Pastor Harvey’s Message

A Message from Pastor Harvey 

Greetings My Brothers and Sisters..

In last month’s newsletter, as has been my tradition, I covered the duties of the pastor as described by the ELCA model constitution for congregations. This month I am going to list the responsibilities of the congregation. My purpose is twofold, I suppose. The first is to illustrate the various priorities of the congregation. Congregations might actually do other things than those listed below, but the inclusion of these specific activities in the constitution indicates the importance and priority of these activities by conscious discernment.

The second purpose in listing the responsibilities of the congregation is to illustrate the very important truth that ministry in the congregation does not begin and end with the pastor. In fact, I am suggesting that much of the ministry at St Paul Lutheran is done by you, the congregation. The relevant chapter (Chapter 4) defines the congregation’s purpose. (The highlights are mine.)

Chapter 4.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

*C4.01.   The Church is a people created by God in Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, called and sent to bear witness to God’s creative, redeeming, and sanctifying activity in the world.

*C4.02.  To participate in God’s mission, this congregation as a part of the Church shall:

  1. Worship God in proclamation of the Word and administration of the sacraments and through lives of prayer, praise, thanksgiving, witness, and service.
  2. Proclaim God’s saving Gospel of justification by grace for Christ’s sake through faith alone, according to the apostolic witness in the Holy Scripture, preserving and transmitting the Gospel faithfully to future generations.
  3. Carry out Christ’s Great Commission by reaching out to all people to bring them to faith in Christ and by doing all ministry with a global awareness consistent with the understanding of God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier of all.
  4. Serve in response to God’s love to meet human needs, caring for the sick and the aged, advocating dignity and justice for all people, working for peace and reconciliation among the nations, standing with the poor and powerless, and committing itself to their needs.
  5. Nurture its members in the Word of God so as to grow in faith and hope and love, to see daily life as the primary setting for the exercise of their Christian calling, and to use the gifts of the Spirit for their life together and for their calling in the world.
  6. Manifest the unity given to the people of God by living together in the love of Christ and by joining with other Christians in prayer and action to express and preserve the unity which the Spirit gives.

*C4.03. To fulfill these purposes, this congregation shall:

  1. Provide services of worship at which the Word of God is preached and the sacraments are administered.
  2. Provide pastoral care and assist all members to participate in this ministry.
  3. Challenge, equip, and support all members in carrying out their calling in their daily lives and in their congregation.
  4. Teach the Word of God.
  5. Witness to the reconciling Word of God in Christ, reaching out to all people.
  6. Respond to human need, work for justice and peace, care for  the sick and the suffering, and participate responsibly in  society.
  7. Motivate its members to provide financial support for the congregation’s ministry and the ministry of other parts of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
  8. Foster and participate in interdependent relationships with other congregations, the synod, and the churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
  9. Foster and participate in ecumenical relationships consistent with churchwide policy.

After reading that, all I can say is, “Wow, you all are busy.” God bless.

Your shepherd in Christ,

+Pastor Harvey

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