ALC Vision & Open Questions

Atonement’s council had a great retreat at Terra Sancta on August 21. At the beginning of the retreat, we reflected on the past year. We looked at our mission statement and talked about how we lived into each of the parts of the mission statement.

Here a few points for each part:

  • Called by the Spirit of Christ
    • Bringing Communion to home bound people
    • Visits, calls, letters, cards to shut-ins
    • Our worships and events are centered around Christ
    • Open Communion
    • Prayers daily for Pastor, parish, all those who serve our country
    • Fellowship – Caring for one another
    • House Blessing on Epiphany
    • Called a new pastor
  • Show God’s Love (emphasis on “show” as in go out to reach)
    • Our website to show what our church is about and more
    • Our facebook page
    • Flyers at the post office and coffee shops
    • Newsletters
    • Bulletins
    • Weekly emails
    • Sending kids to Lutheran Outdoors
    • VBS, WOW, and Kid’s Fair
    • Invites to Bazaar, Lefse, Bingo Night
  • We Worship
    • Sunday Worship Service
    • Mid-Week Lenten Service
    • S’more Jesus devotional evening services
    • Great music and instruments in services
    • There is online access to worship service (Zoom)
    • Transmitting the service to the parking lot
    • WOW kids worship on Wednesday and at VBS
    • Day of Prayer and Fasting
  • We Teach
    • Word on Wednesday (WOW)
    • Sunday kids lessons
    • Women’s bible study
    • Making lefse and quilts
    • Vacation Bible School (VBS)
    • Adult ed: 
      • Series on “Living with Fear”, 
      • on “Grief”, 
      • movie nights, 
      • how to approach “New Life” after the pandemic, 
      • meditation videos, 
      • podcast
  • We Serve
    • Collecting things for missions
    • Donating money
    • Monthly community outreach (diaper drive, WAVI, etc.)
    • Kid’s Fair
    • Sending bulletins and printed-out sermons to home bound people

As you can see, your church was very busy last year! We hope, you are part of the many events and services in this new year.

For this new year the council then discerned a vision and open questions. That means for the coming 12 months the Council established this vision for our church: “The church will take steps to reach out to our surrounding neighbors.” This vision should not be confused with our mission as a church. Our mission statement has not changed and guides us always in what we want to do as a church internally and in the community.

The vision the council came up with, is what the council saw that we as a church should focus on in the next 12 months. We invite all members to share their ideas and feedback about it and participate in accomplishing it. Please speak with me or council members about how you’d like to help in working on this vision.

At the same retreat, the council discerned open questions. The questions are about “who are we?”, “what has God called us to do and to be?”, and “who is our neighbor?”.

The Open Questions the council came up with are as follows:

  1. What steps can we take to reach out to people in our community?
  2. How can we nurture your faith to make it vital and sustainable?
  3. How can we get different generations to interact with each other?

There will be many opportunities to talk about these important questions as a congregation in the coming months. The idea is that these are questions which the council does not have the answers too, we want to hear your thoughts and reflections on each question so we can discover the answers together.

On Sunday, October 3, after the service, we are going to have a special coffee hour “Café International” where we will go all out and decorate our coffee hour area, serve tasty pastries from a bakery, and you have the choice of latte macchiato, cappuccino, americano, or teas. Our three open questions will be on your table for you to discuss together. Then you can write down your ideas on how we can answer each open question.

This is an exciting time for our church, and I am looking forward to exploring with you who we are and who we want to be in our neighborhood and community, called by God.

Blessings, Pastor Sonja Pilman