Statement of Purpose
Exploring Faith. Changing Lives. Sardis Presbyterian Church is an inclusive congregation called to equip disciples of Jesus Christ to impact the world by: Praising God our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer; Learning about Godâ€™s will for our lives; Loving one another unconditionally; Serving neighbors near and far; Sharing the gifts with which we have been blessed; and Witnessing to the Good News of Jesus Christ to provide hope for the world. Our purpose is fulfilled through these Ministries equipping the members of Sardis as well as people beyond our church walls. Praising
Fellowship; Life & Care
A Note from Joe B . . .…… 2019 was a direction setting year for Sardis Presbyterian Church. Our new Statement of Purpose Exploring Faith. Changing Lives. was introduced in the fall, as was the slightly altered language describing how we intend to go about that by including people and equipping them with six Core Discipleship Actions to make an impact in the world to the glory of God. The primary aim of this Annual Report is to show us how we did in living into our purpose in the past year. It is not meant to be 100% comprehensive. I think you did a great job, especially considering we did not have this Statement of Purpose in its present form until late in the year. Well done! This report is organized around our six Core Discipleship Actions and many of the items included could fall in multiple categories. For example, our new church bus brings people from Plantation Estates to worship, takes members away on fellowship and mission trips, brings in our Room In the Inn guests, and broadcasts who we are on its side. Also, some major things that were accomplished do not get fully covered in this format, such as the extensive work done in finalizing our Ministry restructuring. On the facing page, you can see which Session and Diaconate Ministries are primarily responsible for equipping Sardis for each of our six Core Discipleship Actions. The Clerk’s Committee (volunteer human resources), the Personnel Ministry (paid human resources), the Administration Ministry (finances, property, and communication), and the Sardis Gift Trust work broadly to support all of our endeavors. The Youth and Children sub-committees of the Faith Formation Ministry work to engage their respective charges in all six areas, too. We are still learning about our new Statement of Purpose and some of the words carry multiple meanings. Loving, Serving, and Sharing may be the most confusing. Think of it this way: Loving is building meaningful relationships within the congregation; Serving is about helping others outside of the church by the things we do; Sharing is the giving of material resources. For example, if you scooped mash potatoes onto plates at a Sardis fellowship event, that was LOVING. If you scooped mash potatoes onto plates at the Urban Ministry Center, that was SERVING. If you made a donation that bought the potatoes for either activity, that was SHARING. Of course, outside of our particular statement, all three words could describe all three activities. Finally, many staff and church members contributed to getting this Annual Report completed, but I especially want to thank my Executive Assistant, Robin Medlock, for her creativity, diligence, and patience with me in producing this document. Peace in Christ,
6100 Sardis Road Charlotte, NC 28270
The month of April had the highest average worship attendance followed by February, January, and March.
Basketball Sunday (660)
at 9:00 a.m.
at 11:00 a.m.
compared to 881 in 2018.
966 worshipers After Easter, the attendance Sundays were
Easter Sunday brought
Boy Scout Sunday (568) January 6 (540) September 8 (510) Confirmation Sunday (498)
The attendance Sundays were Labor Day weekend (120) December 29 (201) July 7 (206)
Special Services 6 Weddings / 1 Vow Renewal / 11 Funerals
Memorial Day weekend (290) Give One Day (293)
The 6th lowest was October 13. (Panthers game in London at 9:30 a.m., 294).
On Give One Day Sunday, the 9:00 a.m. service was again moved to 10:00 a.m., but we kept an 11:00 a.m. service for those not participating in the Rise Against Hunger service project. 85 people attended that 11:00 service, adding 51 to last year’s total number of Give One Day worshipers. We continued to have special services on Ash Wednesday with Sardis Baptist (201 attending, 171 in 2018), Maundy
Thursday (159 attending, not recorded in 2018), and Good Friday with Sardis Baptist and St. Stephen UMC (at Sardis Baptist in 2019).
878 compared to 571 in 2018. 5:00 p.m. Family Service = 330 7:00 p.m. = 358 9:00 p.m. Communion = 190
God our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer
Choir Concerts- Arise: Vierne Solemn Mass and The Lake Isle Sounds of Christmas with St. Stephen UMC
6 new sanctuary choir members 10 different members participated in the Praise Band
Worship Ministry arranged placing the songs to be sung at the 9:00 worship Service each Sunday on Spotify in order for the congregation to be more familiar with the songs and to enjoy singing along with the Praise Band. A link to Spotify is now sent to all members each Wednesday.
YOU DON’T WANT TO
Jonah preached from a whale.
Youth Bells (Jubilate Ringers) = 16 Youth Choir (Agape Singers) = 16 Children’s Choir = 13 The Fellowship Hall stage was redesigned and both services received seasonal visual enhancement
by the Worship Arts Team. Lent brought a sermon series on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The angel Gabriel, who looked a lot like Elise Yount, interrupted one of Joe B.’s sermons. We spent year highlighting the meaning of baptism, pouring water in the font at each service. Worship Ministry formed a Communion Task Force to suggest changes to how we celebrate The
Lord’s Supper. They proposed additional dates for 2020 and 2021 and will continue suggesting changes in the way communion will be served throughout 2020. In January, Steven Pappas, Kaitlyn Davros, Jared Daugherty, and Joe B. Martin
attended the Worship Together Conference in Nashville to learn more about enhancing our contemporary worship.
Youth led another outstanding Youth Sunday
9 children and youth attended the Montreat
with 41 youth participating.
Worship and Music Conference.
12 children participated in worship orientation class during the month of January.
45 children participated in SMASH (Sardis Music & Arts Summer Hoopla).
5 children attended Communion Preparation in October.
Sardis ordained its first ever Youth Elder, Elena Lueck, who served on Worship Ministry, and elected another for 2020, Anna Carpenter, who also has chosen to serve on Worship Ministry. Twice a semester, Steven Pappas and the Youth Praise Band lead the Sunday Night Fellowship program in worship.
Following an Officer Retreat with Dr. Ken McFadyen of Union Presbyterian Seminary, a task force was formed to write a new statement of purpose,
Exploring Faith. Changing Lives. Redesigning our ministry structure merged Christian Education Ministry with
Youth Ministry into the Faith Formation Ministry that has 3 subcommittees: children, youth, and adults. In addition to regular Thursday morning and mid-week circle studies, a 12-week Fast Track Disciple Bible Study met on Thursday evenings and other seasonal mid-week studies with multiple sessions each week were offered during Lent (Between the Testaments) and in the fall (Nehemiah). Joshua Becker, author of The
Minimalist Home, spoke to a full sanctuary on a Monday evening about
decluttering your life to make room in it for the things that are really important. For the summer, Adult Sunday School classes combined to teach each other by rotating teaching opportunities in the style of each class. A Sunday morning Coffee and Conversation for parents quickly developed into a new Sunday School class led by Rev. Katie Harrington. A new Bible Study for guys coming to play pickup basketball on Wednesday nights began in the fall and studied what we learn about the Kingdom of God through Jesus’ parables. A series of adult classes called “What
Presbyterians Believe About . . .” became a monthly occurrence. It was
designed primarily for new and prospective members with existing adult classes having the option to join in. Joe B. led sessions on topics like the Trinity, Baptism, Prayer, the Lord’s Supper, Holy Days, and Original Sin. Gov. James G. Martin led three sessions on Science and Religion with a little politics thrown in and Rev. Dr. Jan Edmiston, General Presbyter of the Presbytery of Charlotte, led a session on the purpose and structure of the
Presbyterian Church (USA).
Sardis now has
about God’s will for our lives
members exploring their calling in seminary! Sara Martin is at
High School Sabbath met and wrestled with difficult topics and how the Bible addresses them. Such discussions included voting, politics, war, self-defense, homosexuality, women’s rights, and many more. Students were engaged in presenting, as well as being active participants.
Seminary in Charlotte and Jonathan Lee is at Yale Divinity School.
Middle School Sabbath met and discussed how “The Impossible Becomes Possible,” looking at several different biblical stories. Confirmation leaders and Faith Formation staff met in the spring to redesign the Confirmation Class experience as our first program to be guided by our new Statement of Purpose.
The VBS theme was To
Mars and Beyond
with 140 children participating.
86 youth and adult volunteers made it happen with 8 church staff members
Sarah Dianne Jones was hired as Director of Children’s Ministry just before Vacation Bible School and hit the ground running.
and Jobi-wan Kenobi.
Did You K n O W ? Elementary Fellowship Scavenger Hunt
Rev. Dr. Jane Fobel resurrected the Sardis Stephen Ministry program, which has started strong with 2 Stephen Leaders and 15 Stephen Ministers. The Friendship Connection provided 2 field trips and 9 lunches with programs that included NC History, Tariq Bokhari, and an FBI agent who talked about elder fraud.
Life and Care Ministry facilitates flowers from the sanctuary being delivered to homebound members each week; sending notes of sympathy, care, and celebrations of life as causes arise; providing Soup for the Soul to those ill or hospitalized; and prayer shawls being delivered to those grieving, ill, hospitalized, or in need of prayer. Annual
33 74 30
attended the 2019 Women’s Retreat Ignite! came to the Advent Tea. participated in the Advent Hope and Remembrance communion service.
Pumpkinpalooza and Fall Community Picnic events drew big crowds who had a lot of fun again this year.
Perhaps no ministry at Sardis does a better job of teaching people how to work together as a group than our basketball
program, which supported 24 teams and 226 players in
2018-19 and started 2019-20 with 234 on 26 teams. In February we thanked retiring commissioners Tim Little and Ray Boardman for their many years of leading our basketball program in faith and fun. Jeff Wilkinson has taken on the role of commissioner. At the Christmas Dinner, 250 attendees enjoyed a fun and inspiring program provided by Throne Together & Friends with additional hospitality provided by the confirmation class. In response to an unusually large number of prayer concerns in the congregation, 120 people attended the Umbrella
Prayer Service on January 23.
13 Mustard Seed Groups (MSG’s) continued gathering regularly for spiritual fellowship with the men’s MSG’s meeting together one Friday for breakfast at the Community Culinary School of Charlotte.
“Sardis has become our second family. My children know that Sardis is a safe place and that everyone here is part of our family. We have made some of our best friends here through Mustard Seed Groups and other fellowship events.”
one another unconditionally
The Personnel Ministry acknowledged all staff members on birthdays and work anniversaries and provided a staff appreciation lunch in November. Ministry provided 9 memorial receptions following funerals as well as 10
30 members went caroling to homebound members on December 22.
bereavement meals to the families of the deceased. Sue Chowning, Parish Aide, made over
300 visits to 55 people, most of whom are our homebound members.
congregation 4 times during the year as part of their Sunday Night Fellowship activities.
22 high school youth attended the Montreat Youth Conference and 12 middle school youth attended the Middle School Youth Conference at Maryville College.
Life and Care Ministry delivered 113 vases of
The Youth Ministry rented out a movie theater for the screening of Star Wars 9: The Rise of
flowers to shut-ins and those ill or recuperating.
Skywalker and it was filled with 90 Sardis
Youth Both High School and Middle School Youth Ministries participated in spring and fall retreats. High school students went skiing at Winterplace and to the beach in September. Middle school students went to the beach in March and to Camp Holston in October. During the fall retreats, both groups examined our new Statement of Purpose and made videos to explore the six Core Discipleship Action words.
36 different adult leaders volunteer to make all of our Youth Ministry activities happen. Youth visited shut-in members of our
members who were led in Star Wars trivia before the screening by Darth HAdrian Martin.
Children Launched Preschool
Fellowship with two events in
the Fall with 6 families participating. Held Chapel each Wednesday during the school year with Sardis Weekday School children and teachers.
Pre-school fellowship got rolling with popsicles on the playground.
served pizza to over 300 Rama staff and family members at the Science and Writing Night in February
Raised over $12,000 and provided 4,800 books for Rama students to read over the summer.
hosted eighty Rama staff members for the Back to School Orientation in August Forty Sardis volunteers provided afterschool homework help, math and reading tutoring, and media center help for Rama students.
The Sardis provided gifts for 175 children from 92 Rama families.
Missions Ministry donated over
$78,000 to 16 local agencies. our monthly mission opportunity at the Urban Ministry soup kitchen impacted 1,547 hungry neighbors. Many neighbors were fed but our hearts were fed and changed with compassion and justice for those hungry and homeless.
Thanks to Marianne and Norm Schulâ€™s generous donation through the Sardis Gift Trust, Sardis acquired a new Schul bus!
neighbors near and far
A 5 member Sardis-Families Forward Charlotte Leadership Team was formed with two members not currently on Missions Ministry reaching out to the congregation for greater awareness of FFC. This group has worked to discover how we can best serve together in this Sardis-FFC partnership. Members have helped transport furniture for families, donated a car, participated in the backpacking event, and made donations. Technical Arts Coordinator, John Nipe, produced a video to encourage more members to volunteer with Room
in the Inn.
65 results were received from Mission Ministry’s congregational survey and volunteers were contacted about serving in Sardis outreach programs.
Almost 200 Sardis members worked preparing meals with this Intergenerational mission Opportunity.
11 middle school students participated in the Charlotte Mission Adventure, a three day, two night mission experience in Charlotte where we serve at various agencies, including Rama Road, Crisis Assistance, and creek cleaning.
8 high school students traveled to Daytona Beach, FL to help repair a house that was damaged in storms several years ago. Our crew worked so hard that the group in charge kept running out of things for us to do each day.
High school and college students served one day at the soup kitchen at Urban Ministry Center. The middle school students prepared and delivered over 1200 sandwiches to Urban Ministry Center.
Children’s VBS Supply Collections For Community Link & Families forward
The Sardis Angel Tree provided Christmas
from the annual budget totaled
$169,750 or 9% of our budget. That does not include mission
results in 2018 were sufficient to provide raises for non-ministerial staff.
gifts for 175 children
giving to the Presbytery of Charlotte or these Special Offerings:
from 92 Rama Road families.
10¢-A-Meal - $15,462.20 One Great Hour of Sharing - $6,543.00 A Book of My Own (Rama Rd.) - $12,215
(4,800 books- a new Sardis record!)
Souper Bowl of Caring - $3,640.09 Christmas Joy - $4,127.50 Christmas Eve Offering for Loaves & Fishes - $5,086.16
Bayonnais Maternity Fund - $2,022
The Sardis Gift Trust , which provides resources for ministry through several endowed funds, grew from
Bayonnais Medical Fund - $2,502
$1,248,914.49 to 1,658,935.72
Bayonnias School Fund - $912
in 2019 and funded in whole or part:
Alternative Gift Market
Children’s Hope Alliance - $1,182 Families Forward - $1,277 Habitat for Humanity - $1,577 Loaves and Fishes - $2,562 Marion Medical Mission - $1,707
Partnership with Families Forward for
Rama Road families - $10,500 The new Schul Bus - $5,237.72 Seminary Student Support - $2,820 Concrete Fellowship Hall Sidewalk - $7,142.28
Rama Road Backpack Program - $1,252
Total Alternative Gift Market - $14,993 Stewardship, Property, and Finance
were put together as subcommittees of the Administration Ministry to facilitate better communication to coordinate the use all of our financial and physical resources.
The Administration Ministry established a new Financial Reserves account to help manage and balance the 2019 budget, recommended to Session that we place significant dollars from a large estate gift toward deferred property maintenance, and successfully reduced our long term debt from $928,700 as of 12/31/18 to $496,121 as of 10/31/19, a
Thanks to our Facilities Team of Mark Slimer, Dennis Easter, Sam Johnson, and Alfredo Mendoza, we were able to SHARE OUR SPACE with all these outside organizations 2019:
the gifts with which we have been blessed
Youth / children’s Fundraisers Pancake Breakfast = $1,194.77 Bake Sale = $2,362.00 Treble Trot = $3,971.41
An outside audit firm reviewed our 2018 financial results and policies, resulting in a clean audit opinion and very positive feedback.
Great job, Jennifer Childers! Not every change is immediately successful. This year, all of the Advent/ Christmas-related sales and donations were moved into one Christmas Market in the Children’s Library with the hope of simplifying some of the chaos in the Gathering Place and providing one location to which people could be directed to purchase poinsettias, trees, Alternative Gift Market cards, or items for the Angel Tree. Traffic did, indeed, clear up in the Gathering Area, but not enough of it headed to the Christmas Market.
We had several food, clothing, school supply, and blood drives. Loaves and Fishes Food Drive collected 652 lbs. of food in June. November set a record for Sardis with
1,080 lbs. of food! Crisis Assistance Ministry = 48 bags of clothing, 2 bags of bedspreads, and 2 backpacks collected and delivered in May. Red Cross Blood Drive = 91 donations of blood in 2019.
AA Shining Stars Charlotte Secondary School Allegro Toastmasters Families Forward Ministry Development Services Stonehaven HOA Providence Day School East Mecklenburg HS South Meck COM Camp Holiday Oak Creek HOA Rama Road Elementary Community Culinary School of Charlotte Tucker UMC Choir, GA First Presbyterian Castlewood, SD Daughters of the American Revolution Goodwill Emory University Mid-Carolina’s Handbell Festival WIE Champions Whitehead Manor Red Cross Community Exercise Group Sardis Forest Swim Club Board of Elections Sardis Forest HOA Bobby Hope Lyle Book Club SEE-Student Enrichment Exp. for the Blind 3 Boy Scout Troops 2 Girl Scout Troops Cub Scouts
33 42 Number of outside Number of Internal groups and/or events sardis hosted in 2019
organizations sardis hosted in 2019
Membership Ministry Reached out to 22 new members to help them to discover areas of interest at Sardis and facilitated contacts as needed. Hosted new members as guests to the Sardis Christmas dinner. Sent 1500 postcards to homes in two zip-codes closest to
Thanks to a generous donation of time and talent from Pat Burgess (Joe B.’s stepfather) lighting in the narthex was enhanced to make it more welcoming and to display the beautiful blue stained glass window to passersby.
Sardis Church inviting community to Sardis worship and Pumpkinpalooza. Re-stated Ministry Mission to reflect enabling/equipping/ encouraging all members of the community that attend Sardis not just church members. Recruited Parking Lot Greeters to welcome visitors on Sunday mornings. Membership Exploration classes were held 3 times followed by campus tours the next week. The sacrament of Baptism was administered to 10 children. 51 new members joined the church as active members. See the Statistical Report on the last page for more details on membership. On May 19, the confirmation class of 19 youth joined the church by profession of faith.
In regards to the weekly email:
Top 10% of ConstantContact users
to the Good News of Jesus Christ to provide hope for the world
104 New Facebook Followers
hospitality The Membership Ministry focused on creating a ministry of hospitality for our visitors by staffing welcome tables at both services and writing cards to first time visitors. New members were called to discover ways to engage them in the life of the church. The Gathering Place temporarily borrowed some furniture from the Sardis House and became a more comfortable place for gathering. It will return when Room In the Inn is complete. A new coffee maker and a new brand of coffee now help people stay awake during the sermon on Sunday mornings. Positive feedback was received. Hopefully this will encourage more interaction each Sunday morning, as well as enhancing the experience of visitors. This year a Covered Dish Lunch was held on the Sunday following Vacation Bible School. Many nonmember VBS families joined us for worship and fellowship. Nursery Coordinator, Jenny Walker, does a great job of making first time visitors with young children feel welcome.
Youth regularly invite friends to Sardis activities. One Friday Frenzy in the fall, this resulted in 53 participants. Some of the guests to our ministry have become regular participants and even joined the church.
Increased awareness of Church Life App in minute for missions and had a ‘drop in’ to help members to connect to the church life app.
Phase two of Campus signage was completed letting people know who we are, where we are, and how to get around to participate in what we are doing. Final installation happened in January 2020.
Director of Communications, Nikki
Bolton, produced countless materials We are better at welcoming visitors when we know who
“…we’ve had a really good increase of folks using the app and updating their information and pictures in our database. The time that folks on membership took to show others how to use the app on 10/20 & 10/27 has really seemed to pay off. Thank you all!!” - Danelle Kime, staff
that creatively, consistently, and effectively communicate who we are and what we believe God is calling us to do with the use of our new Statement of Purpose.
In her first full year, Elizabeth Angerson has done a fantastic job of keeping the weekday school and the church connected.
2019 Year in Review
Continued growth in our 2019-2020 summer camp and school enrollment.
Additions to the Weekday School - Sun shade on toddler playground, new free standing sand boxes with covers, new shed for playground equipment and garden tool storage.
Growing connections with Families Forward Charlotte by collecting for their Family Essentials baskets.
Making new connections with the Soup for the Sardis Soul. We partnered with this program to make and hand out soup to those Sardis families in need.
Continuing our growth of the Sardis garden with lots of support from Ruth Harris and Renfrow Hardware.
Connecting school families in activities such as Halloween parade/picnic, and the Christmas Pageant.
Celebrating the support from our Parent Committee with a very successful turnout and support for our Spirit Night at Brixx Pizza.
Continuing our educational growth with workshops for Sardis Weekday School staff and church families, from Rooted and Grounded with Cathie Broocks to such topics as technology and education, and I AM Reading.
Adrian Martin, Dir. of Youth Ministry Jenny Walker, Nursery Coordinator
Jennifer Childers, Dir. of Administration
Dennis Easter, Facility Team Robin Medlock, Exec. Asst. to Sr. Pastor
Jane Fobel, Associate Pastor
Katie Harrington, Associate Pastor Steven Pappas, Contemporary Worship Leader
Jared Daugherty, Minister of Music
Alfredo Mendoza, Facility Team Sue Chowning, Parish Aide
Danelle Kime, Asst. for Admin. & Membership
Mark Slimer, Dir. of Facilities
Sarah Dianne Jones, Dir. of Childrenâ€™s Ministry
Kaitlyn Davros, Assoc. Dir. of Music/ Organist
Joe B. Martin, Senior Pastor
Sam Johnson, Facility Team
Elizabeth Angerson, Dir. of Sardis Weekday School
Nikki Bolton, Dir. of Communications
John Nipe, Technical Arts Coordinator