Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus!
As a dynamic and vision-focused community of faith, we constantly need leaders who have both the courage, enthusiasm, and humility to ask "where is God wanting us to go as a community". I thank God on a regular basis for these qualities that have been a mainstay among leaders here at St. James in the almost ten years that I’ve served here as Pastor.
The lifting up of leaders is not a "once upon a time" effort; something that is accomplished and then onto something different. It is an ongoing effort of discernment. What challenges and opportunities face our community of faith and struggle at this moment? What skills and gifts are needed? What resources has God already given to us in order to meet these needs? How might we, through focusing on our core G.R.A.C.E. values (God's grace, respect, appreciation, care/compassion, encouragement), develop and strengthen individuals in their own leadership qualities?
The continued growth and vitality of the church is always in God's hands. God's spirit moves in familiar and strange ways among ordinary people so that extraordinary things are made possible. In prayer we seek to connect to this Spirit and discern where God is leading us to praise and serve.
The Nomination Process that we use to identify potential persons to serve on Council is grounded in these questions and ideas. At St. James, nominating people to serve on Council has become a creative and spiritual activity that is both open and transparent. From the names lifted up last year as potential Council candidates, who were unable at that time to stand for election, a Nomination Mission Team has been established. It will be meeting next week on Tuesday, December 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the Koinonia room. I am grateful for Vice President, Brenda Nygren-Moe’s leadership of this group.
Once again this year, you are invited to take part in the process of identifying leaders that will be on the ballot for Council come our Annual Meeting on January 27, 2019.
You are invited to:
1) Nominate a person (or persons) online or by writing down a name and giving that name to either Brenda or myself. These names will be entered into the process during the first step. When considering a person who might make a good Council leader, it is helpful to think about who demonstrates our G.R.A.C.E. (God's grace, respect, appreciation, care/compassion, encouragement) values. Also it would be helpful to consider our clarified vision: "By the Grace of God, we will build and deepen loving relationships with God, each other, and our neighbors" All names received WILL BE entered into the process.
2) Attend the meeting on next Tuesday as an observer. See how we will prayerfully lift up leaders using our proven spiritual process.
3) Pray. Pray for the Spirit to be present and guide those who are gathered so that the right skills and gifts are identified for this time in our life together. Pray also for current leaders and those who will be transitioning from leadership roles in 2019. Say a prayer of thanksgiving and appreciation for the long hours and hard work that our leaders have so generously given.
As always, I look forward to seeing you in worship on Sunday. With Advent anticipation, I look forward to experiencing God's presence as we gather round Word and sacrament. With Advent hope, I look forward to the ongoing renewal of our community and to the unexpected ways that God will use our gifts in the coming year.