Together we continue to make Christ’s love visible.
“…for someone who trusts (faith), anything can be done.” Mark 9:23b
It’s wonderful to share ministry at Southwood.
This last year we saw the spirit lead us in our serving, missions, teaching, music, and caring activities. As we look forward, Sunday worship attendance is growing, and our connection to God’s Grace is evident. We hear from new attendees how the Spirit is felt when you walk into this place.
Our search for a pastor will be entering a third year. Whether that’s a senior pastor or a co-exec pastorate, time will tell. You’ve elected council members who are awesome, caring and have our best interest in mind.
It’s exciting to be a part of the Vitality initiative where we study the strengths of our past, consider public data to find insights in our community we serve and gain insight for the future. With God’s help we will be even more vital and effective in serving the spiritual needs of our community. You will hear more about it in the coming year.
We are hopeful for what the next year will bring in 2024 and give thanks for a year filled with God’s work and gifts used.
Thanks be to God!
All confirmed, communing, and contributing members of the congregation are urged to join together for a celebration of God’s blessings upon Southwood, and to conduct the annual congregational meeting. At this meeting, we’ll be making decisions about Southwood’s future, including our 2024 budget and election of our Church Council members.
Shared by recent new members:
Planning began for creative ways to invite our new neighbors to Southwood.
Fall & Winter Brunch: 430 attendees each. Women's spring gathering: 130 attendees. Pride Picnic: 50 attendees (doubled from prior year). Social Groups: 160 participants. "My friend has been inviting me to Southwood Seniors for a while, and I'm so glad I came today."
NEW! Sunday Morning Classes: 150 participants. NEW! Book Club: 55 participants. NEW! Online worship attendees' option to engage with staff. Study Groups: 233 participants. "The support of our Small Group was a great help to persevere in this difficult time."
695 people served to help people feel More than Welcome, They Belong. NEW! Safety Training for all volunteers was offered in-person and via emailed resources.
208,940 Bible crafts created.
375 children registered for Sunday School
308 children registered for Vacation Bible School
9,750 Volunteer hours served.
268 people made a difference in children's lives:
48 Hearts changed with the gift of 3rd Grade Bibles.
200+ children and family members attended.
750 Snacks served.
180 students and 35 volunteers participated.
50 students participated in gatherings and/or retreats and mission trips.
Between Sunday School, mission trips, and community service, our Youth have served a total of 3,500 volunteer hours for the sake of others.
25 students involved in Sunday Morning volunteer opportunities.
Planning to take a group of Young Adults to Tanzania in June of 2024.
Opportunities to sing in the Mixed Choir, Men’s Chorus, and Women’s Chorus with only a few rehearsals provide easy entry-level ways for people to engage in choir.
Children in 3rd -5th grade also had the opportunity to sing in a short-term choir this summer. These will continue to be offered in 2024.
The Music Ministry shared music with various ministry partners such as Yankee Hill Village, Pemberly Place and Mosaic throughout the year. Reaching out beyond the walls of the church is a way of sharing God's love with the community around us.
Throughout this past year handbells have been used in worship in a variety of ways including accompanying hymns and choir anthems.
Mercy Meals Event on Mission Sunday gave the Sunday School kids a great opportunity to serve alongside adults. Together they packed 45,792 meals that will be shipped all over the world by Orphan Grain Train.
Southwood continues to serve in our community through Tabitha Meals on Wheels, Clinic with a Heart, Matt Talbot Kitchen & Outreach and The Gathering Place. Our volunteers are vital to the work our partners are doing to serve our neighbors.
Held 13 funerals at Southwood and 5 funerals offsite.
136 prayer shawls and 38 baby blankets were created as gifts to our congregation and community.
Hosted the "Belonging with Bluey" parenting session.
69 financial assistance requests received from the community and congregation.
12 families received Thanksgiving meals and Christmas gifts.
3 Healing Prayer services held. 16 congregational members honored during All Saints Sunday worship.