On this occasion, I thought it would be fitting to reflect on all that we have done in our ministry together this past year. Thinking back over our months together, I am proud to remember that we started a church website – www.flcronan.org. Our website has been well received and we have begun reaching out to many more people than before through online mediums like sermon recordings and Facebook. This seems to have only added to the ministry of our weekly worship and community gatherings.
But, we did not stop there. We started Confirmation again, and our group grew from four up to ten students. We also supported younger members of our community through outreach activities like our trip to the National Bison Range, bowling, the Christmas program, and the high school ski retreat up at Flathead Bible Camp. To support our new energy in this ministry, we have raised a lot of money to help send our kids to camp over the summer and support other ministry retreats. Finally, I have been representing us in deepening our commitment to the Boys and Girls Club by teaching music and mentoring youth every week.
That is not all, though! We have continued many of the traditions that we love in worship and explored ways to expand our worship styles. We got the guitar service going again on a monthly basis, tested out what worship is like with a new pastor, and even used a new liturgy throughout the season of Lent. Ours is a community that knows how to worship together, and it has been exciting to see our congregation trying out a few new things, while reviving things we used to do like the Passover Meal on Maundy Thursday. We have also been bringing church to those who cannot make it on Sundays. We have been helping lead worship at St. Luke Extended Care and Mountain View Care Center, and been intentional about making sure that others are cared for by the church who cannot make it to worship.
Alas, we are not done yet! While we have thought about how to worship in new ways, we have also begun thinking intentionally about how to better welcome members to be part of our faith community. We had coffee mugs and pens made up to give to guests who join us on Sunday. We printed invitation cards to personally welcome people to our Easter worship who do not regularly attend. The church council had a retreat early in the spring and we identified specific goals that we can aspire to this year. It is my hope and prayer that we can accomplish ALL of these goals in the coming year. It is important for us all to think about how to proclaim the Gospel to others in new and continuous ways, and working towards these goals will help us do that.
Other ways we have ministered this year include: the Martin Luther and his Legacy course, the three week course on spiritual practices, the congregational trip to the Hiawatha Trail, continued support for the Bread Basket, Shepherd’s Table, the Boys and Girls Club, and Safe Harbor, pastoral participation in the chaplaincy of St. Luke Hospital, and continued Sunday School offerings for all ages.
Most importantly, we have continued to pray for one another regularly and often. The prayer ministry that we provide for each other is crucial to how we support others as a community of faith and is one of the greatest spiritual gifts that we offer our neighbors, friends and family.
We have done all of these things and more this past year! Our first year of ministry together has been an active one for sure, and I want to thank everybody for your support through it all. The ministry that we have done this year has been bolstered by your willingness to explore being church together in new ways. While we have only just begun, it has been a great beginning. God bless.