Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ

David Johnson, Past ModeratorI have truly enjoyed being your Moderator over the last 4 years. While it has been a lot of work, it has also been fun and rewarding. When I accepted the position, however, I had no idea how many challenges our church was going to face.

First Pastor Rick retired. We threw a party, we raised $15,000 to give him and his wife a parting gift. I know that they left with very good feelings about this congregation.
We went nearly 6 months without a pastor. We brought in guest speakers, but primarily we drew upon the immense talent in our own congregation. And we did just fine.

We set up a Pastoral Search Committee. They worked long and hard. We had a great many very qualified applicants. This was a prime job opening. We may not be large, but have no debts and have a very engaged and passionate congregation.

We hired a new pastor. We managed to work out all the financial details. We then had to adjust to someone new. Pastor Jeanne made it easy. She has incorporated new ideas and ways of doing things – yet left our basic structure intact – so that our church still feels as much like HOME as it always has.

We then raised enough money to put on a new roof. When the company said they didn’t have the manpower to build it last year – our strong negotiating team made sure it got done – and at a reduced price. So we had money left for new speakers, restroom updates, and sprucing up the exterior.

Then our long time piano accompanist left and we were faced with how to restructure the music program. The decisions weren’t easy, especially with limited funds. We have had music that has been relevant, inspiring, varied, and lively. Over the past 6 months I think it has been the best music since I’ve joined church.

We have continued to support our long time causes as well as add new ones. In July we will start fundraising to send our youth and adults to the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota next year. We are now seriously studying Immigrant issues.

We have faced and successfully met all our financial challenges. In January we projected a budget deficit for 2018 of $15,000. How are we doing so far? For the first half of the year – our deficit is only $1,500. We have a ways to go, but we are so much better off that we thought we would be. Two years ago we created a Contingency Fund for emergencies. That fund now has $20,000 in it. We hope to add to it each year.

Sadly some of our members have passed away or moved away and we miss them. But we are NOT a church in decline. We continue to see new faces. We are thriving and we are active.

We, as a congregation have faced many challenges over the last several years. I believe we have come out stronger than ever. If we tackle the next four years with equal enthusiasm and commitment we will continue to be a home for those who want to explore their spirituality and also have a positive impact on the lives of those both near and far.