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.

Emmaus Fiesta Mexicana May 9

Emmaus Lutheran Church and Parroquia Emaús, 1925 Summit Avenue, invite you to Fiesta Mexicana Saturday, May 9. A joint effort by Emmaus and Emaús members, all proceeds will go to the general fund of the church, helping sustain the building that houses the many ministries offered by the congregation.

130518-fb505292058_oThe chefs will serve an all-you-can-eat Mexican buffet from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Meal tickets are on sale for $8.00 for adults, $4.00 for children between 3 and 10 years of age. Children under three eat free.

Raffle tickets sold for $1.00 each may go either to the general raffle or to the individual gift baskets. $10 tickets buy a chance to win a cash prize of either $250 or $500 in a separate raffle drawing.

There will be a priceless bake sale at the door throughout the Fiesta as well; not all of the baked goods will be Mexican, and none of it will be priced. Offer what you think is a fair price.

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.

R.S.V.P. by May 22 if you plan to attend by calling St. Andrew Lutheran Church at (262) 639-2072, or email standrew@tds.com.

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.

WAbreadanceDuring this past month, we have also increased the number of food sources we now use to supply the pantry. In addition to food from the Racine Food Pantry, the government TEFAP program, and a number of other volunteers and organizations, we now also head up to Milwaukee every week to get food from Just One More ministry, which “rescues” food from restaurants and caterers and uses it to create forzen meals we make available to our guests. Just One More also provides us with some produce and cheese.

And just this week, we received approval to obtain food from Feeding America in Milwaukee. Using Feeding America as a food source will significantly increase the amount of food that we can inexpensively obtain. We took our first trip up this week and got over 300 pounds of food, including lots of meat, dairy products, fruits and veggies, for under $25.

Given the huge leveraging advantage in buying food from Feeding America, where many dairy products and produce are free and the rest costs on average 19¢ per pound (slightly higher for meat), we’re thinking it may make much more sense for most of us to support the pantry by giving money rather than donating food we buy at the store.

While it is fun to see all the cans and boxes piled in the front of our worship space each week, it turns out that our dollars go so much farther now that we can shop at Feeding America.

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.”

emmausroad-WA3959In the discussion following, questions were posed about the economic feasibility of such a consolidation. Questions were also raised regarding worship style and staffing. The council was assured that worship services in English and Spanish would continue as they currently are with the possibility of adding a service at a later date. Such a consolidation would require contracting both guest preachers in English and Spanish, together with other support staff, including the addition of a part-time bilingual secretary. A motion passed recommending that the possibility of such a consolidation be considered.

On April 26 the pastors met with an advisory team (Kathy Christensen, Carol Eschmann, Melissa Lemke, Stacy Steinike, Trinidad and Antelmo Hernandez, Soledad Beltran and Pablo Enriquez). The group discussed some of the pros and cons of such a consolidation and was presented with a preliminary unified budget, which had been prepared by the pastors and Art Smith. If the position of a Bilingual Lead Pastor is created, Pastor Jhon Freddy would be invited to be a candidate and to interview for that position should he so choose.

There will be an open forum led by the pastors following each of the worship services the weekend of May 2 and 3. Opportunity will be given for discussion and questions and answers. The advisory team will then meet again to assess whether the proposal should be further considered and developed by a Transition Team. If this new model were to be recommended by the body as a whole, it would then be presented to the congregation for a formal vote.

We are at a very key place in our journey together. As we keep the mission of Emmaus/Emaús in our prayers, we pray for God’s guidance and for open hearts and minds as we imagine our future together. We are able to look ahead with excitement and anticipation, rather than in fear, because we know that it is God who leads the way! Let’s have passion, courage and commitment as we move forward in faith!

FaithWorks Update

by Diane Thygeson

Change. Action. Passion. Three fairly simple words that tell the story of FaithWorks right now.
All of our FaithWorks congregations are seeing significant changes right now. Change can be challenging, it can be sad, but it can also be joyful. Sometimes change is all of these at the same time. Some of the recent changes in our FaithWorks congregations include:
• Our Savior’s appears to be close to selling their building. Offers have been made and are pending approval of financing.
• Pastor Dana O’Brien has accepted a call at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Kasson, Minnesota. Her last Sunday at Atonement West will be April 26.
• Though recently thought to be on the brink of closing, the child care center at Atonement will soon be expanding. Starting in July they will have 3-year-olds, full-day 4K, and school aged programming, running from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
• St. Andrew is looking for ways to bring more activity to their building. They are looking to either rent, bring in an adult day care or possibly even sell.
• Emmaus and Emaús have been busy trying to find ways to sustain both ministries, with talks of possibly becoming one worshipping community with a bilingual pastor to lead them.
Members of FaithWorks have been busy the last few months working together in mission. There is truly action behind the words of the ECLA slogan “God’s work. Our hands.”
• The FaithWorks Food Pantry is up and successfully running. In the month of March, 105 families, with 285 people were fed. As more people have heard about the pantry, there have been donations coming in from new sources as well as new volunteers. We’ve even had guests come to the pantry just for fellowship!
• A Northside Neighbors group, including FaithWorks and Racine Interfaith Coalition members has been established. They are coming together to actively address issues related to the violence in certain neighborhoods. They are working on networking, building relationships and a sense of community in hopes they can address some of the emotional needs of the neighbors.
• Neighborhood Camp is gearing up for another busy summer. Camp will be held in three locations, serving approximately 240 elementary and 45 middle school aged children.
A renewed passion for mission is being felt by the members of the FaithWorks mission council. If you want to get involved with any of the FaithWorks activities, or have ideas or concerns that you’d like to share, please contact your pastor or one of the mission council representatives.

Gateway Screens ‘Cowspiracy’

CowspiracyRacine Green Congregations, the Eco-Justice Center, and Gateway Technical College will present Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 22.

Documentary filmmaker Kip Andersen reveals the devastating environmental impact large-scale factory farming has on our planet, and offers a path to global sustainability for a growing population. The film will be shown free of charge in the Great Lakes Room of Gateway Technical College, 1001 S. Main Street, Racine, 53403.

To reserve a seat, email Sherry at sliu1688@gmail.com or call 812-679-9398.

Atonement, Our Savior’s Merger Task Force

from the April Chimes Messenger

A group of Atonement and Our Savior’s members were chosen to be a part of a task force whose goal is to guide our congregation to become one. We have begun the process with discussion of some of the issues that face us and the process of merger. We have begun looking at constitutions and ELCA documents designed to lead congregations into merger.

150123-2690atonIn some ways we are ahead of the game because we have been worshiping together and sharing a common life for well over a year. Perhaps the most important part of the process will be engaging congregation and community in a visioning process so that we can use this opportunity to become something new, while retaining the best of our current mission and ministry. We hope to have the process completed by the end of 2015.

The members of the task force are Eric Lucht, Teresa Reinders, Barb Elmer, Carol Hegmann, Sue Wellhoefer, Pastor Denise and Pastor Warren. If you have ideas of concerns pertaining to the merger, please contact one of the members of the team.