Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, Saint John Lutheran Church

I write this report for the Annual Meeting having completed nine years of ministry together with you, the congregation Saint John Lutheran Church.  The time seems to have gone by quickly.  I want to lift up and high-light some things from the past year for which to give thanks to God and celebrate.

We began our one Sunday morning worship service about a year ago.  While it was an adjustment for everyone (including the pastor who still occasionally refers to “the first” or “the second” service),  overall it seems to have gone well.  I have observed a stronger sense of community and fellowship, and we are no longer divided in many ways into two congregations.  We are able to put our best self forward for guests and worship with our brothers and sisters in a comfortably full sanctuary.

Near the end of 2015, Pastor David Nelsestuen concluded his time with us as visitation pastor.  Most recently in addition to homebound visitation, he conducted an in-reach to our absentee members.  While that effort has not yielded a great return, it has provided insights.  For the service he provided for us we give thanks to God and ask God’s continued blessings on his ministry.

In 2015 we conducted the first of what I hope will become an annual congregational assessment using the Natural Church Development tools.  The assessment identified “Compelling Vision” as the area of concentration for this year.  The Congregation Council continues to talk about how to create and communicate the vision and mission of the congregation to the wider membership, and use that mission to energize and guide our ministry together.

Elsewhere in these pages you can find the financial reports.  I want to thank everyone who gave to our General Fund this year,  helping us end the year in the black.  Additionally, I hope you notice the great generosity of this congregation to extra-congregational benevolence.  Members of this congregation give thousands of dollars to agencies that assist those in need near and far, even before such amounts are matched by the Foundation.  And on top of that, a large effort was made to repay the Roof Repair loan, and we are on track to pay back that loan on time.  As we talk about budgets, do not fail to remember the great generosity of members in this congregation.

Thank you to office staff and volunteers, especially Melissa, Pat, and Jane.  Thank you to accompanists and musicians, both the leaders and those that share out of love of music and the Lord.  Thank you to our custodian, Jennifer, and our handyman, Les, for all they do that no one ever sees, but would notice if it was not done.  And thank you, as well, to all those who help keep the building and grounds neat, clean, safe, and decorated throughout the year.  A special thanks to Dave, who does such a wonderful job with Sunday morning adult education, and Judi, who keeps our children’s Sunday School going.  The list of those Council and Planning Group members who are completing their terms can be found elsewhere in these pages.  Thank you to all those who committed themselves to elected leadership in ministry in the past year, and especially thanks to Ted, our Council President.

The list of those to thank is too long, and I would surely miss someone.  Likewise there are many more ministries that could be mentioned.  Know that as I these ministries and persons, all is made possible by the congregation as a whole.  Thanks be to God for the congregation of Saint John Lutheran Church, and I look forward to another year of service with you in Jesus name.


+Pastor Bond Haldeman

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