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We welcome Nathan Ryan, our new Assistant Minister, to our church and open doors of new possibilities for ministry for us all.  You will see from the brief summary of his educational background and parish experience  why the Search Committee unanimously agreed to recommend Nathan to our church Board on June 30.  He begins here August 1, gradually assuming duties in Pastoral Care, Branches, Adult Religious Education, Leadership Training, Membership Training, and Worship. 

Thank you, Search Committee, for your long hours, conference calls, and extended weekends of interviews and discernment.  I know, but other members of the congregation may not fully realize, how invested you became in the process, meeting several hours every week because you were engaged in the importance and the thoroughness of the process.  May you experience joy in a job well-done.

Assumption ~ I hold this assumption about congregational life: that success with any one ministry in our church means mutual success for us all. Nathan Ryan will guide and direct several critical programs in our church which have, until this time, been led almost exclusively by volunteers who gave generously of their energies, and in several cases, years of their precious time. We make transitions again. If science tells us anything, space and time are in motion constantly. Nothing, we are told, stands still. Nathan and I will be presenting to the congregation a covenant of our working relationship this fall, a transparent and early sign of how we intend to work together in our collaborative and specific ministerial responsibilities.

Please VOTE after the Jazz Worship Services, September 2 ~ We welcome back our fine musician friends from the LSU School of Music. After the second service, the Board of Trustees will present a summary of the feasibility study conducted by our stewardship consultant, Mark Ewert, and a recommendation on whether to proceed with the Capital/Growth Drive. The feasibility study, which will be conducted August 9 - 15, is designed to inform the congregation on whether to launch a capital drive to fund the identified projects in our strategic plan.

Read it and don't weep ~ we are planning to discontinue mailing hard copies of our monthly newsletter sometime this fall.  If you are reading this sentence now and prefer having a copy of the monthly newsletter sent to you through the postal service, let us know, and we'll continue mailing you your copy.  If you do not currently receive weekly announcements from our office, we probably do not have an accurate email address for you.  Please contact us so we can stay connected with you.  For example, everyone on our email list got a breaking news headline sent to them on July 13 regarding the pending announcement from the Assistant Minister Search Committee.  Did you get the word?

Invocation and Benediction ~ I'll deliver both on Friday, August 3, at the LSU Summer Commencement ceremonies.

Assumption Two ~ Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I think the republic will survive the presidential elections.  I believe Baton Rouge will get a transit system worthy of its citizens even if the Louisiana Supreme Court rules unconstitutional the most recent CATS tax election.  I believe the planet will not blow up into a crisp on December 22, the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar notwithstanding.  Furthermore, if tax cuts are not renewed for anyone next year, I doubt that creative entrepreneurs will stop being creative, that inventors will stop being inventive, that true patriots will love their country less, or that generous people will stop being loving and generous.