As we begin the last 4 months of the year with our September ministry and mission focus, we thought it would be helpful to give you a snapshot of the first 8 months of 2015. Already this year we have:
Increased participation of high school youth in Sunday morning gatherings
Significant participation of members in the effort to address issues of racism and white privilege
City of Edina and Watershed district approvals of our building project
e-Newsletters highlighting our ministry with children and youth
the rollout of our new website
City of Edina and Hennepin County each pledge over $500,000 for 66 West Apartments
The congregation approves a finance and budget goal for the capital project
High School Youth join the ELCA Youth Gathering with 30,000 youth from around the country
Group volunteering with VEAP, Loaves & Fishes, Community Emergency Service, and more
Welcoming at least 17 new member households in 2015, including 40 new members
Pastor Stephanie led a campfire evening with over 40 ECLCers
Hosted a Trans Ally Training for People of Faith in August
Already celebrated 9 baptisms and there are more to come this fall
Activities promoting fair and just immigration reform
We continue to celebrate worship in the midst of significant road construction
We increased our capacity in Children, Youth & Family Ministry by hiring Janine & Jessica as Nursery Coordinators, JD as HS Youth minister, and increasing Kelly’s hours.
A constant stream of visitors
Much has happened and is happening still. This fall we look forward to beginning again our faith formation ministry with Sunday School, confirmation, the adult forums, book studies, “Why Christian” conference and more. We also look forward to hosting Pastor Conchi from our partner congregation in El Salvador (November 15) and former Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson (November 22) who was pastor here at ECLC when we became a Reconciling in Christ Congregation 30 years ago in 1985. We await the October decision from the state of Minnesota on funding for the 66 West Housing Project for homeless young adults. The Shepherding committee has an important emphasis on how we might be a community that is open and vulnerable to each other. Look for the Wall of Questions this fall as we look forward to a special adult forum and preacher in early December. We will also be celebrating the ground breaking of the construction on our building in October. We also will launch our fund appeal for construction and as well for our 2016 budget year both of which will undergird our ministry and mission for the future.
Many prayers, thousands and thousands of hours of volunteer time have enabled much to happen and so have the offerings of our financial resources. Your continued support in generosity of time and money this fall will have a significant impact on our work to share God’s YES for the world. Thank you.
God bless, Pastor Stephanie Coltvet Erdmann and Pastor Erik Strand