Dear Emmaus friends,
In your Council’s letter to St. Andrew, they verbalized what we all have been thinking: that both congregations are much richer for having spent time together over the last ten months. The council and congregation of St. Andrew agrees wholeheartedly when we say we are no longer just fellow Lutherans in Racine, but are now friends.
We, the Council and members of St. Andrew, fully understand and appreciate your need and desire to remain in your current location as there are neighborhood partners that have come to rely on and appreciate your presence. The missions and relationships of Emmaus are best suited for a more urban location which keeps your congregation deeply engrained in your neighborhood.
The members of St. Andrew spoke loudly at our meeting this past Sunday [September 14] indicating there is still a strong desire to remain in our more rural location and to explore more thoroughly the possibilities in that area.
We pray that the decision to remain in our individual locations will not be the end to cooperative worship and outreach. We have all learned that worship is enhanced when we combine our resources and it is our sincere hope that we can collaborate for special occasions as we will in the next several weeks during the Season of Creation.
We are fuller together but, unfortunately, neither congregation is ready to leave behind the traditions and memories of our places of worship. Perhaps there will come a time in the future when the timing will be right and our congregations will come together on a permanent basis.
As you hold the members of St. Andrew in your prayers, we also hold you in ours as we both move forward in our missions to Racine.
The St. Andrew Congregation Council. September 15, 2014
from Rev. Mary L. Janz
This morning some important votes and decisions were made. For many of us it was disappointing to learn that the motion made at St. Andrew was to stay at their current location (it passed with a vote of 39 to 17). On the other hand, Our Savior’s voted unanimously to sell their property, and Our Savior’s and Atonement had nearly a unanimous vote for the covenant to partner together.
Serious questions are already being asked about how all of this will affect the future of FaithWorks. We continue in prayer as we ask “Now what?” It was made clear at our Emmaus meeting that our invitation would remain open in the event that sometime in the future St. Andrew might re-consider making the move to Emmaus. That has been communicated to Pastor Michael, and he expressed gratitude for that possibility. Should there be failure to significantly step up (Pr. Michael’s words), there could be a re-evaluation of the decision by the time of the St. Andrew annual meeting in 2015.
Emmaus and St. Andrew will worship together during the three Sundays of the Season of Creation beginning next Sunday, September 21.
The Emmaus council meets at 6:30 Tuesday (not 6:00 as stated in the bulletin), and Pr. Steve Wohlfeil has already been scheduled to open the meeting on behalf of FaithWorks. Pr. Michael indicated that he thought that the St Andrew council would still be a part of that joint meeting at Emmaus as previously planned. We will be working out details in the next couple of days.
Keep the faith! We are called to move forward…whatever shape and form that may take! We are not on the journey alone!
from the September Chimes Messenger
There will be a joint congregational meeting in Atonement’s sanctuary on September 14 at 11:30 a.m. to approve the covenant between Our Savior’s and Atonement. The covenant allows the two congregations to operate as one entity and is a step in drawing them closer together.
The covenant is in place of a merger. The reason that the congregations are not planning to merge at this point is that the long-term plan for FaithWorks calls for a broader merger sometime in one to three years. It would make little sense to merge and then re-merge again in a brief time.
Highlights of the covenant are as follows:
- Each congregation retains its own corporate identity and legal status.
- The joint ministry will be known as Atonement-Our Savior’s.
- The covenant purpose makes it clear that the intent is to share resources with one another for the sake of God’s mission.
- The congregations will retain their own properly elected church councils and use them for making legal decisions appropriate to the individual congregations.
- Most decisions would be made by a joint congregational council consisting of four members from each Council and up to two pastors.
- There would be full sharing of congregational finances and other congregational information.
- While there is an intent to share resources, individual properties will remain individually owned by each congregation and responsibility for those properties will reside with the individual congregations.
- Our Savior’s must approve the covenant by a vote of two-thirds of those Our Savior’s members present because their vote would constitute a call (albeit interim) to Pastors Warren, Denise and Dana to serve as pastors of Our Savior’s.
- The Greater Milwaukee Synod and Bishop’s office have been asked to look at the covenant and believe that it is in order.
Because this is a specially called meeting of the “new” congregation, no other business can be taken up. The covenant, however, can be amended by action of the group and thus it is not possible for people to cast a vote in absentia or by proxy. While the meeting will be joint, the votes will be by paper ballot and counted separately.
Our Savior’s members will meet at 10:30 a.m.,prior to the joint meeting, to discuss the Our Savior’s building.
On a related note, Emmaus and St. Andrew will be voting on the same day in two separate meetings to consider a permanent arrangement of worshiping together at the Emmaus site with a covenant to be developed between the two congregations to be approved at their 2015 annual meetings.
Service Project: Beach / Kids’ Cove clean-up
- Meet at Kids’ Cove at 8:45 a.m.
- FaithWorks service team will help keep our parks clean by assisting in clean-up of litter on the beach and at Kids’ Cove playground from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. This is for all individuals who want a great outdoor experience.
- Please bring gloves, a trash bag and a trash grabber (optional).
St. Andrew and Emmaus councils met separately this past Tuesday; each council crafted a recommendation to be considered by its own congregation at its September 14 congregational meeting. It was also decided that on September 14 we have two worship services at 9:00 a.m., one at Emmaus and the other at St. Andrew. Following each service there will be a congregational meeting at each location to consider the recommendation made by their council. Continue reading
Atonement Lutheran Children’s Center and Preschool is now enrolling morning and afternoon 4K Racine Unified classes and free 3-year-old Preschool with full-time child care enrollment. Continue reading
(Click on image to enlarge)
FaithWorks Fall Festival: God’s Work. Our Hands. Sunday, September 7, 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 1015 Four Mile Road, Racine.
- 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.: Service in Community
- 11:30 a.m.: Worship service
- 12:30 p.m.: Pig roast and picnic
- 1:30 p.m.: Children’s games
- 2:30 p.m.: “Think Pawsitive” dog agility show
- 3:15 p.m.: 50/50 raffle drawing.
Zumba. Live music. 50/50 raffle. Free fun for the entire family.
A few months ago, the FaithWorks Mission Council realized that to be truly effective, we needed a dedicated leader for FaithWorks: a “Champion.” This Champion would be responsible for focusing the resources of our congregations, human, real, and financial, toward mission and for leading FaithWorks in the discovery and implementation of its unifying mission focused on children, education, and nutrition.
At July’s Mission Council meeting, our FaithWorks Champion — or rather, Champions — were unanimously approved. Pastor Mary Janz and Pastor Steve Wohlfeil will serve in this role together.
Pastor Mary, who has been key in keeping the FaithWorks mission moving forward to date, will be responsible for coordinating with the synod, the national church, potential funding groups, consultants, etc. She will lead the FaithWorks Mission Council and will continue to work on visioning.
Pastor Steve will be responsible for teaching (leading Bible studies) and preaching within our congregations. He will help to lift FaithWorks and the missional ideas, such as serving the poor, within our congregations.
This 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. Continue reading
from the July Chimes Messenger
At 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. Continue reading