Hi everybody. I’m just about to begin my fourth year as President of the Board of Trustees of Sunrise Chapel, and I’d like to point out a few good reasons why we can all feel optimistic about where we are — and where we’re going.

First, we’ve been blessed with three exceptional pastors in a row – – the reverends Frank Rose, Glenn Alden, and Nathan Gladish. Nathan is just completing his first year, and he’s already accomplished so many things.

Since a pastor isn’t really in a position to claim credit for much of what he does, I’d like to outline some of his early successes. First, he managed to find some money from the General Church’s outreach fund to bring some nifty things with him — including a projector that can be used to project computer images on a movie screen or even a blank wall. It’s been used at the semi-annual and annual meetings to make viewing of various charts and pictures easy for everyone.

We used to have to pay an independent web company $35 for each edit to our website, www.sunrisechapel.org, so of course we didn’t update it very much or very often. However, Nathan has employed his considerable website creation skills to provide us with a complete and up-to-date makeover of our website. It’s better looking and more informative than ever. If you haven’t looked at it recently, make sure you spend some time with it soon. (sunrisechapel.org)

Sunrise Chapel is also revamping its Facebook page. We’re now taking advantage of so-called “social media” in a way that we never did before. (If you’re familiar with Facebook and would like to be one of our volunteer “administrators” to make sure it’s updated with the latest and most interesting information, please let Nathan or Billie know).

As those who attended the annual meeting on May 20th saw, we now have detailed plans for growth and outreach to the community. Many of those plans have evolved over the years, but they also have been augmented by the work done by our congregants in the Joseph Project (also know as the Healthy Church Future Project). Some of the goals include providing more services both within the Sunrise Chapel and in the larger Tucson community. Marriage counseling, both for enrichment and to help couples make adjustments to become happier, will begin later this year.

As Nathan is fond of saying, “if we provide genuine services to the community, church growth will follow by itself.” One of those services we provide is offering weddings, completed by structured counseling sessions with the pastor, leading up to the commitment ceremony.

We already rent the facility to a number of outside groups, including AA, Al-anon, Young Champions karate, and many more. We will continue to offer reasonable rentals to the community for worthy uses.

Our annual Patio Sale, put together every spring by the Women’s Guild, was a huge financial success again this year. And, of course, the Arizona Mountain Camp maintains a year-round effort to provide the opportunities for spiritual growth for people of all ages, and scholarships for many who would otherwise not be able to attend. Thanks to the volunteers in both of those groups for giving us great success in their events year after year.

Our stated goal to become financially self-sustaining by 2019, without an annual stipend from the General Church, is another cherished goal we are working toward. Not only are we working very hard toward achieving financial independence, but we’re finding ways to contribute to our own well- being and that of the wider community at the same time.

What’s the easiest path for you to help us grow? You know what areas you’re most talented in, but don’t overlook the benefit to all of us from just inviting your friends and neighbors to attend a worship service to enjoy the heavenly prospects — in every sense of the word — that we see from Sunrise Chapel.

We are very good at reminding ourselves of areas where growth of one sort or another is lacking – and we should also be ready to acknowledge areas where there are green shoots of progress, provided by the Lord and by our own members and attenders. Keep up the good work!