Thank you again for the sabbatical time this summer. Thank you to Pastor Woody Clauson and Deacon Robin Hofkamp who provided pastoral ministry.Thank you to all the staff who wonderfully implemented their work.The time away was refreshing and renewing.I spent about 2 weeks with my parents spread out over three trips to Northfield; I was able to spend time with Anna and Jorey and Jeff.We took a family camping trip to the Badlands and Black Hills for a week and I spent time with my in-laws as well.And I got some reading done, some projects (that have been on my to-do list for a long time) at home completed.I also spent some time doing “nothing.”But as Winnie-the-Pooh says in the movie that is currently showing, “Sometimes nothing leads to something.”I did some reflection and thinking about our ministry together.

With that in mind, we will all do some reflection and thinking about our ministry.On Sunday, September 30 we will take a Vitality Survey which is the tool our long-range planning committee is using to help set goals for our future ministry.This survey measures what we are doing well — what gives us vitality — but also will let us know where we can be stronger.If you are not going to be in church on September 30th, the survey will be available on-line and in paper form for the week following so that you can participate.The link for the on-line survey will be on our web page and Facebook page.Please participate so that we get an accurate reading of our ministry and our hopes and dreams.

School has started and we are preparing to kick-off all our school-year ministries after Labor Day.There’s a lot going on.Some things we have been doing for a long time and some new things are starting.Look over all the activities and ways to participate in ministry — learning, serving, worshipping, and growing in community.Grace Lutheran is a strong vital church.I know that, because great ministry continued to happen even while I was away.You are what makes Grace Lutheran a strong and vital church.Thank you for all you do!I’m excited for our present and our future as we seek to make believers, grow disciples, and develop leaders.

Blessings on your September!

Pastor Siri