State of the Parish
Jesus asked His disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" (Mathew 16:15) and it led to a deeper understanding why Jesus did what He did. So maybe we should take a few moments to ask others and ourselves: "Who are we?" St. John Lutheran Church has an identity in our community. It is an identity of witness to Jesus Christ. It may be spoken in a number of various ways, but it leads us to ask what Jesus said next: "Who do you say that I am?" So what do we say about Christ, and how do we connect to Him by faith, love, and service?
The Annual Report is one way we can take a closer look at the functioning of our church in the community. It looks at our activities and quantifies them. It shows our directives, and explains them. By God's grace, it shows Jesus Christ and our faith in Him. It reveals the working of people who serve Christ, and who fulfill His mission and our mission statement: "A family united by faith in Jesus Christ, gathering around God's Word and sacraments, to reach out in Christ-borne love and Christ-like concern, in ministry to each other and those without Christ"
At our recent Leadership Workshop, we viewed some essentials for us to be a genuine blessing in our community. These are the four "C's" we viewed, and how they help leaders (and churches) to be appreciated:
Character: who we are - this generates trust Convictions: what we believe - this helps discern purpose and vision Competencies: what we do - this produces a healthy church Confluence: when God's plan comes together - this enables joy as we work side by side
As a congregation and as a synod, we are "Still About Jesus!" That explains the "why" of all that we do. We are not here for ourselves, we are here because of Him. We look to Him to guide us. We ask Him to help us trust His Word, His grace, His plan.
"Who are we?" is a big question with impact in all our ministries. Perhaps new questions about our Lutheran School should be addressed this year. Enrollment has gone done significantly, and perceived needs of the community do not seem to match our mission, which is clear and worthy: SJLS is to provide a foundation in Jesus Christ, and to develop the God-given talents of learning. It would be wrong for us to change our desire to teach Christ at every level, including school age children. We should expect discussions of how to do this in a manner that will be most faithful to our God, and also appreciated by parents, so that we may follow our mission to reach out in Christ-like concern and Christ-borne love.
Our answer is that we are people who have faith and commitment to Jesus Christ. Labels may be given, and some even unfairly, but the essence of our church is that we trust and teach Jesus Christ as the only salvation from sin, death, and the devil. We are convinced of the truth of the Gospel as expressed in the Creeds, the catechism, and the confessions of the church.
Thanks to everyone involved for all service offered to our Lord Jesus Christ, and for the reports which follow. They show our identity in congregational life. They show some of our successes and reveal where we may yet grow in service to our Lord. I pray that this encourages us to offer our best to the Lord in this coming year here at St. John Lutheran Church. May God lead us, help us, and bless us, for the coming together (confluence) of His character and competence gives us conviction to follow Him!
Blessings in Christ! Pastor Grimm
Includes: Baptisms, Received Into or Removed From Communicant Membership, Vital Statistics of our Congregation,
Attendance Record, Participation in the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
Includes: Cemetery Superintendent's Report, Memorial Gift Suggestions, and Highlights from Voter's Meetings and Activities