Pastor Mary's office hours are: Monday 10-2pm Tuesday 9-12 and Wednesday 12-3 If you'd like to meet outside these hours, please call ahead to be sure she is in the office. Contact by church phone (715-879-5115), home phone (715-309-4065) or by email at: meide@luthersem.edu

January 2019

"Encouraging faith and proclaiming God's love by Gathering, Growing and Giving."





THOUGHTS FROM PASTOR MARY

Winter Greetings to one and all!
I'm writing this letter to you from my home office, as school has been cancelled due to cold temperatures. I'm a little surprised then to get a call on my cellphone with a message from Eric Wright, Superintendent of Elk Mound Schools. The recorded message tells me the schools will be closed for an additional 2 days because of the extreme cold temperatures and snow. I can just imagine a multitude of cheers ringing throughout the Village of Elk Mound with this bit of good news. Well, we knew the cold and the snow had to catch up to us at some point!

I'm also writing this the day after a Sunday of celebrating 2018 and planning for 2019 during our Annual Congregational Meeting. As I mentioned in my message that morning, I really want to give you all a big 'high five' for all the great work we did together, and your amazing giving of time, talents and treasures. What we neglected to highlight in the meeting, is that we ended the year in the BLACK! Despite the slow start in giving and some of the unexpected expenses...we came together to end the year with a big surge in giving. Thank you!

It takes a LOT of people, time, passion, ingenuity, heart, hard work, and yes...money, to do God's work. It also takes courage, caring and communication to build a strong community. Again, you've all done this time and time again throughout the year...and each time...I see God's love and mercy emulated in your words, actions and attitudes. Thank you!

As we look forward into the New Year, there is much to be grateful for and an opportunity to wonder about what God has planned for this community of faith, this community and our individual lives. On Sunday I highlighted some of the goals I have for myself and suggested goals for the church:

1) I've begun a journey of visiting congregational homes and workplaces (Hmmm! Maybe Randy could join me, and we could also visit your fishing spots and campgrounds ??). I don't quite have a system down for contacting everyone, so if you have a time and place you'd like to meet, give me a call, or send a text or email. (See info on last page)

2) Building our Youth Ministry...so if you an interest in leading, helping organize events, praying for, joining, or dreaming about how we can begin to build this ministry...let me know!

3) Participation in a process called Faithful Innovation Network (FIN). This is a process meant to encourage us to see the possibilities for being a church in the 21st century, by bringing together a team of leaders from our congregation, a coach, and the wisdom and inspiration gained from group gatherings and 3 retreats with other congregations. Congregations who are the first to go through this process are sharing amazing stories about how the Holy Spirit is moving and working through their congregations.

This all makes for a year filled with the promise of new adventures, stronger relationships and the excitement of imagining and becoming a congregation embracing the changes around us. In order for me to effectively lead within these areas of ministry, I'll need some help in letting go of those secretarial duties that have come my way since we had to give up that paid position. To that end, I'm going to rely on our Executive Committee (Council President, VP, Treasurer and Secretary) along with other volunteers to: document secretarial tasks, find someone to coordinate volunteers, and a cadre of folks working together to get it all done. I'll admit, that I've struggled to find time to hand over some tasks, but know it's all for the better that I do so.

May God bless and inspire us throughout the months to come,

Pastor Mary

P.S. It's taken me a couple of days to finish this newsletter, and wouldn't you know it, but Mr. Wright had called another time to cancel school for one more day. Time for Jack Frost to head home, so it's safe for us to leave ours!


Last updated: February 1st, 2019