This month we embark on a new fiscal year for our Church. At our annual meeting held on May 20 it was clear that we love our Church and genuinely care about its future direction. A new Leadership Team was elected /renewed and so begins the task of this team to address the issues and concerns in front of us.
Under the guidelines of Chapter 12, Elim Lutheran Church Constitution, the Leadership Team (hereafter LT) members are composed of the Pastor(s), the elected officers of the congregation and three at-large members selected by the congregation. The Leadership Team for the upcoming year consists of following members:
Pastor: Patrick Torbit
President: Roger Davis
Vice President: Don Bent
Secretary: Larell Fineren
Treasurer: Kevin Prime
Member At Large: Cindy Skanderson
Member At Large: Karen Pesutich
Member At Large: Robin Merrill
There are sure to be many tasks for the LT to address but one of the highest priorities is filling the vacant Elim staff positions. It is imperative to get these positions filled on an ongoing basis to ensure the day-to-day tasks are managed. Another important issue to address is the direction of our youth ministry program. At the annual meeting it was clear that many of our members want to find a way to grow this ministry. Input was also gathered at the LT listening sessions prior to the annual meeting but there are sure to be others. To that end I would like to respectfully request that members of the congregation with suggestions and concerns submit them to the LT in writing, which will allow us to better track the suggestions and concerns we receive. I encourage people submitting suggestions and concerns to include in their message any recommendations they have on how to address the concern, a person or persons within our congregation who be a good fit to help with its resolution, etc. From those of you who offered ideas at the LT listening sessions, I would greatly appreciate a follow up letter to the LT to ensure your input was properly captured. One of the best ways to get a message to the full LT is through our web site at https://www.elimpetaluma.org/contact-us.html. Just click the checkbox for “Leadership Team” and your message will be emailed to all the members at one time. You can also send an email directly to email@example.com, or mail a letter to the church office at 504 Baker Street, Petaluma 94952, with attention to Leadership Team.
With regard to expectations for this coming year we, as a congregation, will need to be realistic in our goals. As we all know, we have a budget to keep in mind and a Church constitution to help guide our decisions. Some of the challenges facing us may likely take more than a year to be fully addressed. We need to keep the faith that solutions can be obtained and also be understanding if a challenge that we face is not immediately solvable.
When I think about the different ministries, outreach, and service programs at Elim that “just work” year after year, I have come to the conclusion that the main reason for this is that each of these programs has one or more individual champions. NOLA, Relay for Life, Mexico Mission, our Food Pantries, Tanzania Ministry, Elim Lutheran Church Women, and many others all have dedicated Elim Members who volunteer their time to ensure the ministry’s success. Any new or revived program deserves a few champions too.
Some of you may have seen the phrase “What Would Jesus Do?” I have seen it on a bumper sticker more than once. But as a former Elim pastor once told me, a better phrase is “What Would Jesus Have You Do?” I kindly ask us all to keep this in mind this coming year.
With respect and sincerity,