Much of our efforts at Prince of Peace over the last six months have involved moving our staffing configuration from concept to reality. Now that the puzzle piece are falling into place I’m also becoming aware of how my role is changing in the process. The daily work of ministry will soon be shared with a number of others, freeing me to live more fully into the call that I was given here to Prince of Peace. I’m excited for these changes to finally take shape and anticipate a busy fall for all of our shared ministries. It will be great to have a full team of collaborators in place to help plan and lead us forward.
- Associate Pastor: After a thorough period of discernment, the call committee forwarded its final recommendation (Reverend Elizabeth Hoium) to the Council, who subsequently voted to forward the recommendation on to the Congregation. The congregation voted to extend a call to Pastor Betsy on August 26. The Personnel Committee has prepared the compensation package and draft call documents to be reviewed by the Bishop’s office. In anticipation of a positive outcome and formal 10/1 start date, some preliminary planning is already underway. A date for installation has been set for 10/28. Pastor Betsy is also making herself available prior to her start to participate in some planning to help her hit the ground running in October.
- Visitation/Congregational Care: Pastor Ruth was hired and began her service with us mid-July. With the help of Pastor Lynn and Anne Haugen, she has been oriented to most of our on-going pastoral care and visitation concerns. An office for her use is being prepared on the lower level including a fresh coat of paint and repaired phone service. (Thanks to Tara & the Monday Morning Crew!)
- Youth Director: Cori Forcey, the interview committee (and high school youth’s) recommendation accepted the position as offered by the Personnel Committee. She began formally in mid-August and a date for her “commissioning” will be set soon.
- Funeral Coordinator: We have received one candidate application and we are still looking for members to serve on an interview/selection committee. I have met individually with the candidate for a scoping interview and hope to convene the full interview committee shortly.
- “Tasting the Bread of Life” series began on July 29 and continued through August. We communed each week and have received a bit of positive feedback on this front. The worship committee has taken note and will keep this in mind as future worship planning is conducted. There are no immediate plans to change from current communion practice on 1st, 3rd & 5th Sundays.
- The varieties of planning teams are digging in to the change to the Narrative Lectionary (NL) as the source of our weekly scriptural theme. In particular, the Adult Ed and Children’s Ministry committees have been doing some great brainstorming on how this change will be integrated into programming.
- On Rally Sunday, Sept. 16, Luther Seminary Professor Dr. Rolf Jacobson will join us again as our guest preacher. During our Education Hour between services, Rolf and I will be setting the stage for the coming year and introducing the whole community to the Narrative Lectionary (NL) that will shape our life together. All will gather together in the sanctuary for the first 15 minutes and then I will lead children and parents off to learn about the changes to our Sunday School format. Rolf will stay behind with those interested in learning more about the history and development of the NL.
- Rally Day will also include some post-worship festivities, including a kid-friendly Ninja Warrior course, pot-luck and activities for participants of all ages. Thanks to the Children’s Ministry planning team that’s making all the arrangements for this fun kick-off to our fall programming.
As I write this, the parking lot just outside my office window is being removed and prepared for re-surfacing. Though the rumble of heavy machinery is a bit of a distraction, I give thanks for the efforts being made to make our church all the more welcoming in the months and years ahead. I am also grateful to have been able to take some time away this summer with my family, including a trip to Montana and another to Chicago to help celebrate 25 years of marriage for Anne and me. And I’ll be spending the Labor Day weekend at our cabin with some of our closest friends, whose love and support keeps me going. God has blessed me so deeply and I give thanks for these amazing people in my life. Thanks too for all you continued prayers and support.