Seven Segues

Update as of April 17, 2024

With pastoral and sanctuary transitions forthcoming, COS leadership is committed to communicating well and keeping everyone in the loop on “the latest.” These transitions can be simultaneously exciting and anxiety-producing, so thanks for your prayers, patience and partnership.

We plan to focus on seven items key to our ministry life together in the next several months. We’re calling them “Seven Segues” because segues are periods or experiences organizations use to successfully transition from one life phase to the next. As a supplement to all the updates shared in the Lenten “New Chapters” series, we offer this “Seven Segues” communication link.

Pastor Fritz, Council President Bill Grabill, and others will offer info updates as they unfold. We’ll do our best to strike a balance between thoroughness and brevity. Your questions are always appreciated and helpful, so feel free to contact us. Again, thanks for your prayers, patience and partnership as the Lord continues to lead our precious congregation in these exciting times.

 

  1. Protocol with Pastor Miriam once she retires. Here is a nugget from Bishop Kevin Strickland:   “No pastoral acts will be done after leaving. I requested that Miriam be away from the congregation for at least one year. This doesn’t mean she can’t attend funerals, when appropriate, but not to lead them. She is to be away especially from worship for that year.”  To read the synod’s official protocol statement for retired pastors, click here.
  2. Thank you to all who made our celebration of Miriam possible! If you missed Saturday's celebration or Sunday's service, links are provided below.
Retirement Celebration
Sunday Service
  1. Council President Bill Grabill, Council Personnel Team Liaison Ben McCumber, and Pastor Fritz met with Assistant to the Bishop, Pastor Jonathan, in February about interim staffing.  
  2. We’re pleased to announce that Rev. Carla Knobler has been appointed by Bishop Strickland as our Interim Associate Pastor to begin 20 hours per week of service, beginning Monday, April 22.  The longevity of this interim can flex with how long it takes us to call and onboard a new associate pastor. Pastor Fritz and council leadership have interviewed Pastor Carla, with council and Personnel Team approving the arrangement. Does the name sound familiar to you?  If so, that’s because Pastor John Weber had Pastor Carla preach at COS a few times before 2008, when Pastor Carla lived in the area and before she moved to ministry assignments to serve as an interim pastor. More details to come about Pastor Carla.
  3. Another key goal for our interim staffing is to have COS enjoy a variety of faces and voices when it comes to guest preachers.  
  4. We are also exploring the possibility of identifying key lay leaders who can spearhead various elements of COS ministry in the interim.
Thank you to all members and visitors who completed the congregational questionnaire online or on paper. The Transition Team extended the deadline for completing the congregational questionnaire by an additional week and many responded. The team also interviewed COS staff for their assessment of the current situation and to hear their hopes for the future of their ministry areas at COS. The results have been reviewed by the team and the information is being summarized to be shared with the congregation soon. Stay tuned to see how you can learn what the questionnaire revealed about us.
According to the Bishop’s instructions, now that Pastor Miriam has retired, the Call Committee can be formed and start its work, taking the baton from the Transition Team.  We’ve learned sadly that many congregations who say goodbye to a second pastor realize they can’t afford to call a new leader.  Thanks to your strong stewardship, we rejoice that we’re moving ahead to discern the new pastor God already has chosen for us in our future ministry.  When the Call Committee completes this 6-12 month journey (we’ll be flexible), the council and congregation will vote to approve and welcome the pastoral candidate proposed.  
  1. See Don Livingston’s latest congregational update on the details of the Renewal Project here.
  2. Thanks to a beehive of volunteers after services and Sunday evening, ALL the pews were prepped and began their new lives in your homes and throughout the community by Monday morning!   Special thanks to Laura Hawkins, Paul Talbot, Steve Gunderson and Scout Troop 181 for their back-breaking diligence.
  3. A few pews will remain at various places in the church to provide additional seating. We will evaluate whether to keep them or find new homes after trying them out for awhile.
  4. On Monday morning, we held hands in a circle prayer with our contractors and we asked the Lord’s blessing and direction upon this Sanctuary Renewal Project.  What do you think of this picture I took of our empty sanctuary ready for the “new chapter”?  A mixture of emotions, for sure.   We’ll keep providing updates.  2024 will go down in history as the year of world-famous Sanctuary renewals:  Notre Dame in Paris, the National Cathedral in D.C, and COS in PTC!
  5. Finish of Project.  We are remaining very flexible about the project’s time table.  If all goes right, we’re hoping four months should do the trick, which would put us at the middle of August.  Again, we’re committed to flexibility, knowing to “expect the unexpected.” 
  1. The Rejoice and Renew Team includes Chairperson Carol Jensen Linton, Chip Beard, Tom and Delee Rehak, and Pastor Fritz ex-officio. 
  2. You’ve seen the two videos prepared, heard the special announcements in worship, and received the overview invitational brochure in the mail. 
  3. Thanks to all for considering your own significant gift to this generational opportunity.  With $110,000 already “in the bank” thanks to dedicated funds and special advanced gifts, the goal is to hit the $300,000 mark with $190,000 of supplemental gifts. 
  4. As of April 17th, over $270,000 has been donated or pledged, and over $220,000 has actually been received!
  5. What will we be able to accomplish if more families join these in answering the call?
  1. Since pew removal and construction in the Sanctuary began April 15, we’ll start our new interim worship plan Sunday, April 21.
  2. With all services in the Fellowship Hall, we’ll shift from 3 services to 2, because the praise band needs to practice at the 8:30 AM hour.   
  3. After the praise band practices early Sunday, we’ll hold contemporary service at 9:30 (15 minutes earlier than usual) and then traditional at 11:00 AM (same time as usual).  
  4. We’ll monitor worship attendance and try to make helpful adjustments, if necessary to the schedule and space. 
  5. When the Sanctuary concrete floor is exposed, we’ll hold a special party when members can use markers to write Scripture verses, prayers, and names on the bare floor!
  6. Note: contrary to one rumor, our plan is to be back to our regular three-service schedule when the refreshed Sanctuary is ready.

 

Once more, your questions are always appreciated and helpful, so feel free to contact us. Your prayers, patience and partnership will be essential as the Lord continues to lead our precious congregation in these exciting times.