Report to Congregation Council
February 19, 2019
The time between the January and February council meetings are always a time filled with administrative tasks. As a congregation we are required to file a report to the ELCA that reflects specific attendance and participation numbers, the financials of the congregation, and a reflection on the ministries we perform. As an FYI, our baptized membership at the end of 2018 went from 601 to 608, 3 were baptized, 5 transferred in and 2 transferred out, our average weekly attendance for the year was 81, and we have an active membership of 193 (active defined by our Constitution as communing or giving at least once during the year). Additionally I am required to file a report to our Southern Ohio Synod and Bishop Dillahunt as a pastor serving in the Synod. And then there is the annual report letter for our congregation, which I submitted a week after we decided to go back to the “old ways” of doing it.
January was also a busy month for me with the Synod. I attended a Pastoral Advisory Cabinet meeting on which I serve, which worked on the final touches and is gearing up for the unveiling of the Thrive! Financial Campaign. St. Luke’s will be one of 5 congregations to be a “test” site for this campaign, so we can expect to hear more about it in March. I also attended the Tri-Synod 3 day retreat held at Sawmill Creek Resort. This was the first time I attended this retreat (which is in its fifth year). There were 2 speakers who presented each day for continuing education, and there was also built in time to connect with colleagues as well as gather as a Synod. During this retreat I was also busy working on the Thrive! Campaign, presenting it for the first time to the pastors gathered, as well as being interviewed and videoed for the Synod-wide video that will be used for the campaign. Lastly, there was a Synod Council Meeting which I had to attend as I continue to fill the spot for a colleague who relocated to South Dakota.
On the local front, both Bible studies continue to go well, as we only recently finished studying 1 Peter and jumped into 2 Peter. Visitation is also going well with our shut-ins and other members of the congregation, as I work on compiling a list of who wants and doesn’t want visited while I’m away on sabbatical. I’m still delivering Franciscan Meals every other Thursday. The Men’s Breakfast met and plans to meet again at Shoney’s on the 4th of March at 8am. And Vickie Graham and I spent a number of hours getting the various computer sites up and running in preparation for the sabbatical. There are various avenues in which to follow me on the journey, from our church website (www.saintlukeslutheran.org) to a Facebook blog (The Ponderings of a Pedalling Pastor) to Instagram (Steven.Mahaffey). I’ve already started blogging on the site so as to explain the history leading up to the journey, and people are able to start making donations to the Leukemia Research Foundation if they so choose (https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/steven-mahaffey/StevenMahaffeysPage).
In Christ, with Christ, for Christ!