God has been at work in the hearts of many here at Charity. We have been through some rough waters and grasping for God to calm the waters and point the direction. We already have some clarity and couldn’t be more excited. With Sam and Julie leaving their youth positions, we have been praying for the right people. The first formal step made by leadership was to allow me to work as an interim youth director helping guide a new youth team towards next year. My new position requires relinquishing some elementary area duties to assist the youth team while working with the children’s ministry directors to build up the team, help with cohesion and so on during this time of change.
God orchestrated the second step in finding two young and exciting youth assistants to join the Charity team. Emily Brown and Sierra Vetter graduated from high school last year and have been through Charity’s youth program. Emily is returning home after a year at college, and Sierra has returned after a year-long tour with Epic. Both of these ladies are on fire for the Word and excited to reach youth. They have been hired and began working with Andrew, Sam and Julie since April 17. Both girls have a remarkable faith story telling how God brought them here. I encourage you to reach out to them and keep them in your prayers. This year is going to be awesome!!
In the elementary area, God has proven just as faithful! When this interim position came upon me, it was pretty obvious that I couldn’t fulfill all of my weekly duties in the elementary area. It wasn’t fair to ask Melissa to do everything (we are both just part-timers). For a few weeks, we had been praying for God to give us the name of who He was calling. We needed someone who agreed why we do what we do, has worked with our curriculum and understood our mission in elementary. God was so clear in his answer to Melissa; we knew we had to pursue Maggie Portra. At the same time, God had been calling Maggie into ministry. She has accepted the interim elementary position and is currently learning the ropes. She is married, has four awesome children and has been at Charity for years. She also has been a part of our elementary team. Maggie is solid in her faith, loves God and has a passion for kids.
We now come to the last piece of the puzzle; it seems so evident that God is still working and molding the new youth team He is calling. We are actively praying for discernment of what those last pieces are. Please hold us up in prayer. We are so excited for this upcoming year to get to know our kids at Charity better, challenge them in their faith and just simply love on them.
I don’t think that it is just staff that has been called to realign with God and follow in His ways. I think God is calling every Charity disciple to stand up, reaffirm their faith, dig in their roots and help further the kingdom in ways we didn’t dream possible. Continue to be in prayer for what radical things he is asking YOU to do. He is asking us to dream big, and then dream bigger.
With tons of love,
Interim Youth Director
Greetings from Vision Council;
When I was reminded of the deadline for the newsletter – I thought – how could it be? This past month has gone so quickly. With school approaching the tail end of the year and summer around the corner (hopefully), many of us are starting to think about transitioning into summer mode – exciting times! Likewise, as we move forward as a church body through this transition timeframe and start thinking about the future, I’m starting to get excited as well – excited about what God has in store for us and seeing Him working in our congregation, moving various pieces into place to support us during this time.
Over the past month, Vision Council had a kickoff meeting with the Charity Call Committee. During this meeting, Vision Council gave the Call Committee an update on where we were regarding structure investigation and defining roles and responsibilities of those that will eventually be called. We also defined basic communication plans that will involve a member of the Call Committee attending the Vision Council meeting each month to provide an update on call activities.
The second item the Vision Council focused on during the past month was identifying potential members of the Governance Team and defining the team’s mission. Individuals have been identified and we are currently in the process of contacting those individuals to gauge their interest in becoming a member of the team. The team will first be tasked with learning about policy governance. Policy governance, if implemented properly, will help empower staff and streamline decision making to improve church operation. The second task will be to work with Vision Council to develop a shared understanding of how policy governance would work within Charity. The final task would be to work with the Vision Council to recommend and develop policies that are needed to operate efficiently under a policy governance model.
The final significant activity was the Call Committee open forums that were held during services on Sunday, April 23. These forums were well attended, and I thank those who came and participated. During these forums, we discussed the LCMC training that was completed in late March for the Call Committee and the Vision Council. There was also a good discussion on a number of different items that were brought up by those in attendance. The Vision Council has many take away’s from the forums and will have further discussion on the various recommendations at upcoming meetings.
As we move forward into May, please be in prayer for the Call Committee and Vision Council, as well as those who will be called to serve on the Governance Team. Specifically for the Vision Council, we will be focusing our activities on organizational structures. Please pray for guidance and fruitful discussion as we work to define a structure that will best situate us to do God’s work going forward.
Vision Council President
Monday, April 17, 2017
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build up, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
I have been pondering and studying this verse and trying to understand why God has placed this verse on my heart so often in these past few months. Isn’t it crazy how God has a reason and a time for all things. I think we would all agree that sometimes it is hard to understand the reason and the timing because it does not fit into what we had planned. But God has the masterplan and sometimes we just have a hard time seeing it. The proper activity at the right time, bringing about God’s purposes, is a beautiful part of God’s overall plan.
For instance, a tapestry, viewed from the back, seems a chaotic and unlovely work; but the maker of the tapestry has a wise purpose for the placement of each thread. I found this to be an interesting thought as we have been moving through this year of many questions and uncertainty.
I have been leading a girl’s senior high Bible study this year and began a study on the book “Love Does,” by Bob Goff. What an amazing book that reminds us that we need to keep and create JOY in our lives. We need to embrace the idea of change, we need to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance.
Youth ministry has been part of my life and dance for over 20 years (ugh…that just aged me). It has been one of the most amazing, challenging, rewarding and uplifting journeys that words cannot really explain. But I can say, that my time as the youth director at Charity Lutheran will be the years that I will treasure the most. Not because I was able to follow my passion in youth ministry, but because of the unbelievable staff, youth and families at Charity that have touched my life. My love for you all is beyond words and I consider you family.
Throughout this year, God has continually placed on my heart that there truly is a time for everything and sometimes there are things in life that aren’t meant to stay. Sometimes change may not be what we want, yet sometimes change is what we need. My decision to resign my position as Charity’s youth director has been a hard but exciting decision…
Let me explain. I am leaving my paid position at Charity to open more doors for crazy, wonderful new individuals to have the same amazing opportunities that I had. I am so excited for the changes that are happening and eager for the new individuals that will be stepping into the youth ministry roles at Charity. I am eager to mentor and support these individuals and look forward to watching a new generation of youth leaders following their passion to touch the lives of our Charity youth.
I will be entering a new life adventure and will be putting on a hard hat (preferably pink) and working with my husband in his construction business building homes. The company has been growing like crazy and he is needing my help. So, I guess I get to drive him crazy every day. Ha Ha!
My last day as a Charity employee will be July 31. This summer, I will continue to lead the Minneapolis Mission trip and the Guatemala Mission trip and will be working with the new Charity youth leaders to help them prepare for the upcoming year!
This week Sam and I will be addressing everyone at the WOW service and upcoming Sunday services. I feel that it is important that you hear from our hearts and understand that even though at this moment we may be looking at the messy, chaotic back side of a tapestry, we need to know that the Maker has a wise and purposely laid-out plan for something amazing.
Thank you all for your unbelievable support, generosity and love during my crazy, awesome and wonderful years as your youth director.
Greetings from the Vision Council.
I want to give you an update of the past month's events; but before I do, I'll start again with scripture.
From Romans 12:12 (ESV) Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. I love this verse because it has three simple, short statements that we can do during this time. Rejoice in hope – be joyful in the hope that is in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Be patient in tribulation – during this time of transition in our church family; there is much work being done and much work to do.
You may feel at times things are moving slowly, and I can understand that feeling. The pace at which Vision Council moves allows time for prayer and discernment, ensuring we are following God's guidance. We know God is with us during this time and will provide the people and resources needed to move through this transition timeframe continuing to do God's work!
Lastly be constant in prayer – prayer for discernment, prayer for staff, prayer for Vision Council, prayer that God's will would continue to be done in and through our church, and finally prayer for our Call Committee and the individual they will eventually call.
Over the past month, we have issued calls for individuals to serve on the Call Committee. Those who received calls, prayed about it to discern if God was indeed calling them to serve. Those who have currently accepted the call are Jim Neumiller, Erinn Dosch, Troy Bradley, Kari Knudson, John Wangen, and Shirley Hanson.
On Saturday, March 18, we had Pastor Steve Lien from LCMC in to conduct training for the Call Committee. The training laid out the steps the Call Committee will take as they work through the process of calling a pastor. It was comforting to hear someone who has a good understanding of the process and provided insight and guidance on various areas of a call. The scale of the tasks in front of the Call Committee identified during the training cannot be ignored, and I have the utmost faith that God has placed them in this position to do His work for Charity.
One statement Pastor Lien made during the training has stuck with some us - "The urgent is rarely important, and the important is rarely urgent." As it relates to the call process, his message was to be patient and thorough - there is something worse than no pastor, and that is the wrong pastor. I ask all of you to please keep the Call Committee in your prayers as they take on this important process.
The next item we have been discussing is identifying individuals to be on a governance team. We are currently in prayer about the members of that team and expect to have them identified by the end of April. This team generally will be charged with investigating any potential changes to our existing governance model to improve our ability to do God's work moving forward.
Finally, I'd like to invite you to informational forums we will be having downstairs during the 9:15 and 10:45 services on Sunday, April 23. The intent of these forums is to provide you with an overview of the Call Committee training we had as well as other activities within Vision Council over the past month. Hope to see you there!
Greetings from the Vision Council by Matt Kaldor
I want to give you another update on the latest activities of the Vision Council.
Before I get into that, I want to start again with scripture. James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
I'll admit that "pure joy" is not always the first thing that comes to mind as trials have come in my life. It's a bit difficult to think in that manner during those times as stress, doubt, and worry sometimes creep in to dominate the emotions. It's during those times that I must remind myself to seek to discern God's will for me in the situation trusting in Him, even though I don't know nor understand God's larger plan. If understanding of a larger plan ever comes, many times it is well after the fact, and I can see how God moved different pieces of the puzzle at different times and unbeknownst to me.
These times of reflection and seeing God's hand in the situation are awesome and certainly have served to grow me and continue to show me the great power of God to work through His people if we are faithful to seek Him and move as He calls. So as we face trials as individuals and as a church body, lean on God, trust in Him, seek to discern His will, knowing that these trials serve to build us up and mature us in our faith.
The past month Vision Council had the opportunity to have a meeting with staff. During that meeting each individual from both Vision Council and staff shared about a success and a challenge within their area of responsibility. This gave all a better understanding of activities within both groups. It will also help to foster further communication between Vision Council portfolio owners and staff members within those portfolios.
Another item that has received significant activity this past month is the formation of a call committee. During the month, we were in prayer and discussion on who God was putting on our hearts to serve on the call committee. At the last Vision Council meeting, individuals were identified to be contacted about potentially serving. Those individuals are taking time to pray and discern about serving in this capacity.
We pray that the committee members will be finalized the first half of March.
In conjunction with this activity, Doug Leet has been in contact with LCMC in regard to potential training opportunities for the call committee. This has resulted in a training session being set up on March 18 at Charity. The training will be for call committee members and Vision Council and focus on transition management. An invite for the training has also been sent out to LCMC churches in North and South Dakota as an opportunity for their call committees and church councils as well.
The last major activity involved planning and discussion for governance and organizational structure investigations. As we get the call committee formed, I expect this to be the primary area of focus for Vision Council over the next couple of meetings. An open forum was held the last Sunday in February to review where the Vision Council is at and where we are going with the above items. There was good discussion during the forum and we will continue to use open forums and other communication avenues to keep the congregation informed as well as solicit feedback as we seek to follow God's will during this time of transition.
Finally, please continue to pray for staff, Vision Council, and our congregation as we seek to discern and follow God's will for us during this time.