Category Archives: Partners

Churches United

A Letter from Anne Wachel, Churches United

After 19 years of service at Churches United, I am going to be stepping down at the end of the year. While I appreciate the abundance of phone calls, emails and other communications from many of you, Churches United will continue to serve the greater Quad City community with integrity and dignity like it always has. And to answer the numerous questions I have been asked by other colleagues – No, there Is nothing wrong with me or the organization (although my sense of humor is a bit dry). It’s just time for me to move on and return to Ohio where I can begin a new journey, perhaps a new job and to see what God has in store for me.

With that said, I ask that you continue to support and strengthen Churches United. We have done very well in 2017 both in ministry and in developing funding streams. Churches United is ready to take off to that next level but we can only do it with your support!!

This organization is the only one of its kind left in the state of Iowa and one of just three now in Illinois. We are unique and we contribute greatly to the community. The staff do not view working at Churches United as a job but as a true calling from God.

Also, I ask that we put our IPADS and Kindles down, get off the Internet, turn off all social media and just “be” and listen to what God is telling you. Listening is a difficult communication skill. Get out of your comfort zone, out of the safety net that you know and meet someone of a different faith or different culture or different lifestyle or someone who is from the city or any number of elements that take you beyond what you know.

Now is the time to devote your time to volunteering or participating in rallies or marches. Now is the time for dialogue and truly “listening”. Now is the time to show respect and forgiveness. Now is the time to challenge ahead. To speak out when there is injustice, to speak out regarding lack of equal pay, equal rights or health care or any number of issues that people in this country are facing.

It is also a time to pray. Pray to God for strength for yourself, for your neighbor, for those who are your friends and those that you do not understand or agree with. Pray that we find a way to inspire young people to make an impact on their community and making a difference.

I normally don’t get personal with these articles, but I want to share an experience that I had over Labor Day that got me out of my comfort zone. While I was visiting some family in another state, I noticed a Confederate Flag hanging proudly from someone’s flag pole at a campground. I drove by it twice while going to the store. Then, it hit me. Why are you just passively driving by when you know something like that really bothers you? Am I no better than this person for not challenging this moral view? So, stepping out of my comfort zone, I contacted law enforcement to let them know my displeasure of seeing this flag, the location of the campground etc. I don’t know if anything was done but at least I knew that I did the right thing by not sitting complacently by.

When I was confirmed in the Methodist Church many years ago, each student received a Bible. Good News for the Modern Man was always a favorite of mine. “But now you must get rid of all these things: anger, passion and hateful feelings. No insults or obscene talk. Do not lie to one another, for you have put off the old self with its habits. As a result, there are no Gentiles and Jews, barbarians, savages or free men but Christ is all and Christ is in all. You are the People of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. Therefore, you must put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Be helpful to one another, forgive one another, whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. And to all these add Love which binds things all together in perfect unity.

In Christ’s Love,
Anne Wachel

A Note from Bonnie

All Saints Lutheran Church receives money several times a year to help cover costs for the food pantry here at All Saints.

Thank You

Thank you, Dr. Lisa Arndt, staff, and patients!
Arndt Chiropractic Center held a Patient Appreciation Day on Saturday, August 26th. On this day patients, new and current, could bring in two non-perishable food items for the All Saints Food Pantry and received free services (including exam, adjustment, and consultation). This event resulted in a donation of more than 10 boxes of food and toiletries. Thank you!

Creating a Parish – What, Why and How

All Saints held a congregational forum, led by Julie Schoville, KD Kalber and Bonnie Strittmater, on July 10. They answered questions that you had regarding shared ministry.

On July 17, immediately following our 10:00 service, a special congregational meeting will take place to vote on the shared ministry resolution that will be presented.

The article below is being shared with each of the congregations involved in this effort.

All Saints Lutheran Church, St. James Lutheran Church, and St. Matthew Lutheran Church simultaneously find themselves in the search process for new pastoral leadership.  It appears that none of the three can afford a full-time pastor, not even a new seminary graduate compensated at synod guidelines for the long term.  Working individually with the congregations, Pastor Paul Ostrem, Assistant to the Bishop, proposed to the three councils the possibility of creating a parish to provide pastoral ministry to the congregations.  Each council agreed to appoint three people to a steering committee to discuss the feasibility of such an arrangement and potentially to draft an agreement creating a parish which could be presented to the three congregations for approval.  This committee has met four times and is now ready to present a proposed agreement to the respective councils. If there is agreement in each setting, the proposal would be forwarded to congregational meetings for action.  The conversations to this point have been open, honest, respectful, realistic and hopeful.

It is important to remember that in a parish arrangement, the participating congregations do not lose their individual identity.  There will continue to be three congregation councils.  Each congregation will continue to have its own name, constitution and by-laws.  Each congregation will have its own budget, be responsible for maintaining its own facilities, overseeing non-pastoral staff and programs, and anything and everything else that goes with operating a congregation.

The three congregations would share in supporting and benefiting from the pastoral leadership that would be called.  A parish board composed of two members from each congregation would establish a parish treasury from which pastoral expenses would be paid.  The parish board would be responsible for supervising the pastor(s) or ministerial staff and for doing annual performance evaluations of these positions.  It would consider ways that the congregations might benefit from sharing programs (for example confirmation, youth ministry, etc.) or joining together for special ministries, missions, or special services and anything else that might strengthen the shared witness and ministry of the congregations.  At this time, it is envisioned that the parish would be staffed with one and a half full-time equivalents for pastoral ministry.

In the coming weeks, the parish steering committee will be presenting a draft proposal to create the “Together in Christ Lutheran Parish” to the respective councils.  With their consent, the proposal will be presented at congregational meetings for action.  Each congregation will need to give approval to the resolution by a two-thirds majority vote in order for the parish to be put in place.  Once that happens, a joint call committee of two persons from each congregation will begin work to recommend pastoral staff for the parish.  Each congregation has completed a Ministry Site Profile (MSP) making it possible for this joint call committee to begin work immediately.

The goal of this parish agreement goes beyond concern for mere survival.  Rather, it embraces a vision of greater effectiveness for mission and service to our neighbors and for proclaiming the love of God made known in Jesus Christ to all the world.  We seek to bring clarity and visibility to the fact that we are all in this together – “Together in Christ.”