5106 North LaCrosse Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60630-2431

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From the Pastor's Desk

From the Pastor’s desk
I am one of those people who does not sleep well in a strange place, the lights are funny and the mattress feels odd. Therefore, I have been resistant to replacing our old mattress and box spring set. but after many years they were worn out. They were not only causing back-aches, but strange little pieces of metal (bits of springs collapsed from metal fatigue, I think) rained down underneath the bed from time to time. So, now we are sleeping on a strange mattress in our own room which itself was also new less than one year ago. We kept our bed frame, of course because it is a good frame and we like it. I know that eventually this mattress will become our old mattress and will feel normal, eventually I may even have to replace it when the bits of springs rain down, but now it is still new, strange and hard to sleep in.

Through a series of Holy Conversations you discerned God's mission for Trinity Lutheran Church. The exciting mission that you found in God's plan is “Bringing Christ's message to all.” When we were called, we were called here to help you live more deeply into your mission. This is some very exciting work. Part of any new thing is getting used to it whether it is a new mattress or a new way of doing things. WE like the familiar it is comfortable because it is familiar. Even an old mattress that gives you a back ache may be comfortingly familiar. Our routines become boxes that keep us comfortable, but they can also be walls that keep us from seeing outside.

In November the council met outside of our box to help us think through the Pastors' Christmas wish list for this congregation. We wanted to think together about where we go from here, now that we have been here long enough to start getting the lay of the land. There are some lumps in the comfortable mattress of “The way we've always done things.” Now we are trying to figure out what to do about them. The frame is still good, but some of the springs are not providing proper support and may need retying or replacing altogether. The frame of God's love, care and guidance is still good though. So we will retie springs, try a new pad, replace a mattress if we need it and then we will have to get used to the new feeling, it may be even better (no back ache) once we get used to it.

We would like to see meetings limited and always on a mission based agenda. --this means that stop having meetings to plan meetings. We need to focus our energies on things that fit the mission of the congregation. How does this “bring Christ's message to all?” Does what we are doing fulfill our vision that we are: “A faith community that engages people of all ages and cultural backgrounds in a rich variety of worship styles, education and service opportunities.” Are there things that we could be doing better or differently that might make us better at living into our mission and vision? We have some very creative folks with some fabulous ideas, so we want to be able to use our resources as effectively as we can to bring Christ's message to all

We want to see an emphasis on listening for God and then following where he leads. Our dream is that we become a congregation that takes God's word very seriously and digs in together so that we can see God's hand in the world. That we would also be a community that gathers in prayer which is simply a conversation with God. We would like to see us become so deeply steeped in word and prayer that we can put our best energy into the mission of this church.

We want to work with the elected spiritual leaders on the Executive Committee and the Council so that they become the first line of discernment in examining who we are and where we are going. They also are the groups responsible for resource development. What do we need to make things happen? What do we already have that we can use? Who has that talent or skill that we need right now? Is there someone in the congregation who just needs a little training for a new ministry? How can we get that for them?

New things are always challenging and over the next few months Trinity's leadership will be approaching individuals, committees and organizations in the church to figure out together how we can better live into our mission of “Bringing Christ's message to all.”

See ya at worship!

11/24/2009