S.P.A.R.K. (St. Paul Church’s Announcements to Read and Know) June 2023
In last month’s newsletter I wrote about my obligations to you as pastor according to my call document. This month I outline things I do around the church which are not listed in my call document. Here are some of my ancillary duties in no particular order. I’m sure I’ve left some out, as there are too many of them to mention.
- Conduct chapel for the preschool students on Wednesday for the 4s and Thursday for the 3s.
- Participate in preschool functions and activities such as open house, end-of-year program, Christmas program, Jog-a-thon, family mixers, recess, meet-and-greet with the parents during pickup and drop-off, and daily visits to the classroom when school is in session.
- Attend weekly evening board meetings such as the elder’s meeting on the first Tuesday of the month, council meeting on the third Thursday of the month, board of education meeting on the second Tuesday of the month, as well as meetings for the board of outreach and children, youth and family ministry.
- Organize, plan, and lead events and activities for the youth of the church such as the LCMS National Youth Gathering, family camp at Camp Lutherwood Oregon, winter retreats, summer Bible at the beach trips, and mini camps.
- Attend the senior saints’ luncheons on Wednesdays when time permits.
- Conduct daily walk-around checks of the campus for anything out of the ordinary such as unsecured buildings, fallen trees after storms, vandalism, abandoned vehicles and other items, suspicious persons (yes, all these things have happened since I’ve been here and continue to occur.)
- Assist the office manager in solving technology problems such as internet outages, computer hangups; light facility maintenance such as changing batteries and adjusting clocks, smoke detectors, light bulbs, and the occasional “cleanup on isle four” kinds of things.
- Assist the office manager in receiving deliveries from UPS, FedEx, et al. Sometimes these items require multiple hands to bring into the education building, or a dolly.
- Receive visitors (scheduled and unscheduled) for various reasons including tours of the sanctuary, cemetery, sales pitches, facility rental, facility maintenance, looking for a new church, just need to talk to a minister—you name it.
- Friday morning and afternoon devotions (20 min. each) with the 6th through 8th grade students of the Firm Foundations Academy Northwest.
- Participate in church events such as Oktoberfest, Easter egg hunt, live nativity, and other official activities for the community in which my involvement is expected.
- Attend monthly circuit meetings with the other LCMS pastors in the area on the second Tuesday of the month. These are all-day meetings consisting of worship, Bible or Lutheran Confessions study, a book or commentary study, and collegial sharing of how things are going in the ministry, spiritual encouragement, praying for one another, and so forth.
I would like to talk a little more about the campus. I am on campus five days a week anywhere from eight to ten hours a day, sometimes longer if there are evening meetings. My office faces the east parking lot, and I have a good view of the grove from the library windows and balcony. On any day, a good portion of my time is spent monitoring the dozens of vehicles that drive through from Roy Rogers, people wandering through (usually with dogs) kids using the playground after school hours, people visiting relatives in the cemetery, parking lot sales transactions, people parking for hours while they talk on the phone or nap, and people wandering into the deep parts of the grove, sometimes not emerging for long periods of time. I have a good set of binoculars to watch what’s going on, but sometimes I can’t always see past the trees. When it involves teens or preteens, and I can’t see what they’re doing, I walk out and tell them they are being watched—always. Just letting them know this makes them leave. More than once, Tim Grace and I have observed preteen boys riding through campus on their bikes and skateboards, checking doorknobs on buildings to see where they might get in and do whatever. I am very surprised that in 14 years I haven’t found someone camped out in the grove or squatting in the parsonage basement which unintentionally gets left unlocked at least once a year. All this is to say that as your pastor, I am happy to be the main eyes and ears of the property you love and care for so much. Jennifer, in the office, also observes much of the same activity I do, but from a different angle as her office window faces the west parking lot.
Next month I will show you what goes into putting together the two Sunday worship services we use here at St. Paul. God bless you, and may you have a Spirit-filled month of June during this season of Pentecost.