Luther Seal

Trinity Lutheran Church Runnemede

"To Know Christ and To Make Him Known"

Pastor's Message

Decorative writing, From the PastorNovember is a busy month. All Saints' Day, raking leaves, mid-term elections, Veterans' Day, the NJEA Teachers' Convention and Thanksgiving Day which is often viewed as the "kickoff" to the busy holiday season. 

In addition to all the wonderful activities above, we at Trinity Lutheran Church can add our annual congregational meeting (Nov. 13). This meeting is important. During the meeting we review annual reports from all of our committees and groups. We discuss and approve the following year's spending plan and we elect new members to the congregation council. This year we will be electing three new members to council.

Council members are elected for a three-year term and are eligible to be re-elected to a second three-year term. Anyone who has served two consecutive terms on council can be elected again one year after their last term was completed.

The congregation council meets on the second Monday of the month. At this meeting reports from our committees and groups are given and reviewed. Our finances are reviewed and discussed as well as any other necessary business concerning the function and ministry of our congregation. Although the council has the authority to make decisions concerning the business of the congregation, it is important to note that the ultimate authority is the congregational meeting. The congregational meeting may be the annual meeting, or a special meeting called by the pastor and council to discuss or act upon an urgent issue. The power of the council is limited and subject to the congregation at congregational meetings. For example, the council cannot enter into contracts or financial agreements of more than $10,000 for items not included in the budget. Also, the council cannot buy or sell property without prior approval from the congregation.

Council members are expected to either lead or be a liaison to one of our committees or groups. This helps facilitate the council's understanding of the ongoing ministries of our congregation at the monthly meetings.

There are eight members on the council. The eight are divided into four teams of two members. Former members of church council volunteer on a rotating basis to add a third member to each team to help with Sunday morning responsibilities. Council teams are assigned to serve the church one Sunday every month. When serving on Sunday morning it is their responsibility to be at the church by 7:30am. and begin preparing the church for worship. Opening doors, turning on lights and making sure that the heat/air conditioning is functioning properly. Council members hand out bulletins and greet worshippers as they enter the building. During the service it is their job to deal with any emergencies that may occur. The offering is collected, counted, recorded and deposited by the team. After the last service, the team turns off lights and locks the doors, usually finishing up by 11:30am.

As you can see, dedication and a commitment of time and talent are necessary when serving on congregation council. Not everyone is able to fulfill this role. For those who have served, it is difficult to find someone who was not in some way changed by the experience. In serving on the council, members attain a knowledge of how much work is required to sustain and grow the ministry of a congregation.

Should you be approached about serving the congregation council in the future, don't just say no. Prayerfully consider the opportunity to serve, learn and grow through this special ministry.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Andy

"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers..."
Ephesians 4:11