Wow! What a celebration of welcoming our newest Community members and the WV#148 Weekend Event! We were blessed with many new members this year. Let’s follow through on our sponsorship responsibilities, as we recall during our own time of receiving our cross: “Christ is counting on you… I am counting on Christ!” Engage our newer members, bring them to Gatherings, reunion groups, 4th Day Workshops, guide, and mentor them – towards development within their own churches, all for the glory of our Lord!

Fall is a period of transition. It is in the air, and on the ground for some of us! The Community is entering a period of transition too. At the November Board of Director’s meeting, the Board will elect next year’s Community Lay Director. That person will be announced during the November 12th Gathering. We will also firm up the nominations for new Board members. So far, we have nominees Bobbi Michael, Paige Davis, Dee Barnett, Ron Barnett, and Cindy Rauch. During this past year I appointed John Unger and Keith Rauch to special purpose functions associated with the Board. According to our Bylaws, as a Community we should vote on their continuance for a normal three-year period, making them full Board members. With the results of the elections, the new CLD will appoint a new Assistant CLD and communicate with the new Board to match talent, desires, and needs of the Community. There is no Board meeting or Gathering during December.

As a reminder, the Board meetings are open to the Community – all are welcome to observe sitting within the room, but not at the table. This helps to share knowledge of the proceedings, and maintain meeting efficiency. If Community members have concerns they would like to address, they should notify the CLD or ACLD well ahead of the meeting so that time can be scheduled. There may be times when the meeting is closed to the Community members while discussing personal or sensitive matters.

The new ACLD and I, as the off-going CLD will head up next year’s Team Selection Committee with the assistance of the Community Spiritual Directors. We will select two experienced Community  members to help in using our member database and making decisions on providing guidance to the selected Weekend Lay Directors. The TSC does not make up the weekend event teams. Rather they provide gleaned information, guidance, address questions, and keep the Board appraised of the progress of the selections. The TSC focuses on qualifications, leadership development, reduction of back-to-back teaming (this is not always possible), and make recommendations for team assignments. At least one TSC member attends the team’s first leadership meeting to answer questions, assist the team’s Weekend Board Representative, and provide procedural guidance as necessary.

Please submit team applications if you desire to team in 2023. Please submit Pilgrim applications at any time.

We are exploring options for our online 24-hour prayer vigil. The two that we have used recently are cumbersome and inconsistent. We have a candidate option and will continue to test it and look for other means. Hopefully this will alleviate the last-minute rush to fill open slots at Send Off/Sponsor’s Hour.

I look forward to seeing you for the in-person voting, celebration of those Community members that had passed in the last year, and our monthly worship at the November 12th 6pm Gathering at Bedington UMC in Martinsburg. We will also have a 4th Day Workshop at 4pm – Sponsors, please bring your new community members. In fact, all are welcome! The refresher might provide deeper insight into sponsoring and teaming. 

DeColores and Blessings,

Steve Gray
Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia Emmaus Community Lay Director.