I want to divide my letter to you into three parts this month.
First- great ideas!!!
A wonderful thing is happening at Faith. Folks are coming up with wonderful ideas for fellowship, outreach, clean-up and more. What a wonderful sign of the Spirit moving in our midst!
That being said, in order for things to proceed in a good way we are asking you to enter into a process if you have a great idea. The first step is to share your idea with pastor or with Deb, our council president. They will take it to council who will think about how it can be implemented and through which ministry team. Some things council may decide need to be done later, or they may have ideas about how to tweak the idea so that it fits into everything else happening and being worked on. But, your ideas will be welcomed and we will give you feedback from the council. Ideas work better when we are all working together and this simple procedure will make sure that ideas and dreams and visions become part of our direction in life together. Thank you all for letting the Spirit move!
Second: transition...where are we? What is next?
The transition team has worked very hard to complete the MSP (paperwork that goes to the Synod to tell candidates about Faith!) Council reviewed it at their last meeting suggesting a few tweaks. We will have it for congregational review next week. This will mean that all of our documents will be ready to go to the Dean’s meeting in October. After that we wait as the Deans match our profile to a candidate seeking a call and send a name to our call committee. When the call committee receives a name, they review the candidate’s profile (telling the call committee about the candidate), set up and conduct an interview and prayerfully consider whether or not to recommend the candidate to the council. If they do, the council interviews and prayerfully considers whether or not to recommend the candidate to the congregation. If they do times are arranged for the congregation to meet the candidate and for the candidate to lead worship. A congregational meeting is set to follow that worship and the congregation votes. How long does it take? Well, there are many, many factors that go into this. The best answer may be, this is a Spirit-led, prayer-filled process. It is God’s time. Please continue to hold the church and this process in prayer and let me know if you have questions or concerns.
As we have moved through the transition process, and as the anticipation and anxiety of calling a new pastor has risen, some questions have been posed by members regarding the ELCA. What does it mean that Faith belongs to the ELCA? What does the ELCA offer to us and we to them? What does the ELCA teach and believe? These are all great and important questions so we have set aside several weeks to explore these questions at Adult Forum each Sunday from 9- 10am. I hope that many will be able to attend. After the first week I was asked to provide an outline of topics. I have a hunch that we might get off track but here is the general plan.
Please note that there is no class on September 29th
Sept 15- Structure and polity of the ELCA. How are we governed? Who’s who? How do we relate to other Lutheran Church bodies?
September 22- ELCA - where do we reach and what do we teach? A look at all of the resources, ministries, and tools that are part of the ELCA locally, nationally and globally. What does it mean to belong to the ELCA?
October 6 - What do we teach and believe? Social statements and how they are formed and used.
October 13- What does the ELCA say about Human Sexuality?
October 20- What does being an ELCA congregation mean to our call process?
October 27- Loose ends - what questions and concerns do you still have.
Continuing in loving service in Jesus’ name.