A Letter To the People Of Luther Memorial Church

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People Of LMC,

As Pastor Tim’s news continues to sink in, as we all process a wide variety of emotions, each in our own way, we begin to look forward to what comes next. The commitment to LMC’s mission and the programs that define us as a congregation remains the same. The capital campaign continues to gain momentum and the goals and aspirations of the campaign remain unchanged. Construction on the kitchen begins soon. LMC ministries and community outreach remain strong and continue to grow over time. And, yes, we will begin looking for a new pastor.

For many of us, Pastor Tim was our introduction to the LMC community. When searching for a church community to call home, he was a part of what drew us here. We have been engaged by his sermons, and enjoyed his humor and wit. We are sad to lose this connection to what drew us to this community.

For others of us who were members before his arrival, Pastor Tim continued leading the congregation down a path of growth and renewal that was in its infancy. We were encouraged by his enthusiasm and vision for what LMC could be, what we could achieve together. We are sad to lose his leadership and encouragement.

This is not an easy time for us. It may get harder before it gets easier, but we are strong. We have proven this time and again and for generations before us. There is no reason to believe that this time will be any different. It is who we are. It is what we do.

We are grateful to Pastor Tim for his leadership over the past six years, for continuing the growth of our community and aiding us as we develop an identity that moves beyond “the corner of Wilson and Campbell in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago” to one that rejoices in the love of God shown through Christ in engaging worship, reforms ourselves and the world around us, responds to our neighbor through service and advocacy, and renews our faith and supports others on their faith journey.

The Pastor Tim-sized hole in our hearts will get smaller over time. As it does we will realize again what we really already know. This church, this community is more than one man. It is you. It is us. We will lean on each other as we always have. We will dry each other’s tears and lift each other up. We will heal. We will overcome this difficult time as we have before and surely will again. We will rise up stronger than before and we will meet every challenge we face with God on our side.

Pray, People Of LMC. Pray for guidance and strength. Pray for Pastor Tim and his family. Pray for each other.

Yours in Christ,

The LMC Council

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Growth, Opportunity and An Invitation To Meet

Members of LMC,

As a diverse and spiritually curious congregation we have been blessed with significant growth in recent years. Throughout the year the church council has prayed and discussed how best to meet the needs of this growth. What do our increased numbers mean for our present? Our future? We wonder if our current mission statement defines exactly what we are to do in this world. Does our vision inspire us to live out God’s will beyond the corner of Wilson and Campbell? God calls us in many directions. Which path is right for us in this time and place? It is important for us to embrace our growth and choose to make room for whatever it is that God has in store.

A good place to begin is with the kitchen remodel. The congregation has already decided to update the kitchen and the wheels are in motion. The architect has been in to discuss the overall footprint and create some initial renderings. You will have a chance to give your input. The kitchen needs to work for us. Get your wish lists ready!

In thinking about who we are and where we think we are headed we have discussed a couple of unique opportunities that have presented themselves in conjunction with the kitchen remodel. We have the opportunity to partner with the Lincoln Square Friendship Center to help feed our neighbors. One Stop Wednesdays will begin again soon. Why not expand the meal we are already serving and provide hot meals to members of our community who might not get them on a regular basis? A new kitchen could be an incredible vehicle for sharing God’s gifts beyond our doors and starting with our own little corner of the city.

Another exciting opportunity is the chance to partner with Pilgrim Lutheran Church on a preschool, which would be located here at Luther. We believe this partnership could be beneficial to both of our congregations as well as our community. There is a need for affordable preschools in our area. CPS preschools are closing, there are long wait lists at existing schools in the area and there seems to be plenty of interest in faith-based early learning. We have already been talking with Pilgrim about what that might look like and how it might work. The kitchen renovation can easily include a revamp of the back garden space and an addition of a play space for kids, possibly located above the boiler room. Not only would this be a necessary addition for a preschool class, it would be an additional space for our own LMC children. Picture a small group meeting in the garden while the kids play nearby!

We invite you to learn more about these opportunities and next steps for our congregation in general at a special congregational meeting to be held between services on Sunday, August 24th. We will have time to discuss these ideas and opportunities in small group settings at cottage meetings to be held throughout the fall.

It is an exciting time for our church. The council has been thinking, praying, planning, talking…now it’s your turn. What do you think? What questions do you have? We want to hear from you!

LMC Council