In the recent weeks, the Nominating Committee has been tasked again with meeting and compiling the education, music, and mission leadership of the congregation. It is a list of names, from year to year, that guide and teach in ways that shape “who we are” as a community of faith. Each of these leaders, along with the groups they teach, creates space in the church for living into “who we are” as a congregation, as the body of Christ.

On this list, we find Sunday School teachers, children’s choir and handbell directors, coordinators of the Brotherhood and Jail Ministry, facilitators of Discipleship Training and Connecting Faith and Family, and leaders in the youth and college ministries. We find greeters and teachers, who make space in the church for living into “who we are” as a congregation. It is fitting for us to pause, as the Nominating Committee begins its work, to recognize and to thank all of these leaders for what they do.

We are grateful for the gifts of study and prayer, service and music. They connect us to one another, marking us in sacred ways and representing many of the distinct characteristics of our congregation, and they also connect us to the community around us. They shape “who we are” as people of faith, so we carry them with us when we leave this place into the community around us. Whenever we enter these classrooms and sanctuaries, we continue to become the body of Christ, and when we leave this place, we go forth slightly different, as more of “who we are.”

The leaders of the education, music, and missions of the congregation spend time reading and studying, praying and preparing, reflecting and speaking to us and for us. They bring their gifts to bear on “who we are,” and they empower us to do the same. We learn and grow, as we care and support one another as a community of faith. They help us, and we help one another, to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength as well as to better love our neighbor as ourselves.

They help us to form deeper community, caring for one another; sharpening our faith, changing how we see this world and our lives; extending the same welcome we find around the Lord’s Table, inviting all to participate; and sending us out to share with the surrounding community what we find in the shared community of faith.

We are grateful to them, and to one another, as we live into “who we are” as a congregation. We give thanks for their leadership and their preparation, and we are also thankful to the Nominating Committee as they begin their work again this year. When we see our teachers, directors, coordinators, or facilitators throughout the congregation, let us thank them again for all they do.

Auburn First Baptist Church