2019, February

Dear Friends,

St. Paul writes in Philippians 1: 6 – 11: 6 I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.
7 It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you hold me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace with me, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. 9 And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight 10 to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, 11 having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

Zion’s 276th Anniversary brings us a time to look back at our history and toward what is coming in our future ministry and mission. By taking a careful look at where we are today, we can decide if we like who we are and how we are carrying out our ministry, and we can decide to stay the same or revise what we are doing.

As you probably know, last year we began a process to interview for an additional staff position that would help us in the area of communication and adult learning. The result of our conversation led us to undertake the Missional Assessment Profile (MAP) process to attempt to measure where we are and where we are going.

As a result of our findings with the MAP, the Congregation Council has proposed that we undertake a year-long strategic planning process that would review our ministry and mission. The goal would be to plan for the next decade of ministry. The planning/leadership team would report the findings, and any strategy that might arise from them, at the January 2020 Congregational Meeting. Part of that report might contain a revised or totally new Mission Statement.

With the Apostle Paul and all the saints, we share in God’s grace, that blessing of love that God has reigned down upon us, love unmerited. Our love overflows more and more, all the time.
And, with the Apostle, I believe that God’s love working through us will help us determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ we may be pure and blameless. May God help and strengthen us for this important venture.

A very Happy Anniversary to Zion Lutheran Church and to all the saints who share her ministry.

Your companion in Ministry,
Pastor Paul