While the messages in this column sometimes stray from what the title suggests, as we approach the start of a new year I feel it is important to take a good look at the current state of our church. I only have space here to give a brief summary of a few key elements, but the picture I see is very positive.

Our current financial position is healthy, and our outlook remains strong. We are fortunate to have a congregation that is not only able to give, but that also recognizes the importance of supporting all of our efforts, ranging from church operations to capital improvements and to our ministry programs. Pledged and non-pledged giving, which primarily funds our day-to-day operations, met our goals for the past year, and our current pledge drive indicates that we are on track to repeat this in 2018. Unfortunately, Mission Forward, our most recent capital campaign, fell slightly short of its goal so we had to defer some of our planned improvements to a future campaign to maintain the integrity of our budget. I would like to say “thank you” to everyone for their generosity!

Pastoral Staffing
With the installation of Pastor Aaron Werner in January, we are now fully staffed in this key area. Very importantly, the quality of our pastoral staff is one of the great strengths of Mount Calvary; we are truly blessed to have such a qualified and talented group of pastors that complement each other so well.

Ministry Partnerships
We have made a significant difference in the lives of people over the past year! Our congregation has provided assistance to a wide range of local and global efforts, many of which provide critical resources for recipients. Just a few that come to mind are Families Moving Forward, Many Hands-Many Meals, and Gethsemane Lutheran Church. If we measure the state of our church, at least in part by the service we provide and the positive impact we have on others, then we are in a very good state.

Of course, one of the most important measures of the state of our church is whether we are meeting the needs and expectations of our members. Based on the survey of our congregation that we reported to you in 2016, we heard a resounding “yes.” But since this is of such importance, let’s not wait for the next survey to hear from you. Please feel free to send me your thoughts, comments and questions any time regarding the state of our church.