Dear People of Immanuel Lutheran Church,
As we meet today (Oct. 28) after worship to talk about our church budget, let us remember a few things.
- God is in charge.
- God has called us here as church to love and serve our community.
- We may have different opinions and discernments about what this looks like.
- God loves all of us.
- Talking about money is stressful; remember to breathe.
- Ministry defines us. How can we best use our resources?
- May we speak with love and grace, assuming the best about one another.
Please know as well that I will be fine. I think it obvious that Immanuel can no longer support a full-time pastor, and that is not a shameful thing. I’m looking for a seasonal part-time job, and I am filled with trust that God is supporting me.
Recently I had lunch with Pastor Karen Biggerstaff from Our Savior’s. We talked about shared ministry possibilities, and I gave her Suzy Rosema’s phone number, which she is passing on to Jeff Burr. A meeting between our council presidents sounds like a good idea. Folks from St. Luke’s are ready to talk as well. Soon we may have a brainstorming session, a potluck and dreaming time together. We will invite leaders from Samuel to join us as well. Jim Duff had a good idea, that we need to worship together, plan fellowship events, build relationships.
It’s about creating a new model of ministry for Muskegon. We all grew up with the idea that one pastor + one building = church. What else might God be calling us into? Instead of four pastors for four congregations, could we share a couple of clergy, a youth director, an outreach specialist? You’ve heard me dream about this parish model of ministry for years. The time is ripe to discover a better way of being Lutheran, to serve our community together.
Peace and love,
Pastor Julie Winklepleck