Week #26. Meet Marie Gettel-Gilmartin. She is a member of Spirit of Grace in Beaverton, Oregon. Her congregation is an intentional community of 150-200 members made up of Lutherans, Roman Catholics and other faith traditions, who worship and serve together. Gettel-Gilmartin is a lay leader in her community–one that affirms all sexual orientations, gender identities, … Continue reading Radical Welcome – Radical Love
My Sunday School kids love to be involved in worship. We do something called G.I.F.T. or Growing in Faith Together, parent and child classes to dig deeper into the churchy topics. (Check out this post for more information and thanks Rich Melheim for the acronym.) In a couple weeks, the littlest ones will lead the the "Greeting of the … Continue reading An “I Spy Church” Greeting
Some churches call it Milestones Ministry. But where I currently work, we call it G.I.F.T. or Growing in Faith Together. (Thanks Rich Melheim for the acronym!) In G.I.F.T., kids along with their parents or grandparents gather during the education hour to discover a different topic: 2's and 3's Class - Greeting of the Church Preschool Bibles Kindergarten - … Continue reading My Favorite G.I.F.T.
My family is not unusual. Just like yours, there are Christmas programs, school concerts and cookies swaps. December 1st rolls around with the reminder that there are 24 days to Christmas. Yikes! Since I wrote my Thanksgiving Blog, Take Time To Hide, I have been thinking about how can we slow down to seek God. … Continue reading Busy Lives? Use FAITH5 for Advent!
My oldest son, Noah, spent the first six years of his life as missionary kid in Madagascar. His best friend, Tafita, was our next door neighbor. Communication, as you can imagine, for these two preschoolers was an odd mixture of French, English and Malagasy. Sometimes language barriers led to tantrums and sometimes to laughable moments. But there was one game … Continue reading Take Time to Hide
I have been in ministry for almost 20 years. My call has taken me to 3 different continents, where I have learned, worked and preached in 4 different languages. From camp counselor to children, youth and family ministry, from missionary to pastoral intern, my work has been centered on sharing God’s love with God’s people. … Continue reading 25,000 Hits on Church Change
Week #25. Meet Gena Maria Koeberl. She is an intentional interim pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church in Springfield, Missouri. “My role in intentional interim ministry,” says Koeberl, “is to accompany a congregation to do their homework so that they can harbor a healthy call process.” It’s about helping a church come to terms with the … Continue reading Start With What You Have!
(Note: Read the side effects at the end of what happens when we come together.) "It matters, together. It matters what you do with your life, with your time and with your money. It matters to God and God's community. Together, it matters." It's that time of year when churches begin to think about the … Continue reading Together, It Matters – Stewardship 2017
Week #24. Meet Jeff Mikyska. He is the solo pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Elgin, Illinois. With average worship attendance of 130 people on a given Sunday, Holy Trinity seeks to “Proclaim Christ’s love through witness and service.” It’s those words “through witness and service” that has gotten Holy Trinity outside the walls of … Continue reading Meeting Your Neighbors
Week #23. Meet Linda McElroy Thomas. She is the solo pastor at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Somerset, Pennsylvania. Trinity has an average worship attendance of 100-120 people on a given Sunday. Trinity has been called to work with the migrant worker population in their area. Literally. They received a phone call from the Department … Continue reading Be Compassionate.