Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Finally, I had a moment to breath and write (and what an unexpected joy). In the past 10 days, we said good-bye and released into God’s loving arms two members of our congregation. I know that our newsletter team is eagerly awaiting this article so that they can begin to do the work of organizing and compiling for distribution. This is my third attempt at this article. Somehow, I am hoping and thinking this third attempt is the one to send you.
You might be asking yourself, “what about the first two?” Well it ended up being a little over 2 pages and as I read over it – I had decided it was more of a sermon than an article – so look for that sermon to come to you on a Sunday morning sometime in the very near future. As for the second, I think it was my opportunity to release some of the things that have been stirring within my heart. There was one common thread however, for all three. I have been praying about and asking God to help me discern God’s call for both myself and for All Saints. **Quick note – THS IS NOT a letter to drop a hint that I am looking for something different. You’re not going to get rid of me that easy! I am truly discerning how God is calling each of us in our daily lives, in our congregation, and in God’s mission in this community and the world.
As a pastor, I am called to the things that are obvious to all of us. Those duties include, but are not limited to, leading worship, teaching confirmation classes, visiting, and officiating at weddings, funerals, and baptisms. I am also here to help this congregation discern ASLC’s calling in the community both now and more importantly into the future.
We are literally just months away from our next Annual meeting as a congregation. As a congregation, we have really struggled with our budget and finances. At the writing of this email, we are substantially short in meeting our budget needs in the amount of over $10,000. Our giving has been down this summer by more than 4% under last year.
All of this leads me to three questions that I have been wrestling with, and I am hoping we can begin to have conversation, in order to address this in December (just 3 months away). Here are my questions:
· Who is All Saints Lutheran Church right now?
· Where would this congregation like to be in the future?
o 10 years from now?
o 5 years from now?
o 2 years from now?
o Next year?
· What do we need to do to make that happen?
Our Stewardship Sunday is coming up in September. I am hoping that you can begin prayerfully considering how God is calling you (and your family) in the life of this congregation, through time, talent and/or giving.
We were tagged by Delta’s mayor one day, as he called us “The biggest little church in the county.” That alone helps us to identify who we are and how we are called. You all are such an amazing gift to me and the life of this community. I am excited to see how God will call us and lead us in the future. What an exciting time it is! Thanks be to God!
Pr. Paul <><
p.s. – Do you know what Luther said? “Grant that I may not pray with my mouth alone; help me that I may pray from the depths of my heart.”