Pastor Ron Koppelmann, Jr.
Grace and peace to all of you at First Presbyterian Church in Sullivan, MO.
Our journey started together in April 2015. Where did the time go? It seems like yesterday we started, but then again it seems like it has been awhile too. There has been a lot that has happened since then. On a personal note I retired from a job that I had for nearly 29 years, and I know, without a doubt, it was the right time to retire. And since retiring God has opened up other avenues for me and for this GREAT congregation. So, let’s see where our journey is going to take us.
In May of 2015, we had a brain storming session. We made some plans and set some goals, (short term goals and long term goals). Let’s look at one of the long term goals; paying off the mortgage! Well, as we all know God had other ideas about this. We will have a new neighbor to our north, and what better neighbor can we have than the library. Praise God for that blessing and a goal being reached. What were some of the long term goals we had? Think about them and keep reaching for them. As for short term goals, we talked about public relations, community involvement and that scary one, “Evangelism”. Have you given a trifold flyer to someone? Have you invited someone and given them a church business card, where your information is on the back, or invited them to the movie night we just held or to the concerts we hosted? Were you able to help with the food drive we participated in this past summer? These are just some of the PR ideas, community functions, and evangelism ideas that we took part in. We even got a little air time on the local TV at the parade.
I will have to say, it does seem like our name is getting out there. We have had a few visitors that have begun to come regularly, and you treat them like they are one of the church. Great Job!!! But you know, I think one place we are a little shy is in asking people to come to church. So, maybe through the extra activities we are having, we can spark an interest in other people. One thing about it, a church that stays active will remain that way and will grow. With that said, by taking small steps, this is how we are going to accomplish our goals, one step at a time. By not being, “a they church, a them church, a me church or an I church.” We, working together, will accomplish our goals one at a time.
When we look at the mission that our church is involved in, it is astonishing. The Mission Committee does an excellent job with helping out schools at the beginning of the year with supplies for students that need support. Also, making gifts for our shut-ins, and there is so much more they do. There are several Anonymous meetings here, where people are trying to change their lives and leave the bad stuff in life behind. Then there is all the other help we give in the community to those who we are charged by Jesus Christ to help.
There is something going on around here most of the week. To help make this church stronger, get involved with one of these groups. Friends in Fellowship, formerly known as the Mariner’s Group, have a great time together. Sometimes there is a program and there is always something great to eat, and believe me it is good! There is a Bible study group that has interesting discussions, even a knitting group who make the prayer shawls and lap blankets, which are blessed and given to people who we are concerned about. This, my friends, is another form of God’s love that we share with others.
Before I close, I would like to thank you all for the Love that you have shown me and Cindy from the time we have come together and become one as a church, and as a part of the body of Christ together. I would also like to thank you for the support and faith that you have given to me to help lead this congregation to new heights or levels, and to continue to discern what God has in plan for all of us. I would also like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to be pastor of this GREAT congregation.
We all offer a lot of things. We give hope to those who have no hope. We give love to those that are hurting. And we show the image of God to all who are around us, in hopes that they may find Christ, too.
Keep working together, keep blessing each other, and May God bless you all greatly. Amen.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” Helen Keller