What’s Next in 2019

A Voice and a Network

Lutheran CORE is both a voice for Biblical truth and a network for confessing Lutherans. Our work is focused on protecting the flock and supporting both the shepherds and the sheep. CORE has three main foci in 2019.

Rekindling Your First Love Retreat

At the end of his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul commended that church for their undying love. A generation later in Revelation 2 when John writes to the church in Ephesus he tells them that they have lost their first love. Many pastors – because of the demands of ministry, the painful experience of being hurt and even betrayed by congregational members, and having to deal with so much conflict – have lost their first love. If that is you, we want to invite you to rekindle and regain your first love.

First Retreat

  1. Thursday, May 1, 2019
  2. TBD, but in the Baltimore, MD area
  3. Speakers
    1. NALC pastor Tim Hubert, Rekindling Your First Love for Christ
    2. NALC pastor Wendy Berthelsen, Rekindling Your First Love for the Church as the Body of Christ
    3. ELCA pastor Brian Hughes, Rekindling Your First Love for Mission and Ministry at the Work of Christ in the World
  4. The retreat will include presentations, discussion, processing, prayer, fellowship, worship, determining next steps, and personal ministry time.
  5. Please be watching for more information, but a draft schedule is available here.
  6. For more information, contact CORE at lcorewebmail@gmail.com.

Congregations in Transition

The Congregations in Transition ministry initiative is an effort to train (mostly retired) Lutheran pastors to serve as coaches to congregations whose pastor has retired or resigned to take another call.

  • A very generous gift has been received to cover the travel and lodging expenses of pastors for a three-night, two-full-day training and relationship building event on  April 2-3, 2019 in Carefree, AZ, on the north side of Phoenix.
  • The need for this initiative is greatly increased by the number of soon-retiring Baby Boomer pastors, declining seminary enrollment, increased student debt for those graduating from seminary, the loss of congregational momentum that can occur during an interim period, and the fact that interim pastors will not always be available.

In this initiative a congregation organizes a Leadership Team of a few key leaders (separate from the church council and the call committee), which then works with their coach, primarily online.

  • The ministry arrangement begins with an initial onsite visit to introduce the coach to the entire congregation and that includes the coach’s spending a full day with the Leadership Team.
  • This ministry offers encouragement and includes helping the Leadership Team maintain not just stability but momentum in regards to the congregation’s vital ministries during this transition time.

There is no financial cost for those who volunteer to serve as coaches. Their travel and lodging expenses for the training event are being covered by a generous gift. There are very few financial costs to the congregations. The trained coaches are (mostly) active retired pastors who are willing to volunteer their time. The only significant expense for the congregation would be if they decided that they would like their coach to visit their church after the initial visit.

Please watch for more information about this ministry initiative in future issues of our newsletter, CORE Voice, and in future letters from the director.

Training the Coaches

  1. TBD, but in April 2019
  2. TBD, but likely Phoenix, AZ
  3. Please contact lcorewebmail@gmail.com if you are interested and/or if you would like to know more.
  4. See also Clergy Connect for a list of churches seeking pastors.

Pastoral Formation

CORE is working with Perry Fruhling, LCMC coordinator for pastoral ministry, to identify congregations that have seen two or more people go to seminary recently and pastors who have seen two or more people go to seminary during their ministry. CORE and LCMC will then work with these pastors and church leaders to identify the common factors that make a congregation and a pastoral ministry a good nurturing place for future pastors.