We write to update you on the vision, mission and planning for our church as we move out of the pandemic into a new day.
Four years ago, we embarked on a journey led by Joshua Group’s Kristin Wiersma to adopt a new mission and vision statement, as well as a new church governance structure. This hard and prayerful work is what we believe gave us the foundation to weather the uncertainties that COVID-19 unleashed on our world. God is incarnate in the world through the hands, feet and hearts of those who love Jesus. Our trust in that truth is evident in all the good which has continued flowing in and through Good Shepherd over the last 16 months!
Many are in some way nostalgic, hoping everything will return to the way things were before the pandemic. Some members have returned to in-person worship. Others have found new ways to stay connected to church, even if not physically present. Some have drifted away as additional worries/priorities have arisen or feel that their needs are not being fully met.
Dear friends, these are not new experiences. Across generations, God’s church has undergone trials — our trials have simply
become more evident to us in the last year and a half. Yet God is faithful to God’s church. We are standing on a firm foundation to greet the future as a community that welcomes, forgives, serves and meets each other where we are at in the moment.
The Bible tells us that “without a vision the people perish,” (Proverbs 29:18). To that end, the Good Shepherd Board has approved the creation of a Strategic Planning Committee. This committee will assist the Board in researching, planning and making recommendations which will allow us to confidently walk not only into the coming months, but the coming years, together. The committee has once again called upon Kristin Wiersma to help facilitate our prayer and conversations moving forward. The first step being taken by the Strategic Planning Committee will be research. During this research phase we will:
1. Take a look back at what was learned four years ago.
2. Connect with those currently worshipping in person, virtually or those struggling to have their needs met; in order to learn how we can better serve them and their families.
3. Connect with outside church leaders that are thinking about the future of the church.
Through the many steps of our journey, we will be communicating with you, the members of Good Shepherd. At all times we invite your participation and feedback!
In the meantime, please pray for the work of the Strategic Planning Committee and for the work of Good Shepherd, as we navigate the months and years ahead.
Committee members are: Steve Frei, chair; Angie Rieger, Board liaison, Pastor Chris, Brenda Wilcox, Dave Vogt, Jen Holmer, Tom Golden, Stephanie Barth, Sara McCormack, Sarah Iverson, Ryan Panzer and Alan Halverson.