Our Quest for Faithful Presence

Dear St Luke’s,

My how the time flies… and I don’t simply mean that we’re already a couple of weeks into 2023, what I mean is the Griffiths will be returning from their pilgrimage in about seven months.  Which also means the majority of my contracted time as part-time pastor at St Luke’s is in our collective rearview mirror.

I thought it might be helpful to offer a bit of the evolving plan for making the most of our time together.  All of what I’ll share here is emerging from our journey thus far coupled with intentional conversations with St Luke’s elders and board of trustees, ministry team leaders, and staff.

As you may recall, at the beginning of Pastor Mark’s pilgrimage the mandate given me from our BoT was primarily to ensure that St Luke’s maintain its high caliber of worship gatherings, and to collaborate with St Luke’s staff and leadership to keep our community moving toward our shared future… I think we’ve mostly done ok with that.  There was also a clear hope that as a person from a different tradition and with my particular academic and ecclesial experience that I might have a unique perspective that could aid St Luke’s in listening ourselves, our neighbors, our culture(s), as we listen for our future.

Between now and return of the Griffith family our community will need your prayers, imagination, and energies.  In addition to the day-to-day of life in our faith community we have identified a number primary strategic initiatives designed to clarify our mission and story while building on our adaptability and agility.  

Listening & Learning

  • Community Forum 1 – next week (1/22, 1/29, 2/5) I was begin a three part Community Forum I’m calling, “Conversations After Church: Post-Christendom, Post-modernism & why People Don’t Trust Church Anymore”
  • Community Forum 2 – (2/19, 2/26, 3/5) “Church Refugees: Listening & Learning from the ‘Nones’ & ‘Dones’ . . . basically, looking at sociological research on why so many of our kids and/or grandkids no longer go to church.
  • Seattle Church Tour – I’m finalizing a date to take some of our leadership team to visit, tour and learn with a Seattle church which funds much of their ministry through creatively stewarding their faith community’s property.

Short-Term Task Forces

  • Technology – We sense a need a task force with tech knowledge and skills to help us inventory the state of our tech, assessment it, and make some recommendations.
  • Marketing, Brand, & St Luke’s Story – We sense a need a task force with expertise and imagination to assess what have, recommend a plan for a more unified message and look across our social media, online presence, printed materials, etc.
  • Events – Now that we are moving post pandemic and engaging in more events we need a task force to assess our kitchen, event space(s) and propose recommendations for the kinds of events and staffing we might need.

Board of Trustee Task Forces – In addition to the BoT’s regular governance responsibilities they are leading short term task forces. 

  • By-Law Review – A task force within our BoTs is beginning to review our bylaws to make us even more nimble and appropriate to who we are as a faith community in 2023 as we anticipate coming changes. If any recommendations will be made, the recommendations will be brought to our next congregational meeting.
  • Assessment of Staffing Needs – With Roselyn’s retirement and the upcoming transition of the pastors, our BoT will review job descriptions, ministry needs, while exploring options for supporting our faith community into our future.

This is an exciting time to be part of St Luke’s.  We are a strong, healthy, imaginative community, and we desire to be so long into our future. Be assured that we will only engage the efforts that we as a community have energy and interest to engage.  You are a vital part of our community.  Thank you for your prayers for our community, your presence in St Luke’s, and for the many ways you offer yourself and your resources to our missional flourishing.

My guess is some of these initiatives might connect with you more than others. I invite you to listen for the realms that touch your passions, skills, and imagination… we need you.  Judy Buckmaster (our board chair) would love to hear from you… judybuckmaster59@gmail.com or 425.445.0597.

Remember my friend, you are loved and you are not alone.

Peace, dwight