17 August 2014
Temple Talk by
Bill Henderson, President of Church Council
This morning I wanted to update you on all that is happening at St. Paul’s. Do you know how people start off with “I have good news and bad news?” I am not going to do that because I believe I only have Good News to share with you this morning!
First off, the Building on Blessings Capital Campaign has reached nearly $300,000. While we are still short of our goal of $500,000, we are very confident we will reach it before October 2015. If you have not yet pledged to the campaign, please do so by filling out your pledge card that was mailed home or see one of the capital campaign leaders: Chris Fritton, David Harkins, and David Wilson.
Recently, St. Paul’s was named as a beneficiary in the Estate of Wenner Smith. Wenner and Cynthia were both long time members of St. Paul’s for over 40 years. In fact, Wenner sung in the choir for 35 years. I believe that is a standing record. Cynthia was also our church librarian for many years. Sadly, as you may know, Wenner recently passed away joining his beloved wife in heaven. Wenner and Cynthia saw fit to include St. Paul’s in their estate and our endowment fund will be receiving approximately $200,000 as a result. As you know, our endowment helps us to sustain many ministries here and beyond our doors.
Speaking of beyond our doors, we have a new sister missionary in Bratislava, Slovakia. We assist this missionary with direct financial support. She is the Rev. Miriam Schmidt the Pastor of Bratislava International Church and Coordinator of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Young Adults in Global Mission Program of Central Europe. Pastor Schmidt recently mailed Laura Bickert Ciarlello, our chair of social ministry, a letter about her 9-week summer Home Assignment back here in the states. Please read about the great things going on so far away as a result of our generosity. It is fantastic to think that our humble St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ardmore is supporting Christian ministry in Bratislava, Slovakia – a once iron curtain former soviet bloc country where religion had to be hidden from the state.
Coming up shortly will our annual Rally Day on September 7. On that day, we will be participating with over 10,000 other Lutheran churches in America in day of service called “God’s Work. Our Hands.” On that day, we will join together for worship at 9:30am, bless our children’s backpacks, and install our Sunday school teachers and then after worship; spread out around our church to participate in one of several local service projects:
- Fill food trays for Aid for Friends
- Sort and package toiletries for the Life Center of Delaware County
- Spruce up South Ardmore Park with Lower Merion Township
- Work in our own cemetery across the street.
After our service projects, we will reconvene back on our grounds for our annual church picnic for homemade food and fellowship. Did I mention there will be free t-shirts?
As you should know by now, next year is our 250th Anniversary and we have been busy planning our year-long celebration which begins this October. Pastor Skip has been setting up special speakers and visiting ministers for next year including Bishops Hansen and Burkat, many of our previous pastors and Vickers; including Pastors Miller, DeWerth, Ollikainen, and Shreeves and then special guests including The Rev. Karl Kruger, The Rev. Tony Campolo and Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber. There is also talk of a gala event next October as a final celebration.
And finally, some really exciting news. As you recall, Church Council spent the better part of two years doing strategic planning based on the member survey that was completed. From our strategic planning we developed three areas of focus:
- Increased pastoral resources;
- Financial stewardship; and
- Member engagement
We are moving forward on all of these. Last week, Church Council voted to extend a call to a new associate pastor: Laura Tancredi. She is a recent graduate of the Lutheran Seminary of Philadelphia. This is wonderful news and deserves the thanks to our Call Committee. Member of the Committee were Lee Berry, Angie Freestone, Jack Johnson, Barb Keyser, Jason Sack, Amanda Vickrey and the Chair Frank Roth. We will have a call sermon and full congregation meeting and vote on September 28.
Our Building on Blessings Campaign is well under way but still need your support! The pledges to that campaign will directly assist us with our commitment to Laura as she assumes her new role here at Athens & Wynnewood and moves our church onto the next 250 years!
To that end, and an end to these announcements, here are some important dates to remember:
September 7 – Rally Day and GWOHs Day of service & Picnic
September 27 – Meet and Greet here in the fellowship hall at 3pm with Laura Tancredi
September 28 – Laura’s Call Sermon with a congregational meeting immediately after worship for a vote on whether to extend a call to Laura Tancredi as our associate pastor.
Please see a council member, capital campaign leader, Pastor McDowell or me with any questions on the information you just heard.