A New Decade of Ministry
“I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.” – Philippians 1:3
Blessings to a new decade of ministry at Immanuel! The following is my annual letter that is found in the annual report. I include it here so if by chance people must miss the meeting, they will have an opportunity to share in the ministry.
Grace and peace to a New Year at Immanuel!
I give thanks to God for you as you encourage one another in faith. This is my fifth report as I begin my fifth year at Immanuel. This last year has proven to be a blessed one as I continue to follow the work of Word and Sacrament: to preach, teach, administer the sacraments, marry, bury, comfort and challenge you in ministry. Those are the key areas of pastoral ministry. Your ministry is even more important. I pray that you will continue to pray what God has for you to do in response to God’s love in your life. The following are some of the gifts you have and need to continue to use: To serve in worship as readers, greeters, assistants, ushers, choristers, acolytes, and altar care; To attend worship, Bible Studies, Sunday school, special events; To love the neighbor by visiting, mentoring, bringing communion, feeding the poor, and raising money for those in need. To support the young by sending them to camp, teaching them, planning events, being a chaperone, and praying for them; To engage in the community by being Christ for others and inviting loved ones to worship; To serve when one in our Body dies and to comfort the bereaved. These things God calls you to at Immanuel and I continue to pray that God will help and guide you in your daily baptismal promises.
2009 – The Big Stuff:
• National Youth Gathering: The year of 2009 brought a year of amazing fundraising. Nineteen high-school students and four adults traveled to New Orleans for the ELCA National Youth Gathering. We had a blast, slept very little, worshiped God, cleaned up schools, and met many New Orleans natives. It was a time of Jesus, Justice, Jazz. It was one of the highlights of the whole year. I want to specially thank the congregation in their help to send the kids and adults there. I also want to specially thank Doug & Lisa Thronson, Charlene Baynton, and all the adults who volunteered in making the trip possible, responsible, and fun!
• Immanuel Web Site: The evangelism committee’s first order of business was to begin a web-site for Immanuel. Now you can see the newsletter on-line and look up schedule, staff info, and history. Go on-line to see it at www.immanuel-strum.com.
• ELCA Churchwide Assembly: By now, everyone is aware of the decisions that were made at the assembly in August and the direct impact of those decisions. Some are in crisis over these decisions. Others celebrate. Still others are muddled over what affect these decisions will have on the ELCA. Despite what the media makes it to be, few congregations are leaving the ELCA. The continued stress of our Bishop and all church wide units is that there is a place for voices of dissent in this church. We continue to pray for unity in the ELCA, and also for continued ministry at Immanuel as a part of the greater church in this world.
2010: The Big Goals:
• Mission Trip 2010: Come August 1st, twelve disciples from Immanuel will be going on a weeklong mission trip to St. Sault Marie, Michigan. We may be involved in the following: working with children, aiding the elderly, and painting/yard work for people in need. We will be having a fundraising brunch on March 7th after the worship service. The meal will cost $7.00. Children under six eat for $3.00. And, we will also have a basket raffle. Look for those baskets and tickets to buy after worship in February.
• Cherish our Children: “The church can’t make society safe for kids. So the church needs to make kids safe for society.” Seventy Immanuel members were matched to seventy of our young people to pray for each day in 2009. We continue to pray each day for our children. The second phase of the program should occur sometime in 2010. Thank you for praying for our young people.
• Worship Schedule Recommendations: In May of this last year, the Worship Committee, Evangelism committee and the Church Council attended a workshop at Trinity Lutheran Church in Eau Claire to determine if Immanuel was ready to go to a Wednesday evening service. This led the committees to look at the schedule at Immanuel, knowing that some changes in schedule were needed. A questionnaire was sent out with a very good response. The recommendations for schedule change were based upon those questionnaires as well as a great deal of conversation between several committees. In hope that the recommendations will be accepted by the congregation, the schedule change for Sundays will begin February 7th, and you will note that the newsletter already shows this new schedule since the newsletter had to be printed before this meeting. If the congregation decides against the new schedule, than a letter to the congregation will need to be sent to reflect the decision and update the schedule to the original times. Please see the Worship Recommendations Committee Report for the new schedule.
So much has happened this year and continues to happen at Immanuel. We are in the work of Jesus Christ here, so ministry is always happening. It is too much to place in a brief report. However, my hope is that as we continue in the faith together, that people will find energy to volunteer at their church. As lives become busier and busier, and our culture becomes dominant in vying for our time and energy, the church is ever more in need of the faithful to carry it. Jesus Christ is still the church, but we are his body. Without the body, we cannot be Christ for this community. May we continue to challenge ourselves to that commitment of discipleship each and every day. Your sister in Christ, Pastor Christine
Posted inSubmitted by Pastor Christine on January 31, 2010 - 11:03pm.