There are many things that have happened since February: Pastor Dustin has begun work in Crystal Lake, a call committee has formed and a congregational meeting has taken place. All of the issues on which we’ve been working have run concurrently and many thanks go to each of the staff and our church leadership for their attention to details and not allowing anything to fall by the wayside.
Recently, we’ve been preparing for Chris and Katie’s departure. As you may know, Chris has been accepted as an intern in Marion, IL. Although we knew this was coming, it is more real than ever as their departure was moved ahead 6-8 weeks from when we initially thought they would be leaving. We wish them much luck as they get things in order for their next stop in their journey.
Knowing this was coming, we listened to Pastor Dustin, Pastor Dahlseng, Chris and Amanda’s recommendations in this very important time of transition. As we go through the call process of a new associate pastor, we need Chris and Amanda to work very closely to hand-off work and other relationships.
As a stop-gap, we’ve temporarily approved Amanda to become a full-time employee as we await the personnel committee to fully approve Amanda as required by our Constitution. She will be taking on much of what Chris has been doing for us in the last six-plus years. We strongly believe that she is the best person for this job and at May’s council meeting, we extended that stop-gap measure to continue through August to cover things like the mission trip and the prep-work for confirmation 2015-2016. She will continue her existing duties as Christian Education Coordinator.
Kathy, Katie and Pastor Dahlseng are identifying what great things Katie has done over the years and ensure those things continue throughout and beyond her departure as well.
Unfortunately, there has been little news on the search for the next associate pastor. There was an interview, however, it wasn’t the right fit for Grace or for the other pastor. Our prayers go out to him and his family as they search for the right fit.
We have hired a new custodian, Chuck Kuppe. He has been doing a wonderful job as well!
Rebuilding Grace is slowly moving in the right direction as there are plans to speak to Paul Humphries about the next phase and what that means for Grace. From there, we can look to launch the next fundraising campaign.
The Preschool has been equally “top of mind” as we’ve searched for answers to its legal status. Freedom of Information requests have been submitted and attorneys have been contacted with the result of the Preschool not having legal structure beyond the church’s organization. Pursuant to that, the Preschool Board and the Church Council are joining forces to define duties of officers and how the structure of the Preschool Board of Directors interacts with the structure of the Church.
The Preschool will fall decidedly into the overall organizational structure of Grace Lutheran Church, but the intention is to leave day to day operations and decision-making as close to “as-is” as possible.
A task force was created to filter out how this should look and feel. It consists of three Church Council members and three Preschool Board members: Jeanine Messner, Sue Hoffman (Preschool Board President), Mary Frykman (Preschool Treasurer), Andrew Hall, Duane Langkamp (Council Treasurer) and Fred Hasse.
To complete the transition of folding the Preschool back into the church, it may require amending the Constitution and holding elections to the board by the congregation. Because the Preschool has its own budget and decision-making authority, this will be an ongoing process. Above all, we want to ensure that it’s done properly and will last for another 70 years!
As always, we appreciate hearing from the congregation and understand that there’s more than this going on at any given time. Pastor Dahlseng has been doing a wonderful job in this time of transition and the staff cannot be thanked enough. Great things are happening and we can continue moving forward serving God and building those relationships!