Sisters and Brothers,

This is an exciting time in Custer!  Even though spring officially began back on March 20th, it’s now finally starting to look and feel like spring.  The grass in my yard is green.  Restaurants and shops are opening up for the season.  I have grilled meat over charcoal.  And, one by one, our church’s members who head south for the winter have been coming back home to us.

It’s an exciting time in our church as the summer months bring all kinds of unique activities and opportunities for our church’s young people.  We’ll be sponsoring seven (!) young people at Placerville Camp, and sending two of our older kids to Regional Youth Event in Grinnell, Iowa.  One of them, Hunter Rice, is not only our church’s delegate to the annual conference meeting, but he has been nominated to be a delegate at General Synod, the nation-wide gathering of the United Church of Christ.

And I’m excited that we continue to make use of our church’s new mission and vision statements.  In April, the church council held a retreat in which we used the vision statement to develop specific goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics to implement the vision for the future that this congregation helped to write and approved at the annual meeting.

We’re calling this our 2020 Vision.  (I hear that someone in    Rapid City is using the same name, but I didn’t know that at the time.)

Our goals are to increase worship attendance by 10%, host more events for the community, and increase our volunteerism in the community by the end of 2020.  Specific strategies include an “Invite-a-Friend” month in September, hosting a carnival for youth in the summer and family movie nights in the winter,       doing a month-long collection for WEAVE like the one we           already do for the Storehouse, and getting volunteers to pack food bags for low income kids through the Storehouse/YMCA. 

And that’s just some of what we hope to be doing by the end of 2020.  That’s just part of our 2020 Vision.

Of course, doing all of this will require your support.  We need volunteers to help us pull this off.  If you’re interested in           participating in any of these programs, or if you want to find out more about the 2020 Vision, speak with me or a member of the church council.

These things will also require your financial support.  While many of these things can be done using only volunteers and          resources we already have, many others will require money to implement – money that, right now, isn’t in the budget.  We’re still behind financially due to our unusually large propane bill this winter.  (We’ve already spent $9,200 on propane in 2018, compared to $7,250 for the entire year in 2017).

I know what we are doing in the Custer Community Church is making a difference.  I see how this church transforms the lives of its members.  I see how we serve the least and the last and the lost in our community.  And I feel God calling us to do even more. 

I hope you see what I see.  And I hope you’ll give of your time, your talents, and your treasure to see our 2020 Vision be made a reality.


Rev. Dustin Bartlett