PASTOR’S CORNER April 2022

PASTOR’S CORNER April 2022

Spring is hypothetically here, although as I write this the snow is coming down on this Tuesday morning following Easter. We’ve closed the books on the Good Enough series, where we learned how to set the bar a little lower and give ourselves permission to rest. We’ve asked God for guidance in fixing the things we can, accepting the things we can’t fix, and the wisdom to know the difference. It was a powerful series and I want to thank you all for coming out for the Wednesday book studies. For the worship team for picking this series. For everyone being flexible in the changes in the liturgy and realizing that many changes were just for this series. I know personally, singing God Be With You on Easter after a Lenten fast for the song was especially meaningful.

We’ll be heading into our new series Faces of Jesus. This new worship series will explore depictions of Jesus in art and the Christian creeds and how they shape our lives. Sunday worship at 8:15, 9:00, and 10:30 April 24-June 5, with the 10:30 service livestreamed on Facebook!

Our first Sunday, April 24th will feature our 3rd and 4th graders receiving their very own bibles today upon the completion of their 3rd grade bible study and projects at the 10:30 service! We’ll examine a few creeds found in our sacred stories as well in all three services.

Our Confirmation Sunday is May 1st! Please join us during worship as 7 of our young 7th and 8th graders make their confirmation.  2 of them come from the 9:00 Gathering worship and 5 of them come from the 10:30 worship. It’s a big deal! I’m so proud of this group of young men and women. Just a fantastic bunch!

Our Annual Meeting is 1 Service at 10 a.m. on May 22nd. We’ll vote on a new moderators and review the miles traveled this past year. Teams, please get your reports into the office ASAP. Some folks have asked why we’re not using the phone voting system like we did in 2020-2021. It was not cost effective to continue using this service for just two Sundays a year. Plus, sometimes the old ways are the best ways. We have to show up and give of our time and ask good questions and discern together the direction of the church. That is best done in real time, together, at the annual meeting. Please c’mon out as we’re also going to celebrate Jim’s retirement and his years of music service with us!

Would you like to join our church family!?  Join us for our next New Member Classes!  The next classes will be held Mondays, May 16th & 23rd.  Classes will be held from 7 pm – 9 pm in the New Library.  New members will join the church on Pentecost Sunday, June 5th. Childcare is provided if needed during class.  Please Register in REALM or contact the Church Office at 330-725-4559 if you are interested and let us know if you will need childcare. 

Come enjoy a week at Compassion Camp VBS where we learn how we can change the world with loving kindness. We will have fun learning bible stories, playing games, making crafts and so much more.  Please, complete the registration form (one per child) and return it plus the $10.00 registration fee for each child or $25 family maximum to the church office or Hobby Horse office by Monday, May 30th .  Please make checks payable to Medina UCC with VBS in the memo.   If you have any questions, please call Stacie Yates (330-304-7877) or Jen VilImonivic at (330-722-1445)

And finally a doctoral update. I need to do a few revisions and resubmit to my two readers. Once the readers okay the draft, I will present to the seminary sometime in early May. The plan will be to graduate on May 21 with my Doctorate of Ministry in Adaptive Leadership. It’s not a PhD, but a D.Min. (Wait, wasn’t Jesus casting those out in the gospels?!) Both degrees are intended to create experts in their own respects – the PhD for the academy and for the church more indirectly, the D.Min more directly for churches and other ministry settings with the academy secondary.

The title of the thesis is Belonging at the End of the Aberrant Time: Adaptive Leadership as discernment for Church. Gil Rendle defines the Aberrant Time as the post-WWII boom up until the 1970s for churches. The rate of church membership increased to unprecedented levels in this time. This time is ending. What many think of as “normal” is actually a strange time as it has never happened before and it is not likely to repeat. What’s the way forward when church membership returns back to normal? My thesis states that churches with high levels of trust and belonging who use Adaptive Leadership methods will be best suited to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this time.

Your prayers are coveted that I can finish this and graduate THIS. YEAR. That’ll be more than good enough.

Yours in Christ,
-Luke

 

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