall be elected. The new officers and committee members shall take office on May 30.
The Annual Church Budget Meeting – The Annual Budget Meeting shall be held the last Sunday of June to adopt the church budget for the following fiscal year.
The first of our Annual Meetings is May 6. At this meeting we approve the people who will serve on the Board of Deacons for the coming fiscal year. These deacons will prepare the budget and present it to the church membership two weeks before the Annual Church Budget Meeting. There is a lot of work to do before the second week of June for the deacons approved by the members.
The Greek word for “deacon” simply means “servant.” It is translated in different ways in different contexts: deacon, servant and even minister. The role of a deacon at Valley Park is to represent the interests of the church membership by serving in the oversight of our ministries, facilities and administrative needs as a non-profit corporation.
In the next year, we are encouraged that the Spanish-speaking congregation will be moving toward the establishment of their own “deacons” to oversee the ministries of their congregation. On January 22, 2018, the Board of Deacons voted to formally establish them as “self-governing” with the following decision.
“We, the Deacons of VP, formally recognize the Spanish-speaking congregation as a ministry supported by Valley Park Baptist Church with authority to govern its own leadership, ministries and fellowship while sharing a commitment to “voluntary cooperation” with Valley Park Baptist Church.”
Thus, this year, instead of voting for a deacon from the Spanish-speaking ministry, we are now welcoming a non-voting representative from their congregation. This person, appointed by them, will attend meetings of Valley Park’s Board of Deacons in order to represent the interests of their congregation and our cooperative commitments. In this way we will continue to celebrate our unity and oneness as two congregations using the same property while overseeing separate ministries.
Our English-speaking membership is approving the leadership who will be responsible for managing our ministries and budget for 2018-19. I am proud of those who have agreed to serve us for the next year. Every person elected is someone who has earned a reputation for the following:
- He/She fulfills the requirements for serving the church as a deacon as described in I Timothy 3:8-12.
- He/She has displayed commitment to honoring our “Church Covenant” requiring investment in knowing and loving the people within our common fellowship.
- He/She has already displayed a commitment to serving the members of our common fellowship and we know them to be reliable, trustworthy, giving and committed to Jesus Christ.
- He/She has humbly accepted the invitation to serve the membership in the management of Valley Park Church for a three-year term.
It is important that those we have approved to lead us are sustained by our prayers and commitment to serving along-side of them in their individual ministries. Deacons are ministry leaders and the ministries of Valley Park are our shared responsibility. Let us commit ourselves to working together in order to build a healthier Valley Park.
I pray that God will give our deacons strength and wisdom to serve us with excellence in the year to come. I pray also that Jesus Christ will be honored through our willingness to serve along-side of them.