Messiah News

Getting Ready for our new pastor

Sunday, February 25, 2024, Rev. Rebecca Shjerven from the SWWA Synod came down to be with us for worship and a potluck. Thank you to Pr. Rebecca for sure, but THANK YOU to all the great cooks. We had a wonderful meal! 

It was great to have so many of us in conversation and just good fun together. Besides fellowship, part of the effort was to give us all a chance to talk about our developing hopes and dreams for the arrival of our new pastor. I promised the group a summary of what was said, and here it is.

Participants ate their meal around 10 or 11 tables, each table with a variety of people so we weren't just talking to family members or our usual coffee clutch. We had time to discuss three major questions, and then we shared a little with the whole group about what ​our​ table had said. Here's what we learned:

​"What are you most excited about as you anticipate the arrival of a new pastor?

​In response to this question many said they were excited about new energy, new and different perspectives, and just being part of a new adventure! A few said they are energized by moving out of the semi-limbo reality of transition and look forward to embarking on some long-term visioning. Re-engaging some family programs, or engaging afresh new programming was also mention - usually with an emphasis on young families, interns or worship opportunities.

"What do you think Messiah can do to make our new pastor feel welcome? (What can ​you​ do?)

Lots of energy poured through participants around this question. There was a ​significant emphasis on having potlucks, small group gatherings, progressive dinners, or invitations to family dinners for the new pastor and possible family members. You all obviously look forward to this!! Wearing nametags, having a current pictorial directory, being open to new ideas and directions, giving the new pastor, and possible family, a community welcoming basket - perhaps with coupons to visit local restaurants and activities - and having a moving in party were all mentioned. I was touched by participants openness here. You want to be sure we both share ​and​ listen. You want to be helpful around housing, preparing the church house for their use if that is a need or desire, and/or helping find housing if that's the way to go. It was suggested that Messiah create a special "welcoming group" to organize such efforts. Great idea!

​Once our new pastor is settled in, what do you hope the congregation can talk about with them?

​Some of your responses spanned different questions, but overall there is a clear desire to hit the road running. Participants look forward to discussing vision and programming. How to make Messiah attractive to younger families. You want to talk with your new pastor about ​their​ priorities and vision. You want to establish clear and comfortable patterns of communication, discuss worship styles and patterns, do the work collaboratively and - all they while - be sure your new pastor and possible family become part of the larger community to love and call their own

The above is a summary of my summary of your table summaries!! <g> "My summary" of your table summaries can be found on a separate document you are welcome to see or download (here.) What I've done is listed participants' comments pretty much verbatim. Then I've indicated what kinds of things were said more than once. Those of you who like more data or details may be interested in this. It's an imperfect art, but the goal is to hear and have ideas we can act on when the time comes. 

If you have any questions your staff, CLT and Call Committee are always glad to talk with you.

Pr. Dave Brauer-Rieke

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