FaithWorks Plans Fall Festival September 7

GodsWork-OurHands_TshirtMark your calendar for September 7, a day of service, worship, food and fun! We hope to blitz the community with servant workers donning “God’s Work, Our Hands” t shirts, bearing both the ELCA logo and that of FaithWorks as we offer service throughout the community that morning. (Please get your order in to your church office by Monday, August 4.)

Are you willing to help plan the pig roast/potluck for the festival to be held at St. Andrew? Or, maybe being a part of the planning team for outdoor worship or for fun and games is your interest! See Pastor Mary about lending a hand in one of those areas. If service to the community is how you would like to be involved, check in with Caren Lamberton.

There is a place for everyone! Many hands make for light work—and a lot of fun as well!

St. Andrew-Emmaus listening sessions

people212This weekend concludes the small group listening sessions St. Andrew, Emmaus and Emaús have scheduled throughout the summer. Many members of the congregations have shared your thoughts and concerns regarding the FaithWorks North congregations worshiping together.

Monday evening, the leaders of the listening groups and one-on-one sessions will meet at St. Andrew to share information gathered. A report of what was heard at the listening sessions, as well as answers to questions raised by members in the listening sessions, will be compiled by August 8 and then shared with the congregations’ members. Thank you to all of the listening team and to everyone who participated in this process.

Our Savior’s, Atonement Councils Move Forward with Covenant

from the July Chimes Messenger

2churches902At the last meeting of our church councils, it was decided to move forward with a covenant that will work to draw our congregations closer together. A covenant, we believe, is the best next step in making our congregation stronger and better able to function as a single entity. We are not looking at merger now because our FaithWorks partnership calls us to consider merger in the not too distant future, and the time expense and effort to do a merger and then do it again seems foolish.

The congregations will meet in a joint congregational meeting on September 14 to discuss and vote on the covenant. The vote will be separate.

The following are some highlights of the covenant:

  • Our common ministry will be known as Atonement-Our Saviors.
  • Our purpose, by this covenant, is to create a stronger parish whose resources are joined to better serve Jesus and to build God’s Kingdom.
  • We commit to following God’s will; worshiping and praying together; caring for one another; treating one another with respect; sharing our resources and spiritual gifts; working together.
  • Our common ministry will be managed by a joint council consisting of four members of each congregation’s council and two of our pastors.
  • Individual congregational councils will be maintained for the purpose of conducting corporate business unique to each congregation.
  • All reports, minutes, and financial records will be shared with the joint council.
  • Property owned by each congregation remains the sole responsibility of each congregation.
  • Our Savior’s adoption of this covenant will constitute a shared interim call to Atonement’s pastors.
  • Our Savior’s will compensate Atonement for that pastoral call at the rate they were compensating their previous 1/2-time interim (including benefits).
  • In the event of filling a pastoral vacancy, a call committee will be formed using members from each congregation.
  • Termination of the covenant may be accomplished by the vote of either congregation at a duly called special meeting, which has followed a three-month notice of the congregation’s intent to dissolve the covenant.

Because adoption of this covenant constitutes a pastoral call for the Our Savior’s congregation, a two-thirds majority will be necessary for approval. Atonement’s approval of the covenant will require a simple majority for approval.

Next Steps on the Journey Together

by Rev. Mary L. Janz in the July-August Emmaus Visitor

From the RAMS (Racine Area Mission Strategy) process to the FaithWorks mission partnership (currently with St. Andrew, Emaús, Our Savior’s and Atonement) to joint worship services of Emmaus and St. Andrew to assessment of resources and listening sessions—step by step we have been on a journey together. We have asked, “What is God’s vision for mission together in Racine?” We have discovered more about ourselves and about our partners in the process. We have asked tough questions like “What is essential to mission, and what might we need to give up/change/leave behind for the sake of God’s mission?” We have expressed both fears and dreams for the future of the church.

To some, it may seem like we have taken baby steps and moved way too slowly. For others, what is familiar and comfortable remains front and center, and there may be resistance to moving ahead into what is unfamiliar territory. What we do know is that this is a new era in our society and in our church, and we are called to be pioneers and to follow God’s call, venturing forth into places unknown.

signpostAs leaders, many of us have invested considerable time, energy, prayer and work in this venture together. We believe that there is no going back and that it is soon time to take the next steps in this “Forward in Faith” journey we call FaithWorks. We anticipate that after the listening sessions are completed in late July and following a debriefing by the listening leaders of what has been heard, the councils will then be prepared to take the next step and make a recommendation centered around coming together. The stated goal of many is that in the fall we (Emmaus, Emaús and St. Andrew) would come together in one location for worship and ministry as one body. And, even though we would continue to offer worship services both in English and Spanish, we would make a priority the task of building relationships and finding more and more ways of being a faith community together.

What all of this will look like we do not yet know. What we do know is that each part of the body brings unique gifts and is essential to the whole. As daughters and sons, created in God’s image, we ALL have gifts, and we ALL have a place at the table. Hand-in-hand, hanging on to God and to one another, we will navigate this new terrain together, and we will all be richer for it! I, for one, can’t wait to see what God has in store for us and for all of Racine!

Atonement — Our Savior’s

From the June Chimes Messenger

FW-SbldgsWhat’s happening as our two congregations continue toward greater partnership? At this point the Our Savior’s church office has moved entirely to Atonement. It is located in what used to be the Sunday School office directly across the hall from the Atonement office. Work is being shared between both offices.

The Spark program has moved to Atonement and work has begun to bring the program into alignment with Atonement’s Tower Homework center. We have noted a modest increase in the number of kids using Spark. There is a worship service that is open to all, though aimed at children, on Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Continue reading

FaithWorks Champion

FaithWorks Racine is looking to hire a “FaithWorks Champion.” This position will be responsible for leading FaithWorks in the discovery and implementation of its unifying mission focused on children, education and nutrition. To apply for this position, submit résumé and cover letter no later than July 10 to:

Pastor Warren Williams, Atonement Lutheran Church, 2915 Wright Ave., Racine, WI 53405

Copies of the full job description are available in the church offices, or click to read this .pdf. Continue reading

Just Imagine

from the May Emmaus Visitor

130908-DSCN1239smJust Imagine…hundreds of ELCA Lutherans out in Racine at the very same time engaged in works of love and service!
Just Imagine…those hundreds of Lutherans all wearing brightly colored t shirts with the words “Racine ELCA FaithWorks-God’s Love in Action in Racine”
Just Imagine…the entire morning of Sunday, September 7, the ELCA initiative of “God’s Work, Our Hands” being lifted up in communities throughout the entire country!
Just Imagine…a fun-filled Festival with clowns, kid friendly games, and great food that Sunday afternoon to celebrate FaithWorks, the Racine community and God at work in this city!

Check out the FaithWorks website in early June. There you will find details about how to order your very own t shirt and how to register to be on a FaithWorks team going out to serve the community September 7. Want to be in on the planning? Show up at 6:30 p.m. at Atonement Lutheran Church (2915 Wright Avenue) on Wednesday, May 21 to be part of the planning or contact Pastor Mary or Margaret Robinson to learn more.

Our Savior’s-Atonement: Where Are We Now?

from the Atonement-Our Savior’s Chimes Messenger

Some have been wondering where we are on our new mutual journey with one another. Are we merging? Will we get to vote?

The answer to the first question is that the journey seems to be going well. There are adjustments to be made. Atonement’s sanctuary has taken on a few of the Lenten liturgical pieces from Our Savior’s, and most people seem to enjoy them. Our Savior’s folks are adjusting to some of Atonement’s more formal ways and our neo-gothic sanctuary. Everyone is sensing some sense of greater vitality in worship with more people in the pews and some new people to meet. Continue reading

ELCA Neighborhood Camps Partner with Summer Food Service Program

Stressing the importance of offering nutritious meals to children during the summer months, Racine ELCA Neighborhood Camps announces the sponsorship of the Summer Food Service Program at Neighborhood Camp at Emmaus Evangelical Lutheran Church and Atonement Lutheran Church in Racine.

120627_5701edThe Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, provides nutritious meals to children during the summer, when free and reduced-price school meals are typically unavailable. Free meals will be made available to children 18 years of age and under. Persons over 18 years of age who are determined by a state or local public educational agency to be mentally or physically disabled and who also participate in a public or private non-profit school program during the regular school year may receive free meals as well.

The following locations will be serving the free meals this summer: Emmaus Lutheran Church, 1925 Summit Avenue, and Atonement Lutheran Church, 2915 Wright Avenue. Meals are provided between June 23 and July 24, 2014 to eligible children regardless of race, color, national origin, age, gender or disability and there will be no discrimination in the course of meal service. Continue reading

Racine ELCA FaithWorks Congregations Work Together to Live Out God’s Mission

by Rev. Mary Janz

A group of approximately fifty FaithWorks members, including council members, lay leaders and pastors, came together April 25 and April 26 at the FaithWorks Leadership Retreat held at Atonement Lutheran Church.

FaithWorks is the partnership of the following ELCA Lutheran congregations in Racine: Atonement, Emmaus, Emaús, Our Savior’s and St. Andrew. The purpose of the retreat was to further develop relationships among FaithWorks members, clarifying and defining the FaithWorks vision as we work to move our vision into action, impacting the Racine community. Retreat facilitators were Rev. David Daubert, Rev. Sandy Chrostowski and Susan Gould. Continue reading