Bismarck Calvary United Methodist
Saturday, May 26, 2018
A United Methodist Congregation

PASTOR'S PENCIL

 
GREETINGS!
 

THE SERMON GUIDE

The sermons for April - May 2018 will be:

Sermon Guide for April and May 2018

Date

Message Title

Scripture

April 1 EASTER SUNDAY Communion

 “Man From Emmaus”

 Luke 24

April 8

“Repentance: What is it All About?”

Acts 17

April 15

“An Invitation to New Life”

Acts 2

April 22

“A Builder or a Wrecker?”

Acts 9

April 29 – AWANA Awards Sunday

“The Seed and Its Growth”

Mark 4

May 6 – Communion

“A Gift even Better than if He’d Asked”

Mark 2

May 13 – Mother’s Day

only 1 service at 10:00 am

 

Guest Speaker, Message Title & Scripture to be announced

May 20 – Journey Renewal Consultation Weekend

only 1 service at 10:00 am

Rev. Rebecca Trefz, Executive Director of Ministries, from the Dakotas Conference Office speaking

 

 

N/A

May 27 – Graduation Sunday

only 1 service at 10:00 am

 

Guest Speaker, Message Title & Scripture to be announced

June 3 – Confirmation Sunday

only 1 service at 10:00 am

 

“Stephen’s Witness, Mine?”

 

Acts 7

June 10 – Pastor at Dakotas Conference in Sioux Falls

only 1 service at 10:00 am

 

 

Guest Speaker, Message Title & Scripture to be announced

 
 

"JOURNEY RENEWAL SHARING"

     A congregational self-study was required for our Journey Renewal.  Pastor spent the last couple months gathering a great deal of data about the church over the last 20 or so years.  I found only a very brief history of the church was written for the 25th Anniversary and none at all was written for the 50th Anniversary. This required a lot of digging in old records and the asking of many questions.  The data found by Pastor and Curtis Mertz was shared with the Administrative Team on February 25 as we, as a Team, also answered many questions about the church as required by the Congregational Self-Study.  Further information gathered in this meeting was added to the material and was compiled into a substantial booklet sent off on March 15 to the Consultation Team of the Dakota’s Conference. 

     The Consultation Team Visit has now been scheduled for Saturday, May 19 & Sunday, May 20, 2018. 

Ø  The Consultation Team will meet on Saturday morning with the Pastor.

Ø  They will meet Saturday afternoon with some key leaders for scheduled half-hour interviews.

Ø  Saturday evening, the Consultation Team will meet with a Youth Focus Group and an Adult Focus Group who will all be individually asked to attend.

Ø  Sunday morning worship will be at 10:00 am with Rev. Rebecca Trefz from the consultation team speaking.

Ø  Potluck will follow at 11:00 am (even if you never stay for a potluck, you will want to attend this one).  This fellowship activity will include a session for EVERYONE.  It will cover such topics as Your “God” Story, Mystery Worshipper Reports, Training on the Life Cycle of a Congregation, and Hopes for the Future.  You will want to be part of this activity.

     The previous Finance Committee decided not to withdraw a CD for payment of 2017 apportionments.  This was the first time in many years that we did not pay 100% of our apportionments.  We were told by the Dakotas Conference Finance people that we did need to set up a schedule to get back to paying 100% of our apportionments.  This has not been done as yet, in large part due to Finance Committee resignations.  New appointments to the Finance Committee have been made and we now have a full Administrative Team as listed below.  Apportionments and other business will be taken up at our next meeting on April 22, 2018 at 2 pm.

     By the time you receive this, we will have held our community Easter Walk with Jesus.  Pray that we have great follow-up from this event and offer more prayer as we plan the next event.

                                                                                                Pastor Perry Schnabel

 
PASTOR'S MUSINGS
MISSIONS

Mission support is no longer a part of our budget, instead we will receive monthly mission gifts for various projects that Calvary Church supports.  So far this year the following has been given:

Ø  January gifts to Open Door were: $40.00

Ø  February gifts (half of Advent offering) to Heaven’s Helpers Soup Café were: $383.00

Ø  March – Cru

Monthly Mission gifts for the next few months are designated as follows:

Ø  Lenten Offering – Heaven’s Helpers Soup Café and Cru (unless designated, to be shared equally)

Ø  April – Graner Missionaries

Ø  May – Camp Scholarships

Ø  June – Interfaith/Benevolence

Contributions for various missions should be noted on donors’ checks or on the pew envelopes if given in cash.

Π ‘Thrive’ Offering

Our yearly “Thrive” Offering for the Dakotas Conference will be accepted on April 15, 2018.  This is the 3rd year of a 5 year commitment.  The Goal is $4,000.

Π Christian Education

Upcoming events to keep an eye open for are:

Ø  AWANA Carnival on April 25, 2018.  This is going to be a special night that will begin at 5:30 pm in a new location.  (Keep your eyes and ears open to find out.) 

Ø  June 4-8, 2018 6-8 pm, Daily Vacation Bible School entitled “Shipwrecked”.

Ø  Camp promotion during the summer.  Family II camp at Crystal Springs Camp near Medina, ND, is July 27-29, 2018.  We are hoping to get many of our families with children to go and even our Senior Saints are welcome – it will be a fun time for all.

Ø  We are also planning a CAR SHOW for our parking lot in August.  Watch for more details.

Ø  See the CE table on the stairway for more information.

Π Break-Through Prayer Initiative

Please be in prayer for our Journey Renewal and the Consultation Meeting coming up in May.

Yes, God has answered some of our prayers at Calvary but we can go so much further.  We need to take the next step in our prayer initiative.  We STILL need one or two people who are willing to call people together in our War Room prior to and between our Sunday Worship Services.  We need to pray for our worship services, the pastor and those participating in the service as well as all people that God will bring to the services, including visitors.  You do not even have to ask Pastor’s permission – just DO IT.

Π Hospitality

Two people have volunteered as Sunday Morning coffee personnel.  Therefore, the first and second Sunday of the month are covered.  We also have a confirmation student and mother who are taking the third Sunday for the present time.  But more volunteers are still and always welcome.  Please see Pastor or Sally Walker & Ginny McCallum for more details.

Π Bible Study

Are there some men who may be interested in a Bible Study?  Or perhaps a small group of people who may be interested in pursuing a Bible Study?  Please share your interest with Pastor.

Π Heaven’s Helpers Soup Café —

This ministry is at 220 North 23rd St in Bismarck.  Volunteers are needed, with all ages of volunteers encouraged; children 12 and under will need to be accompanied by an adult and 18 and under will need parental permission.  Scheduling is available at www.soupcafe.org for 2 hour slots from 8 am to 7:30 pm.  We presently have on person from our church volunteering every other Thursday.  Are there perhaps others? 

PASTOR'S CHUCKLES - OR NOT!

Complaints - Standard Fare for Ministers

     I came across an article that is just too good not to share.  In fact, the author said that they should teach classes in seminary on it but they don’t.  The article is entitled, “10 Complaints You Should Never Give Your Pastor” by Joe McKeever.  In it, he says, “Pray for the pastor.  It would appear that ministers have to put up with more complaining and griping than any group on the planet.”  He goes on to say, “Here is my personal list of the worst things I’ve heard said in church:

1.    The pastor is not meeting my needs.

He’s not there to meet your needs.  Jesus does that.

2.    I’m not being spiritually fed.

Babies have to be spoon-fed.  Adults can feed themselves.

3.    I have a right….

The Christian faith is about the grace and mercy of God.  At no point is a child of God to insist on his rights.

4.    I’m not one to gossip, but….

That’s always the prelude to gossip.  Stifling the urge…….is one of the hardest skills to acquire.

5.    Now, I’m not saying who, but some people are unhappy about……

Anonymous criticism is one of the most cowardly things ever concocted in hell.  When the pastor asks, “Who exactly is this you say is unhappy?” his critic answers, “Well, I’m not at liberty to say.” (At that point, the preacher should then get up and show his visitor the door. “This conversation is over, friend.” And if they don’t leave, the pastor should.)

6.    I gave the money for that, so I’ll make the decision as to how it’s to be used.

Once our gifts are in the offering plate, they belong to the Lord and His church.  The donor relinquishes all control and is entitled to nothing as a result. (Even the IRS agrees with that.)

7.    Sorry, I don’t have a gift for that.

Every believer can serve in a hundred ways, whether we are “gifted” in a particular area or not.  No one requires a specific anointing of God to share their faith or make a gift or pray a prayer or teach a class.

8.    Why don’t “they” do something?

A friend says three groups of people can be found in every congregation.  There are consumers: “Just browsing.”  There are customers: “We come to this church because of the _________ program.”  There are the shareholders: Announce a _________ and these are the ones who show up.  You build a church with the shareholders, not with the other two groups.

9.    The preacher is a dictator.

Personally, I’d be careful in accusing the pastor of being a dictator.

10. I don’t know what the Bible says, but I know what I believe.

Each believer should bring our convictions and beliefs under the Lordship of Jesus and the authority of God’s Word.  I suspect that one of the greatest tests of maturity and faithfulness in the Kingdom is the ability to receive correction from the Word of God, even to the point of giving up cherished beliefs and doctrines we have held dear but now see as mistaken.”

May these ten give us all pause……

 

 

 "JOURNEY RENEWAL SHARING"

     By the time you read this we will have had the January 28 training designed to assist ADMINISTRATIVE TEAMS to better do their job, I hope this will have been beneficial to all members of the team.  December 2 was our last training session entitled, “Knowing and Loving your Neighbor”.  It was a very mind-expanding session that we are still processing and will become a part of Congregation Self-Study.  We will also be looking at it in some of our upcoming team meetings.  During the Stewardship training session, the finance committee was given a nod to escape paying our 2017 apportionments to the Dakota’s Conference.  The committee then decided not to cash in a maturing CD and not pay our 2017 apportionments.  This will be the first time in many years that we have not paid 100% of our apportionments.  We were told that we did need to set up a schedule to get back to paying 100% of our apportionments.

     Our congregation is in the stage over the next couple of months to complete a CONGREGATION SELF-STUDY for our Journey Renewal program.  The Administrative Team was asked to assist in this endeavor but volunteerism was limited.  There is a great deal of data that Pastor will be gathering to share with our team, discuss it and eventually share it with the consultation group.  This will mean perhaps 2-3 meetings prior to the next regular quarterly Administrative Team meeting.  In gathering this information, I am finding that only a very brief history of the church was written for the 25th Anniversary and that none at all was written for the 50th Anniversary, so this is going to take a lot of time to put together.  We need to get all of this completed at least 3 weeks ahead of our Consultation Visit which the conference would like to have at least by April or May.  Be in prayer for Pastor and the Team to get the work completed.

Some key things to remember:

  • The consultation visits are typically a Saturday noon to Sunday 2pm type of thing.
  • It’s important to have as many people present as possible.
  • The visit will involve one-on-one meetings with key leaders, focus groups with active participants and “up-and-comer” leaders, focus group with youth (if applicable), training session for as many people as possible.

 

Pastor's Musings

   On Missions

Missions are no longer a part of the church budget.  Instead, we will receive monthly mission gifts for various projects that we will support.  Missions for the next few months are as follows:

Ø  January gifts supported Open Door

Ø  February gifts will support Heaven’s Helpers Soup Café

Ø  March gifts will support Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) (past support has been $1800/yr)

Ø  Lenten Offering will be equally shared by Heaven’s Helpers Soup Café and Cru

 

 

  BREAKTHROUGH PRAYER INITIATIVE

     We are in need of Clara’s enthusiasm for a relationship with God in Prayer!

     Yes, God has answered some of our prayers at Calvary but can go so much further.  We need to take the next step in our prayer initiative.  We need one or two people who are willing to call people together in our War Room prior to and between our Sunday Worship Services.  We need to pray for our worship services, the pastor and those participating in the service as well as all people that God will bring to the services, including visitors.  You do not even have to ask Pastor’s permission – just DO IT.

 

   CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

     Our Co-CE Coordinators have drafted the following Missions’ statement:

     To give our children a beginning direction to a relationship with God.  We intend to go beyond learning about God and stories in the Bible.  We hope through children’s ministry the children will learn to have an everlasting relationship with Christ Jesus, our Savior.  That to them, He is an actual person, not just a story from the Bible.

     We want to help families build Christ-based relationships through our children’s ministry events where the whole family is welcome to attend!  We want the children to bring friends, cousins, or anyone who has a willingness to grow through Jesus!

     We strive to be Christ-like so the attending children can see a glimmer of what Christ is like.  And we want to do this with our whole church family, so that when someone hears about our Calvary Warriors, they know they are coming to a place where we strive to be Christ-like and they will be welcome to come back again and again.

     We want our warriors to be confident to go out and know that word of the Bible so they can spread it to whomever they encounter throughout life.  We want them to hold on to the Word so it can get them through challenges they will face throughout their lifetimes!

 

     Upcoming events to keep an eye open for are: During Easter, a ‘Walk with Jesus’ event.  Early summer, DVBS entitled, “Shipwrecked” and a Camp promotion during the summer.  See their CE table on the landing of the stairway leading to the basement for more information.

 

   HOSPITALITY

     Two people have volunteered as Sunday Morning coffee personnel.  Therefore the first and second Sunday of each month are covered.  We also have a confirmation student and mother who I believe are taking the third Sunday of the month for the present time.  It is possible the refreshments for the fourth Sunday are covered.  But more volunteers are always welcome.  Please see Pastor or Sally Walker & Ginny McCallum for more details.

 

   BIBLE STUDY

     We do have a new Bible study on Thursday evenings for Young Women.  GREAT! 

     Are there others (or perhaps some men) who may be interested in a Bible Study or a small group of some kind?  If so, please share your interest with me (I’m even willing to teach).  I’m hoping that when the new Finance Committee gets more organized that they will offer some kind of finance class in 2018.

 

   HEAVEN’S HELPERS SOUP CAFÉ

     This ministry to the community is now in operation at 220 N 23rd St in Bismarck.  Volunteers are needed to start plugging into the scheduling, with all ages of volunteers encouraged; children 12 and under will need to be accompanied by an adult and 18 and under will need parental permission. Scheduling is available at www.soupcafe.org for 2 hour slots from 8 am to 7:30 pm.  Check www.facebook.com/HeavensHelpersSoupCafe for updates. Be sure to sign up at the Church’s info table telling us you helped out here or somewhere else.

 

 

CALVARY 2017-2018 BREAKTHROUGH PRAYER INITIATIVE

     If you don’t already have one, please pick up our key chain.  This key chain is a reminder for all of us to pray for God to breakthrough in our individual lives and in the life of Calvary Church.  Each time you pick up or see this key chain, we want you to be reminded to pray for God to breakthrough into our lives and help us to do what He wants us to do as individuals and as a church.      WOW! Thank you for each one of you who are praying for our church.  Thanks for sharing in the church’s War Room – I know you have been there because of the requests left on the white board.  You are welcome to use the room on Sundays and Wednesday before, during and after services.  You are also welcome to come Monday through Friday during office hours 11-5 and pray in the room.  Continue to pray for God to breakthrough into our lives and the life of our church.     

     A Big Thank You to our co-Christian Education coordinators for their initiatives including the Sunday School table, “Say Yes” campaign, “Light Up the Night for Jesus” and now those beautiful black trees and birds on the orange wall in the Fellowship Hall — you just have got to see it.     

     Thank you also to our co-Hospitality coordinators for two very smoothly run lunches following two back-to-back funerals and a pot-luck.  Great work!  Also, thanks for the wonderful paint jobs in a few of our main floor rooms as well as two more to come.  Next, we will tackle the other 3 bathrooms in 2018.  Any suggestions?  Hospitality coordinators are also looking for Sunday Morning coffee personnel beginning in 2018.  One person has already volunteered to take the second Sunday of the month – do we have other volunteers?  Please see Pastor or Sally Walker & Ginny McCallum for more details.     

     Thank you to all of you who participated in the Prayer Initiative Training as well as the Stewardship Training.  They were both so helpful and informative and I appreciated so much your interest and participation.  We have two more trainings coming up in December and January.  December 2 at 10:30 am at Legacy United Methodist there will be a training called, “Knowing and Loving your Neighbor”.  This training is for everyone and I challenge everyone to come and pack out the room – I’m sure we can all learn something from this presentation.  The second one is for our ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM only and it will be held on January 28 @ 2:00 pm. Please put these two dates on your calendars and plan to be there.     

     We also have a new Bible study that has begun and we are very grateful for their meeting in the War Room.  Are there others who may be interested in a Bible Study or a small group of some kind please share your interest with me.  We are hoping that the Finance Committee will offer classes in 2018, talk to them if you have ideas.     

     FINALLY, we need your input.  Our congregation is being asked over the next number of months to complete a CONGREGATION SELF-STUDY for our Journey Renewal program.  The Administrative Team will of course be asked to assist in this endeavor but we would like additional input.  It will mean 5 meetings beyond the regular quarterly Administrative Team meetings.  There is data gathering that must be done by some individuals prior to the 5 meetings so that we can share this information with the group, discuss it, and eventually share it with the consultation group who will share prescriptions with us out of some of this data.  Are you interested?  We could use someone with knowledge of Calvary’s history back to 1959 or so.  Please let me know of your interest or the interest of a friend.  We will need to get started on this quickly.

 

"JOURNEY RENEWAL SHARING"

     Let me begin with this story from “Leading the Discipleship” by Brandon Guindon, Lance Wigton & Luke Yetter.

     “When I was in high school, my dad, grandfather and I went elk hunting, as we often did in the fall.  This trip was different than the others because we had invited a new friend.  He was our neighbor, and we were glad to have him along.  After an hour or so we reached our hunting destination.  It was dark, early in the morning, and, as I remember, exceptionally cold.  As each of us collected our gear and slung our rifles, my dad laid out the basic plan of the morning hunt.  Off we went, hunting one of Idaho’s most wonderful game animals.  Several hours into the hunt just down the hill below me, I heard a shot fired.  It didn’t sound like a typical, big-game, large caliber rifle shot though.  As I immediately began to process what I had just heard and figure out where exactly it had come from, someone cried out, “I got one! I got one!”  Rushing over to investigate what sounded like the voice of our new hunting partner, I was shocked by what I DIDN”T see.  There was no downed elk, but with a huge smile on his face, our neighbor held in his right hand his gun and in his left his trophy: a tree squirrel.  The gun I heard was a .22.  No wonder I never heard the loud crack of the typical large caliber gun that would take down an elk.  Our new friend had created all this commotion and ruined the morning hunt – all over a tree squirrel!  I couldn’t help but think, HOW IN THE WORLD COULD YOU HAVE THOUGHT WE WERE HUNTING SQUIRRELS?”

     “We reflect on that story because there are parallels to what we see in the church today.  This new friend’s idea of what ‘success’ was for the day was not at all what the rest of us thought.  Somewhere the goal was not clear or had been totally lost.  In fact HIS goal, which he was so proud of, actually ruined MY goal.  In his mind the day was a total success; in mine, utter failure.  How could two hunters have such massively different goals?

     What contributed to the failed hunt that day?  Lack of communication, no clear goal and assumed ideals and assumed goals.

     This problem plagues the church today, and so often encourages church leaders to hunt for the wrong goals.  Then, when they reach those goals, they learn their co-leaders were not on the same page.

     “Go therefore 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 observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)  According to this passage, what is the main goal of the church?  More people?  More money?  What do you think?  It is discipleship!

     Do we know what discipleship or a disciple looks like? Maybe this will help –

     “Desalegn, a Christian brother in Ethiopia is a powerful leader.  God has used him to lead significant change in the evangelical church in Ethiopia.  Like the Western church, Ethiopia has strayed from the biblical model of discipleship.  They too have generally defined “winning” for the church as levels of attendance and biblical knowledge.  In a meeting with many of the country’s highest level leaders, Desalegn made a profound statement, he said,

     “We have lost our focus, we have strayed.  Our churches have lost direction.  At one time in our country we faced persecution, and the church was forced to rely on relationship with God and each other because we had nothing else.  Now we do not know each other.  We only focus on sermons and singing music.  Lives are not changing, and they are very shallow.  The church has lost Jesus’ method of making disciples.  We must return to His ways!”

     How many strongly or somewhat agree with him?  How many are neutral about this statement of his?  How many strongly or somewhat disagree with him?  WHY? 

      A vital part of discipleship is a relationship built on trust and strong communication.  That is why I shared all the things about trust in the last newsletter.  We can’t have trust if people do not show up for meetings or participate.  Let’s go back to the main goal of the church:  Discipleship.

Do we have clarity on what that looks like?  What is a disciple of Jesus Christ?

     What does a disciple of Jesus Christ do?  What evidence do you look for when determining if someone is a disciple of Jesus Christ?  What discipleship behaviors have people learned in our church – what did you learn growing up here?

     What ‘products’ (programs, groups, events, activities, etc.) exist in our congregation that reinforce this discipleship or beliefs (for good or worse)?

     Later on this fall I will be asking some of you to help with a church self-study that will help to give us an interesting perspective on our church and how it operates.

     Now remember we said a vital part of discipleship is a relationship.  Do we have that kind of environment in our church?  A relational environment is the vehicle that we have to travel in to get to the destination.  But remember, the relationship or relational environment is not the destination – discipleship is the goal.  But relational environment is a vital ingredient in building trust and leading change.  So what are the key components of a healthy relational environment?

-          Everyone in the church is being open and honest with each other.

-          The church helps take care of each other’s needs outside the church building.

-          When someone is missing from the church, people call to check on them.

-          There are open discussions and people can ask questions to help examine faith, scripture, life, etc.

-          New people are welcome and invited.

What others would you add?

Which of these relational things do we do well and which ones are areas for growth?

What can we do to create this kind of environment?

 

     Journey Renewal is going to bring some changes.  We are beginning a New Prayer Initiative.  From the training session we had at the end of August, the ten people in attendance who are now our Calvary Prayer Team, has come up with the following initiative:

 

CALVARY 2017-2018 BREAKTHROUGH

PRAYER INITIATIVE

     If you don’t already have one of these, please pick up our key chain.  This key chain is a reminder for all of us to pray for God to breakthrough in our individual lives and in the life of Calvary Church.  Each time you pick up or see this key chain we want you to be reminded to pray for God to breakthrough into our lives and help us to do what He wants us to do as individuals and as a church.

Ø    The Key chain has a flashlight to remind us that Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12)

Ø    The Key chain also has a compass to remind us that Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Ø    The Key chain has our name “Calvary Church” on it with our denominational emblem.

Ø    The Key chain also has the words “Breakthrough Prayer” to remind us of the kind of prayer that we are being asked to pray.  We are not giving you any specific words to pray this time, just the encouragement of Ephesians 6:18a, to “Pray at All Times” that breakthroughs will happen.

Ø    Last, the Key chain also has a whistle.  Why a whistle?  Let me share this:      

 

        “There is a story about a simple shepherd boy who did not know how to pray.  He was sad because he did not know how to reach the Gates of Heaven.  Nevertheless, he desired so strongly to know and to be close to the Creator that he stood outside the house of prayer, took his whistle, and blew it will all this heart.

        Meanwhile, inside the house of prayer was a group of people who knew all the prayers but who also could not open the Gates of Heaven.  When they heard the boy blowing his whistle outside, they called out, “Stop it!” and then muttered to themselves, ‘How can he do such a thing?  Here we are in prayer and meditation, and he blowing a whistle.’

        A Rabbi was in there among the people and he said, ‘Wait, stop yelling at him.  The gates are open. The boy has opened up the Gates of Heaven with the sincerity of his heart!”

Many of us may be at a loss for words when it comes to this prayer.  But really, it doesn’t matter because when our heart is pure and when we sing and pray in gratitude and love for being alive, we all are the boy with the whistle.  So if nothing else blow your whistle, God will hear.  BE IN PRAYER! God is moving in our midst, changes are happening.

 

 

"JOURNEY RENEWAL SHARING"

 

     In Acts 10:28 Peter realized that he had to change his thinking and change his actions.  That is what Journey Renewal is all about – change.  In our Cohort meeting on June 6, 2017, the lesson was on TRUST & COMMUNICATION:

Main idea:

Change naturally brings with it fear.  When we are in a state of fear our brains don’t ‘work’ right.  So, instilling trust is vital to counteracting fear.

     Do you trust me?  Do I trust all of you?  The idea I share comes from Charles Feltman’s book, “The Thin Book of Trust”.

     First, what is trust?  Trust is choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another person’s actions.  In other words, trust or distrust is a risk assessment – do we believe that whatever we offer will be supported or at least not harmed?

     The assessment: trust consists of four distinct assessments about how someone is likely to act.   These assessments are sincerity, reliability, competence and care.  Together these four define what we consider to be a person’s trustworthiness.

     Let me flesh out these four assessments:

THE 4 DISTINCTIONS OF TRUST from “The Thin Book of Trust”

1.    SINCERITY – “I mean what I say, say what I mean, and act accordingly.”

Sincerity is the assessment that you are honest, that you say what you mean and mean what you say; you can be believed and taken seriously.  It also means when you express an opinion it is valid, useful, and is backed up by sound thinking as evidence.  Finally, it means that your actions will align with your words.

2.    RELIABILITY – “You can count on me to deliver what I promise!”  Reliability is the assessment that you meet the commitments you make, that you keep your promises.

3.    COMPETENCE – “I know I can do this.  I don’t know if I can do that.”  Competence is the assessment that you have the ability to do what you are doing or propose to do.  In the workplace, this usually means the other person believes you have the requisite capacity, skill, knowledge, and resources to do a particular task or job.

4.    CARE – “We’re in this together.”  Care is the assessment that you have the other person’s interests in mind as well as your own when you make decisions and take actions.  Of the four assessments of trustworthiness, care is in some ways the most important for building lasting trust.  When people believe you are only concerned with your self-interest and don’t consider their interests as well, they may trust your sincerity, reliability and competence, but they will tend to limit their trust of you to specific situations or transactions.  On the other hand, when people believe you hold their interest in mind, they will extend their trust more broadly to you.

 

     So with this in mind, back to the original question: DO YOU TRUST ME?  DO I TRUST YOU?

On the other hand, distrust reflects our fear that the other person will mishandle damage, lose, destroy, steal or use what we give for their gain.  How is this seen in our behavior?   

 TRUST

Cooperating, collaborating, engaging in conversations, dialog and debate of ideas, listening, communicating freely, supporting others, sharing information, offering ideas, expecting the best, willingness to examine own actions.

DISTRUST

Defending, resisting, blaming, complaining, judging, avoiding, withholding information and ideas, expecting the worst, justifying protective actions based on distrust.


     When we distrust, we engage in strategies to protect ourselves.  Distrust and fear go hand-in-hand.  Whenever distrust of any kind creeps into relationships in the work place it produces attitudes and behaviors guaranteed to undermine effective work , including suspicion, resistance, defensiveness, interpersonal conflict, withholding of information and overzealous checking of other’s work.

     As a part of my assignment from this lesson I have been asked to identify one area in which I will follow through to help build trust.  The area I have identified is reliability.  I have at times not believed I could rely on some people in the church to deliver what was promised.  I have come to believe that perhaps part of the fault lies with me in that I did not make complete requests (maybe they were too vague) and that I perhaps didn’t wait for a full response, instead I just assumed the answer was yes and that people would just do what was asked.  I will attempt to do better. (It doesn’t increase my trust when only 7 of 13 members of the Administrative Team come to a meeting.)

     What part of trust are each of you going to work on? 

Journey Renewal = Change

     The first step in leading change is prayer – all of us praying – 609 Prayer, etc.  There are also four other steps in leading change. (By James Emery White).  One that we also need to share is:

 1.            ESTABLISH A SENSE OF URGENCY.

  Ø  People will not even consider change unless they are impacted on an emotional level. If change is not considered necessary, leadership expert John Kotter of Harvard writes, they ‘will find a thousand ingenious ways to withhold cooperation.”

  Ø  There must be a perceived problem, or need, that is generating a certain amount of emotional energy.  For the change agent, or agents, one of the keys to his is passion: if you do not seem to care, they will not bother to care.

  Ø  Not that this is more than simply articulating the logic of a particular set of actions.  People must be communicated with on an emotional level.  There must be a sense of urgency.  The Bible reminds us that we are transformed through the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2).  So whatever the change may be, be sure to convey what the stakes are, and why the change is so important.

  Ø  For example, why should anyone contemplate evaluating a weekend service in light of its effectiveness at communicating the trust of Christ to a lost person?  If they do not perceive that lost people matter or that they are being reached quite well through current approaches, then any change that might be suggested will die at the starting gate.

  Ø  Leaders who want change must communicate the importance of those who are apart from Christ and the exact state of the church’s current effectiveness in reaching them. It is up to the leader to say, “We will stand before God one day and give an account of our lives.  And this generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of non-Christians.  And God will ask, “Did you do all that you could?  Did you match the intensity and fervor I brought to the cross?”

  Ø  People must be brought to the point where they view the lack of change as a tragedy; where they don’t simply embrace change but cry out for it. 

     As Pastor I am going to bring this urgency with a 5-Sunday series of messages on the subject of change beginning on July 30.

     Now, the question that I am being asked by our Cohort meeting to ask you, “What will you as an Administrative Team do to bring this urgency to the rest of the congregation?

 

 

 

"JOURNEY RENEWAL"

     Journey Renewal Partnership

Episcopal Invitation

     We at Calvary have been invited by Bishop Ough to be a part of a Journey Renewal Partnership.  As Christians, we have been called to ‘Follow Jesus’.  Bishop Bruce Ough is partnering to start new life cycles at all levels of our local churches. We have been chosen partly because of where we are as a church on our present life cycle.  We would have to say that Calvary United Methodist Church is presently at the decline stage of a life cycle.  Unless we do something to change the cycle we will end up in death.  Therefore, we need a jump start to a new life cycle.  This is what Journey Renewal is designed to help us to do.

     The specifics of the program were initially shared by the Bishop and others with six members of our church.  This material was then shared with the Administrative Team at our last meeting in April.  Those present at the meeting voted unanimously to go ahead with the program.  There are nine (9) steps to this Journey Renewal Partnership.  They are as follows and we are already into the third step.

April-May

1.    Attend Episcopal Invitation Gathering

Receive information to take to church leadership for prayer and discernment. Church Council or board votes on invitation

2.    Respond by Friday, May 19 with decision

If yes—Pastor and chair(s) of church council signs JRP covenant on behalf of congregation.

3.    Pastor schedules one-on-one coaching assessment call with Rebecca Trefz the week of May 22.  Pastor then attends first pastor cohort meeting on Tuesday, June 6 in Bismarck, ND.

Summer-Fall 2017

4.    Monthly trainings—alternating pastor cohorts and church leadership team training workshops.  The church leadership training workshops will be open to anyone in the congregation who would like to attend.  There will be four workshops along the way and we will let you know when and where they will be held so that you can attend.  This will allow everyone to have a say and part in this whole process.

 Ø  Church begins to prepare comprehensive “self-study”

Ø  “Fresh Eyes Visitor(s)” worship assessors begin attending each church—known and unknown

 Ø  Churches schedule their JOURNEY RENEWAL consultation visit according to congregational readiness 

Winter 2017-18/Spring 2018

5.    Journey Renewal Consultation Visit and Training

Ø  Consultation report with up to five unique prescriptions presented to the congregation within 2 weeks of visit

Ø  Congregation has 30 days for Town Hall meetings to discuss JRP report/prescriptions

6.    District Superintendent convenes a Church Conference meeting, at which official church members present may vote. 

  Ø  If vote is 70% or better, JOURNEY RENEWAL report/ prescriptions are accepted.

Next 2-3 years

7.    Pastor and leadership are surrounded by “prescription coach(es)”  who provide wisdom, guidance, encouragement and accountability to implement prescriptions over the next 2 to 3 years.

8.    Pastor remains in the JOURNEY RENEWAL coaching cohort for continuing training and accountability.

9.    Journey Renewal churches track fruitfulness measures according to Dakotas Conference procedures. 

Ø     A new life cycle has begun!

     This is the Administrative Team’s hope and prayer for our future here at Calvary United Methodist Church. 

     Will you all join us in prayer for a new life cycle to begin in this partnership?  Please come early, take your coffee to the first classroom next to the elevator and have a time with the Lord.  Please take this opportunity to prepare for worship and lift up our church to the Lord Almighty. 

 

 

 

New Johns Hopkins Study Reports on Whether

Sexual Orientation is Genetically Determined

(From “We Confess” Jan/Feb 2017 Issue of The Confessing Movement)

     A new study released August 22, 2016 from John Hopkins University concludes that there is “virtually no evidence that anyone gay or straight is born that way if that means their sexuality was genetically determined.”  The study, which also covers issues related to transgenderism, makes use of twin studies as well as 200 other peer-reviewed studies to reach its conclusions.

     The study also states that conditioning children to believe they need a sex reassignment to avoid mental health issues may not be helpful. Furthermore, people who have undergone sex reassignment surgery are at much higher risk for mental health problems with a suicide rate 19 times higher than that of the general population.  The study concludes that environmental factors are primarily responsible for sexual identity.

     The study has been condemned by gay-advocacy groups saying the researchers are biased.

     While the church needs to hear and be responsive to any scientific studies, its teachings are based not on “science” but on Scripture.  Still, this study has implications for the present discussion in the church on sexuality.  The pro-gay argument from genetics is the “God made me this way and therefore it is blessed by him.”  But that is a simplistic argument.  Perhaps it would be better to admit that we live in a fallen world and in a society already confused about relationships.  We do not understand everything behind sexual orientation but we appeal to Scripture as to how we are intended to live.  Marriage is between a man and a woman.

 

 

"Life-Giving Vitamins"

            EASTER is fast approaching, and you're probably feeling just a little rushed, even run down.  All the activity, all the religiosity, has you feeling more than just a little sluggish.  You definitely need a boost.

            Well, I have just the thing a hand full of vitamins.  We are all in need of a good vitamin now and then.  But, I have five (5) vitamins that are a must for our Christian survival, for without them life is lost.

            The first is Vitamin A.  This is the ACCEPTANCE vitamin.  It stands for new life or eternal life.  You see, Christ died for our sins, and by accepting Him, we get this new life.  John 1:12 says, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,..."  Yes, it is a matter of receiving or ACCEPTING Jesus as our Savior.  Like a vitamin, Jesus can do nothing for us until we accept Him into our life.

            The second is Vitamin B.  This is the BELIEF vitamin.  It is essential to the development and normal functioning of our new life.  Our Great Physician explains that "all things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23).  But, like the father of the demon-possessed boy, many need to cry out, "I do believe; help my unbelief."  Swallow it whole.

            The third is Vitamin C.  This is the CONFESSION vitamin.  It must be daily used to keep it in perfect condition.  1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  But, to be forgiven we must first take the vitamin of confession.

            The fourth is Vitamin D.  This is the DETERMINATION vitamin.  It is also extremely vital.  This vitamin has a wonderful effect upon one's backbone, which of course is a must for good posture.  Simply determine, as 1 Corinthians 2:2 says, "not to know anything...save Jesus Christ and Him Crucified".  Oh, to have our eyes so fixed.

            The final vitamin is Vitamin E.  This is the well-known and absolutely necessary ENDURANCE vitamin.  2 Timothy 2:3 says, "Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus."  The trouble is that too many soldiers for Christ are not good soldiers any more.  They are not willing to suffer the hardship; they are not willing to endure to the end.  I trust that you will be willing to take the vitamin of endurance and stay in it for the long haul and thus not become an after Easter Casuality. 

            Swallow your Vitamins! 

**   The following six Volunteer Staff positions are yet to be filled:

_____________, Mission Coordinator                 _____________, Prayer Coordinator

_____________, Worship Coordinator                _____________, Visitation Coordinator

_____________, Groups Coordinator                 _____________, Church Historian

If you feel God’s call upon your life to assist the church in these ways, or you would like more information on what the position entails, please talk to Pastor Perry ASAP.

     Please come early, take your coffee to the first classroom next to the elevator and have a time with the Lord.  Please take this opportunity to prepare for worship and lift up our church to the Lord Almighty. 

 

 

 

"A NEW BEGINNING"

     The Administrative Team all began their new responsibilities on January 1, 2017.  We have had a few changes and additions this month.  Kennan & Nancy Sailer moved to Fargo after Christmas and so Curtis Mertz has replaced Kennan on the Team thru 2018 as Trustee.  The Administrative Team also elected Marilou Voegele to the position of Vice-Chair, which will of course become the Chair on January 1, 2018.  In addition, Sally Walker & Ginny McCallum have joined the Volunteer Staff as Co-Hospitality Coordinators.  We welcome these people aboard.

     The following six Volunteer Staff positions are yet to be filled:

_____________, Mission Coordinator                 _____________, Prayer Coordinator

_____________, Worship Coordinator                _____________, Visitation Coordinator

_____________, Groups Coordinator                 _____________, Church Historian 

If you feel God’s call upon your life to assist the church in these ways, or you would like more information on what the position entails, please talk to Pastor Perry ASAP.

     A big “Thank You” to Sally & Ginny and their team of volunteers who took on the cleaning and revitalization of the church’s kitchen.  Wow, what a difference a little determination, elbow grease, paint, varnish and décor have made.  We look forward to the finishing touches that will be made in coming days.

      Thank you as well to all the volunteers who put up as well as took down all the Christmas décor.  It was beautiful as usual.

     Remember we are now posting our 10:30 am worship service on U-Tube.  You can access it through the church Facebook page at Calvary United Methodist Church Bismarck, just look for the date of the service you would like to see.

     The first classroom next to the elevator in the church has also been transformed.  Please come early, take your coffee into this room, sit in comfort and have a time with the Lord.  Our church prayer is on the bulletin board and other prayer requests may also be placed on the board.  Please take this opportunity to prepare for worship and lift up our church to the Lord Almighty. 

     Beginning March 1 (Ash Wednesday) we will share in a series called, “6 Decisions That Will Change Your Life”.  They will begin at 6:15 each Wednesday evening during Lent (March 1 – April 5).  Join us at 5:15 pm each of those evenings for supper.

 

 

"A NEW STRUCTURE"

     A new structure for Calvary was approved at the Charge Conference on October 23, 2016.    Our church will now be governed by an Administrative Team/Leadership Committee.  They all take on their new responsibilities on January 1, 2017.  The new team is as follows:


ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM

Ken Hogue, Chair               2017   Trustees

Ron Kinzler                           2017   Staff Parish

Jeff Essler                             2017   Finance

Lorette Hoopman                 2017   Finance

Mike Dronen                         2018   Trustees

Laurence Gruebele             2018   Staff Parish

Curtis Mertz                        2018   Trustees

Rick Bentz                             2018   Finance

Sharon Throlson                  2019   Staff Parish

Shayne Mertz                       2019   Staff Parish

Michelle Balliet-Unrath       2019   Trustees

Marilou Voegele V-Chair        2019   Finance

Sally Walker                          2019   Lay Member/Lay Leader

 

 

STAFF

Perry Schnabel                    Pastor

Darrel Borgen                       Custodian                

Beckie Dronen                     Co-Christian Education/AWANA

Alisha Mertz                          Co-Christian Education

Donna Thiede                      Office Administrator/Treasurer

 

VOLUNTEER STAFF

Shayne Mertz, Media Coordinator

____________________,  Groups Coordinator

Sally Walker,  Co-Hospitality Coordinator

Ginny McCallum, Co-Hospitality Coordinator

____________________,  Mission Coordinator

____________________,  Prayer Coordinator

____________________,  Visitation Coordinator

____________________,  Worship Coordinator

____________________,  Church Historian

 

These last seven volunteer positions are yet to be filled.  If you feel God’s call upon your life to assist the church in these ways, or you would like more information on what the position entails, please talk to Pastor Perry ASAP.

 

Open Door Directors continue to be: Pastor Perry, Ken Hogue & Ron Kinzler

 

"GOD IS STILL TALKING"

     God is continuing to talk to those who are praying our daily prayer card.  First, we changed the times of our early service and Sunday school.  That seems to be working very well even though it means a decline in our actually worship attendance but we are hoping it increases the Sunday school attendance and we are still praying that some small groups will also emerge, like perhaps a new adult Sunday school class.

    There is also another change taking place.  This change has to do with the church meetings structure of our church and the way we do things.  The following proposal has been approved by the Leadership/Nominating committee of the church and the leadership within this structure will be approved at the next Administrative Council meeting and Charge Conference to come on October 23. 

 

CALVARY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH RESTRUCTURING

 

ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM

Rationale:

  1. We need to conduct the business of the church in the most Christ-like manner possible;
  2. We need to free up people to do ministry;
  3. We need to streamline the process and take up less time;
  4. We need to become more efficient and effective;
  5. We need to meet at a minimum quarterly (January, April, July, Sept/Oct);
  6. Our Membership does not require the large board and number of committees we have now;
  7. State Law asks us to have 12 Trustees/Administrative team would meet this.

 

Book of Discipline requires us to have following Committees:

  1. Administrative
  2. Finance
  3. Staff Parish Relations
  4. Trustees
  1. Leadership of which Pastor is Chair.

 

We can combine them all into one team to become more efficient and effective.

Administrative Team (made up of):

1 – Lay Member/Lay Leader

4 – Staff Parish Relations Committee Members

4 – Trustee Committee Members

4 – Finance Committee Members

 

This is a total of 13 voting full church members on 3-year rotations with at least a year off after three years (and one year off after six years on SPRC), plus only one member from a household preferred.

     Administrative Chair will serve for one year with Vice Chair moving up into the Chair position each year and the Vice Chair being elected/appointed from within the group each year prior to Charge Conference (This way we always know a year ahead of time who the Chair is going to be).  Administrative Team also acts as the Leadership/Nominating Committee.

     A Recording Secretary for the Administrative Team with no voting rights may also be appointed by the Pastor.  The Church Treasurer will also be present to provide to the Finance Committee and Administrative Team needed information but without vote.

     Staff Parish, Trustee & Finance committees would meet ½ hour or ¾ hour prior to Administrative Team if needed so that all committees would meet on one night, and lay member/lay leader is welcome at any of the committees but primary responsibility would be on Staff Parish.

     Any of the committees may at any time invite someone with expertise in matters being discussed to be present at their meetings.  Anyone from the church is always welcome as a guest to attend any of the meetings.  However, only members of the Administrative Team have a vote.

RESPONSIBILITIES

ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM (AD TEAM)

This group of thirteen individuals elected by the Church, along with the Pastor, is in charge of the business and direction of Calvary United Methodist Church.

 

STAFF PARISH RELATIONS

This committee is in charge of keeping the church staffed and supporting the Pastor.  This committee also updates any employee job descriptions, is in charge of employee evaluations, and is involved in other Human Resource duties.

 

TRUSTEES

The Trustees are responsible for the property of the church which includes the church, the parsonage, and the church’s land.

 

FINANCE

The Finance Committee is in charge of managing the budget, providing for methods of receiving gifts, performing the annual audit of the church books, directing stewardship appeals, providing offering counters/depositors and check signers.

 

     Programing would be handled through Staff/Programing which could include but not be limited to the following: (and would meet at Pastor’s discretion):

 

STAFF (paid or honorarium positions)

Pastor      Office Administrator/Treasurer       Custodian

Co-Christian Education Coordinator      Co-Christian Education Coordinator/AWANA

 

Volunteer Positions

Hospitality Coordinator      Mission Coordinator      Prayer Coordinator

Worship Coordinator      Visitation Coordinator      Group’s Coordinator      Church Historian

 

     Each of these coordinators can enlist whomever they desire to assist in the work that is to be accomplished and Pastor would act as liaison between these coordinators and the SPRC as well as Administrative Team including any need for funds to carry out their work.

     Is God talking to you?  Is there something that God is telling you to do, some ministry that He feels you could do and that is needed at Calvary?  Is there one of the volunteer positions God is calling you to?  Talk to Pastor immediately.  When God nudges, you need to answer His call.

     Please also continue to pray together with me that the Lord will show us His way for our church to continue to go forward.  Please continue to pray the card but feel free to pray for whatever or whoever else the Lord brings to mind for that is what prayer is – a dialogue with God, so let the dialogue flow.

 

 

"GOD IS TALKING"

     As I said in our last newsletter, “For any church to succeed in its mission of growing disciples for Jesus Christ that church must be a praying church, because that church must stay in constant contact with our leader (Jesus) and the only way to do that is to be in prayer with Him”.  I have no idea if everyone or even half of the people at Calvary are praying our prayer card on a daily basis at 6:09, but I do know that God is talking back to some of those who are.  

     What is God saying?  First, He is saying that we need to change our service times.  For years I have watched as parents have brought their children for Sunday school and then drove away again themselves to go out for coffee or breakfast, etc.  It is not that there were not Sunday school classes they could have attended, they just were not interested.  They would then return after the hour and either pick up their children or some would join them for the worship service.  To encourage parents to come to church while the children are in Sunday school, we are going to move Sunday school and worship to the same time.  We will also be setting up a center in the entry with coffee and donuts etc.  Therefore, the Administrative Council of the church voted to change our Sunday services beginning on August 28, 2016, to the following times:

Early Worship = 9:00 am

Sunday School = 10:30 am

Worship Service = 10:30 am

This is two weeks prior to Sunday school starting just to get everyone used to the time change.  Sunday school will begin on September 11, 2016.

     Second, we need to accomplish more efficiency and effectiveness in our church structure and the way we do things.  More of this will be outlined as we draw closer to our Charge Conference this fall.

     Yes, God is talking.  Is He talking to you?  Is there something that God is telling you to do, some ministry that He feels you could do and that is needed at Calvary?  Maybe God is telling some others to do the same thing.  Share those ideas with Pastor and maybe he knows of someone whom God is telling the same thing.  There are ministries that need to happen that are just waiting for God to talk to the right person so that they step forward to accept the challenge God has for them.  When God nudges, you need to answer His call.  It is like when God awakens me at 4:30 in the morning, I know it is not to get out of bed, it is to pray for very specific things and very specific people.  All I can say is, if God brings up your name, be ready for God to tap you on the shoulder.  I have also found it wise to answer, Yes Lord, almost immediately.  I know that some will refuse to let God upset their apple cart and that is disheartening.

     Please also continue to pray together with me that the Lord will show us His way for our church to continue to go forward.  We are praying that God will use us all as His instruments to design what He wants for the future of our church.  We are praying that God will align our church with His purposes and that if there are barriers which need to be broken in our lives in order for that to happen that He will do it and that finally God will unify us all in heart and mind so that we function as the Body of Christ.  Please continue to pray the card but feel free to pray for whatever or whomever else the Lord brings to mind for that is what prayer is, a dialogue with God, so let the dialogue flow.

 

 


"609 PRAYER CARD"

     About a month ago I had an email question about our new prayer card.  In essence the person was unsure about its purpose.  “My question is what are we praying for? Please help me out.”  Perhaps those reading this also have questions, so let me respond.

      For any church to succeed in its mission of growing disciples for Jesus Christ that church must be a praying church, because that church must stay in constant contact with our leader and the only way to do that is to be in prayer with Him.  More and more churches are making this realization and that is why our Bishop and the Dakotas Conference is making such an emphasis on churches growing through help from counseling with the MCCI and Journey Renewal programs.  We at Calvary have not yet been welcomed into these programs but why wait when we can get started ourselves.

     You see, the very first step in these programs is to get the church into a corporate prayer mode.  I am not saying that people at Calvary are not praying, because I know that there are some very wonderful individual prayer warriors here but I have a sense that there is a large group that are not praying individually or corporately. Why do I say that?  Let me explain where I get that feeling.  First, we set up a prayer room many months ago where requests could be le