These past few months have been a blessed time for Messiah, praying, listening and sharing. We are grateful for the people who have walked together with us in discernment, through prayer and participation in the feedback opportunities.
This past Sunday at the Meeting of the Congregation we tried to communicate some of our understandings and resulting excitement from this process. We talked about the changing nature of the church, the opportunities created if we're nimble, and the risks that change represents.
In communicating all of this – and taking a bit more time than people generally expect in that meeting – we did not have time to communicate everything. We know people were left wondering about specifics, and whether information was being held back. We want to correct that. There is no result from the discernment process that is not completely open to the entire congregation. Please ask us any questions you have.
The following conclusions were reached by the CLT from our process:
- Messiah is called to continued ministry in North County. People of Messiah will worship there this Sunday, and the next, and onward. We are grateful that God has placed us there, and we intend to continue and expand our Gospel work in the area.
- We are not called to buy land or a building at this time. That is off the table. Might it happen in the future? If God calls us that way, certainly. We will go where God leads. But right now we believe we are called in more innovative directions.
- Which leads to this: We are called to create a staff position to help us go out into the community and develop our communities, including but not limited to North County. If this sounds a little fuzzy, it's because we're still working on the specifics. We have the concept and we're fleshing it out. We will keep you informed as this develops.
- How will we pay for this? We're still working that out as well. It wasn't included in the budget submitted Sunday because we didn't yet know enough to include it. We might do a special appeal. We might include it in a larger capital campaign to raise money for needs of our existing buildings. We might find another way. Pray with us about all of this.
- We are called to update Messiah's three ministry initiatives in line with our discernment:
1) One Mile Mission
To care for the community by insuring that every child age 0-18 living or attending school within 1 mile of Messiah's campuses has everything they need to learn and thrive.
To care for our communities as an instrument of meaningful connection, ensuring that every child 0-18 within a 1-mile radius of Messiah's campuses has everything they need to learn and thrive.
2) Teaching Congregation
To serve the ELCA as a Teaching Congregation of the Church, mentoring college interns, pastoral interns, and first-call pastoral residents.
To serve the Church as a Learning and Teaching Congregation, acting as a learning laboratory and a mentoring community.
3) Planting a second site for the congregation
To share in Jesus' Great Commission by planting a second site of Messiah in north Clark County for Word & Sacrament and service ministries.
To share in Jesus' Great Commission by further extending Messiah's ministries into our communities, trying new ideas and taking risks for the dynamic future of the Church.
We hear Messiah called not to rest on our success, but to use it toward building God's kingdom in a new and more challenging time. Messiah has been a leader in the larger church with our past work, and we want to help lead with our future work as well, as we learn how to make the Gospel present in an indifferent culture.
We don't have all the answers about Messiah's future direction, and frankly expect we never will. We will keep moving as the Holy Spirit guides us. However, we are filled with hope for God's work in the world and our part in it. Please keep asking questions and giving input as we move forward together into a faithful future for Messiah, and we will strive to keep you well informed of our work.
Kris Ann Bial, President of the Congregation
Peter and Kathy Braafladt, Co-Pastors
Greg Rhodes, North County Campus Project Manager
A Correction and an ApologyAn error was made on page 13 of last Sunday's bulletin of reports in the Mission Endowment Fund Report. In the list of people remembered and celebrated, the third should have been "Walter and Georgia Beatty (Parents of Sandy Klump)." We apologize for using Walter's middle name in the report.