First Lutheran Church Profile
In the fall of 2017 the synod encouraged the ELCA Columbia Coast Cluster of congregations to participate in a synod-wide visitation process. This involved the filling out of questionaires, surveys and onsite interviews. From that an assessment was made for both the synod as a whole and the individual congregations. An analysis of the visitation results pointed to five trends and conclusions within the synod.
1. Leadership, both clergy and lay are key!
2. Sustainability Grouping.
3. Strong Healthy Relationships.
4. Equipped to share faith with others.
5. The Unique Position of Oregon
I do not have the space to comment in detail on each of the trends and conclusions. Over the course fo the next few months, I will try to highlight each one individually. Let’s take a look at the first conclusion and reflect on the word cloud that was constructed from the visitation process at FLC.
First, Leadership, both clergy and lay, are “THE critical component to vitality, positive tone and potential sustainability (or lack thereof). Leaders that are risk avoidant are often facing some level of resistance and refuse to act upon their future for the sake of ‘harmony’. This creates the environment where the community is not willing to try new things and is less hopeful about the future. When the congregation has a strong sense of belonging and commitment along with trust in leadership there is capacity to experiment, talk about hard issues and do things differently.”
Our leaders both clergy and lay are called, elected, or appointed by the members of FLC. They have specific roles to fill, but without the prayers and support of the congregation and acknowledgement that they are doing their best to build up the FLC community, leadership can become more of a burden to rather than an enhancement of the faith journey.
It isn’t surprising that words like pastor, (young) members, outreach, community, needs and people loom so large in FLC’s word cloud. After all, FLC had just finished the calling of a new pastor and gone through a tumultuous period that resulted in the loss of members and a reassessment of ministry. What words resonate with you in the FLC word cloud? What words are missing that you would like to see or value in your Christian journey?
Please continue to pray for your leadership, both clergy and lay, and know that I as your pastor am most grateful for your prayers and support!