Monday, January 26, 2009

The Zion Lutheran Church Best of 2008 Celebration List

2008 was a very good year at Zion. Praise the Lord. Here's a list of wonderful things that I compiled with input from the staff. It provides a look back over the year and I hope it causes you to celebrate and praise the Lord. There are a couple things on the list that look like failures. For instance, why would you consider shutting down Veritas a success? The answer is this: Because even though it was hard, we believe it was the right thing to do and we did it. We didn't keep on just because we liked it or were invested heavily in it or because we were afraid of what people might say. We made a hard choice and followed through. Part of what made 2008 a great year was realizing that we can't do everything well and also that there are seasons for ministries and it's OK to let things end.

The HUGE risk in doing this is that you, gentle reader, might be offended because I omitted something you thought was important. Well, feel free to comment and we'll grow the list. To me, the BIGGER risk was failing to praise God for what he did in us and through us at Zion in 08.

Enjoy the list!

We have a working website!

“New Look” to lobby with paint, monitors, banners and the new info desk!

New worship software for presentations and planning of services.

Brian Kampling, a new key volunteer in video presentation.

Outstanding Christmas events: Jubilate Cantata, ZP Christmas, Pageant, Christmas Eve. Saw more people than previous years; successfully tried the ZP program at 9:30 service.

The addition of BreeAnn Williams to staff and the enthusiasm she brings.

The addition of Tina Rasmussen to our staff and they way that she has totally change the way we do Adult classes and the energy and excitement she has brought.

Carli Fitzgerald’s text message devotions and invitations for youth.

Brent Osborne supervising adults, youth and kids to move us toward an integrated model of discipleship.

Veritas – we brought it to full time and then ended it after 18 months of pure joy. We learned so much and had a wonderful experience and found we can actually end things well.

Lots of photo montages, video, and a current photo board in the hallway.

Wednesday night dinners! What a joy and the new changes seem to be working well.

The cleaning service – very clean and very few complaints.

We ended the Scrip Program well. Thanks to those who brought it to life, tended it and knew when it was time to stop.

Sonshine Day Care: although they fell on hard times, this gives us the opportunity to examine our relationship and make necessary changes.

New fiscal year June – July.

Patch on the parking lot.

Our staff and church presence on Facebook.

“It” and other staff development readings and discussions.

Less “drama,” and less fear being sensed in regards to our leadership transition.

NCD spirituality survey to establish a base line for future study.

Mission Mexico.

AEA rents space from Zion and various Zion ministries (especially the Quilters) agree to relocate to other rooms in order to help out.

New electronic piano for the choir and rehearsal room.

Zion experienced interactivity with regards to technology: the website, facebook, blogs and so on.

Sam Dunya, missionary in Ghana, West Africa, came to visit and received a very generous offering.

Organization of the Mhezi mission trip to Tanzania.

Many storage areas cleaned out and organized.

Beginning of ministries concerned about the homeless.

Excitement on Wednesday nights about new Adult and kid’s classes

Continuing development of worship teams and musical talent

Development and growth of 9:30 service

Vacation Bible School was a big success.

Addition of closing prayer and worship time on Wednesday nights

Conversion from tapes to CDs of 8:00 service for shut ins and sermons available now

Extremely positive feedback from last two sermon series.


  1. Well, I hope this helps this pastor sleep better at night. Maybe he should go into politics. Talk about SPIN. "Less 'drama' being sensed."!?!? I can't think of a worse way to dismiss the concerns of your congregation. And don't think that "sensing less fear of the leadership and transition", or however it was that you put it, is some measurement of contentment and acceptance. Maybe it just means that many of them have learned the hard way, that it does no good whatsoever to approach the leadership, unless they want to suffer belittlement and labeling.
    You and your staff just stay in denial. You'll be perfectly content until God has to wake you up the hard way. My prayers are with you.

  2. Dear Friend,
    I'm sorry for the hurt you are feeling. Especially if it was caused by a poor choice of words on my part. Leadership transitions are very difficult things. Please know that concerns about transitional issues expressed face to face are welcome and, to my knowledge, have always been treated with the utmost seriousness and respect. However, ad hominem attacks from anonymity exactly describes what I mean by drama. Please feel free to contact me directly with any concerns and I assure you that they will be addressed.
    Pastor John