ILC Letter To The Congregation - February 3rd, 2022


Love Intentionally


Love Inclusively


Love Universally


Love Completely


Love Everyone, always


Love Better!


A New Reformation, Revisited

February 3, 2022

Sisters and Brothers, Friends and Neighbors:

Last October, I wrote a newsletter piece to you that I have been assured was too long. I feel badly about that, because its content was important. I was trying to set up a conversation about the future of our congregation, particularly in view of how the reality for churches has changed so very radically during the pandemic, exacerbating a trajectory that has been under way for decades in the church in the Western world. Some of the key points I made were:


1) Attendance at churches all over North America and Europe is shrinking


2) Churches are closing all over North America and Europe, particularly during the pandemic.


3) Churches need to alter their modus operandi going forward, or the likelihood is that they will close.


4) The model used at Incarnation for the past several decades is no longer possible, in large measure due to the shifting demographic and economic realities of our day. That is, we cannot afford to have a staff of three full time rostered people; nor can we reasonably insist on a workload formerly done by three to be managed by two.


5) Our congregational culture has been marked by an excessive and unhealthy reliance on clergy to lead everything. Clergy has an important role to play, to be sure, but the laity is an untapped resource that we must access if we are to thrive. We want to move from being clergy-centric to being lay-centric.


6) We are well placed to plan to a positive and exciting future for ourselves. It will be different, to be sure, but no less vibrant or impactful. We are as powerful a force for the proclamation of God’s word in the world as ever we were!


7) Change is always painful for most communities but ought rather to be seen as a new opportunity for growth.

There is a sense in which the change has already begun. We are six months out now from having an associate pastor. Last Sunday, we held our final Saturday evening worship service after some 20 years. And as of this coming Sunday, our traditional worship time is shifting to 9:30 am on Sunday morning. Also, on this coming Sunday, February 6, we will gather for our last “Church @ 5”. On February 20, we will initiate a time change for our contemporary service from 5:00 pm on Sundays to 9:30 am, running concurrently with the traditional service (assuming all the equipment arrives in time). Shepherd of Life in Lake Elsinore is also being shifted to a 9:30 am start time. We are going to make all of these changes in the best interest of both congregations, by leveraging the technological capacities amassed through the pandemic. These changes should be doable from a personnel perspective, since we have two rostered clergy on staff, as well as an intern.


This is an exciting time of change. Our congregation is going to be on the cutting edge of where most congregations will be needing to go in the coming months. My hope is that: everyone will embrace these changes; everyone will exercise extraordinary patience as we move forward; and that everyone take an increasingly active role in the life of the church, your church! God has blessed us to be a blessing! We have a mission in the world: to proclaim in word and deed to all of God’s children, that we are loved by God. This ministry is a privilege! Let’s all, everyone of us, take fullest advantage of the gifts with which God has gifted us, and share that message far and wide! So even if our strategy or technique is a bit different, our goal is not. Let’s share God’s love brothers and sisters! We can and we must!

Pr. Luther



ANNOUNCEMENTS:



Beginning February 6, our Sunday morning worship time will be 9:30a.m.

This service will be live streamed for online viewing.





Souper Bowl of Caring 2022 - Sunday, February 13th

The Souper Bowl of Caring inspires youth to work together in the fight against hunger in their communities. Each year, Incarnation’s youth participate on Super Bowl Sunday to raise monetary donations for TACO’s and Interfaith Community Services’ food pantries. This year we hope to top the $2,080 raised last year. Youth will be collecting your donations following the 9:30am worship service on February 13th. Your donations will become a vote for the team you hope will win the Super Bowl game. Students will have collection pots representing the two teams. If you don’t have a favorite in the game, you can put your votes toward the commercials. Everyone is a winner when we do our best to feed those in need. Monetary donations can also be made by mailing a check to church or donating on the church website https://www.godamong.us/giving Please specify that the donation is for the SOUPERBOWL.



NEW AT ILC…Drama Ministry

Feeling a little dramatic lately? Just love to be theatrical. Interested in gaining confidence in front of a group? Then join our new drama ministry group at ILC. We will explore now to share, uplift and encourage God’s Word. Interested? Contact Beckie Steller at beckie@godamong.us or call the church office. All ages are welcome!



Your 2022 OFFERING ENVELOPES are available on a table in the narthex in alphabetical order. Please pick them up during the Saturday or Sunday Worship. Thank you!



PRAYER CHAIN

The purpose of our prayer chain is to provide spiritual support and healing for church members and their families and friends. If you'd like to be a member of our prayer chain or if you would like to submit a prayer request, please notify the church office either by phone or email: 858-487-2225 or pegwalden1@att.net.



Helping Girls At Le Foyer de l'Esperance

Global Mission

Our work with street girls continues in Cameroon with our partners at Le Foyer de l'Esperance. Pr. Luther will be in Cameroon from Nov 9th-22nd connecting with the nuns, Fr. Alfonso and our worker, Sophie Moke Metate. We will be sending funds for programming needs at Le Foyer and for tuition for trade school (such as beautician school). If you would like to donate, please put "Cameroon Girls" in the memo on a check or use this PayPal link. Thank you in advance for supporting this mission.

Women's Bible Study - Mondays at 7pm on Zoom

Do you enjoy thoughtful conversation and laughter? Come join us for the Women's Evening Bible Study every Monday at 7:00pm on Zoom. We discuss the scriptures from Sunday and share how to apply these teachings to our lives. Click on the Zoom link and check it out!

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/96236680323?pwd=d0RSZk5JT21sVi83UWt4NGN5dHZHQT09


Meeting ID: 962 3668 0323

Passcode: 601113


GODAMONG.US UPDATES NEEDED If you are the leader of, or are involved in, a group at ILC, we need updated information about your group for our website. Please send all updates to scott@godamong.us



Disaster Response

The 2021 wildfire and hurricane season continues to be devastating across the United States. Additionally, natural disasters across the globe demand our attention. You may send your gift to support wildfire, flooding and earthquake survivors. When sending a check to ILC please indicate which response you wish to support, and your check will be used in its entirety for that cause, through Lutheran Disaster Response.

Thrivent Action Teams If you already know how to apply online, this is a good time of the year to run a project. If you need more information please contact Jess Reimnitz, 858.345.0757 or jess.reimnitz@thrivent.com.

Examples: Collecting food and clothes items for families in need; Assembling Thanksgiving boxes; Operation Christmas Child; Supporting Mission Trips; Sunday School projects. They provide seed money, so you can support causes important to you. Thrivent created a program to encourage its members to live lives of generosity. Are you a Thrivent member? If so, do you know you can apply for between $50-$250 dollars to help your church with a project?


Hygiene Supplies Needed! Interfaith is low on hygiene supplies, shampoo, deodorant, bar soap. There is also a need for new or gently used blankets. Thank you for your consistent generosity!

Food Drop off for Interfaith Community Services Every Tuesday, Friday (except December 24, 25, 31, and January 1) and Saturday between 9:00 and 11:00 in the morning, volunteers are in the parking lot to move groceries and take all the donations to ICS.