Our Savior’s, Atonement Merger Advances

From the June Chimes Messenger

150123-2690atonThe Consolidation Team (formerly the merger team) met recently to continue the work of moving Our Savior’s and Atonement to become one congregation. Some concern was expressed about the long time frame created for the process. It was noted that we need to work to make sure momentum is kept to become one. It is felt to be important to make sure that equal opportunity is had to participate in worship leadership roles.

The summer is to be focused on listening to the Spirit by several methods. The congregations’ assets will continue to be mapped. Time will also be spent trying to better understand the needs of the Atonement-Our Savior’s neighborhood. Our Savior’s member Teresa Reinders, a teacher at UW-Parkside, will use a fall class she is teaching to help with mapping neighborhood assets.

Our history, trajectory, members, neighbors and more are being examined to listen for the mission that God is calling us to now. Several other events are tentatively in planning for summer. This historic opportunity is wanted to be taken to let God make our congregation new.

In the fall, we will start to turn toward the legal aspects of coming together, and we have already begun to explore our constitutional differences and what the new ELCA model constitution looks like. The goal is to celebrate our coming together the Sunday after Easter, 2016; we will likely be legally one before that date, however.

‘God’s Work, Our Hands’ Sunday Plans Underway

By Diane Thygeson

“God’s Work, Our Hands” Sunday is an opportunity to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) – one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.

140907-FWFF02smFor the past two years, thousands of members from across this church have dedicated one day to serve communities in ways that share the love of God with all people. Last year, the FaithWorks congregations joined together for a day of service, worship and fellowship. This year, FaithWorks is inviting all Racine ELCA churches to join together. The date for 2015’s “God’s Work, Our Hands” Sunday is September 13.

Over the next couple of months, a planning committee will reach out to various organizations in Racine, to see where service projects are needed most. Whether it’s gathering food items to fill shelves at one of the local food pantries, cleaning up a public park or volunteering at a homeless shelter, service activities offer an opportunity for us to explore one of our most basic convictions as Lutherans: That all of life in Jesus Christ – every act of service, in every daily calling, in every corner of life – flows freely from a living, daring confidence in God’s grace.

We’ll start the day doing various community service projects around Racine, wearing our bright gold “God’s Work, Our Hands” t-shirts. Then we’ll gather at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection for a joint worship service, followed by a cookout and an afternoon of kids’ games and other entertainment. (We will start to gather T-shirt orders in July. T-shirts will be cost $6 each.)

You work hard to help make Racine a better place. Now let’s do this work together!

Emaús, Emmaus Discuss Consolidation

from the Emmaus Visitor

Pastor Mary Janz and Pastor Jhon Freddy Correa recommended to the Emmaus council on April 21 that an official consolidation of Emmaus and Emaús be considered. After discussion, the council decided to recommend pursuing that possibility, which proposed consideration of calling of a bilingual lead pastor to serve this newly formed congregation.

141026-07refmAs part of the process, a short-term advisory team was formed. Members of the team included Kathy Christensen, Carol Eschmann, Stacy Steinike, Melissa Lemke, Pablo Enriquez, Soledad Beltran, and Trinidad and Antelmo Hernando.

The advisory team met April 26 to ask questions and to discuss how to proceed. They proposed that after the worship services on May 2 and 3 the pastors present the proposal, allowing time for questions and concerns to be aired and ending with an unofficial straw vote about whether to move forward with the concept. Should that process continue, a transition team will then be formed.

The first weekend in May, both pastors led the three congregational forums. Those attending (the vast majority of worshipers stayed for the half hour forums following each of the services) were assured that worship would continue both in English and Spanish with the probability of adding a new worship service in the future.

It was explained that the lead pastor would preach at half the English services and at half the Spanish services, with guest preachers filling in on the other weeks. Pastor Jhon Freddy said that if plans for this consolidation should materialize, he would then prayerfully consider whether he would be one of the candidates to interview for the position of lead pastor.

Since the congregational forums, the pastors have met with synod staff regarding the proposal to move forward together. A meeting with Ruben Duran of the Churchwide office of the ELCA will be held in Racine May 26 to further discuss with the pastors and the synod staff the possibilities and process of creating a “New Start.”

FW Spearheads ‘God’s Work Our Hands’ Planning

140907-FWFF11It is the hope of the Mission Council of FaithWorks to expand this year’s “God’s Work Our Hands” day to include even more Racine ELCA congregations. A planning meeting has been scheduled for June 9 (6:30 pizza, 7:00 planning) at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 1015 Four Mile Road. Each council member is encouraged to invite a member from another ELCA congregation to attend.

FaithWorks congregations are also planning three separate Neighborhood Night Out events for the evening of August 4. Want to be involved? Contact Emmaus Outreach Director, Carol Yust.

St. Andrew Golden Anniversary

140404StA1544by Pastor Michael Mueller

We extend this special invitation to you to join us at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 1015 Four Mile Road, to celebrate our 50th anniversary. The event will be held at St. Andrew on Sunday, June 7 with a 9:00 a.m. worship service and a brunch to follow in Fellowship Hall. This anniversary celebration is an opportunity to thank God for all of our blessings over these fifty years. Continue reading

diakonia™ Graduation

diakonialogo​You are invited to the ​2015 ​diakonia™ Graduation​ ​​Festive Worship Celebration Saturday, ​the thirteenth of ​June​ ​2015 at 2:00 p.m.at Atonement Lutheran Church, 2915 Wright Ave, Racine, WI; ​Rev. Dr. Warren Williams presiding; ​Rev. Jeff Barrow, GMS Bishop​ preaching​; Rev. Dr. Sandra Chrostowski leading the Affirmation of Baptism​.

Reception following the worship service in the church’s Fellowship Hall.

​Clergy, rostered leaders and past grads​ are invited to vest and process. The color of the day is red.

FaithWorks Food Pantry: The Excitement Continues

from the May Atonement-Our Savior’s Chimes Messenger

Things are going gangbusters at the FaithWorks Food Pantry. We still have a large number of amazing volunteers, and we are welcoming more guests each and every day. (During the last full week of April, we served over 20 families on each day we were open.)

All of which means that we are both making bigger dent in the hunger problem in Racine and developing more relationships with people in our community. Continue reading

What’s Next in Our Journey Together?

by Rev. Mary L. Janz

Pastor Jhon Freddy and I presented the following proposal at Emmaus’s April church council meeting:

“As your pastors, we continue to be grateful for the many ways God is at work among us. As Emaús prepares to celebrate six years together as a mission start congregation and Emmaus celebrates over 160 years as an organized congregation, some important questions are now being asked about where God is leading us into the future.
“We come to you recommending that an official consolidation of Emmaus and Emaús be considered. Why consolidation? While both faith communities bring strong assets and resources, we realize that continuing as two separate congregations is neither practical nor sustainable. We need one another, and we are stronger together as a whole, unified body.
“We are proposing the calling of a bilingual lead pastor to serve this newly formed congregation. We envision a transition team that will work together to explore what this unified body will look like, acknowledging that there will be new ways of doing things and that the new face of this congregation will be lived out in a variety of expressions.”

Continue reading