Pastor’s Report August 2019
We live in a vital, exciting, and unique community. The opportunities for ministry here are many. Rooted in this growing and constantly changing urban context, we get to know the needs of our neighbors, welcome them in, and meet there where they are. We get to share hope, joy, and love with people in need, demonstrate grace and peace, and invite others to know the love of God in Jesus. The ministry happening at Reformation Lutheran Church is at once a gift and a challenge.
The last month has been a time to listen, to observe, and to pray about how we can be most effective. We have seen overall worship attendance dip here and there. Many have been on vacation, some are fighting illness, and others have moved away. I personally have been in touch with many of you and thank you for your prayers for our church. Our children and youth have been busy getting ready for a new school year, taking trips, and growing in relationships with one another. We are blessed by the leadership of Marissa Metevelis as youth minister and Pastor Matt’s care and attention with our young adults.
We were represented at the 2019 Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee, WI by Roger Bailey, new member of the Grand Canyon Synod council. He shared about his experience there and the work of the church, and we’ll continue to unpack some of the decisions that came out of that event. I did not win election to the ELCA church council (it was close!). Rev. Karn Carroll will be the Grand Canyon synod clergy representative to the church council. We are a part of a church that has deep commitments to God’s Word, and to working for justice in the world. This Sunday, we’ll be talking more about resources for supporting our immigrant and refugee neighbors and advocacy for migrant minors.
Next month, (Sept. 8th) we’ll be teaming up with our neighbors to serve where we live, painting curbs and fire hydrants with the City of Las Vegas. We’ll make blankets to support families experiencing homelessness, and learn about how we can advocate for immigrants and refugees. Our children will hear and learn about creation and how we care for the earth. Our new Sunday School will begin Sept 15th! I’ve been working on new partnerships in the community, to invite others into the ministry we share here, and to learn how we can best serve. I plan to partner with other local ministers to share ideas and insight into our specific needs in our downtown area.
Our new worship and music team will begin meeting soon (Sept.18th?). They will begin with conversation and planning work to refresh our worship at both the 9:00 and 11:30 Sunday worship. This Sunday, we’ll have our first rehearsal for the RLC Harmonica Choir! It will feature adults and kids, making a joyful noise for our worship! Our men’s group will meet Saturday from 9-12 for the BOLD Gathering – a live streaming event from Lutheran Church of Hope Des Moines, Iowa with Lutheran Men in Mission. Next Sunday, Set 1st, we’ll have all our youth and young adults assisting in worship and sharing about their summer events, including Campformation, Leadership Lab, and SuperCharged Wednesday!
We love being together! Tapped In will be a time for beverages and Bible Study the first Thursday of each month at Aces & Ales on N. Tenaya Way. Friends and families will meet Monday evening (Aug 26th) for our Pizza Fellowship Group. I want to especially thank Ivy Adams for serving to lead our fellowship team. Ivy has stepped down from this position and we are need of more leaders to help create upcoming events. I am grateful for Patt, Helen, Eileen, and Mary who will continue to participate in planning fun events and times to share food and fellowship.
We are sharing the Heart of Christ in the Heart of the City! In the coming months, we’ll talk more about how we do that, about what it means to be disciples and followers of Jesus, and how we can help share the gifts we have for ministry together. While the church has faced a tight budget and some financial struggles in recent months, I am confident that we are doing what we are called to do: remaining faithful, listening for God’s voice, giving as we are able, and inviting others to participate in worship and ministry here. Our new council is poised to lead us in the months and year ahead, to adapt to the challenges we face, and to build this community on the promise of God’s presence and grace in Jesus, our Lord.