Dear Messiah Family,
This Sunday December 12th is a very important day in the life of this church, we are holding a special congregational meeting, and there are only two items on the agenda. One, should we extend a call to Pastor Bridget Jones for Pastor of Faith Formation, and the second is the approval of the compensation package for that position. That’s it, only two items, these two items are significant as we move forward, and I request that you attend this meeting.
I will start by stating that I fully support extending a call to Pastor Bridget without reservation. During her visit here I was able to meet with her and I enthusiastically support the recommendation of the call committee. I believe that Pastor Bridgett will be a remarkable addition to the staff here at Messiah.
We have been on a two-year march at this point. We started with the Faith Formation Task Force, which consisted of a team of ten Messiah members who gathered to explore future directions and practices for faith formation (cradle to grave) at Messiah. They studied the document on Faith Formation published by the ELCA but also looked at what other churches and denominations were doing. They looked at the strengths and weaknesses in Messiah’s faith formation programming and discussed what staffing should look like going into the future.
This was followed by the transition team which created the Ministry Site Profile (MSP). The MSP is intended for use by congregations that are seeking to call a rostered minister of the ELCA. The transition team actively gathered information from all the varied groups within our congregation. This was accomplished with meetings, surveys, and telephone calls. The information gathered was then used in the creation of the MSP which was essential to moving forward with a call for a Pastor of Faith Formation.
We then formed a call committee, and they worked diligently to find the right candidate for Messiah, a candidate that would best fit the requirements that were identified here at Messiah. After months of diligent work, they have brought forward Pastor Bridgett Jones. I will state that within the call committee this was unanimous decision to recommend Pastor Bridget Jones as the candidate for this position with no reservations. At the special congregational meeting this Sunday, each member of the call committee will speak on their support of this candidate.
Investing in the faith formation of our families and youth is necessary in growing the body of Christ. Teaching young people in the church to grow in their relationship with the Lord prepares them to serve Christ in all they do. As a result, this nurtures the congregation and allows the church to flourish.
Serving young people cannot only prepare them to become future leaders, but also allow them to contribute to the church. This is seen many times in the Bible, as God often used young people to do great things. For example, God used Timothy to pastor and lead the Ephesian church when he was a teenager. 1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
It is important for the truth of the gospel to be passed down from generation to generation to grow the body of Christ. Ultimately, helping youth to grow spiritually in their formative years will equip them to make an impact for Christ both now and in their future.
From beginning to acceptance, extending a call requires dedication and a willingness to work hard, attention to details, excellent communications, and a high level of integrity. We here at Messiah have been blessed by three committees that have shown such spiritual commitment and maturity. Each committee member has also been blessed in the growth and the joy of having participated in a vital role for the ministry of our congregation, we need to thank them for all their hard work in getting us to this important point.
Please join us this Sunday for the special congregational meeting, it is important in the life if this church.
Messiah Council President