A Christmas Message 2015

Happiest of holidays dear members of American Lutheran.  

Well, at one of the most sacred and busy times of the year, we are challenged with the task of beginning the process of replacing our most cherished asset.  Our much-loved pastor has made an excruciating decision to relocate and has preached her last sermon for us.  

This has triggered the launch of a process that could take us well over a year to complete.  We are now actively searching for a replacement.  This is a sad time, a scary time, an exciting time and a challenging time. There is much for us to learn and much for us to do.  

We will begin the process by identifying a Mission Evaluation Team, a call committee and a team to guide our new capital campaign.  

The MET team will essentially write the resume for our beloved church that will be circulated throughout the ELCA and will illuminate the myriad of reasons why any pastor anywhere would be doing him/herself a disservice by not considering us.  Why….? Because literally and figuratively WE ROCK.   Jesus is magnified, glorified and directly experienced every week at American.  

The call committee will do the actual interviewing of potential candidates and be our discerning recommenders.  

The team to guide our new capital campaign will play a critical role at this time, as we are also preparing for the annual congregational meeting and planning next year’s budget.

We are funded, we are musical, we are talented, we are unified, we are reconciled, we are welcoming, we are diverse, and we are looking to develop a vital and energized mission plan that will make us even stronger.  

Yes, these are truly exciting times for us.  We have much work to do and much to accomplish.  It won’t be easy and it won’t always be fun.  We’ll be challenged and we’ll be tested.

But we WILL soon have a dynamic and intentional Interim Pastor to help us along the way.  Even at present, we have a true biblical and liturgical scholar in Pastor Tony Auer, while we search for our best interim. 

I urge each and every one of you to search your hearts and simply ask yourselves where you may be willing and able to step up and lend a hand, your ideas, a little time and yes… your money.   None of this will be done alone, and from where I sit, I can see us coming together even more cohesively as a congregation as we move ahead. 

No one likes change.  It pushes us to places that make us uncomfortable.  Well folks, 

our souls are not strengthened in the forge of comfort. Our faith is amplified by what is difficult.  

Enough preaching.   At this writing we are working to have our bishop,

Bishop Guy Erwin, in worship on Sunday the 20th.   I am hoping that his schedule permits him to be with us and share a Christmas message. 

I’ll finish by expressing my sincere  wishes that you all have beautiful, peaceful and relaxing holidays.  May God’s love and strength enfold you throughout the season and always. 

God Bless you,

Deyo Blake

Congregation Council President