As a family of faith we are on the move. We’ve made friends with many of our community partners; the schools, the city, other non-profits, and even businesses. We’re experiencing the joy and hope of new families, young children and babies. I hope you saw our kids in action for their Charlie Brown Christmas Sermon a few weeks ago. It was great! We also continue to attract new members from across the life experience spectrum. We’ve successfully partnered with Tapestry, and with the hard work of Pastor Melissa and Pastor Joanna they have fully funded Tapestry for 2018. An amazing amount of work with an amazing result! Thanks be to God. We’ve also successfully partnered with the Blake Road Corridor Collaborative. Working together we’ve made a difference in the neighborhood and together we have funded more than half of 2018. Thanks be to God. Now there is another opportunity for us to positively impact our community and world. For the last few months we’ve been in conversation with Calvary Lutheran in Edina about the possibility of a partnership. At both the November and December church council meetings we’ve had robust discussions on the possibility. Working with the Calvary leadership team, we now have the basic agreement parameters complete and will be jointly considering the partnership at our January church council meeting. This new opportunity will be folded into our Engagement Appeal strategic plan and will be rolled out for congregational feedback on January 7 and14 with a congregational vote scheduled on January 28th at our annual meeting at 10:30am.
The partnership can be described as an opportunity for us to walk alongside our sisters and brothers in faith at Calvary as they prayerfully chart a path to renewal. Drawing on our experience of redevelopment and community engagement, they will contract with us for $10,000 in 2018 to provide strategic planning support, pastoral supervisory support for their new pastor, stewardship guidance for their fundraising needs, and as a whole staff we will supplement their pastoral care as needed. There are of course many additional details, including the possibility of some collaborative ministry activities, but these are the high level areas of partnership and support. What we’ve learned as a staff is that when we’ve entered into these relationships it helps us grow as a family and staff. We’ve learned that new voices and perspectives around the table inspire us to new opportunities. We’ve also learned how God is at work in ourselves, and in the lives of others, drawing us deeper into loving relationships with our neighbors.
Our church council has voiced support for this partnership, and would love to talk with you more about it. Please feel free to check in with them, and our staff about this new opportunity. I am personally very excited that as a family of faith we are in a position to offer some learned experience to help another family look to God’s hopeful future with confidence and excitement. Please make plans to come learn more on January 7 or 14 following worship. Thanks be to God for the fullness of ministry in our community and world.