Earth Care Update
On June 26, Session approved proceeding immediately with the IJF Earth Care Projects, namely, replacing the windows in the office wing and replacing the heating and cooling systems in the office and education wings. In addition, Session also approved borrowing the funds for a solar installation that will provide about 60% of the church’s annual electrical usage. This loan will be serviced by the savings in utility bills. Loan will be from the Presbyterian Investment Loan Program.
Pastoral Residency Update
Session appointed a group consisting of the Personnel Committee, the Clerk of Session, and two other members of Session to research similar programs and create a job description for the Pastoral Residency. That group has been meeting and will present a proposed job description to Session for preliminary approval soon. The proposal also will need approval from the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry (COM), because we will be seeking to make this an ordainable position. Following the approvals of Session and the COM, we will begin advertising the position and a search committee will review applicants in a process similar to a Pastoral Nominating Committee – but somewhat shorter because this is a designated time position rather than a permanent call. The process may take a while, especially for our first Resident, but we are trying to do this right, which means it will not necessarily be fast!
Cincinnati Scholar House Update
A meeting is scheduled for July 15 to begin working on the financial terms of our relationship with Cincinnati Union Bethel, the nonprofit organization that manages Cincinnati Scholar House. Construction of CSH is well underway on McMillan Street between Gilbert and Park.
Thank You to everyone for making payments on your Investing in a Just Future pledges. Please use the IJF envelopes in the pews and write a separate check. Do not use the IJF envelopes for your Estimate of Giving payments; use regular pew envelopes. IJF and EOG payments go into different accounts, so please make it easier for your staff and Treasurer by writing two checks.
From prayer rocks to prayer flags, the creative duo of Judy Lindblad and Valerie Bernardino (pictured below) were the impetus behind Investing in a Just Future’s playful and spiritual focus to support our ambitious undertaking. Prayer is both personal and purposeful. To personalize and focus our prayers tactically, names were written on small flat rocks, exchanged with others… helping us remember to pray for each other on the journey toward a Just Future. Displaying our written and drawn prayers on over 100 flags visualized our deepest hopes, dreams, and concerns as we venture forward for the Church, the Community and the Earth.
Investing in a Just Future is Mt. Auburn’s three-year initiative to transform our earth, our community and our church, including our denomination. We celebrate that our fundraising goal of $750,000 is 91% fulfilled. Additional gifts and pledges to be paid over the next three years are welcome. Planning is underway for the Pastoral Residency and Carbon Footprint Reduction projects. Later this year, volunteer opportunities will be available to interact with our community project – Cincinnati Scholar House in Walnut Hills. Check out the bulletin board in the social hall for more information or talk with Pastor Stacey about how you can get involved.
Prayer was an important part of the journey of discernment as we planned our Investing in a Just Future initiative. Please continue to pray creatively for Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church, the three projects, our staff and volunteers, and individual members and friends of our community. Prayer rocks are available in a basket in the narthex. You can continue to exchange rocks weekly or periodically or add your name to a rock if you don’t have one.
Thank you, Valerie and Judy, for inspiring us to pray with imagination and love. To learn more about prayer and how it can rock your world, check out these resources:
February 24 is our Commitment Sunday! We invite all of you to bring your commitment cards if you haven’t already mailed them in, as we join together in Investing in a Just Future. As of last Sunday, we already have 24 early pledges turned in for a total of $412,160 – that’s over halfway to our full goal of $750,000! Our church leadership has really gotten excited about a future in which we expand our justice seeking capacity in church, community, and creation. How will you support this important initiative?
Read more about how we’re Investing in a Just Future in our second newsletter: IJF Newsletter 2
We know you have questions about the Investing in a Just Future initiative. We’ve answered some of them here in our Frequently Asked Questions document.
Investing in a Just Future FAQ
Join the Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition of Cincinnati for an interfaith march, prayer service, and program for MLK Jr. Day on Monday, January 21. You can participate at 10am at the Freedom Center, 11am at Fountain Square, 12pm at Music Hall, or any of the above. Pastor Stacey will be offering a prayer during the service at Fountain Square. Get more information at https://mlkcoalition.org/about/
For many months, a group of church members commissioned by Session has been exploring what’s next in our congregational life. Where can we devote our time, talent, and treasure to expand our work of love and justice? We’ve been talking about this initiative for quite some time now, but we’re delighted to present to you our first official communication about our plan for Investing in a Just Future at MAPC. Read all about it now, and look for even more information in the new year!
Investing in a Just Future Newsletter