Senior Pastor’s Column As I sit to write this article, I have just returned from a meeting of leaders of several community organizations. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss what we can do to fill the gap left by the closing of an organization in our community that has helped many people in need. This organization is closing its doors because it will no longer be funded. The reality is that this is going to be an ongoing occurrence, not just for our community but for communities across our country. How do we respond to this reality as the church? One option for us is to sit and wring our hands, and worry about how long this community is going to hold together before it sinks. That’s a lousy option, and thankfully, not one that our church family would buy into. A much better option is for the church to realize that great need brings great opportunities. As the need increases, there are going to be more and more occasions for the church to step to the plate and be the Church! I know this church family, and I know your generous spirit and your servant heart. When there is a challenge set before you, you respond. You respond with your time, your talents, and your resources, and you do it with a generous spirit. I am so thankful for the large numbers of the CLF family who volunteer their time and talents not just inside the walls of the church, but all over this community. Anything you do for others is never done in vain. In fact, being mindful of others at all times is a truly Christ-like characteristic. Whether you teach a class of 5-year-olds on Sunday night, or deliver Meals-on-Wheels throughout our community during the week, you are doing it as unto Christ. I commend all of you who are doing whatever you can, wherever you can, whenever you can. Just recently, one of our church family, Carole Dorn, was honored as the Volunteer of the Year in our community. Congratulations, Carole! May there be many who follow your generous lifestyle. Page 2
How often we have come to you with a need for resources to meet a particular need, both right here in our own community and in needy spots around the world, and you have responded so generously. Last year when the country of Haiti experienced the terrible earthquake, you responded with an offering of nearly $11,000 to help those people in such desperate need. More recently, you gave $3,500 to Missionaries Peter and Wilma Akright to assist them in their work in North Africa, and you gave $3,170 to assist the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. You also gave $5,769 as a result of our 5 Day Hunger Challenge. This will help combat a little bit of the hunger that exists in many parts of our world. I love the fact that even our kids are learning the importance of having a generous spirit through their giving to their respective Missions programs---Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge (BGMC) for the children and Speed-the-Light (STL) for our teenagers. Our children gave $723 during their March Missions Madness Month. We are all learning that you can never outgive God. Psalm 112:5 says, “Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice.” Proverbs 22:9 declares, “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.” My challenge to all of us is this: Don’t ever lose that generous spirit. Ask God to keep your heart open to the need around you, wherever it may be. Though the challenges are going to be significant, our community will survive. And in the process, the Church is going to have lots of opportunities to show her true heart, which is really a reflection of the heart of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, He is the answer. All of the above is why I love this church family.
Women in Leadership Development
Group Coaching For Leaders From October of 2010 through May of 2011, 31 women representing 7 central Wisconsin churches participated in a pilot group coaching experience designed by Diane O’Connor as a project for her Master in Ministry Leadership Degree through Rockbridge Seminary. The women committed to participating in 8 group coaching sessions, starting with a retreat in October, and then re-connecting for dinner with an evening of interactive learning and discussion on the second Monday of each month (November through May). Reading and reflective homework were assigned for each month’s session, and the women really took it seriously! The Coaching experience was built on Diane O’Connor’s Inside-Out Leadership Framework, and centered on answering two basic questions: Who Would I Be Leading? and What Does a Leader Do to Lead Effectively? Diane shared, “Considering this was the first time we tried this, the pilot more than met my expectations! Julie and I see great value in leaders gathering intentionally to encourage and sharpen each other. We’ve seen tremendous personal growth in the women who participated. We will be doing this again next year.” If you “have a stirring in your heart” to grow in your ability to influence others for the cause of Christ, pick up a brochure, covenant & application at the information desk. Pray about joining the group next fall. If you have questions, talk with Diane or Julie.
Comments from the 2010/2011 Participants:
“Connecting with the ladies around the table has been the greatest part of the coaching group! We truly feed into each other and bring encouragement and prayer. The readings and discussion topics are a launching pad for discussion, and I love the way we can sharpen each other.” “It’s been eye opening for me to see where my strengths & skills lie, and to also realize the downside these traits can produce. I have a greater sense of awareness in how I relate to other people, and God’s call on my life has become more clear to me because of this. I love the nurturing environment! I feel safe sharing and growing alongside the women God has placed at my table.” “I definitely know myself better. It’s nice to have words to use to talk about my strengths, passions and values.” “The atmosphere is always warm and welcoming. Everything is done professionally and beautifully. Diane & Julie make a terrific team; their passion shines through and inspires.”
What is Coaching? Coaching is a process of change, a relationship of growth, and a path of discovery, helping you move from “where you are” to “where you’d like to be.” Leadership Coaching is different than a leadership “class,” or even working with a “mentor.” A coach encourages you to be alert and to listen, trusting that God will speak to your heart. Coaching creates focus, motivation, and accountability in all of life; the coach comes along-side, asking questions to help you clarify who God is calling you to be, as well as what He wants you to do.
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600 7th Street, PO Box 40 Port Edwards, WI 54469 Phone: 715-887-3565 Fax: 715-887-3575
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