“... let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us. Looking to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith ...” (Heb. 12:1)
Congregation endorses a twofold ministry vision
Self-identify as a teaching congregation of the Church, developing a 3-tiered approach to mentoring college students, pastoral interns, and pastoral residents.
That every child (0-18 years of age) living within a defined area (perhaps 1.5 miles) of both of Messiah’s worship sites has everything he or she needs to learn.
An Important Meeting of the Congregation
At its June Meeting of the Congregation, President Della Hundley and Pastors Peter and Kathy outlined the leading edges of a vision that they and Church Leadership Team (CLT) have been developing over the past year.
The vision was the product of a discernment process to examine the congregation’s DNA and culture. The pastors and CLT identified the skills, passions, and unity of spirit that God has brought together to do ministry at Messiah. They also asked, “What are the congregation’s espoused beliefs, values, ideals, and aspirations?” In reviewing these currents, an “aha” moment emerged when they observed the confluence of two large and clearly identifiable ministry areas. They recognized that God had gifted and equipped the congregation with the assets, passion, and desire to serve as a teaching congregation for the church and a congregation focused and deeply invested in the well being of children and youth in our community.
Vision 1The evidence that God has and is leading Messiah into being a Teaching Congregation of the Church included:
- 9 former college interns, 8 of whom are either serving in congregations as first career choices or are attending Lutheran seminaries preparing to become pastors
- 2 former and 2 current pastoral interns
- 4 members currently attending seminary
- the unanimous decision to restart college summer intern program and invite seminary interns to serve as their mentors
- 5th intern on her way this fall along with a ½ time associate in ministry
Having identified this area of mission, the pastors and CLT proposed a vision statement that would clearly define who we are and what we are up to as congregation:
Steps already underway
- The Church Leadership Team brought back the college summer internship program and plans to continue it next summer
- Allison Siburg, a student at Luther Seminary, will be Messiah’s pastoral intern for ’15-’16. Her husband Timothy will serve a half-time field experience relating to his graduate work and candidacy process to become an Associate in Ministry
Steps under development
In the works is a proposal to develop a 2-year pastoral residency program for first call pastors. A pastoral residency program is meant to enhance a first call pastor’s previous training and provide experience and resources that are essential to being successful church leaders over the long haul. Along with being a supportive community in which to learn and grow, Messiah’s North County campus offers the unique possibility for a young pastor desiring to do mission development to get his or her feet wet in a safe and nurturing environment. In conversation with the Christian Theological Seminary, Pastors Peter and Kathy have been invited to a pastoral residency training conference next winter and encouraged to apply for a $25,000 start-up grant on behalf of the congregation.
Vision 2The recognition that Messiah is a congregation deeply committed to the well being of children and youth in our community came from all corners of the congregation and is evident in so much of what it already does:
- Tuesday morning High School breakfast club
- Providing breakfast and weekend food packs for Fruit Valley Elementary school students
- Providing expanded learning kits for Sacajawea Elementary School students
- Jump starting the Care Closet, supplying supplemental weekend food packs, and hosting a dinner for students and families during their student conferences at Gaiser Middle School
- Providing “Adopt a Scholar” ACT/SAT test scholarships, hosting post-graduation party breakfast, funding and donating service time to start the Care Closet, and spearheading the new Judy Joy Crew club to mentor students at Columbia River High School
- Helping to address hunger among students and their families living in North Clark County through the congregation’s Food on the 4th support of the Lewis River Mobile Food Bank and Ridgefield’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Bank
Messiah is committed to seeing that every child (0-18 years of age) within a defined area of both of its campuses has everything she or he needs to learn.
What fulfillment of this vision could look like
- Further enhancement of the congregation’s partnerships with local schools with new and entrepreneurial outreach initiatives
- Growth and enhancement of Messiah’s preschool ministries and opportunities
- Serious and systematic exploration of the next steps for Messiah’s North County Campus that include the idea of planting a preschool where a church meets. Timothy Siburg, whose graduate training is in mission development, strategic planning, and business management, will enhance this process. Timothy will serve Messiah in a ½-time field experience while his wife, Allison, serves as the congregation’s pastoral intern next year.
- Focus the utilization of local benevolence dollars to support these efforts.
An InvitationPastors and CLT members invite you to consider getting in on the early action of bringing these visions to fulfillment. Three teams are being formed. If you’re interested in participating in one or more of these teams, or simply want to learn more, contact information is below.
Teaching Congregation Vision and Initiative Team
Every Child Vision and Initiative Team
North County Campus Next Steps Team