19 I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19)
The verse from Isaiah 43 is my annual report thread. The structure for the report is our church council’s goals for 2021. I hope to give an overview of how God continues to do something new through and with the congregation of Trinity Lutheran, Nampa.
Plan for a Safe Return: Our Covid Task Force and Church Council have continued to balance our physical, mental, and spiritual health in their discussions and decision making. The work has felt both heavy and holy. It has been a gift to share this work. In the end, return may not have been the best word. We have not so much returned to what we had but started writing a brand-new chapter together.
Worship Weekly: Our leadership is grateful for the congregation’s flexibility and openness. We started with small groups in the sanctuary, moved to occasional worship on the patio, then came inside when it got too hot and covid numbers went down. You adapted at every step, and we continued to hear the Word of God and offer prayers and praises. We streamed the whole time and now both our streaming and sound system are vastly improved. I want to again thank Bryce Quarve for leading those improvements and for training our tech team. I also want to thank our Worship Altar Guild and Music Team for their ideas, guidance, and work. One silver-lining of the pandemic, evidenced at Ashes on the Go, Pet Blessing, and Longest Night, is that we like worshiping outdoors, at least for special occasions.
Financial Stability: Thank you for continuing to give financially. I am grateful that we were able to take away barriers to giving and for the way our congregation responded. This year we also undertook some important transitions in personnel. After many years as Treasurer, Lloyd Kellar began passing the baton to Karissa Armbrust. Peggy Miller was our Financial Secretary for several years and when she stepped down, the position was filled by Kristina Radke. Thanks to all four of these individuals for their service: past, present, and future.
Communication and Connectedness: When I consider how we remained connected in this unusual year, I remember the work of our Gospel and Growth Team (connecting us to one another), Church in Community Team (connecting us to our community), and Office Administrator Bob Cola (keeping communication flowing between the office, congregation, and larger community). I also think of the countless phone calls made and cards sent by all of you. These will never be recorded, but they made a huge difference in people’s lives and in our collective spirit. Thank you.
What’s Next: I am a little shy about making grand predictions after the last two years. And yet, I am personally looking forward to taking the tape off the pews, taking seven youth to the ELCA Youth Gathering in Minneapolis in July, continuing to teach and preach, welcoming new guests and members, welcoming new colleagues to serve in our cluster congregations, and discovering with you what the Holy Spirit is calling us into next.
Pastor Meggan Manlove