Why Do We Need an Interim Pastor?
Happy New Year! Let’s hope that 2021 will bring us back to something resembling what we consider normal. But I suspect that we will never be the same after the events of this past year. Of course, every year brings change and transition and that will be true of 2021 as well.
Besides what is happening in the world around us, Ascension Lutheran congregation said good bye to Pastor Rebecca and Pastor Wes, which would be difficult in any year. Several members have commented that they were surprised and confused by Pastor Rebecca’s resignation which raises concern in members of the congregation that might not be felt in other situations.
So why do we need an interim pastor? In a time of transition an interim pastor can help a congregation set a fresh course as well as provide pastoral care and leadership between regularly called pastors. It is especially important when a congregation is at a difficult crossroad and it might appear easiest to make quick decisions without fully exploring options or potential outcomes. Having a pastor for the interim allows a congregation in transition time to make a well informed and deliberate decision about the future course of the church.
In the coming months we will have conversations about who Ascension congregation is presently, as well as Ascension’s history, great successes, failures and perception of how the congregation is known in the community. Some of the conversation may be difficult conversations to provide appropriate clarity about past hurts and confusion. We will review the work done by that previous Transition Team. We will prayerfully and even playfully discern about the core values and mission of Ascension Lutheran.
A transition can be a scary time for a congregation, but it is also a time ripe for dreaming and planning for a future of Christ centered ministry that is unique to Ascension Lutheran Church.
IN-PERSON WORSHIP SUSPENDED
Dear Ascension Family,
We have had several in-person worship services. These have highlighted some issues that need to be worked on so all can experience a quality worship service that keeps the focus on worship. We have some sound system challenges and other technical aspects that are all correctable, with some work. The Re-Opening Team, along with the Worship Committee and the Technology Committee, are working on these items. It will take time, equipment upgrades, and probably, purchases, to correct these challenges.
We continue to monitor the pandemic in Wyoming and Cheyenne. On October 20, 2020, the Rt rate for Wyoming was 1.26, the second highest state in the US. There were 251 confirmed cases in Wyoming reported that day. These are facts which we need to take seriously. Laramie County is listed number three in terms of cases, behind Albany, and Natrona Counties. The cases are rising and are showing no signs of leveling off or declining. In light of these facts we are going to temporarily halt in-person worship effective immediately.
The reasons are:
- The need to get our technical abilities in line with our worship goals.
- The threat of infection to our staff working at services, especially our Pastor.
- Making worship a safe place for all our Ascension family with proper safety protocols.
We understand that this is frustrating, and some may consider unnecessary. However, we have a responsibility to make worship as safe as possible for all who wish to attend. We will continue to monitor the pandemic and work on our technical challenges; we will re-start in person worship as soon as it is safely feasible. We can all aid in getting this pandemic under control by following the advice from the CDC:
- Wear a cloth mask when in public.
- Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from others.
- Wash your hands.
- Stay home if sick or showing any sign of illness.
Thank you for your patience and your prayers during these unusual times.
Morning devotionals via Zoom are held three days a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It opens at 7 a.m. Devotion conversation is from 7:20–7:34 a.m.
Contributions fight local food insecurity
Food insecurity refers to a lack of available financial resources for food at the household level. It may be an occasional or a constant lack of nutritious food.
Did you know one in six children in Wyoming struggles with food insecurity? Or more than 35 percent of Wyoming school children qualify for free or reduced lunch? Or about 71,000 Wyoming residents face food insecurity each year?
St. Joseph’s Food Pantry, Needs, Inc., COMEA, St. Christopher’s Pantry, Friday Food Bag and the Cheyenne Salvation Army are some of the local groups that attempt to help those in needing food. At Ascension, we provide some staples through the Little Free Pantry.
Please remember those in our community who don’t have enough food. As you make your regular grocery run, consider donating to any of the local organizations who provide food and help to keep our Little Free Pantry stocked.
Communion will resume during the zoom worship services beginning the weekend of Jan. 9th and 10th. You may use your own elements at home(either wine or grape juice and bread) or if you prefer to use the individual pre-packaged communion cups that were used during the outdoor worship services, you may come to the church and pick some up. We will have packages available in the front by the office. If you would like to have some delivered to you at home, please call Denise Martin and a volunteer will be happy to deliver them to your home.
Written ideas sought for $70,000 gift
While you are social distancing at home, the Church Council wants you to put on your thinking caps and provide input on what to do with the $70,000 gift from Christ Lutheran Church upon its Holy Closure. The first step in the process is to gather ideas and thoughts on how to utilize part or all of the money by submitting them in writing to Council member Rick Flohr or any other Council member. Make sure each idea is on a separate sheet of paper; be specific about your idea(s); include any necessary details, and explain the importance to Ascension. After the ideas are gathered, the next step will be a town hall-style meeting. For information, email Rick at [email protected]