Rector Letter, Annual Meeting & Celebration
January 17, 2016
Dear Light of Christ,
I wanted to share how my work has changed and expanded this past year, what I anticipate for 2016, and how you can pray. There is so much to be thankful for and so much to hope for!
More Time for Ministry!
It has been a joy to serve the church with more time this past year. I am now employed 3/5ths time by the church, and 1/5th time by my business employer. This has allowed me to spend many more hours in prayer and planning with staff, clergy and other ministry leaders, such as our Vestry wardens. It has afforded many benefits, such as the development of more infrastructure for our liturgical calendar. Other key initiatives, like The Cry and the “Summer Ministry Labs,” were possible because of this additional time, and I am deeply grateful.
I have also been able to do more pastoral care. In the afternoons, typically from Tuesday to Thursday, I am able to set aside time for pastoral care and other kinds of meetings with parishioners. I am deeply grateful for this, as well.
The Commitments that Shape My Time
Much of my time is shaped by five core commitment areas that I will continue to focus on in 2016:
- Vision Leadership: To study, pray, and discern the way forward for Light of Christ.
- Worship Leadership: To lead the church in prayer, proclamation, praise and thanksgiving.
- Leadership Development: To pray for, support and encourage ministry leaders, including our Signal
Fire and Deanery congregational leaders.
- Ministry and Discipleship Formation: To create contexts for ministry and care (e.g. house groups
or church plants), listen for the words that Jesus would have us speak in these contexts, and equip us to carry them out.
- Pastoral Care: To pastor and counsel members for healing, discernment, and growth.
Hope—Our Way Forward & Three “Initiatives” for the Time to Come
I believe the Lord is asking us to cultivate the “Hope” part of our mission to “Reflect the Light of Christ’s Love, Hope and Healing.”
This means that we are to be conscientious about creating contexts for prayer, waiting upon the Lord, listening together for His words of direction, and then working hard to do everything in our power to carry them out generously and courageously.
In 2016, I have identified three initiatives that will help us build up this “Hopeful Way” of ministry:
- Holy Week as an offering to God and a “Come and See” service to Kenosha
- The development of a regular “Prayer and Praise” service (possibly in the summer of 2016)
- The introduction of a spiritual growth and vocational support process for our members, beginning with a “Soul Care Plan” for all members in the Lenten season.
Please pray for our parish to mature in our ministry. If we minister faithfully in hope, the healing part of our mission will surely come. As Becca Engstrom put it last summer, “our mission is nothing less than the realization of every person’s calling in Christ.”
Our ministries are meant to be glorious! We can hardly imagine what this will be like when it arrives, but it will certainly generate a contagious and growing joy.
How do we get there? I know this much: Christ is our hope of glory. For that reason, let us fix our eyes on Him. It is His glory that inspires a ministry of unflagging hope that mounts up like eagles’ wings.
The ministry of hope starts with prayer for His glory to fall on our lives and those we are called to serve. Pray that this Way of Hope is firmly set into our church and in our own personal lives.
I am praying for each of you, your ministries, and your vocations. Please also pray for me, for Jeanne and our family. Pray that:
- I would grow in prayer, and Christ’s Way of leadership, for family and church
- Jeanne and I would be faithful as spiritual father and mother at home and at church
- We would be protected from the darts of the evil one
- We would have unity at home and at church
- Our church would grow spiritually and in the form of many coming to the Lord
- I would be faithful and wise as the Dean of Wisconsin, developing Church leaders, and planting
I am so grateful for the gifts of this past year and so grateful for each of you, my dear family of God. You already reflect the Light of Christ’s love, hope and healing, and the shadows are fleeing!
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:11).
God bless you,
All documents in PDF format.
HOPE Prayer Card & Mission Statement (embedded as JPGs on this page)
- Arts Collective: weekly after school program starting in April that will provide space for visual arts, dance, music, and other creative activities, as well as homework/tutoring
- Collaboration with Area 51 to help lead Parish House services on Sunday mornings once a month
- Backyard Bible School in the summer
- Starting a women’s group
- Expanding multi-cultural group,
- Begin first membership class some time this month!
- Starting a women’s group and prayer group