Here are some observations I have found as I fill in as your vacancy pastor. Peter Drucker, a leadership guru, said that the four hardest jobs in America (and not necessarily in order, he added) are:
The President of the United States
A university president
A CEO of a hospital and
Is that true? Pastors love God and love people. They get to pray for people, lead people to a faith in Jesus Christ and teach people the Word of God.
That sounds like a dream job. You can read the Bible all day, pray, play a little golf and preach. I want to do that (but I don't play golf-now what?)!
Here is the secret. Being a pastor is hard work. It's not for wimps.
This is the reality-the job of a pastor can be 24/7 and carry unique challenges. You have let me slack as your part-time vacancy pastor. Thanks for that!
Some pastors wear themselves out trying to help people. Some wound their family because they are so involved in ministry. Others flourish in their ministry and personal life.
Approximately 85% of churches in America have less than 200 people. 60% of churches are under 100 people. The average size congregation in USA is 89 people, according to The Barna Group. Staffs are small and needs are great. In many situations the pastor needs to be a Bible teacher, accountant, strategist, visionary, computer tech, counselor, public speaker, worship director, prayer warrior, mentor, leadership trainer and fundraiser.
Who can be all of that?
90% of pastors said the ministry was completely different than what they thought it would be like before they entered the ministry.
70% say they have a lower self-image now than when they first started.
Personally, I love being a pastor. We have great people at Calvary Lutheran Church. I am content. Of course, it's a lot easier to be "content" when things are going well. I have great friends who are pastors. My marriage is strong. I am a better man because God called me to be a pastor.
Some of the unique problems that pastors' face are:
Pastors can be criticized by a lot of people for a multitude of things.
"Music is too loud. Worship is not long enough. It's too long." "Sermon is not deep enough. It's too long." "Pastor thinks he's too important. It took me 3 weeks to get an appointment." "You talk too much about money." "...can I talk to you for a minute, Pastor?" This simple question can cause a pastor to think: "Oy vey. Now what?"
We pastors need to find a way to not take criticism so personally and learn from truths that could be hidden in the criticism.
Members leave, leaders leave and pastors' friends leave. The reality is-people leave.
The smaller the church, the more obvious it is when people leave. Some leave for reasonable decisions, many leave 'ungracefully'. They leave the big churches too-by the thousands.
When people leave our church of about 150-it is so disappointing. When people leave huge churches, and they do, their loss is not so noticeable.
These words cause a pastor to wonder about his call into the ministry:
"We want something deeper."
"My needs aren't getting met."
Every pastor has heard, "I'm not getting fed here." Really? Not getting fed? Perhaps it's time to offer your talents to help us feed one another.
One of the most difficult conditions to achieve is to have a "tough skin and a soft heart." Love people, hold them lightly and don't take it personally.
"...uhhh, OK. Lord help us."
Staff leaders may not support the congregation and the direction the pastor desires to see the congregation grow. The pastor trusts a person with a title and that person has a different agenda.
Church staff causing problems is a betrayal. Pastors rightfully think, "We're paying you to solve problems, not cause them. I don't need to pay someone a salary to create problems."
40% report a conflict with a church member at least once a month.
85% of pastors said their greatest problem is they are tired of dealing with problem people, such as disgruntled elders, deacons, board members, associate pastors, and paid staff.
The #1 reason pastors leave the ministry is that church members are not willing to follow or change.
40% of pastors say they have considered leaving their pastorates in the last three months.
We pastors have to find a way, with God's grace, to love people as if we have never been hurt before.
Who's my friend? Who can I trust? Who can I talk to about my problems?
70% do not have someone they consider a close friend.
Are my friends really my friends or a church member who is a temporary friend who may leave any day now?
Healthy friendships are crucial to a fulfilling life, especially to the well-being of a pastor.
50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years.
70% felt God called them to pastoral ministry before their ministry began, but after three years of ministry, only 50% still felt called.
Keeping personally refreshed is an art and a science... and extremely important.
6. Frustrations & Disappointments
Disappointments come in many ways.
Because of smaller congregations, the average compensation package for pastors is a subsistence salary. There are many things pastors in this salary range are not able to do for their family that other people around them can do.
There are many areas of ministry that judging "success" is difficult. Pastors can be hard on themselves. We work in an area that good work and good effort does not always guarantee success.
Many pastors work hard, do their best, but can't connect with their members. It's frustrating.
Some days leaders feel like they can't seem to do anything right. The ministry finally gets momentum and then a leader leaves. Things are going well and then a couple of the biggest givers leave.
The church needs money but the pastor doesn't want to put too much focus on money. It's not about the money-but it becomes about the money.
All of this can be overwhelming.
4,000 new churches begin each year and 7,000 churches close.
Over 1,700 pastors left the ministry every month last year.
Over 3,500 people a day left the church last year.
50% of pastors feel so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.
45.5 % of pastors say that they've experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they needed to take a leave of absence from ministry.
This is not the case for all pastors. In fact many manage to handle these issues well.
How Christians and church members can help.
Pray for your pastor Pray for guidance, protection, healthy friends, their marriage and family. Pray for inspiration, anointing, the leadership team, unity and clarity. Pray for our Call Committee as they seek the pastor God desires to lead Calvary.
Protect your pastor As best you can don't allow or participate in gossip and criticism. How can you serve and problem solve to prevent overload?
Encourage your pastor Thank him for his ministry and sacrifice. Tell them a specific time in which you or someone you know experienced a life change in their church. Honor them to others. Let your pastors know you are praying for them.
According to the Barna report-the profession of "Pastor" is near the bottom of a survey of the most-respected professions, just above "car salesman."
Insert a prayer or inspirational message to your members.
Here's a copy of the links from President Matthew Harrison's discussion before Congress on Health Care that were posted in the last issue.
March 11- Carol Liston's Retirement Celebration @ 10:45am
March 25-28 WASC Visit
March 31- Secret Sister Breakfast 10am
March 31- LWML Work Party 1pm
April 9- Annual Golf Tournament
April 27, 28- OWL Planet Wisdom
May 3- National Day of Prayer
May 5- Wittenberg Tea
May 6- Confirmation Sunday 10:45am
May 19- CLS Rummage Sale (tentative)
June 5- 8th Gr. Graduation 7pm
August 6-10- VBS "SKY"
2/29: Pastor Paul- "Save Me Because of Your Unfailing Love"
3/7: Pastor Mark- "Come Quickly to Help Me"
3/14: Pastor Gary- "God's Enduring Presence for You"
3/21: Pastor Paul- "Against You and For Me"
3/28: Pastor Mark- "Teach Me Your Will, For You Are My God"
Thrivent changes for 2012
All recurring directions set before 2012 will be removed. Members will have the opportunity to renew their recurring direction in 2012. Recurring direction will not be an option in 2013. The recurring direction option depletes the program's budget so quickly that, to accommodate it, Choice Dollars designation rates would need to be reduced dramatically.
Retirement Celebration for Carol Liston
March 11 at 10:45am
A luncheon will be served following the service.
Names beginning with A-L bring a dessert, M-Z bring a salad.
(these items may be brought to the kitchen the morning of)
Cold cuts, cheese, rolls, etc. will be provided by the Fellowship.
Just a note to let everyone know that the Lord has provided us with a Beautification Committee: Lisa Ghiselli, Howard Goldhammer, Julie Ramirez & Norma Smith
3/11Paul and Susan Hoffman 45 years
3/16Rick and Annette English 16 years
3/30James and Carol Liston 9 years
3/20 Kim Heggins
3/21 Stephen Regnier
3/27 Aaron Glock
3/30 Conrad Skjong
3/31 Jane Arndt
Frank Mitchell's MRI came back negative, continued prayers for hearing to be restored
Peace in the World
President Obama and our country's leadership - For our soldiers in Afghanistan: Kyle Hyden, nephew of Skjong's; and for Frank Mitchell II, Thomas Caspersen & Antonio Landaverde who are overseas; for those in the Reserves- Jonathan Ellis
For our Staff
Fred Brauer; Margie Luehrs; Chrystle Vincent; Traci McClain; Amy
Sosa; Christina Grace; Bethany Chhom; Ellen Hackerd; Kristi Morlock; Abby Einspahr; Mike Souza; Doug Henry; Kim Heggins; Blenda Schultz; Michelle Michael; Sherrie Akre; Carol Liston; Cecilia Guerra; Cindy Suppus; Lydiana Sanchez; Holly Contier; Pastor Gary
For our interim ministry need; Marketing Ideas; Wittenberg Manor Outreach; Evangelism; Children's, Family and Youth Ministries; Parish Education; School Enrollment
Peace and Comfort
For the family of Annette English and the passing of her father, Bill Olsen
Pat Brown, infection in incision; Bettie Benz' son-in-law, Stephen Comfort ; Dee Lazaga (Edith Mena's sister), ovarian cancer; Evelyn Asker; Joyce Schwartz, Leanne Mueller's mother; Melody Saldate; Wanda Grimm
Physical, Emotional or Spiritual Healing
For Amy Sosa's mother, Dianne; David Cannella's upcoming tests in March; Frank Mitchell, hearing loss; Millie Salo; Mabel Stafne; Susan Hoffman; Esther Garguilo; Willine Watson; Marlene Mueller; Angela Garcia; Adolph Stafne; Marie Curtis; Van Deckert; John Ohanesian; Tyler & Dave Flynn
Colleen Martchenke- due August; Stephanie Mendia- due June; Emily Blank- due June; Candice Kofsky- due March; Vicki Blank- due March
Personal Needs & Other Concerns
Marriage difficulties; elderly parents and those in need of employment
BOARD OF GOVERNANCE MINUTES
January 12, 2012
Present: Barbara Adams, Darlene Goldhammer, Jeff Jensen, Lee Strom, Pastor Mohr
Pastor Gary opened with prayer and devotion based on Rev. 2:18-29, the letter to the church at Thiatira. This church was considered the most corrupt of the seven churches, but it did exhibit gifts of love and faith. Faith reminds us that God is in control and we can find comfort in that fact. God told the church that He was against them because they tolerated the false prophetess Jezebel and the sexual immorality that she promoted. He said He would punish her and those who went along with her teachings. We were also reminded that God gives us a chance to repent and will allow us to return to Him. Every church has struggles, but it is important that we be in tune with the leading of the Holy Spirit. As Christians we need to be wary of sexual and spiritual adultery as individuals and as a church body.
Pastor reported that the call process has started, and President Newton has been contacted to let him know we are ready to move ahead. A Call Committee has been established and the congregation was given an opportunity to fill out a questionnaire stating the ages and qualities considered important for our new pastor. Several names of potential candidates were also presented by members. These individuals will be contacted to see if they wish to be on our call list. The majority of the congregation preferred someone between ages 30 and 40 and the secondary choice was for a person between ages 40 and 50.
The circuit Forum will be held Saturday at Prince of Peace to discuss the new plan to begin LINC East Bay. The purpose of the plan is to provide support to churches as they reach out to ethnic groups in their particular areas. The CNH District has provided a grant; Prince of Peace will hire an individual to direct the program, which will begin in July, 2012.
Pastor also talked about understanding basic cultural differences as a door to reach out to other ethnic groups and the importance of one-on-one relationships. We have a similar problem when reaching out to youth.
Pastor contacted two retired ministers in our area to see if either was interested in serving as a volunteer chaplain at Wittenberg; both declined.
Jeff Jensen contact the Wittenberg Board with BOG's recommendation for a breezeway connecting both buildings without having to go outdoors from one building to the other.
We are still in need of a representative from Calvary to attend the CNH District meeting in Burlingame the weekend of April 27-29. We need a volunteer.
Barbara Adams will set up a meeting with Principal Fred Brauer and Brian Pye to discuss our Youth Program/Committee.
We discussed the wisdom of renting out the Parish Hall. At present, our members may use the Parish Hall at no cost and it is not available to other groups. BOG voted to continue our current policy. We will investigate how other places handle rental of their facilities.
Principal Brauer provided us with detailed information on the next school year; he joined our discussion to clarify the tuition plan for next year and other school related items.
Pastor will contact Carol Liston about the possibility of starting an adult choir.
We discussed Calvary's need for a Beautification Committee to work on the sanctuary using the memorial gift we have been given. We would like volunteers for this committee.
Some years ago we, as a congregation, provided a Christmas offering for our staff; we have not done that for the past two years, but would like to reestablish the practice at Christmas, 2012.
We were each given a copy of an article on evangelism-training ministry and asked to read it by our next meeting. We also discussed an article on Mega churches we received previously; our aim was to identify sections that might be included in the Chronicle.
Present: Barbara Adams, Jeff Jensen, Darlene Goldhammer, Pastor Mohr
Pastor Gary opened our meeting with prayer and a devotion taken from Rev. 3:7-13, the letter to the church at Philadelphia. This church was known as the church of "brotherly love," was the oldest of the churches, and had been destroyed by an earthquake followed by many aftershocks. God had no condemnation for this church. He said he knew their deeds and that they had little strength, but what He had opened no one could shut and what He had shut no one could open.
It may seem like the Bay Area is closed at the moment, but there are many areas open to service and God's word. At times it may seem like we have very little power here at Calvary, but whatever God provides will be enough for what He wants us to accomplish. He created us to do certain things and will certainly make known to us what He wants us to do. When we are confronted with a need, God will use it for His purpose.
The church at Philadelphia was told to hang on even though they had little power. The central needs of the ministry of any church are the word and sacraments and the love of God in Christ. Only love can defeat the works of Satan. When a church responds to ministry, it acts in love and kindness and is a wonderful testimony to God. We must not lose the opportunities before us. We are not forgotten by God, but need to continue the works God has placed before us.
Pastor approached the Elders about the possibility of a church-wide Bible study similar to the 40-Day Adventure we did several years ago. They agreed that it was a good idea but felt that would be a good idea for the new pastor to consider, aiming for a possible starting date in September.
Pastor's final date at Calvary will be on May 6, 2012, Confirmation Sunday. Mr. Brauer, Principal, is teaching the current class and said there are six students who are eligible for confirmation. He will be having a questioning on April 21 at a retreat he is putting together for the confirmands and their parents.
The CNH District office has provided information packets for 12 candidates to be reviewed by the Call Committee. They will be distributed to the members of the committee and a meeting will be scheduled to begin the process.
Letters have been sent to three potential BOG candidates and we are waiting for their responses.
Last month BOG suggested that the residents of each Wittenberg building needed easy access to the other building without having to go outside. This idea was presented in connection with drawing more residents to the weekly Bible studies and monthly praise services Calvary provides at Wittenberg. Jeff Jensen and Lee Strom assessed the situation and have presented a plan to Dave Mueller, Wittenberg Board member. Dave will present the idea to each building manager for input.
We continued our meeting with discussion on the needs of our youth and how to best provide a program for them. The discussion extended to the subject of how we can get non-members (our surrounding area) interested in what is going on at Calvary. Dave Schultz will be unable to attend the District CNH Convention April 27-29; we will ask him to find a replacement for this year. We are still looking for members to serve on our Beautification Committee. Lisa Ghiselli has volunteered and we would like two or three additional people.
We reviewed the New Member Information packet.
We adjourned with prayer by all present.
Darlene Goldhammer, BOG Secretary
The CIRCUIT FORUM MEETING was held at Prince of Peace Church, Fremont, CA on 14 January 2012 Sat.-9-11:30am. This meeting was held to discuss a new plan to begin LINC (Lutheran Intercity Network Coalition) in the East Bay. Originally, LINC started in May, 2001 in Houston, TX. The CNH District is involved in this process. It is separately incorporated from Synod and gets FEMA grants & government sources. Prince of Peace has a grant of $45,000 in their budget to start this project. It is scheduled to begin July, 2012 with a Director to be called by Prince of Peace this summer.
The long range plan (3-5 yr. ) is to develop schools, target specific ages, develop cross-language/cultural mind, expand & enhance the worship experience and become a church that has a climate of serving. It is to minister to others. Basically, "How do we reach the people for Christ?"
This project was prompted because we have so many people in the East Bay who do not have English as their home language-over 130 languages. How do we reach these people for Christ? We don't have enough money to start and train pastors for these groups. LINC seeks to be the answer.
Examples of various services offered from the existing LINC in Texas: food distribution, disaster case management, ESL classes, single family home repair, computer classes, Christian bookstore, immigration help, clothes closet, medical clinic, emergency food, etc.
How can we help? We need to be passionate about mission - then you will have a passion about LINC. LINC has more to do with outside the community rather than our own school.
Do we want to help support this? The approximate year funding is $110,000 - $150,000 and if so, any contribution would go to Prince of Prince. As more information becomes available, it will be shared with you.
LWML MINUTES FROM THE 28 JANUARY 2012 MEETING
We opened with prayer. The devotion was "IS YOUR TALENT HIDDEN". Matthew 25:14-30. God has gifted each one of us with a particular talent. We need to use it for the benefit of the kingdom of God, so it will bless and encourage others.
The offerings were received for Regular offerings, Mites, and Birthday money. We have a working balance of $254.32. I will give further detail of receipts and Disbursements at our next meeting which is Sat., 25 February 2012 at 9:30 am - 11:30 am Conference Room.
Rummage Sale Money - $297.00. What to do with it. Think about it and we will decide next meeting.
Wittenberg Spring Tea - date has been confirmed for 5 May, 2012. Decided on a Cinco de Mayo theme. All confirmed with Susan at Wittenberg.
LWML California-Nevada-Hawaii Convention in Rohnert Park - April 20, 21, 22, 2012. PLEASE WRITE IN CALENDAR. We can carpool. Details to follow as I get them.
Human Care Projects for Convention decided on:
Decided to support 2 of the 4 projects. Redwood Gospel Mission and Oroville Rescue Ministries. General details listed in Sunday overhead. Also you can go to www.cnhlwml.org to The Joyful Servant and full details are given.
Elaine volunteered to put a plastic container in the Narthex of the church to collect donations and Karen Fogle will contact the School for their support and help with the Oroville Rescue Ministries which have requested socks and Bibles.
PWP - Packed With Pride - NEW PROJECT FOR OUR LWML.
Barbara Goldhammer in charge of organizing this project. She will be looking for help with this project, so be ready to say yes to her. She will be presenting more details of this project at our next meeting, 25 Feb. 2012.
We also need to think of a name for this project: a suggestion was - LOVE FOR HEROES. Please think about it and give us your suggestion.
Page 2 - Minutes for LWML meeting 28 January 2012
Trip to Bethel Center in San Francisco. Scheduled for 27 Feb. 2012. Will confirm this. More details to follow.
Pro-rate fee is $3.00/each member and Quarterly Subscription rate is $5.00 (minimum 10). Will be taken from offerings.
Need to figure out how you pick up this magazine. I have suggested that you pick them up from the LWML mailbox in the Administration Building, but that doesn't seem to be happening. Please offer a suggestion how to remedy this.
When we had our special offering for Bites for Mites we collected $248.00. The total amount collected by District was $14,737.46.
Go on line to get your "Pray For Us Calendar" - praying for our Missionaries abroad. - www.cnhlwml.org
Closed with prayer.
DATES TO REMEMBER: PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
25 FEB 2012 - NEXT LWML MEETING 9:30AM - 11:30AM
27 FEB. 2012 - BETHEL CENTER OUTING - SF
31 MARCH 2012 - PROBABLY AFTER 12 NOON - WORK PARTY FOR CONVENTION
20 - 22 APRIL 2012 - LWML CONVENTION, Rohnert Park
5 MAY 2012 - WITTENBERG SPRING TEA
"If you would like to be part of the LWML (Lutheran Womens Missionary League), please contact the Church Office or Barbara Adams, Facilitator of LWML at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 510-278-7045 or any other member of LWML".
The LWML District Convention is going to be held in Rohnert Park, CA on April 20-22, 2012 The theme this year is "Extreme Service" from the words of I Peter 4:10-11. You are all invited to this event and I will be advising you of further information as soon as I receive it.
Our Calvary LWML has decided to support 2 of the 4 service projects offered:
1. Redwood Gospel Mission - Founded in 1963, the Mission mobilizes the community to minister to the needy (specifically, the homeless, addicted, and incarcerated) so lives are transformed. The items needed for this project are:
PERSONAL/TRAVEL SIZE PROJECTS THAT ARE NEW AND UNOPENED
WHITE, ATHLETIC SOCKS FOR A MAN OR WOMAN ARE BEST
BAND-AIDS, SOCKS, DEODORANT, SUNSCREEN, DEVOTIONAL, TOOTHBRUSH, TOOTHPASTE, GUM OR MINTS, LIP BALM, BOTTLED WATER, BIRTHDAY CARD WITH AN ENCOURAGING NOTE OR BIBLE PASSAGE AND SIGN YOUR FIRST NAME ONLY.
2. Oroville Rescue Ministries - Religious non-profit serves the homeless and disadvantaged in Oroville area and its surrounding communities. The items needed:
WHITE SOCKS FOR MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN
BIBLES - NEW AND OLD ONES, ANY SIZES, INCLUDING CHILDREN'S
Our students at Calvary will be helping with this project also.
The LWML will have a box located in the narthex area labeled for these 2 projects to collect the items. Please bring your donation no later than 30 March, 2012.
LWML SPRING RALLY will be held this year at Our Savior Lutheran in Fremont, March 10, 2012.
Please mark your calendars. We will car pool to the event. Registration will be at 8:45am and the rally will end by Noon. If you would like to attend, please let me know. All women welcome from Calvary Lutheran Church. BRING A FRIEND. Barbara Adams, Facilitator of LWML 510-278-7045 OR contact the Church Office.
Thank you for your help. Love in Jesus, Ladies of LWML
Joni Eareckson Tada will be in the San Francisco Bay Area from March 15-18, sharing her heart for Christian Disability Ministry. Joni is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Joni and Friends, an organization that reaches out to people with disabilities with the love of Jesus. A diving accident in 1967 left Joni, then 17, a quadriplegic, without the use of her hands. She first became well known because of her art work using a point brush in her mouth, her first best selling autobiography, "Joni", in 1976, and the subsequent movie of the same name in 1979 She is now known internationally for her advocacy for and sharing the Gospel with people with disabilities.
Joni will be speaking at the following times and places:
Thursday, March 15, 2012 Crosswinds Church 6444 Sierra Ct., Dublin, CA 94568 - 6:00-7:00pm
Saturday, March 17, 2012 Westgate Church 1735 Saratoga Ave San Jose, CA 95129 - 5:00-6:00pm
Sunday, March 18, 2012 Abundant Life Christian Fellowship 2440 Leghorn St. Mountain View, CA 94043 - 2:00-3:00pm
Sunday,March 18, 2012 Community Presbyterian Church 222 W. El Pintado Rd. Danville, CA 94526 - 7:00-8:00pm