a. Reach out to those that we haven’t seen by phone or e-mail and follow-up on initial contacts to find out how we can facilitate their returning to in-person worship and what needs they have at this time. Develop a script to use on phone or e-mail and record answers to be addressed/acted upon. (June – August, 2021 – report at August Council meeting)
b. Develop and send survey to congregational members/friends to determine what is needed physically, emotionally and spiritually using survey monkey or mail chimp. (June-July, 2021 – report at July meeting)
a. Develop a new, exciting event to kick-off junior and senior high youth activities, re-gathering for the Fall, 2021 year. (June – August – report at September meeting)
b. Determine what youth needs are in the near time with Youth Team and youth input. (June – August, 2021 – report at September Youth Ministry Meeting, summarize to Council)
c. Include youth that are interested in music to join an adult group of musicians or form a youth musical group. (August – December, 2021 – report to Council, January, 2022)
d. Provide a regular activity/event/learning for post-Confirmation youth on Sunday mornings. (June – September, 2021 – report to YM Team and Council, October, 2021)
3. Small Groups
a. Offer at least one or more new Sunday School class opportunities, survey congregation on topics of interest, additional days/ times for classes and recruitment of new leaders. (June – August, 2021 – report to Council, August, 2021)
b. Start a book club – that would allow people to jump in and out without a long-term commitment. Subject matter may be religious and/or secular. (August – October, 2021 – report to Council, November, 2021)
c. Start a dinner club for young members that would allow for fellowship - with children and youth included. (November, 2021 – March, 2022 – report to Council, April, 2022)
d. Re-start Men’s Dinner Group (will start in September, 2021. Report to Council, October, 2021.)
4. Retire the Debt
a. Celebrate our 45th Anniversary with a Reformation Day luncheon on 31 October. Start the final campaign to eliminate our mortgage debt as a “Gift for the Christ Child” kind of campaign that will lead to another celebration on January/February, 2022 when we burn the mortgage and have another celebration luncheon. (September, 2021 – January, 2022 – report to Council, February, 2022)
b. Continue planning and evaluation of funds available after retiring mortgage and what is necessary to keep operations and staff without a negative budget. (September, 2021 – April, 2022 – report to Council, May, 2022)
c. Initiate a program to help members/guests focus on Stewardship and celebrate what has happened over the time of COVID. (June, 2021 – April 2022 – report to Council on progress monthly)
a. Church-wide picnic in September/October (July – September, 2021 – report to Council Oct/Nov.)
b. Move treats and coffee outside. (Fellowship hour will begin on 27 June, but treats and coffee will likely move inside as summer progresses) (May – July, 2021 – report to Council in August)
c. Determine service projects that could be done easily with a variety of skills and ages. Identify people to lead projects. (August, 2021 – February, 2022 – Report to Council on progress monthly)
A NEW DAY AND A NEW CHALLENGE . . .
On Monday night this week, Bishop Gronberg met with our Church Council to discuss the information that we now know is a reality – Pastor Edy and Ingrid will be leaving to go back to Colombia for 13-15 months on Friday morning this week.
We, with the ELCA and NTNL Synod, have been working for a year to try and change his visa status but the waiver of residence has not been received, due to an immigration lawyer error and a very slowly-moving State Department. What that means is that Pastor Edy and Ingrid will need to go back and reside in Colombia till they receive the waiver, or until they satisfy their residency requirements and re-apply for religious worker visas again.
During that time, Pastor Edy will continue his ministry to Adviento/Advent online, as we are all doing at this point. He has also developed a theological program for potential Hispanic leaders that is being considered by some and used by other seminaries across the country. He will continue teaching those classes online. In the meantime, the NTNL Synod will designate an interim leader to be the “point person” for Adviento, to do any ministry that is needed “hands-on” in Pastor Edy’s absence. I will announce that leader when he/she is chosen.
I hope you will take this time that Pastor Edy and Ingrid are away to celebrate what he has done as the mission developer of Adviento, and to pray for his continued ministry with us and in whatever way he is utilized by local Lutheran churches in Colombia.
You can contact Pastor Edy during this time by using his firstname.lastname@example.org address. Contact the church office for mailing address and phone number.
Also, we will be collecting a love offering to help them with their expenses beyond the budgeted expenses for their time in Colombia. If you choose to do that, you can write a check to Advent and put Pastor Edy on the memo line or you can also designate funds from your online account for Pastor Edy through Advent church. He has not asked we do that, but it is a wonderful way to continue to support him, and I know some Church Council leaders have already made a contribution to his support.
Above all, put Pastor Edy and Ingrid in your regular prayers for patience, encouragement and hopefulness over this “enforced” period of separation from his ministry and our community.
Advent Lutheran Church is in the Northern Texas-
Northern Louisiana Synod of the ELCA.