Article: Last Week at Church

Last Sunday at Community Lutheran Church in Las Vegas, we conducted our annual congregational meeting. We accomplished several things at that meeting: We voted on a church budget for 2022, we discussed our ministries and we voted in two new council members.

The budget I proposed to the congregation and adopted involved some painful decisions. To match our expenses with our anticipated offering gifts we needed to eliminate four positions and move one full time employee to part-time. This is a difficult decision because people we know are losing their jobs.

The reality is that we’ve been living beyond our means.  We hoped the challenges of the pandemic would come to an end. Rather than “crossing our fingers” and wishing for future financial growth, we based this year’s budget on actual giving from last year. This will serve as our baseline versus projecting any growth in giving. This is a fiscally conservative budget.

Ultimately, this is about being good stewards (managers) of the gifts entrusted to operate this church. Difficult decisions were made to make sure we are on firm financial footing in 2022. If you regularly give to CLC, Thank you. 

Each person should give what they have decided in their heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 

During the meeting we also heard reports from our staff. Not only that, but our annual report contained stories from many of our active ministries! Community Lutheran Church is a busy place! We give thanks for serving hearts that put faith into action.

I spent some time during the meeting talk about the hard work we did together identifying our core values in 2021. We named the most important things we do as a congregation. These core values will serve as our blueprint for ministry for years to come. What are our core values you ask? They are: Welcome, Worship, Learning, Service and Generosity. We also said that our congregation is: Loving, Caring, Compassionate, Joyful, Friendly and Fun. 

It was Jesus who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13

Finally we voted to add two church council members. We affirmed these two long-standing, faithful members of our church to help guide us. This is in addition to our already strong council who passionately love and care for this church. We are in good hands with these smart, caring and compassionate people. 

I’ve said this before, but we are emerging from the biggest challenge this church (and many churches) have ever faced in modern history and we are still thriving!

We did not give up, give in, or give out! Instead, we went all in! 

We are doing the very thing that the author Hebrews writes about in the 12th chapter.

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-12

I give thanks to be your pastor and I give thanks to be at Community Lutheran Church.

God bless you,
Pr. Ben