My first Caller letter asked: “Who is Mount Calvary and what makes us unique?” Back then, I proposed Mount Calvary is an enrichment center focused on Spiritual, Community, and Personal growth. My three years as Council President demonstrated Mount Calvary is this and much more.
Today I offer my last Caller letter as your Council President. Lots of water has flowed down Minnehaha Creek since you entrusted me with this mantle. On Sunday, September 24, 11:45am, at the Congregational meeting, the flag will transfer to Vice President Mike Kasprick.
Much has happened at Mount Calvary over these years. Our pastors led us through nearly 600 worship services. We baptized many children of Christ, confirmed a record number of youth, hitched a bunch, and said too many goodbyes. We called and installed Pastor Aaron after seven years of Pastor Doug’s leadership. We established a Pastoral Transition Plan as preparation for Pastor Dave’s inevitable final curtain.
Our Preschool is fully-enrolled and financially self-supporting after adopting a new extended services model.
Thanks to the generosity of our members, the Mission Forward capital campaign expanded our hug-of-hospitality with more convenient restrooms, an accommodating parking lot, tighter Preschool security, and an improved web presence. We also distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to vital mission partners. We welcomed Kowalski’s as a neighbor and Mount Calvary cafeteria.
Church leaders made a concerted effort to be more visible and responsive. A comprehensive congregational survey confirmed members are engaged and see Mount Calvary as a vital part of their lives, also revealing several areas for improvement. After incorporating staff ideas and Council wisdom, your Council adopted a multi-year strategic plan to tackle the challenges and opportunities.
Despite these accomplishments, the Council still wrestled with my original query. The breakthrough came two months ago when we realized the question was not “Who are we?” but “Why are we?”. That discussion led us to four defining Pillars:
- GRACE: God Seeks Us
- INCLUSION: God Includes Everyone
- LOVE: God Expects Us to Care and Love Everyone
- SERVICE: God Challenges Us to Serve
I will leave it to the capable hands of my successor to share the ‘what’ and ‘how’ actions we choose to further this journey.