Announcement of Congregational Meeting
On Wednesday, May 15, the council and redevelopment team met with Pastor Melanie Wallschlaeger, the director of evangelical mission for the SWW synod, who is our coach for the redevelopment process. The meeting was held to discuss the call process for our next pastor. As you know Pastor Linda has been with us on a 3 year term call which was originally set to end June 30th. At our annual meeting in January, we extended that call through January 2020 if necessary. Pastor Linda has said all along, and repeatedly, that as a redevelopment pastor she is committed to doing what is best for Immanuel and our goals, and for that we thank her. Because we are still in redevelopment, we will pursue a different process than the usual call process many of you are familiar with. We seek a pastor who is not only a great pastor, but who also has specific skills in guiding us in re-imagining our role in the community. This means that there is of course a smaller pool of more highly qualified individuals to draw from. Pastor Melanie will guide us in this call process, and it’s time to get started.
A congregational meeting has been scheduled on Sunday, June 2 after the worship service for the purpose of electing a call committee. The process goes like this--according to our constitution we will elect a call committee of 6 individuals with the president serving in an ex officio capacity. We hope to have a good representation of the congregation on the call committee. The call committee will spend time learning how to interview and going over information about our congregation. They will then interview one or more candidates that Pastor Melanie selects as good matches for Immanuel. When successful, the committee will recommend a candidate to the congregation, there will possibly be a meet & greet session, and then the congregation will vote on 1) extending a call, and if that is successful, 2) the call package we will offer. The time line for all of this is unknown.
There will be a transition time. As a redevelopment congregation, our transition will probably not include an interim pastor. This is one way in which our call process differs significantly from the usual process. At this point we don’t know what the transition will look like exactly or what the timeline will be.
If you are interested in being considered to serve on the call committee, please let a council member know as soon as possible. Likewise, if you know someone else who you think would be a good call committee member, please check with that person first and then contact a council member. This week would not be too soon! As we progress, the congregation will be kept as well informed as possible, while respecting the privacy of any candidates being considered and allowing the process to proceed fairly.
I’m sure you have questions--probably lots of them! So does the council. So does the redevelopment team. We don’t have all the answers right now. We are progressing one step at a time. Please pray for a smooth call process, for the members of our as yet unelected call committee, for our as yet unidentified new pastor (who at this point doesn’t know what a great deal he or she is going to be getting), and for Pastor Linda as she continues to work with and serve us. Thank you. Please plan to attend June 2nd.
Kids Kloset is in the process of developing a new delivery system and we need your input! There have been 2 meetings regarding the new delivery system and the same 3 people attended each meeting. Most of the initial organizing of inventory has been complete, but there is still much work to be done. Many of the details of the new delivery are still to be determined. In addition, we need to know how many people will be available to work with the children on a regular basis. The next meeting will be Tuesday June 4 @ 5pm. Please let Barbara in the office know if you are able to attend. There will be a sign up sheet soon for you to indicate your interest level to help
Neighborhood Garden News
May 25th… Joins us for a Garden Work Party at 4:00 PM. Bring some of your gardening tools and prepare to pull weeds.
The job will be available effective August 1, 2019. For a copy of the job description, please see Barbara in the office. If you know someone who might be interested, please tell them to submit a resume and they will be considered.
After two years of study and preparation, three of our youth will be affirming their baptism on Pentecost Sunday, June 9th.
Health and Hope Dinner
Mark your calendar — Tuesday May 28th. Sign-up sheet is in the narthex. This month we’ll provide a Mexican theme dinner.
Excerpt from May newsletter
Called into the Future – Remembering our Past
On Easter Sunday, the conclusion of the gospel reading read, “Go and tell the disciples to go to Galilee where the resurrected Christ would meet them”. Why there? Well, Galilee was thegateway to the nations, the launching place for the gospel to go forth to all the world. The disciples were being sent out of the comfort of what was known to them, into an entirely newmission of God’s design.
This is such a time for the church as well. We too, are being called into a future that we know little about, nor feel equipped to engage. But we will not go alone. Christ went before the disciples to Galilee and continues to go before us to lead the way. We are called to follow, with the promise, “I will be with you always, to the end of the age.”
The church council is presently studying a book entitled, Canoeing the Mountains. Its primary metaphor is the Lewis and Clark expedition – an expedition commissioned to discover a water route to the Pacific. Well, we all know how that went! When they reached the point at which they anticipated finding a river flowing westward, they instead encountered the Rockies. All of their training, their equipment, their understanding was of no use to them in climbing mountains.
They needed to adapt to an entirely different context than what they prepared for. Prior knowledge was of no use. They were called upon to acquire new skills and new tools. And that’s where we find ourselves as church.
As society has moved into what is known as a Post-Christian world, the church has been cast into disequilibrium. Everything we have known about how to “do church” needs to be reassessed. And that is creating a lot of anxiety. That which is familiar and comfortable needs to give way to new forms and strategies for mission.
But there is a rub. All the best strategy in the world can and is trumped by culture – in this case, the way the church has always done it. You’d think that the words, “We’ve never done it that way before”, was the 11th commandment. Our ways of doing things is etched in tablets as rock hard as the ones Moses brought down the mountain. But God is doing a new thing. The culture as we knew it is changing, and the ways of doing things that once served us well, no longer can.
We are being led by God on paths we have never walked before. And one of the most common reactions is to cling to what is familiar with every bit of strength we have. “What’s wrong with what we’ve always done?” Nothing, if we want to live in the past. But “Jesus has left the building.”
If we want to be the church for this time and culture, we need to follow Jesus into the future. It’s not going to be easy. But, as we put our trust in God, believe the best about each other, and take risks together, we will find the way. Like Lewis and Clark needing to learn to climb mountains rather than navigate waterways, we too need to discover how to effectively accomplish our call in unknown territory. Adventure lies ahead.