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Pastor's Notes from The Scribe (September 2012)

posted Sep 5, 2012, 8:52 AM by Pastor Russ Crouthamel

Pastor’s Notes

Last year, 10 members of our parish met for a retreat day to pray, study Scripture, and mediate on mission & ministry.  The group studied stories from the Book of Acts to observe how God’s people used their values and principles to make important faith decisions.  The group then reflected upon what types of values/principles shape our current faith decisions as God’s people.  Out of this retreat day came statements of how we feel God is calling us to live (Purpose) and how we live out that calling in our actions (Guiding Principles).  The Outreach Committee then met to take these ideas and form one Purpose Statement with Guiding Principles. 

“God’s purpose for our church is to be an example of our loving, forgiving, and welcoming Savior, Jesus Christ.”

We live out this purpose by:

1.     Proclaiming the Word of God that Jesus is Savior and Lord.

2.     Invite and accept with joy all people as God’s children.

3.     Be servants to all, especially the hungry, homeless, sick, forsaken, and the stranger.

4.     To act as good caretakers of all that God has entrusted to us.

5.     To pray for all people, to give thanks to God at all times, and to worship together as a community of faith.  

I would like our parish to share this purpose statement and guiding principles.  Yes, we will still have our individual mission statements.  Nevertheless, our two congregations have had a relationship with one another over the past 100 years (according to a newspaper clipping a member of MZ shared with me a few weeks ago).  I realize (like any relationship) we have had our “ups and downs.”  Yet, we have remained together because we realize we can accomplish more in the name of Christ with one another than we can apart from one another.  In my four years we have shared pastoral ministry, office ministry, funeral ministry, worship ministry, fellowship ministry, fundraising ministry, and education ministry.  I hope we will continue in our commitment to one another for the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.         

So, what does this mean for us? 

First, I would like for you to reflect upon this purpose statement and guiding principles.  Keep this newsletter nearby in order to read these items and commit them to memory.  When you come to worship on Sunday morning, take a brief moment to read these items and, if the Spirit moves you, pray about them during the prelude (a sign with the purpose statement and principles has been posted in the narthexes for the past few months). 

Second, feel free to ask me questions.  If you have any concerns or thoughts, I encourage you to share them with me.  Also, discuss this purpose statement and guiding principles with one another (whether it is within your homes or during a congregation gathering). 

 Lastly, the councils of both congregations have expressed interest in making this a joint statement of our parish.  We can strengthen our ministry by sharing God’s purpose for us with one another.  It is my hope we will make this purpose statement and guiding principles official at our annual congregational meetings (MZ – October 28; FE – November 11). 

God’s Peace ~ Pastor Maureen