December 29, 2016

Dear LABC,

(You may have already read this update but I am including it in the January Transmitter to give it as broad a circulation as possible.)

Throughout the fall I have been encouraged and inspired by both your concern for, and interest in, our Long Range Planning conversations. It was heartening to see Barnett Hall full all three Sundays as we talked about the past, the present and the future of our congregation.

I have also been greatly heartened by the wisdom, drive, commitment and insights of our Long Range Planning Committee chaired by Paige Bence. These leaders have gone well beyond the call of duty in planning, preparing, listening, interpreting and envisioning.

The Committee met on Wednesday evening, December 7th, to begin digesting all your input, paying particular attention to your “God-Sized Dreams.” The next big day on the calendar for this group is Saturday, January 28 when we gather under the skilled direction of Jim Kitchens for an All-Day Writing Retreat. At the end of the day we hope we will have captured the essence of a Spirit-led vision that will help guide LABC in the years to come.

What was clear at our December meeting is that:

  1. The leadership of LABC is not dependent on the presence of the Pastor as a family emergency kept me from attending. Great work was still done!
  2. Our congregation is energized by working for social justice, providing a home for families in all their diversity, paying close attention to the wellbeing of children and youth, connecting the generations (including our seniors) and worshipping God in ways that are beautiful and soulshaping.
  3. There is a concern to better connect our ministry with residents of the church neighborhood and the families of the Children’s Center.

We have some work to do as January 28 approaches. We want to listen in on what residents of the church neighborhood and members of the Lakeshore Children’s Center family have to say to us and we want to make sure that we have heard from each of you. Thus, if you have not been able to be part of the conversations this fall, but would like to make sure your voice is heard, please call or email me and I will make sure that a member of the Long Range Planning Committee gets in touch with you.

Thanks again for inspiring me. I trust that the Love of God will be very real to you as the new year dawns.

Pastor Jim