Notes from the President — May 4, 2011

PASTOR JON STATUS:

Pastor Jon remains on Shepherd of the Hill Funded short term disability medical leave.  He is in the middle of 5 ½ weeks of combined chemotherapy and radiation and reports being very tired.  Jon is in the process of applying for long term disability for the duration of his course of treatment and recovery.  He is projected to have a 9 – 12 month therapy treatment course with a recovery period after.  He is having 5 ½ weeks of combined chemotherapy and radiation followed by a 1-2 month rest period; then surgery; then a 1-2 month recovery period; then 4 months of three IV chemotherapy drugs [every 2 weeks]; he will need time to recover from chemotherapy.  Thank you to all who are driving Jon to Orlando, Monday through Friday.  The Synod has asked Pastor Terry Krier to come out of retirement and serve as our Supply Pastor at this time.

Pat and Alec Quellhorst are heading up a project to frequently send Jon get well cards signed by people from the church.  If you want to donate get well cards, please be sure to apply a postage stamp to the envelope. Cards can be placed in the offering plate, given to the church office or me.   Pat and Alec are 10:15 am Sunday worship people.  If an 8:00 am Sunday worship or 7 pm Wednesday worship individual wishes to collect signatures from that worship, please coordinate with Pat and Alec at 352-217-0856.  If you wish to send Jon an email, Jon’s email address is pastorjon13600@yahoo.com

Sandy Finnila looking for people who want to cook a meal for Jon.  Several people have been asking to do this.  Sandy has volunteered to lead this effort.  Please contact Sandy at 352-552-8903 if you wish to help provide Jon with some meals over his extended course of treatment.

The Synod will not leave Pastor Terry in the position as Supply Pastor for more than a few months.  The Synod feels strongly that a Pastor should not remain with a congregation after they formally leave the position of Pastor.  In other words, if Terry stayed with us the entire time Jon was out with medical care the Synod would not let Terry remain as a member of Shepherd of the Hills.  She would be asked to leave our church family.  Terry does not want to leave and we do not want to lose her.  Therefore, the Synod is looking for an Interim Pastor.   Synod will give us a name for a proposed Interim Pastor.  We have the right to refuse the Synod’s choice.  For an Interim Pastor position, we do NOT have the right to choose a name from a list of candidates.   The Synod will choose who they will send to our church as Interim Pastor.  Now remember, Pastor Ken Stroyer [a member of our church] came out of retirement to serve as Interim Pastor to Zion Lutheran Church in Groveland…..that was 2 years ago and he is still there.   The length of time an Interim Pastor serves varies.  There is no need for a Congregational Call Committee to form as an Interim Pastor is by nature a temporary position.

PAYING THE SUPPLY AND LATER THE INTERIM PASTOR SALARY:

A major financial consideration is whether to have a part time or full time Supply/Interim Pastor.  A part time pastor is paid $150-175 per day plus mileage expenses. If the pastor does not live in the local area, we will be required to pay for his/her housing as well as travel mileage from his/her home.   If we have a full time pastor, we MUST by ELCA requirements pay that pastor, the same amount we pay Pastor Jon:  salary, housing allowance, auto allowance, continuing education, conference allowance, social security, benefit package [medical, retirement, disability], as well as annual leave.  At this time, the intent is to have part-time Supply/Interim Pastor three days a week.

At the present time we are paying two pastor salaries:  Jon full time and Terry part time.  Jon is currently finishing up 30 days of annual leave and then goes on 60 days of Shepherd of the Hills funded short term disability.  After 11 July, Shepherd of the Hills will no longer pay Jon any salary or benefits.  The plan is that Jon should be on ELCA funded long term disability and will receive 2/3 of his salary plus medical benefits.  So, after 11 July Shepherd of the Hills will only be paying for the Supply/Interim Pastor salary and/or benefits depending on full or part time status.

MORTGAGE REFINANCING:

Progress is slow but remains steady.  It has gone from our lawyer to the investor’s lawyer.  Carroll Fulmer has graciously volunteered to serve as liaison during this process.

CONSTITUTION UPDATING:

Progress continues.  Almost final draft of constitution [draft #5 I think] ready.  Draft By-laws are ready.  Council still working on Draft Continuing Resolutions that address descriptions and responsibilities for each council position and congregational committees.  When the final draft of the constitution is ready [very soon], I will post comments about the major areas of change [few] and tell you how you can review it before the Congregational Meeting in January 2012.  Most of the changes being made are to bring our Constitution into conformity with ELCA Model Constitution.  There are areas identified with an * that our church cannot change because the ELCA requires this to be in our Constitution.  Our Constitution has not been updated since 1997 and there are some things we are doing and not doing that differ from what’s in the current Constitution.  Please thank Milan Barabas [8 am Sunday service] for all his very hard and detail oriented work.  This is a major undertaking he has been working on for almost 18 months.

TIME AND TALENT STEWARDSHIP NEEDS:

Thank you to all who have been coming forward in answer to some of the church needs. Your time and talents are making a significant contribution.  In the 58 years of Shepherd of the Hills’ history, whenever there has been a need, the people with the right experience and talent have stepped forward.  In an effort to make stewardship more than just a financial contribution; I will be sharing with you areas where you may be able to share your  time and talent stewardship gifts with Shepherd of the Hills.  These postings  are merely one way to keep you informed about all aspects of our Church.

MORE PROFESSIONAL CHURCH LETTERHEAD:

Our current letterhead is very basic and not very professional.  When I compare it to letterhead from the Highway 50 church and our previous First Lutheran Church letterhead, it is very evident that it is not up to that caliber.  We already have a church logo, thanks to a church member who developed it.  We need someone who can create computer letterhead.  The church office computer has publisher and Windows Vista.  Volunteer computers have older versions of publisher and are Windows XP.  If you expertise in this area and would like to help, please contact Barbara in the office 352-394-3382, Laura Dilley, or Pastor Terry.

PRAYER PARTNERS:

Private intercessory prayer during worship has been consistently used.  A need exists for more Prayer Partners.  Pastor Terry will prepare you to serve as a Prayer Partner.  Dee Shields and Laura Dilley do not have memorized prayers.  They prepare with prayer prior to serving and the Holy Spirit ALWAYS provides the words.  Often they have no idea where the words they say come from.  Please help and reach out to others who are asking for private prayer.  Contact Pastor Terry or Laura Dilley if you are interested.

MEMORIAL BOOK & GIFTS:

The Memorial Book has been found.  It is now on display in a glass stand in the back of the church.  The Book needs updating.  Also there is money in the Memorial Fund that can be spent.  The Memorial Garden and Fountain have been a blessed addition to the Memorial Program.  Your help is needed to honor the gifts given in a loved one’s memory.  Please contact Laura Dilley, Pastor Terry or Barbara in the church office at 352-394-3382.

E-BAY:

Have you sold things on E-Bay?  Several items have been donated to the church that we need to sell.  Items included an authentic oriental kimono, artwork, a 1954 complete stamp collection of stamps for all 48/50 states plus other government departmental stamps  3 cent stamps.  If you have knowledge of the value of the items, your opinion of the item’s value would be appreciated.  If you know of a better way to sell the items, let the church know.  Please contact Laura Dilley, Pastor Terry or Barbara in the church office at 352-394-3382.

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