April 25, 2021
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Annual Mtg, May 23

Notice is hereby given that the Congregation Meeting of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hagerstown, Maryland will take place as part of the 10:00am worship service on Pentecost Sunday, May 23rd.

Following Communion, we will take a fifteen-minute break, and begin the meeting promptly at 11:30AM. We will end the broadcast of the service on YouTube and Facebook before the meeting begins, because some of what we discuss, such as the Mission Plan, is confidential. Those of you who cannot be here in person will be given instructions as to how to the join the meeting on Zoom, either by computer or phone. Following the meeting, we will sing the final hymn, receive the Solemn Blessing for Pentecost, and hear a dismissal- in which we are charged to go forth in the Spirit’s power.

I am really excited (hard to believe given previous experiences with angry parishioners) about the upcoming meeting, because we will discuss plans for a strong future for our congregation. Amazing things are in the works. Last night at Council’s April meetings, we discussed ideas so far out of the box that even I was amazed! I could hardly sleep because these ideas kept churning over in my heard.

Each week before the meeting you are going to receive a physical mailing like this. I want to digest the many articles I have written in the past year which were published in the daily newsletter. I think it is crucial for all of you to read these articles so you can be fully conversant about the ideas they present. If you do not read these articles, it will be like jumping into a conversation after it is halfway over. At the meeting, we will not have time to fully present more than an outline of what these articles will put forth. I thank you in advance for taking the time to read these mailings.

On June the 7th I will celebrate my 40th anniversary of ordination. I believe my years in the ministry, as well as my studies in congregational development (for which I received a Doctor of Ministry from Seabury-Western-Theological Seminary, then in Evanston, Illinois) have brought me to this point. Without creative thinking, and the start of programs about which we will talk at the meeting, Trinity will die. I have absolutely no doubt about this. That is the sad and ugly truth. It may be a slow death, because we have a large endowment, but it will die slowly on the vine, simply because of how the demographics of our membership are changing. We need new people to be involved in the life of the congregation, and that is not going to happen without new ideas. An unproductive remembrance of the “good old” times, and a discussion about how much money we can save by reduction in staff, etc. will not get us to where we need to go if we are to have a future.

 

Sincerely yours in the Spirit of Christ’s resurrection,
–  Pr. David Eisenhuth