Dear Community,

I want to express my appreciation for being the Community Lay Director for 2022, and how blessed I feel in serving in that capacity. Thank you all for your support, for pulling together to overcome the struggles of restarting our Weekends, and for the times you helped keep me stay on course. God is good – all the time!

Carl Kaempfer was selected by the Board in November to be the CLD for 2023, and in December, he selected Cindy Rauch to serve as the 2023 Assistant Community Lay Director. The Community elected new Board members in November to replace those that have served three years (maybe more due to the pandemic) and Carl is lining up the new assignments to prepare for the first Board meeting in 2023.

In 2022, we worked to get the Weekends rolling. This included re-visiting Weekend Lay Director, team leadership, Weekend Board Representative, and team member candidacy and selection processes. We also tuned up the procedures for Weekend Event support such as Send Off/Sponsors Hour, Candles, and Closing.  Carl has a desire to continue looking at all legacy documentation and bring them up to speed to ensure they align with our annual Upper Room Covenant and the three Upper Room manuals: Community Manual, Directors Manual, and Team Manual, and meets our local needs. He has a vision of three online ‘booklets’ that cover our 4th Day activities, Weekend Event Support by the Community, and the Weekend Event. After they are built, they can be made available to the Community via our website. Updates and edits will be made to the base documents, converted, and replace prior editions. The hope is that all information, checklist models, and activity-driven guides will be in one place.

Another large initiative that the Board voted to start is Community Outreach and Education. This is led by Pastor John Unger and includes many facets of our 4th Day: 4th Day Workshop, Sponsoring/Teaming, Restoring the Community, Reunion Groups, External Community Engagement, and Emmaus Community Involvement. We hope to hold numerous localized brief sessions to help education and update the Community on our 4th Day behaviors. Plus engage each team as they begin their team formation process. This is a large initiative that will hopefully be carried out with many hands, making the work lighter.

I will continue to serve the Board and Community as the outgoing CLD in an advisory role. I very much look forward to the continuing development of our Community and engagement of new and seasoned Community members!

Barbara and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a safe and healthy New Year!!

DeColores and Blessings,

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