In Our Church
You have all heard the saying “it takes a village.” Well, it takes a family to do the work of the church. We need teachers and servants that ensure that Forest United Methodist church is smoothly run and provides an example of faithfulness. Some areas of service are:
Administrative Council at Large
The purpose of the church council is to plan a program of nurture, outreach, and witness; implement the plan; provide an administrative infrastructure; align the plan with the mission of the church; evaluate the effectiveness of the plan; act as the administrative agency of the charge conference.
The church council exists to create and supervise the strategic plan for Forest UMC so that the it fulfills its mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ. This twofold function includes both leadership and management. Leadership is the visionary, “big picture” work that assesses critically where your congregation is at the present moment, where God is calling it to be in the future, and what resources will be required to move from your current reality into the desired future. Management is the essential “detail work” that must be accomplished on a daily basis to make the congregation effective.
The church council model reflects and continues a historic tradition within the Church. Jesus called twelve disciples to be together in the leadership of the early Christian movement (Luke 5:1-11, 27-32; 6:12-16). Following the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, leaders of “the Way” often convened in groups to make decisions and to support each other in the work of mission and disciple- making. Acts 15 describes the Council formed at Jerusalem. Throughout the letters of Paul, especially in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12, leadership in the congregation is described as the shared work of spiritually graced men and women-the body of Christ. A church council is greater than the sum of its parts. Gifted individuals-knit together in faith, love, and commitment and empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit-can accomplish much more than any individual. We honor and glorify God best when we become the body of Christ together.
Board of Trustees
Chairperson: Andy Chambers
The board of trustees supervises and maintains all property belonging to your congregation so that the ministries of the congregation can be effective. The committee is entrusted to see to the proper keeping of God’s house as a way to honor God and to facilitate the ministry of the local church.
The primary purpose of the church building and facilities is to enable the vision and ministry of the congregation. Good stewardship, common sense, and prudence dictate that the church, parsonage, facilities, property, equipment, furnishings, and other physical property be well maintained. A physical plant that is “well groomed” and attractive is much more welcoming, safe, and hospitable than one that shows signs of benign neglect. We honor God when we care for what has been entrusted to us…
The trustees together have several legal and administrative functions. They are to:
- Oversee, maintain, and supervise all local church property. This would include conducting an annual inspection and inventory of all church property, including the parsonage.
- Report annually to the charge conference on the state of the church’s property, equipment, investments, and resources.
- Receive and administer all gifts made to the congregation; make certain that all trust funds of the congregation are invested properly. Develop guidelines for receiving and managing wills, trusts, bequests, and other investments given to the church.
- Ensure that the articles of incorporation of the congregation are kept up-to-date, if applicable.
- Be responsible, in conjunction with the pastor, for all use of the church buildings and grounds.
- Maintain adequate insurance coverage on all church property and develop appropriate risk management policies.
- Submit to the committee on finance the annual budget requests for insurance, property maintenance and improvement, and new property purchases.
- Be accountable to charge conference and to the church council.
Chairperson: Pat Dilley
A memorial is a contribution one makes in memory of a person who has died. To give a gift in another’s memory is to express the respect and love that continues beyond death. Forest United Methodist Church encourages memorial giving as a part of one’s Christian stewardship. The Memorial Committee seeks to assist persons in giving memorials by providing information and suggestions. A memorial may be established through the Memorial Committee in one of the following ways:
- You may contribute a memorial gift directly to Forest United Methodist Church.
- You may give your memorial gift directly to the family, who may then establish a memorial through our Memorial Committee.
Memorial contributions are deposited in a special Memorial Fund Account, where they remain until used to purchase a memorial. Your gift may be designated for a specific purpose, or, if you leave it undesignated for more than six months, its use will be left to the discretion of the Memorial Committee. If there are stipulations, specific limitations or expectations regarding a particular memorial, they must be reviewed and accepted by the Board of Trustees. If, for whatever reason, the Trustees feel the stipulations cannot be honored, the gift will not be accepted. The Memorial Committee invites you to consider memorial giving as a way of honoring those special people who have enriched your life.
Chairperson: Bill Haralson
The Staff-Parish Relations Committee is the administrative unit in a local church where staff and congregational interests are integrated to focus on the mission of the church.
The “Pastor-Parish Relations Committee (PPRC)” is truly a Staff-Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) because the committee relates to all staff, both bishop-appointed staff and employed staff….The S/PPRC has some of the same functions of a personnel office or Human Resources department in other organizations.
The S/PPRC has primary responsibility to work with staff so that the mission of the church is realized. The S/PPRC should have a clear understanding of your local church’s mission and vision, built upon the mission of the wider Church. Clear understanding of your church and prayerful listening to God’s direction will guide both the development of job descriptions and the assessment of staff.
The S/PPRC works with individuals and groups, including:
- the lead pastor
- all ordained leaders-both elders and deacons-appointed by the bishop
- the lay staff, full time and part time
- the congregation (individually and corporately)
- candidates for licensed and ordained ministry
- the community outside the walls of your building
- the district superintendent
- the United Methodist conference and general church staff.
Remember that The United Methodist Church has an appointive system rather than a call system for clergy leadership. The S/PPRC consults with the district superintendent about congregational needs. The S/PPRC members must spend time in prayer and Bible study in order to interpret the movement of God’s Spirit in this consultation process among the district superintendent, staff, and congregation.
Specific tasks for the S/PPRC include:
- explaining the nature and function of ministry to the staff and the congregation
- conferring with the congregation and the staff/pastor about ministry direction
- assessing the ministry of the congregation and the staff/pastor at least annually
- conferring and consulting with the district superintendent
- supporting lifelong learning for all staff (continuing education)
- identifying and supporting individuals from the congregation whom God seems to be calling for ordained ministry
- making recommendations regarding compensation, travel, benefits and housing to the church council recommending needed staff positions and developing written job descriptions and titles for associate pastors and staff
Chairperson: Allen Breland
The job of the committee on finance is to identify, perfect, and manage the finance system for the congregation. The finance system is the processes of raising, managing, and dispersing the finances so that the mission and vision of the congregation can be achieved.
The Bible speaks frequently about money and wealth and emphasizes the importance of generous giving (Proverbs 22:16; 2 Corinthians 8-9), wise investment (Luke 16:10-13); debt management (Proverbs 21:20; 22:7), prudent fiscal oversight (Luke 12:13-21; Acts 4:32-35); and appropriate attitude (1 Timothy 6:10)….Whatever income and expense is generated by the church is ultimately for the work of ministry.
A critical component of this ministry is recognition of the historic differences between Christian stewardship and funding ministry. Funding ministry, often called “fundraising,” consists of the varied tasks associated with gathering funds to enable ministry to take place. Underlying and supporting these tasks, however, is the conceptual discipline of stewardship. In our tradition, we understand ourselves as stewards who respond to our giftedness. It is this balance between the “what” (fundraising) and the “why” (stewardship) that is the genius of Wesleyan financial leadership
- Provides financial direction for the congregation and regularly reports to the church council and to individual members.
- Recommends an annual budget to support the mission and ministry of the church.
- Develops plans for the annual funding program to ensure that the financial needs of the church are met.
- Arranges for the annual audit of church financial records.
- Provides financial communications, both sharing and inviting information
- Provides financial reports and substantiation
- Nurtures growth in giving and generosity
Chairperson: Carolyn Park
The Forest United Methodist Church Missions Committee seeks to fulfill God’s mission throughout the world and to participate in the United Methodist Church’s outreach across all boundaries that divide the human family. We share the belief that everyone is called to take an active part in the ministry of Jesus Christ. We send people and disburse funds to help meet the physical and spiritual needs of all people in the name of Jesus Christ.
Chairperson: Mitzi Breland
The Worship Committee works “behind the scenes” to ensure that everything runs smoothly during our worship time together. The Worship Committee coordinates scripture readers, communion assistants, communion stewards, ushers, and greeters. They prepare the elements for communion, place candles, banners, and flowers in the sanctuary, and care for any other details that need attending to. There are a number of areas connected to the worship services where people can serve. If interested in volunteering, please contact the church office.