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Thrive! E-Blast for 12.3.19

More Thrive! Training Events Coming

Did you miss the Thrive! Congregation Leader training held in November? Don’t worry! Additional training events are being planned for the new year – the first one expected to be held on Tuesday night, January 21st, in the Columbus area and others to be offered in other locations around the synod, as well as online.

So, please watch for more details next week, and plan to join the more than 110 Congregation Leaders from 50 congregations who have already been trained to conduct successful and uplifting Thrive! campaigns in their congregations.

We are excited to announce that over $350,000 has already been committed to Thrive! by people and congregations across the synod who see how the campaign will benefit churches both small and large. Their support is allowing us to proceed now on goals of the Thrive! campaign, such as offering a second Coaching Cohort for pastors, Stewardship for All Seasons, and another Effective Congregation Council training described below.

Thrive! is demonstrating how we are, indeed, Stronger and Better Together!


“Effective Congregation Council” Training

Generous advance gifts to the Thrive! campaign and a strong commitment to fulfilling the Synod’s vision are allowing us to move forward now in implementing Thrive! campaign goals!

Thrive! Goal #1 is “Equipping Lay Leaders.” Through this goal: “The Synod will be seen as leading and providing networks through which lay leaders will be more highly equipped for leadership within their congregations, be more effective in their communities, and thrive in their ministries.”

To help fulfill this goal, the synod is offering a return engagement of Effective Church Council training on February 18th at Epiphany Lutheran Church, Centerville, 7-9 p.m. This is a longer version of the “standing room only” workshop provided at Synod Assembly this year, and which was also offered in September at All Saints Lutheran, Worthington.

Council members, pastors and other church leaders should attend Effective Congregation Council training to increase skills in:

  • Developing and working from a strategic plan
  • Focusing on fiduciary, governance, and generative issues
  • Making the best use of time with a consent agenda, a purpose for every meeting, and other tactics
  • Having the meeting itself be spiritually fulfilling
  • Leadership development

The goal is that Council members reflect on their time of service on the Council as the highlight of their service to the church. This workshop can help lead to an effective council that positions the church to thrive in today’s world.

Here’s what one participant at the Worthington workshop said:

This past November, I attended the Effective Congregation Council training offered through the Thrive! campaign. Pr. Mike Ward, the presenter, was so very engaging and entertaining in his delivery. This training introduced to me a new view on the purpose and structure of Congregation Councils. It was an eye opener and gave me a fresh new perspective on our role as Council members and what we truly should be focused on. I strongly recommend that all who are able make the time to attend this training when available in your area. It will most definitely be worth your time. I even plan on attending again!

Dana Tegtmeyer, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Germantown

Location & Time: Epiphany Lutheran Church, 6430 Far Hills Ave, Dayton, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

PLEASE REGISTER IN ADVANCE: Send an email with the name, phone number, email address and leadership role (e.g. President; Council member) of each attendee to:

Workshop leader:

Mike Ward, CFRE—Partner with GSB Fundraising.  Mike is a 1997 graduate of Trinity Lutheran Seminary and has served on the board of the ELCA Youth Ministry Network and on the ELCA Church Council.  Mike studies best practices of non-profit boards and applies those practices to congregation councils. His passion for this topic is related to his desire for organizations to thrive in their fundraising, and that without effective boards leading the organization, the funding of those organizations will naturally struggle.

Can’t attend this training event? Don’t worry! Repeat training events will be scheduled in other locations around the synod in the months to come. Please watch for news!


What Others are Saying about Why You Should Support Thrive!

From the moment I saw the Thrive! Campaign video introducing this initiative, I knew that I wanted to offer as much financial support as I could. This campaign is all about building up the body of Christ with its strong emphasis on equipping and strengthening both lay and rostered leaders to bring the message of Jesus Christ to our communities and become more effective servants of the Servant.

Thrive! is an investment in people throughout the Southern Ohio Synod mission territory. Its funds will help us to find new ways for smaller congregations to get the pastoral care and leadership they need but cannot afford in the form of a traditional rostered pastor. We are also investing in efforts to start new congregations in order to better make Christ known to those who are yearning to hear his message of grace and mercy.

In many cases, the first experience of a visitor to a congregation will be in the worship service. Enhancing and revitalizing worship and music is therefore a wonderful way to reach more and more people. Giving church musicians and worship planners opportunities to share what resources work well for them will encourage each congregation to make its weekly worship a transcendent experience of having Jesus Christ present in their midst.

For all those reasons, I returned my pledge card in September and have already begun to fulfill my commitment to Thrive! The sooner we all work together to support this effort the sooner we will all share in its benefits to realize our synod’s vision of Stronger and Better Together—Joining Jesus in the Restoration of the World.

Joan Armstrong, Retired Pastor



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