Pastor Carl’s 2017 Annual Report

“It was a dark and stormy night” at the beginning of 2017. It rained and rained some more. Participation in worship and other activities was somewhat spotty.

Not believing it is good to just hope things will get better without doing anything, I approached the church council in April with a proposal for reaching out to folks who had been spotty in attendance. I named it “Two Con Contacts” because the idea was to reach out to folks who had missed worship for two consecutive Sundays. The council was supportive of the idea. Peggy Moser, Carole Vance, Laura Tice, and Faith Thomas volunteered to make Two Con contacts. They tirelessly contacted folks to keep contact with them and show concern for them. Most of the responses were quite positive and appreciated. Through the following months, these four folks did a tremendous amount of caring ministry to try and make sure folks weren’t “falling through the cracks”.

At the end of 2017 we had an average Sunday worship attendance of 108 for the year. That was down from 112 during 2016, but much better than things were looking for the first few months of the year. Although the initial program is over, we continue to reach out to folks who have been away for a while to see how they are doing rather than just wondering how they are doing. I am very thankful for the commitment and dedication Peggy, Carole, Laura, and Faith have shown for this ministry.

Another huge undertaking during 2017 was the refurbishment of our worship space. New flooring and other improvements were far overdue for our sanctuary which was built in 1963. We were able to undertake this project because of a very generous Memorial gift from Lee Meyer. Many people participated in the project, but the work was spearheaded by Jack Fenske and Jerry Carney. We are quite grateful for their expertise and hard work.  We worshipped in Schultz Hall for the summer as the work was being done. It was a community building experience. I was delighted to see how you all adapted to the needed situation and made it work wonderfully. Thanks to all who served on the Meyer Memorial committee, helped make worship work so well in Schultz Hall, and helped with the sanctuary refurbishment.

I reached a milestone in ministry during 2017 as I observed my 40th anniversary as an ordained minister. You put on such a wonderful and loving celebration for me that I thought I must have died—so many people said so many kind and loving things about my ministry. It was amazing to realize afterward it wasn’t my funeral but an outpouring of love while I am still here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have been a constant and caring support for Triss, Holly, and me for many years.

We said goodbye to a couple of very important staff members during 2017. Lauren Orcutt, who served so well as our office secretary, resigned to prepare for a new addition to their family. We really miss Lauren, who did a wonderful job for us, but we are so happy that she and John now have a beautiful baby boy, Jack. We also miss Lucy Orcutt, who would assist in the office in many ways, but we are happy for her that she has a new brother. We also were sad to see our excellent Music Director, Brooke Barr, move to Tennessee. We had been blessed to go through so many wonderful life events with Brooke including her marrying Dave and having two delightful boys, Jesse and Justin. Brooke served with such spirituality and love.

Life and ministry does go on, however. We have been blessed with Rochelle Jaeger joining the staff as our office secretary. I have known Rochelle for much of her life. She has always been a quality and caring person. She is making things hum in the office. Jane Fanucci, who has served for some time as our organist, took over as choir director as well. She is now our primary musician. She is doing wonderfully as was shown by the much-appreciated Choir Christmas Cantata in December.

All in all, 2017 was a year of positive transition for St. Luke’s. Through it all, we kept focused on our mission to spread the Good News, serve those in need, and share the victory of Jesus Christ. Our leadership team was fantastic, under the direction of our president, Paul Maki. Enjoy reading the annual reports in this issue of the News and Views highlighting all the Lord did through us this last year. We are positioned for a powerful year in ministry during 2018. Thank you for the privilege of continuing to serve as your pastor as we move forward, following the Lord’s loving guidance.

Spreading, Serving, and Sharing with You,

Pastor Carl