We’ve enjoyed having two DCE interns serving here at Hope since June. Steve McCarthy and Wesley Spottiswood have been providing energetic leadership in our youth ministry program, and helping out in a variety of other congregational ministry areas, as well. As 2017 graduates of the Director of Christian Education program at Concordia University (Irvine, California), Steve and Wesley are eligible, upon successful completion of their internship year, to become called workers in a congregation.
Late last year, it was announced that the unanimous recommendation of Hope’s Ministry Leadership Team and called staff (myself, Pastor Lew Upchurch, and DCE Beth Agner) is for both Steve and Wesley to be called as DCE’s here at Hope. Our congregation is faced with many exciting opportunities in the growing community around us, and our vision is to reach more people for Christ. Strengthening our ministry staff is a key part of our ministry plan for 2018 and beyond. We’ve looked carefully at the ministry needs and the financial health of the church, and feel that the time is right to take this positive step.
We are asking you, the members of Hope, to join us in making it official. We will be bringing this call recommendation, and the proposed 2018 budget, to the meeting of the Congregational Assembly on Sunday, January 28, at 3:30 PM, for approval. All members of Hope Lutheran Church, 18 years and older, are eligible to participate as voters in this important meeting. We’ll be providing a thorough background for this call recommendation, along with detailed information on the budget, at the meeting; and we’ll pray for God’s will to be done in our decision-making.
Just a quick word about the term “called.” In our Lutheran circles, certain types of church workers who’ve been trained and certified by a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod institution of higher learning are eligible to be “called” by a congregation. That’s different than being “hired.” Lutherans teach and confess that God calls individuals to ministry vocations, and that his call is normally extended through a local congregation. When a church extends a call to a person, and that call is accepted, we believe that God’s hand is at work and his will is being done. To receive a call from a congregation is a solemn and serious thing. It’s as if the call is from God himself.
On January 28, then, we’ll be asking the congregation to prayerfully, and with trust in God, to extend a call to Steve McCarthy and Wesley Spottiswood to serve as DCE’s in our church. They’ll finish up their internship year with their current status; but, effective June 1, 2018, they’ll begin serving as permanent staff members. Steve and Wesley will continue to serve in youth ministry, but also help with confirmation, young adults, small groups, community-based ministries, mission trips, worship planning and leadership, and much more.
As a congregation, we’re thankful for our interns, and we look forward to serving with them in ministry for years to come!
Pastor Wayne Puls