One year ago, during the January 2016 annual meeting, Faith Lutheran extended me a call to be your new senior pastor!
What a year it has been and what a wonderful congregation you are for my family and me. You have welcomed us in so many ways.
In January of 2017, I spent a few weeks talking about the new welcome statement that was just adopted during our annual meeting.
Over the summer, a welcoming committee came together to discuss how to tell the community that we are welcoming to others. It’s intentionally very specific. The committee served Faith Break on Jan. 22nd to help answer any questions or to explain the process that was done to come up with the statement.
I also preached about the statement, and if you missed it, you can find it on Faithfl.org, select the “Resources” tab and pick “Sermons” and find January 22nd, 2017. Or click on this link: http://bit.ly/2jEkHiP
The committee and the council also anticipated that part of the language in this welcome statement is surprising and might receive push back.
After I preached on the 22nd, I had some healthy and important conversations.
I wanted to be as transparent as possible about who Faith Lutheran is. Our vision is not to “become” the welcome statement—this is a tool for a newcomer to know they are welcome. I talked about being bi-lingual and how valuable it is to grow up learning from each other—especially being bi-political (understanding both sides of the political spectrum). I told the congregation what a gift it is for us to be together with this diversity of opinions. That sermon can be heard by clicking on this link or follow the other path and select January 29th: http://bit.ly/2jEhXlD
So… what do we do next?
The council appointed a 3 year strategic planning committee, chaired by Bob Rygh, and includes Alisa Kocian, Rebecca Fahning, Nate Katorski, and Connie Hendrickson. They are tasked with looking ahead and making SMART Goals (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) for our congregation into the next three years.
Also, we voted to go forward with a $250,000 capital campaign addressing sound/visual sanctuary upgrades, paying off more of the building debt, increasing our reserve fund, and continuing the benevolence fund that was paved by setting aside a tithe of the money from the Dorothy Clingman estate gift.
There is much to be excited about as we move forward in our mission for 2017. I thank each of you for your continued support of the ministry in the multitude of ways that you lead at Faith. Thank you! -Pastor John