Part of the work of the Commission for Evangelical Mission is to accompany congregations who are seeking renewal. Sometimes that means “tweaking” a mostly healthy ministry – renewal. Sometimes, that means taking a courageous leap of faith and entering a process of redevelopment.
Redevelopment means that the congregation decides to form a small committee of leaders, including a representative from the Office of the Bishop and perhaps other community leaders who are members of neighboring ELCA congregations. This team leads the congregation in a time of prayer and Bible study, a process that might lead to dramatic changes in the life of the congregation. We pray that through trust in God’s Spirit to lead, through worship and prayer and lots of intentional listening, the mission and ministry of that congregation will re-develop into a thriving center of ministry.
The Southeastern Iowa Synod has one congregation who has decided to enter this process, and two more who will be deciding soon. All Saints Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa, is this synod’s first congregation in several years to be in redevelopment. Through the openness of the congregation and the excellent leadership of their pastor, The Rev. Clark Olson-Smith, their redevelopment team and the congregation council, All Saints Lutheran Church is excited about this time of prayer, Bible study and listening.
Redevelopment also means that as the whole church, we provide even more support through prayer, encouragement, and occasionally financial help When a congregation needs financial help, we help form partnerships between local congregations, the synod and the churchwide ministries to help with grants. All Saints is receiving support from local congregations, the Southeastern Iowa Synod Mission fund, and the ELCA churchwide unit for Congregational and Synodical Mission.
Please pray for the community of All Saints as they are in this process. Please consider making a gift to the Southeastern Iowa Synod Mission fund, so that as needs arise, we are able to respond. And if your congregation is seeking renewal, or a major shift, please contact The Rev. Gloria Keiser Dovre, Director for Evangelical Mission – Southeastern Iowa Synod. 319-338-1273.