Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
North Beaver Creek is surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. We remember the hope, the sacrifice and the legacy of the generations who came before us. Their witness gives shape to our own witness, to our own hopes for this congregation and to the ways we are willing to each sacrifice for the sake of the mission God gives us here. We are surrounded and uplifted by the faith of those who have gone before while at the same time we look to the future of the faith and work of the generations yet to come.
This year we have been surrounded by gifted Sunday School teachers and leaders, children, youth, confirmation students and leaders, council members, and so many more. We are surrounded by generous hearts that long to give to those who are in need locally and globally. We are surrounded by people who are willing to establish care connections with members who would like to have company and visitors (8 people are piloting our new Care Connection ministry for 2013!).
At the 2012 February council meeting, I presented the group with three ideas. One was to have a church website (www.northbeavercreek.com), the next was to look into a care team (now the Care Connection ministry), and the third idea was to look into having a Sabbatical (an exploratory committee has been meeting). My hope is that if we do a Sabbatical, that we do it really well. This Sabbatical idea is for my health and effectiveness as your leader and for the vitality of our congregation. Research has shown that when leaders take an intentional time away, that both the congregation and leader come back together with new perspectives, renewal and energy. I don’t need a Sabbatical and wouldn’t want to take one if it would harm the congregation; however, it sounds like the potential good that could come from a Sabbatical is worth the time looking into having one.
I am thankful to be serving you as your pastor - to be surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses. In 2012 I was extra thankful for an update on the Pastor’s study/office at church. The room is painted, furniture and bookshelves are moved in and it looks and feels like a real office. Thank you!
This year I have agreed to serve Trempealeau as one of its new law enforcement chaplains. I was called out twice in 2012. As a chaplain my main job is to simply be with the people who are effected by an event or situation so that the first responders and law enforcement can do their work without leaving the person/people alone. It isn’t good to be alone in such times and I am glad to be there.
Two new things for 2013. One is the Epic Storytelling group who are memorizing the gospel of Luke’s version of Jesus’ last days. The group will present the story on Palm Sunday (it is quite an experience to hear the story told rather than read). The other new thing is the youth group led Malaria 5k on the 5th of May (which will feature more than the 5k walk/run). I am excited to see how this event will turn out!
Not willing to leave well enough alone, this year I have asked our congregation to pray and consider the question of having one worship service every Sunday all year round. I wonder if it would be good for our life and mission as a congregation. I like the flexibility of two worship times during the school year, but I also like it when we can all be together in one worship. I ask you to please pray for our council as they decide whether or not to try one weekly worship for a year. I ask you also to voice your thoughts, questions and hopes at our annual meeting on February 3 and on one of the worship surveys (found in the January News & Views, the back of church, and our website).
Pastor Liz Albertson