Jesus is Our Leader
Every church is organized in some way—some more formally than others. For us Jesus is the Boss. Here’s a quote from the bible which says why:
Christ is the head of the body, the church. Colossians 1:18
The members of the congregation, therefore, follow Jesus’ lead. At meetings of the congregation, all the big stuff gets decided: budgets, calling pastors, buying property, building projects, etc. We have two regular meetings of the congregation: an annual meeting in January and a budget meeting in May.
The Council and the Pastors
The Council (including the President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer of the congregation) oversee the day-to-day life and ministry of the congregation. The Pastors especially keep the life and ministry of the congregation centered on the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ. What’s the Good News about Jesus? God came to earth as Jesus to welcome everyone on earth into God’s family, so everyone on earth can enjoy the abundant and everlasting life we have as God’s family.
The Boards are in charge of all the details of the day-to-day life of the congregation. We have seven boards. Most of the names of the boards tell you what they do:
- Celebration (You might call this the worship board. In worship, we celebrate God’s presence with us!)
- Personal Growth
- Stewardship (they help remind us of ways were are called to give thanks for God’s love for us in Jesus)
- Structures and Grounds
- Youth and Family Ministry
The Council and the Boards have committees to help them do their work. The Council has support committees. Some of the support committees are:
You can tell what they do by their names. The Council appoints other committees from time to time to work on special projects:
- The 100th Anniversary Committee (we were 100 in 2008!)
- The Sanctuary Renovation Committee
- The Garden of Grace Committee
The Boards sometimes have committees, too, to focus on a special projects: like redesigning the kitchen. . The Board of Structures and Grounds, for example, is usually mostly made up of guys. Truth is: none of them are usually interested in interior design. When a chair needs reupholstering, you wouldn’t want the HVAC guys doing that. So from time to time committees are appointed to handle those kinds of things and they make recommendations to the Board.
Other organizations in the congregation
There are a few.
The Mission Sewing group meets every third Thursday of the month to sew quilts to give away. They are made out of scraps of discarded clothing. And batting (whatever that is). And yarn. And love. They are unusual. And beautiful. You could say they were unusually beautiful! Because when tornadoes or wars or floods or tsunamis strike, our quilts are there to help keep people warm and clean. Our quilts are given away through a worldwide ministry called Lutheran World Relief. Check them out at http://lwr.org.
There are also two trust funds at Grace.
- The Grace Lutheran Church Memorial Trust
- The Mission Endowment Fund
The Memorial Trust
The Memorial Trust has over two million dollars in it. Like most trusts, we use the income from it, not the principle. The Memorial Trust funds projects within the congregation. Sometimes they’re building projects. Sometimes they are used for “seed money” for new ministry ideas. Recently Memorial Trust money was given for a billboard campaign letting everyone in the Green Bay metro area that if they’re looking for God’s Grace, you can find it downtown at Grace Lutheran! We’ve also helped host speakers like Jewish biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine.
The Mission Endowment Fund
Is newer and smaller. Small grants for outreach ministries done by members of the congregation or the community are given out each year.
Gifts to the Funds
Anyone can make a donation to either trust at any time, but usually the money comes from “bequests,” gifts that are specifically designated for either fund through people’s wills. Unless specified otherwise, bequests are split up between the Mission Endowment Fund, the Capital Improvement Fund (for Capital Improvements like roofs, parking lots, room renovations, etc.), and the General Reserve Fund (fund for short-term emergency cash flow situations).
Committees for the Funds
Members of the congregation are elected to oversee the management of and disbursements of the funds.