Welcome to the first of ten weekly Thrive Campaign email blasts we will be sharing with you prior to our Synod Assembly, June 7-8.
The Thrive initiative grew out of an intentional listening process held with lay and rostered leaders across our synod. It is designed for the benefit of our leaders and congregations, and to move us into the next phase of the Synod’s vision: Stronger and Better Together – Joining Jesus in the Restoration of the World.
Please join us each week between now and the Assembly to learn more about Thrive, its five main goals, and the growing energy and excitement about the campaign, as told by members of the Pastors Advisory Cabinet (PAC). Also, check out the stories about how our vision – “Stronger and Better Together: Joining Jesus in the Restoration of the World” – has positively impacted individuals and congregations across the Synod, leading us to Thrive!
The Pastors Advisory Cabinet has been working for many months on how, together as a synod, we might build on the successes derived from our vision. The Thrive initiative is a result of that work.
Thanks to PAC member, Pastor Beth Clothier, for sharing why she is excited about Thrive!
|What excites me about the Thrive Campaign? The excitement around the goals, new hope for our synod, and the reconnection this campaign is going to build! But I see beyond the initial goals and intentions of this campaign. As a redevelopment pastor in an urban congregation, the ability for the synod to provide support and training for lay leaders and newly ordained pastors frees up some additional synodical support for pastors who feel overwhelmed by the changes happening in their congregations, thereby helping those congregations and pastors before they feel hopeless. Having healthier leaders, both ordained and lay, means having healthier congregations, stronger pastors who can lead through change, and communities of faith who know the synod and synod leaders. All of this allows us to truly be better together!
Pastor Beth Clothier (The Church on Oakland Park, Columbus)
Goal 1: Equipping Lay Leaders
The Synod will be seen as leading and providing networks through which lay leaders will be more highly equipped for leadership within their congregations, be more effective in their communities, and thrive in their ministries.
Goal 2: Raising Up Leaders for Smaller Congregations
Identify and equip fifteen lay leaders to enroll in the TEEM (Theological Education for Emerging Leaders) or SAM (Synod Authorized Ministers) program to serve in contexts where the congregation is not able to fund a full-time rostered pastor but still has a desire for mission.
Goal 3: Strengthening Rostered Ministers
Provide opportunities and support that enables pastors and deacons to be healthy leaders who are growing in their faith and ministry skills, and be identified as such by their congregations.
Goal 4: Launching New Congregations and Reaching New People
As a Synod, with local congregational partnership, launch two new congregation starts in the next three years.
Goal 5: Enhancing Worship Practice
Engage all congregations across the Synod to enhance their own worship and music opportunities, and share their resources and knowledge to assist other congregations.
In 2016, the Southern Ohio Synod Assembly adopted a new vision -- “Stronger and Better Together: Joining Jesus in the Restoration of the World.” That vision has now been driving the work of the Synod for three years, bringing about positive changes and successes directly impacting the vitality of congregations and church leaders across the synod’s territory. Here are some thoughts from Pastor Emily Beckering, chair of the Synod Stewardship Team, about successes we have experienced because of the vision, and how it is calling us to Thrive even more!
The Stewardship Team: Perhaps the most vivid demonstration of the truth of our vision statement is the reality that congregational mission support literally makes it possible for us to implement ministries which restore the world. The Stewardship Team designs an annual drive encouraging mission support for the Southern Ohio Synod because we could not join with Jesus in the ways that we do together if it weren’t for the faithful mission support provided by congregations. The 2019 Mission and Ministry Plan funded by this mission support is consistent with our values: we collaborate to offer education for youth, lay leaders, pastors, and congregations to clarify the central tenets of Lutheran teaching and to cultivate faith in Christ. No single congregation could do all of this alone: we are literally stronger and better together! The Thrive Campaign goes above and beyond regular mission support so that we can continue to fulfill our synod’s commitment to existing ministries while simultaneously taking the next step to raise up leaders and equip congregations to fulfill the mission entrusted to us.
--Rev. Emily Beckering, St. Paul, Reading