Dear brothers and sisters+
Blessings in Christ as we continue through the month of August! I wanted to highlight several items related to our ministry together.
First, thank you for our ministry together! Each week we seek to gather in ways to worship God and learn God’s way through study and faithful conversations. In response, we return to our lives where we seek to live out our faith in witness and service.
We are excited to hear the news that Dr. Hawkins will continue to share his love for music at Mt. Horeb through Christmas. We are saddened to hear the news that Deirdre Yonkers will be leaving Mt. Horeb after more than two years for work closer to home. God be with you!
Plans are being made for Rally Day on September 8, when we begin a new year of Sunday school. Small groups, Bible and book studies continue to meet and encourage faith conversations. Pastor Joanna and I will lead a leaders’ event for our Ministry Teams on August 25. A Ministry Team display is in the Fellowship Hall. Take time to prayerfully consider your gifts and connect with our ministry together.
Second, the Columbia avenue Property project is moving forward. Recently, the house was taken down and the next steps to landscape and pave are underway. Thanks to the many folks who have been directly and indirectly working to oversee this project.
Third, The ELCA Church Wide Assembly met in Wisconsin recently to conduct the business of our denomination, like we do in our SC Synod Assembly each year. Bishop Elizabeth Eaton was re-elected on the first ballot to a second six-year term. Her gifts of wisdom and faith continue to guide our denomination. One outcome of the assembly – highlighted in the media – is the ELCA’s adoption of a resolution to be a sanctuary denomination. To understand the Luther question “What does this mean?”, please consider these talking points. What I appreciate from the action of our denomination, is the willingness to be bold in considering and addressing our call to live out our baptismal identity in today’s world.
Fourth, Council met in August to review our ministry together and God’s call for us as a congregation. Overall, we continue to make a difference and are on track with our ministry, though a concern was raised over offerings not meeting an under-spent budget.
As we do each year, Council and Finance will wrestle with the responsibility of balancing our ministry together and the support all of us provide through offerings. Two areas are vital for us to be a healthy congregation: ONE – how we “experience and share God’s presence” through Worship, Learn, Witness, and Serve ministries; and, Two – how we Support Mt. Horeb through Support ministries. As Disciples/Members, this is our congregation. I am excited about a new Guiding Team appointed by Council that will study and help Mt. Horeb implement a process for faithful innovation in the year ahead (more to come).
We are Mt. Horeb! You make a difference! God is using you/us to be a missional outpost for work to be done in the world. God works through you in your daily life. Proportionate giving of our time (participation) and money (tithes and offerings) are our faithful response for health as a church. As we highlight our Ministry Teams and Stewardship in the weeks ahead, each of us is encouraged to prayerfully respond to God’s call to share self.
As our Council concluded another full and faithful meeting to review our work as God’s people, time together covered concerns and joys as we heard reports from each of our areas of ministry. I am so very grateful for the participation of each Council member and the way they share their time and support for Mt. Horeb. I am also grateful for you as members, as God’s disciples, for your sacrifice and service in the name of Christ!
May the Peace we receive and share each Sunday be with you and be shared through you as you walk by faith.
In Christ’s love – Pastor Hill