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WORDS OF FAITH - May 20, 2010

posted May 23, 2010, 10:31 PM by Matt Anderson

An occasional newsletter for the members and friends of Faith Lutheran Mission Church of Eau Claire

May 20, 2010

 

Crazy.

 

That’s what Pastor Anderson called us on Sunday.  It’s crazy to start a new church with no building...no pastor.  But, as Pastor Anderson also told us, it’s just the kind of crazy that God calls for when he sends us into the world to tell the story of a God who would send his own son to die, so that we might live.

 

Our craziness moves to new levels in the coming weeks and months as we move forward in church-building.  The steering committee has announced a strategic planning timetable designed to lay the groundwork for the future ministry of this church and its members. 

 

Here’s the timetable we propose: 

 

June 6:  Congregational Chartering Meeting (during fellowship after worship)

  • Charter members are identified and recorded
  • Adoption of constitution and bylaws
  • Election of congregation council and officers
  • Commitment cards are handed out and turned in

 

June 8:  First Council Meeting

  • Proposed budget is developed
  • Call committee is proposed

 

June 13:  Special Congregational Meeting (during fellowship after worship)

  • Adoption of budget
  • Selection of call committee

 

June 15:  Special Council Meeting

  • Council finishes position description for pastor

 

June 18: 

  • Pastoral position is posted

 

July: 

  • Pastor candidates are interviewed
  • Council begins narrowing potential sites for Sunday morning worship

 

August: 

  • Pastor is called
  • Council finalizes Sunday morning worship plan

 

September:

  • Pastor begins service to the congregation
  • Morning services begin with education and fellowship

 

Between Now and June 6

 

The timetable proposed is aggressive and ambitious, but with God’s help, it can happen.  Here’s how the congregation is being asked to prepare for these actions:

 

Chartering

This week, the steering committee finalized the draft constitution and bylaws.  Later this week the documents will be sent electronically to those with e-mail, and several printed copies will be made available at church on Sunday.  During the fellowship time this Sunday, we’ll take some time to discuss the document, and the steering committee will welcome your questions and comments.

What to do:  Read the constitution and amendments.  Come with questions and suggestions.  Consider where you might help within the council and committees.                       .

 

Those persons in our records who have not yet indicated they plan to be charter members will be invited to do so in the next three weeks.

What to do:  Make sure you’ve let us know you hope to be a member.  Ask your friends.

 

Commitment and Budget

Members will be asked at the chartering meeting to make a financial commitment to the congregation, so that a faithful budget might be developed.  The amount of that commitment will help the council decide whether we call a part-time or a full-time pastor. The steering committee will develop expense and missions aspects of the budget to hand off to the new council in advance of the June 6 meeting.  The council will finish developing that budget at its organizational meeting June 8, and will present that budget for congregational approval at the June 13 meeting.

What to do:  Prayerfully consider what you can pledge to the work of this congregation, and come ready to make that pledge June 6.

 

Congregation Council

The proposed budget establishes a church council of seven to eleven members with staggered terms.  From that group, the congregation will elect a president, vice-president, treasurer and secretary.  Prior to the meeting, the steering committee – working as a nominating committee -- will seek members of the congregation who are called to serve on the council.  Anyone wishing to help the steering committee with this effort may join it in the St. Matthew’s church library each of the next two Tuesday nights (May 25 & June 1).

What to do:  Prayerfully consider whether you may be called to serve this congregation as a council member, perhaps as an officer.  If so, please let any member of the steering committee know you are interested, put your name on the sign-up sheet that will be available after Sunday’s service, or nominate yourself from the floor at the meeting June 6.

 

Calling a Pastor

The timetable calls for a pastoral job description (letter of call) to be developed by the church council, with the position posted and a call committee in place by mid-June, with the hopes of interviewing pastors before the congregation during July, and placing a call in August.  This Sunday, during our fellowship period, we’ll be asking for your ideas for attributes we want in a pastor.

What to do:  Prayerfully consider being a member of the call committee.  Think about the attributes and skills appropriate for a pastor in this congregation, and share those ideas.  Pray that God will lead us to the right servant, and lead that servant to us.

 

Sunday Morning Worship

Several individuals in the congregation have already been investigating possible locations for a Sunday morning worship time, and that effort will continue, probably delegated primarily to the property committee that will be established after passage of the constitution.  That committee should make a plan to have us in a Sunday morning worship setting by September.

What to do:  Prayerfully consider being a member of the property committee.  If you know of locations that would support Sunday morning worship, fellowship and education, please alert the steering committee.  Pray that God will lead us to the place we should be.

 

Pray and participate as we seek God’s guidance on these important matters.

 

This week’s worship

Pastor Gerald Hibbard will lead our worship on Pentecost Sunday (don’t forget to wear some red).  Pastor Hibbard, who lives in Chetek, has been a Lutheran pastor since 1958, and currently serves our fellow Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) affiliate Stanfold Lutheran Church in Rice Lake.  Expected to join Pastor Hibbard with us on Sunday are Dr. Lowell and Shirley Kristensen of Chetek, who will share their testimony of the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives. 

 

News, Notes and Calendar Items

·        Saturday, May 22:  The Augustana District of LCMC holds it constituting convention in Hutchinson, Minnesota.  While our steering committee has not committed to joining this district, they welcome any and all to join for the constituting convention between 10 a.m and 3 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church.  If you can’t make it in person, you can follow the proceedings online at www.augustanadistrict.org.

 

·        We are invited and encouraged to participate in the ordination service of Joel Smeby at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (LCMC) in Minneapolis Sunday, May 23, at 3 p.m.  Details can be found at www.stpaulschurch.info.

 

·        Steering Committee meets Tuesday night, May 25 in the library at 7 p.m.  All are welcome!

 

·        Wednesday night, May 26 at 7 p.m., Bob Moore’s Bible Study continues.  Join us to learn more about the Gospel of Salvation.

 

·        Save the Date!  On July 11, our friends at Stanfold Lutheran Church have invited the LCMC churches in western Wisconsin to join them for worship at 9:30 a.m., with a fellowship picnic to follow.  More details to come, but it will be a great opportunity to connect with some of our fellow LCMC members to celebrate our Christian friendship.

 

·        Remember in prayer the Flaten families, as they mourn the death of Roger’s sister Mary Jane Smith of Eau Claire earlier today.  Also, hold Arrian Lundquist up in prayer as he begins his deployment with the U.S. Marines in Okinawa.

 

Closing Prayer...

We’re in a very exciting, very intense time in our congregation.  But FLMC member Marylin Howard shares this prayer, which it perfect for reminding us to listen for God’s still, small voice.

 

Father, thank you for each and every day You have blessed us here on earth.  Thank You for Your tender mercies. Thank You for giving us friends and family to share these joys with.  I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and those I care deeply for who are reading this right now.

 

Where there is joy, give them continued joy.  Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy.

 

Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence.  Where there is need, fulfill their needs.

 

Bless their homes, families, finances, their goings and their comings. 

 

In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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