As you may have heard, Macksburg Lutheran Church will be celebrating 125 years of ministry in 2018! I don’t know about you, but I feel extremely blessed and grateful to be able to take part in this incredible milestone! Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to take part in this year-long celebration. We will, of course, have a feast together at some point in the year. We will also be looking at other ways of commemorating our history as we look towards our future. Several ideas have been floated, including one of my favorites: Performing 125 acts of grace as a congregation. I don’t know what those 125 acts will be, but I hope and pray they make a difference in our surrounding community!
Also, plans are already underway for a process of evaluating who we are, where we have been, and where we might go as a community of Jesus followers. Your church Council has begun the process of thinking about ways we might engage in deeper reflection about our mission and purpose, especially in this rapidly and ever-changing landscape of religious life. I, personally, am taking part in a leadership initiative that brings together pastors from all over Clackamas County for the purpose of deepening our spiritual lives and growing as leaders who help to form leaders within our own congregations.
Part of the work this cohort of pastors will be assessing how our congregations are doing, and evaluating the culture and climate of our congregational life. This is important work, as you may know, because it is impossible to plan for the future if you don’t really know where you are in the present! Of course, I won’t be doing this alone. The Council is prayerfully coordinating a team of people to work at my side to spend intentional time growing spiritually while also learning about leadership and healthy practices for congregations.
Your participation in worship this weekend, as we have been announcing in worship for the last few weeks, will be critically important for the work we are doing as a congregation. We will all be taking part in a “Vitality Survey.” This brief survey, to be conducted during worship, will allow you to share your thoughts and insights about how congregational life is going. You’ll also have the opportunity to share your views regarding how our leaders are doing in our work with you. As a bonus, the information gleaned from these surveys will help the Synod Leadership (of which, I’m a part) understand better how congregations across Oregon are feeling about their ministries. The goal is for all congregations to take part in the Vitality Surveys.
Please join me and your siblings in Christ this Sunday. If you can’t take part this weekend, please email me to let me know so we can work something out. Lorin@MacksburgLutheran.org
With Gratitude for 125 Years of Ministry So Far,
Pastor Lorin Darst
Serves alongside the awesome people of Macksburg Church, is passionate about following the dual commandment to love God and love God's people, and strives to make a real difference in this world God so loves...