What will the congregation do during Sabbatical? - Part 2
April 26, 2021
The easiest answer is that Christ the Savior Lutheran Church will do what it always does…reach people to know, love and serve Jesus! We will worship, pray, learn, grow, serve and bear Christ’s light to the world. After so many months of ministry disrupted by the pandemic…this summer sabbatical season will be all about reconnecting and renewing this congregation.
Ministry this Summer will be ably guided by our amazing lay leaders, Pastor Todd and the rest of our incredible staff. The schedule is already bursting with both in-person and online opportunities to connect. In addition – the Clergy Renewal Grant from the Lilly Foundation that funds all of my Sabbatical activities also provides financial support for the congregation in my absence. We don’t want to overwhelm Pastor Todd or the rest of the staff, so we’re using grant resources to welcome special guest preachers and provide help with other pastoral duties.
During the first phase of the Sabbatical, we are excited to welcome Christ the Savior’s own Kathy VanOsdol to share in ministry. Kathy is a long-time member of Christ the Savior who currently resides in Florida with her husband, Tom. Kathy has completed the academic requirements to become a Lutheran Pastor, and will conclude her journey toward ordination with a one-year internship beginning in August 2021.
Kathy will be here in May and June to contribute in many wonderful ways:
- Preaching and worship leadership on Sundays
- Teaching a series on Prayer (several options each week)
- Supporting other aspects of ministry such as pastoral visits, VBS and more!
We are thrilled that the timing worked for Kathy to return and share her gifts with our congregation during the first 6 weeks of the Sabbatical.
In the month of July, we are glad to have Pastor Jim Stuck return to the pulpit, and provide coverage for pastoral care and emergency situations, especially while Pastor Todd enjoys some summer vacation time. We are also excited to welcome Pastor Heather Apel, assistant to the Bishop and former member of Christ the Savior to preach.
In the month of August, Pastor Todd will be joined by some additional guest preachers, including Bishop Bill Gafkjen from the Indiana-Kentucky Synod. Finally, we’re very excited to welcome back Pastor Libby Manning, who served Christ the Savior Lutheran Church for more than 8 years before departing for full-time work with the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program in 2017.
Additionally, you’ve already engaged in some important Sabbatical-related work. Nearly 150 people responded to the Congregational Vitality Survey. The survey provides a helpful picture of the current state of the congregation and a clear starting place for our work with Vibrant Faith. Our Vibrant Faith coaches have already begun working with us to renew our vision of forming faith in every generation. The key outcome of this coaching relationship will be a roadmap for our congregation that leads to deeper faith formation across every generation for the years ahead.
The Re:New Team is a group of staff and lay leaders who are already working closely with our Vibrant Faith coaches – and will soon be sharing their work with the congregation. This team is currently:
- Reviewing the Congregational Vitality survey data
- Developing a vision for faith formation
- Reading the book “Faith Formation with a New Generation” together – if you’re interested in the kind of work we’re doing, you can download a free e-book here!
They will soon host conversations with groups of you to dig deeper into the data and look ahead to what God is doing in the life of the congregation. When invited…please answer the call to take part in these essential gatherings!
The congregation’s work during this summer sabbatical time is critical! We hope that you will take an active role in:
- Re-Connecting – through the many ministry opportunities that fill the months ahead
- Re-Newing – our vision for Faith Formation with every generation by participating with our Re:New team and Vibrant Faith consultants.
And, of course, my family and I welcome your prayers as we engage in a season of connection and renewal.