PASTOR'S PERSPECTIVE FOR MAY 2017
Greetings in the name of our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
June 4th is Pentecost Sunday, the day we remember how the Holy Spirit was poured out on the believers in Jerusalem. Many consider this the “birthday” of the church. It is fitting, then, that we should gather together for the first time as United Lutheran Church of Proctor on Pentecost Sunday. Much has to be done as we prepare for that day, and much will need to be done after we consolidate.
On June 4th, we will have our organizational meeting at which we will accept the constitution, pass a budget, call a pastor, and elect council members and officers. It will be a busy morning! You have already seen the proposed constitution and bylaws, and you can request one from either office any time. The proposed budget will be smaller than the combination of Bethlehem and Immanuel’s current budgets. I hope to continue as your pastor, so no call committee is being formed.
The new council will be made up of 9 people (plus the pastor) who each serve a 3-year term. (Bethlehem had 9 members with 2-year terms; Immanuel had 7 members with 3-year terms plus an appointed treasurer.) The positions will be staggered so that we are electing 3 new council members each year. But we have to begin with a full slate elected at our organizational meeting on June 4th. Current council members from both congregations have agreed to be on the ballot. They are Dan Saarela, Chris Pasek, and Jim Kmecik beginning 3-year terms; Sonja Carlson, Donna Crilly, and Steve Grabko beginning 2-year terms; and Victor Murray, Kris Thoreson, and Adrianna Carlson beginning 1-year terms.
If you were counting, you noticed that 5 of those listed above are Immanuel members and 4 are Bethlehem members. However, both congregations consider Dan Saarela an active participant, so there is an even split between former Bethlehem and former Immanuel members. After the first year, 3 people will be elected (or re-elected) to full 3-year terms, starting the cycle of 3 new members each year.
Four of those who are electing council members will also be elected to serve as the officers of the council and congregation. I have asked Chris Pasek to serve as the first President of United Lutheran Church of Proctor. Chris currently serves as the Secretary of Immanuel’s council, was a member of the Dream Team, led Sunday School for many years, and was a member of the Call Committee that called me to Proctor. Jim Kmecik is willing to serve as Vice President of United. Jim currently is the President of Bethlehem, and has been an active leader over the years. Sonja Carlson is willing to continue her role as council Secretary, her current position on the Bethlehem council. Dan Saarela, currently Immanuel’s Treasurer, is willing to stay on in that role, assisted by the finance committee. Each of these offices is a 1-year term that is renewable.
Please remember, all council positions and officers are elected by the new congregation. The nine persons named above all know that other nominations from the floor are possible. In that case, majority wins. Like both congregations have done in the past with nominating committees, these names are presented because they have already agreed to serve. As with all of the decisions we have to make as we unite, I am excited for the possibilities, because I believe we will be better together. Feel free to continue contacting me or your current council members as we draw near to June 4th.
Peace+ Pastor Kowitz