Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Thank you to all who participated in our Congregational Meeting last Sunday! I walked into the meeting wondering what our direction would be this upcoming year. The hard discussions and decisions took place and I believe the Holy Spirit moved us to begin looking inward, as well as toward the future ministry of Bethel.
Weighing heavily on my mind has been the future of both Bethel Christian School and Bethel Lutheran Church. There was honest and fruitful conversation Sunday. Where our school is concerned we have been battling free preschool in Aurora Public Schools, as well as the need for all day Daycare. After years of decline the vote was taken to close Bethel Christian School at the end of this school year. It is a blessing that we have enough students to make it to May. Now we need to recognize how God has used this ministry to touch the lives of hundreds of children and their families. I am thankful for those who have been leaders in this ministry over the years and I am hoping we will find a way to properly celebrate this ministry.
I have been concerned for quite some time about our church’s future. We have had great losses over the last four years through death and active members moving away from our community. Some have expressed that we need to do more to feed our members spiritually….that they are not growing like they should. WE have to be proactive in defining our ministry, creating new opportunities and being faithful to the call of Jesus to be missionaries! I believe Sunday’s meeting helped to push us into this direction. I am excited about upcoming discussions to be had and open honest sharing. We have to prayerfully move through this time ahead asking the Holy Spirit to guide us into the frontier of mission work. I do not believe our congregation will be a statistic if we, with open hearts and minds, follow the Spirit’s lead!
Thank you to those who are stepping up to the plate to help walk us through the upcoming time of honest discernment. PLEASE respond to us along the way by participating in discussions, through prayer and openness. God’s will is that we recognize who we are as followers of Christ and take up the gauntlet as we look to tackle the mission ahead of us. You all are needed in the ministry at Bethel and I look forward to how we are going to be reshaped this coming year.