There seems to have been a decline in the options/availability of adult education. Are there any plans to revive the program? What about an 8:00 AM class before church or an evening option?

There has been a decline in participation in adult education over the past several years, and our number of offerings have scaled to match participation levels. Our lay-led adult education team has been faithfully planning and messaging Sunday morning opportunities. 

We did attempt an informal 8am “Prayer with the Pastors” class at the start of this ministry year, and only one person over three weeks participated in this opportunity. While even now the preaching pastor is consistently here and available around 8am each Sunday, we discontinued this as a public offering due to lack of response. We will not likely attempt another 8am gathering before church unless there is a specific request for it. 

We offered Wednesday evening Dinner and “Gospel DNA” study during Lent (2018), which was well attended!

If you have ideas or wishes relative to adult education or want to get involved in this ministry, please reach out to Pastor Matt or Karen DeLau. 

Is there any way that we could move the nursery? It doesn’t feel right that it is the first room off the entry and just feels way too vulnerable if a person wanted to do harm.

We would have to assess this option as part of our overall emergency procedures, but given the anticipated high construction costs to move the Nursery, we feel there might be other alternatives to making this space less vulnerable.  For instance, we could add security doors leading into that hallway space as an extra layer of protection, much the way schools do. The BOD and staff will be discussing church safety in the new year to assess if additional safety measures need to be implemented.

Will we ever get “IN” and “OUT” signs for the parking lot? Also, proper “Do Not Enter”, “No Exit” and other signage?

While we do have “Exit Only” signs posted in the parking lot, we feel they are not that visible to drivers due to their smaller size and color. For large events like Easter and Reformation 500, we did place larger, more visible temporary signs to better direct members and guests on which entrance and exit to use. We felt those were very effective. In 2018, as part of our 3x50 campaign, we are going to reassess all of our outdoor signage and plan to make changes to the signs so they are more visible and ultimately more effective while hoping people abide by the signs when visiting POP. We also plan to add more traffic arrows in the parking lot to better guide the traffic flow.

After observing the extremely poor quality of everything that was projected on the church’s two screens during the November 19th services when can we expect an updated video system for the sanctuary?

As you will see in the proposed 2018 budget we are adding to the reserve for equipment replacement so we can invest in new screens for the sanctuary. Estimated cost ranges from $50,000 - $100,000 depending on the type of system selected. We look to have the new system installed in 2019.

I am curious how the change in Sunday service times is being received by the members of POP. It would be nice to have an agenda item for the next Voters Meeting to hear views and a discussion.

When enacting any change, it is impossible to get 100% satisfaction rates. By and large, the new service times have been received positively by members. Many people have been flexible and adaptive, and we’re very thankful for that. There has been some relief provided to our stressed, but committed volunteer teams, by going from four to three services per weekend. There has also been an increase in connection and fellowship during the time in between and around our Sunday services. All three services are more intergenerational. Each service is requested for baptisms and other milestone events. Additionally, many committed families have adopted a new routine of Sunday school hour apart then worship together as a family, something we did not see as much with 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00am services.

We look to evaluate the effectiveness of this schedule after having seen it in action over a whole ministry year (2017-2018). We will be receiving some feedback during the spring metrics survey. 

Feedback can be shared anytime to Pastor Karl.

When we went to the new service times we also automatically changed the way we have our Worship Host Teams and I assume other volunteer areas are appointed to serve.

Can’t we adjust this back to the volunteers’ preferred times to serve? 

This has been brought to the attention of the Worship Team Leaders. Transitioning through the last quarter of 2017 we chose to take a route to ease the number of times groups would serve but we will be exploring the will of the individual teams to determine if preferred times and defined periods of a month work better for the majority.

Can you explain the processes behind hiring Jackie when Fred is on the Board?

When Jackie was being considered for the position, the Board was advised as to the strength of this candidate and that the Board would need to consider the fact that Fred is on the Board. The By-Laws under Article 6 provides guidance with regards to candidates but not as a sitting member. Fred had advised us that he would resign, if needed, but the Board unanimously decided that with a clear understanding that he would need to recuse himself in any staff related votes or where any conflict of interest might arise, we would not call for that resignation. The Board has identified this as a grey area in the By-laws and Policy manual and we will be discussing if a change is needed or not after the first of the year. As it stands right now, Fred’s term is up May 31, 2018 and he would not be able to serve as incumbent in 2018 as he would be deemed a candidate at that time.

Why aren’t the surveys able to be submitted anonymously?

We have long held that we should have the comfort to submit surveys, ask questions, approach your Board Members, and approach your ministry team leaders and our Pastors with as much transparency and openness as possible. Questions that come out of the surveys, etc. give us a good pulse of where we are and where we are not. Surveys are treated with a high degree of sensitivity but occasionally we will receive comments or questions that are difficult to answer generically, as many of these are personal observations and concern. The information and comments are built into a composite report that provides us with a snapshot on demographics, etc. These metrics then define areas of concern or patterns.

Service Time Changes: Why the change? Why not more choices on the survey? Parking Concerns? Why these times? Why not a test period? What about the risk of losing volunteers?

The Voter’s Meeting discussions regarding service times have been ongoing since 2014 and the difficulties of making that change and discerning the right changes were defined. At the May 2016 Voter’s Meeting, we were asked, “Why are we continuing with 4 services?” and a copy of our response was posted to the new website. In December 2016 we addressed this in conjunction with a comment and recommendation regarding the need for volunteers for various aspects of worship and again the response can be found on the website. As we continued to look at this issue over the past several months it became clearer that while there is no easy solution, a change was needed.

A number of options were considered, but ultimately, two presented themselves as the most workable weighing in our volunteer needs, teaching needs, worship needs, maximizing the worship experience, maximizing our opportunities for fellowship, and what would cause the least amount of disruption. This choice was not only identified as the highest preferred option by members, but also as the best means of serving the needs of the community and guests. Pastor Fay referenced that only 32% of our community defines themselves as Christian, 23% attend services and 17% find faith important. Clearly the mission field has plenty of work to attend. The two most workable solutions were posted on the survey to get the maximum amount of return comments and learn where the pulse actually is at this time. We had the largest response to a survey in years and the choice favored is the one chosen. It was intentional to not offer a variety of choices as we learn very little from multiple choices and the others were not the best choices to serve all the needs that have been defined.

While the Board of Directors did not discuss the parking lot issue raised, it has been discussed by the staff. It would be wonderful, and an answer to prayers, if parking was our issue but we will emphasize the use of Lincoln School and parking on Cunningham if able and we will watch how this all works.

We have modified our summer worship times for several years so we know what we know about the summer months. We need to implement these changes for an entire ministry year to determine just how this works. We are not averse to adapting to what we learn and changing, but only if we don’t find that this change serves the needs defined above.

Finally, it was indicated that the change in service times does not work for all of our volunteers in certain areas and we may lose some of them. There is an opportunity for everyone to find a place as servant hearts to serve the Lord with passion in some capacity at Prince of Peace and we need all that can serve to serve. That personal service needs to come from the heart. We have people who have told us that it will be easier to serve as a volunteer, and others who have indicated they will need to find out how they can serve differently based upon the change. We know that we will be placing less demands of time on our existing volunteers who serve in our worship experience – i.e. altar guild, communion assistants, worship hosts, worship coordinators, sound booth techs, musicians, Connection Center hosts, coffee service, etc.   

In the first 6 months of Prince of Peace’s history attendance, went from 6 to 150. That means that those six each brought 25. We all need to extend a hand and a gentle nudge for a friend, family member, a neighbor or an acquaintance to join us in worship at Prince of Peace on Saturdays at 5:00pm; Sundays at 9:00am or 10:30am. Let’s all pray that the next question we address is “The sanctuary is full so when are we adding a service back?”

When you talk about the Vision Process, why are we using a consultant (Auxano)? Can't we do this ourselves? / What kind of a culture are we trying to be?

We have some very talented people at Prince of Peace and even a number of business consultants, but we quickly ruled out doing it ourselves. Sometimes you are so close to something you don’t see what is obvious to others. Consultants are intended to come from a place of impartiality and when you take “consultants” from within the church there is a tendency to have individual agendas and silos we want to protect. Auxano is a church-skilled organization helping us understand the uniqueness of POP and what we do and can do better than other churches. They are skilled in helping us set a course for years of vibrant, expansive ministry here at POP and Crosspoint.

We are individually unique creations to serve Jesus on His mission. That means that collectively, POP is unique to any other church and we are working to understand that “DNA” and use our unique strengths as leverage to move forward. We, like thousands of churches, have a mission, a vision, core values and we define areas of our strategic focus. Auxano will help us translate our vision from just content to a POP Lifestyle, from a mission statement to missional mandate, from value statements to missional motives, from strategy as a plan to strategy as a missional map, and measurements from just goals to missional life marks. Auxano is focused on helping us identify and leverage our uniqueness to most effectively "carry the heartbeat of Jesus" to our surrounding community. Auxano has done this with hundreds of other churches nationwide and brings significant expertise guiding churches like POP to clear and focused vision for their future. POP was born in 1970 as a mission church and since then, we often refer to ourselves as a “missional” church. But what does that mean to us forging forward? How do we leverage that history to proclaim the gospel in our world? How do we “be the church” – not something we do or a place we go, but what we are, personally inspired and life-oriented in Christ Jesus?

We also received an anonymous question, to which we typically do not respond. It read: “What kind of culture are we trying to be? What are we doing to reinforce that culture?” Another great question which through the Vision Process, we will work on unlocking and understanding our culture in order to unleash our potential future. Through it all we trust in God’s Word to be our guide.

This process is very different than anything else we have ever done and the next several months will challenge us like never before. We look forward to sharing with you just how this unfolds.

Why don’t we consider fundraisers? I know it has been a policy for years; however, I think that having 2-4 per year to benefit mission trips, etc should be considered.

Fundraising has been something that we have avoided and will continue to avoid. Some members have approached us to let us know that they do not favor fundraisers for a variety of reasons. (e.g. Who says yes and who says no to a fundraiser? Each fundraiser requires champions, resources inclusive of time, people, space and materials.) The generous giving of the congregation has allowed the congregation to support mission trip activity in a more planned, intentional way as opposed to a spontaneous, sporadic, and possibly sparing way. If you have questions about mission trip plans or requests regarding how they are planned and communicated with the congregation, you can direct your questions or comments to Vicar Matt.

Some areas of weekend serving opportunities lack sufficient numbers of volunteers–worship hosts & coordinators, coffee, video & sound, etc.

Coming off a sermon series about giving, could the message regarding using your time in service to POP be addressed? Maybe a commitment card for serving?

Great idea! We’ll consider this as we engage in future planning. We certainly have noticed the movements in our volunteer pool and are trying to respond appropriately to needs. We provide a broad scope of services here at Prince of Peace which spreads our current volunteers pretty thin so more would be a great blessing to many areas. We message serving opportunities on a regular basis, including the Sunday “Serving One Another In Love” insert. Also, the sermon series called “Death to Selfie” focused on our identity as servants of Jesus and one another. Additionally, we’ll be both recruiting and training toward this as we work on “Improving Prince of Peace’s Guest Experience.”

Pastor Karl mentioned that a 2017 objective is “renewed fellowship.” What will this look like?

Fellowship together is necessary for us as a community, but it should also be welcoming to visitors and guests. Renewed fellowship includes reinforcing such activities as our weekly coffee service where the presence of our fellowship together enhances the guest experience. It is also about congregation-wide events which punctuate our year with open invitation fellowship activities. While we would see this being about 4 per year, the bigger discussions are what they will look like and how we make them happen. Like the Thanksgiving Eve pies or a potluck, low impact events are ideal. The Men’s Easter Breakfast would be another event, but in order to dig deeper than this in the future, we will need to be talking about volunteers to serve as a group that would be ready to own this aspect of ministry and drive itto come up with ideas that they will help carry out. Finally, points of connection need to remain seated in P.E.A.C.E. Groups and other smaller Bible study and fellowship groups with more focused connections. If you would like to be a part of that discussion, please contact Diana Vander Pas or Dave Penner.

Can you explain what Pastor Karl is referring to when he says we will be "partnering" with Crosspoint?

Pastor Karl referred to the “collaborative” and “partnering” nature of our relationship with Crosspoint. In the early days of the Dei Campaign, over 8 years ago, Crosspoint was referred to as a “daughter” church. Much like Prince of Peace, when a church sought to exist it became a “mission church” and received support from the District for a number of years until it was capable of surviving for a period of time. The way that churches develop and thrive today is more in the context of a “daughter” church. The intent is that resources can be shared and finding ways that are collaborative such as we share a common sermon series. We share resources as needed as well as occasionally share Pastors. We help them with some printing on occasion and many of our members help with music and with tech issues. Now we are looking at a Worships Arts Director to primarily serve at Crosspoint but also work with POP.

In 2016 Crosspoint met or exceeded its planned giving every quarter and they have an aggressive goal of over 18% growth in giving for 2017. Financially, Crosspoint has a goal to be financially independent by 2019. This would be several years sooner that Prince of Peace was solvent at its start. Unlike the churches of old our relationship with them is not intended to be one that is severed but rather in partnership is maintained and nurtured. Perhaps together a new mission opportunity will emerge for us both to raise up.

Is the LEEP program still funded under the Education budget?

LEEP stands for the Lutheran Elementary Education Partnership Program and provides supplemental support to POP families. LEEP is designed to support and advocate for Lutheran education and to provide an alternative to the public school system in our communities. If a family attends a church with a school, the tuition is handled much like if you were attending a state college. If you attend a different church but a child attends the school the cost is greater. The LEEP program does not pay the total tuition but bridges the cost difference between those distinctions. LEEP has been a part of our planning for years and 2017 represents no change from 2016 planning which was actually our lowest budgeted and spend year since 2011. If you have questions about LEEP, contact Jeff Horvath.

Do we need to keep budgeting for guest pastors and guest musicians?

We haven’t had a guest pastor at POP since August 15. (There were a total of 7 at POP in 2016. Crosspoint had 4.) And with Vicar Matt with us, the needoutside of special situations or emergencieswill be minimized. Thus, a reduction in that cost by $1,000 is planned for 2017. While we pray we won’t need the $5,000 planned, there will be circumstances where that may be needed.

Guest pastors will be used for two main purposes:

  1. a guest with a specific ministry connection,
  2. to facilitate needed fill-ins.

We are blessed with a number of very talented people. As the result of a program designed by Pastor Christianson, we have had guest musicians through our summer program, Good Friday, Easter, Reformation, Christmas, and for special events and emergencies. In some situations these musicians help to support all of our local talent and in others it is used to be a form of outreach, mission support, guest experience and to expose us to various forms of worship styles provided thru the talents and passions of others. This not only included music but also such things as dance & storytelling. This planned expense has been reduced for 2017 but can’t just go away. 

What will the 2017 impact be upon staffing numbers with the addition of the Worship Arts Director?

Our staffing for POP has remained very flat going back to at least 2011 where we had a full-time equivalency (FTE) of 14 (12 PT & 7 FT) and while the FTE for 2016 was 15 (17 PT & 7 FT) the plan for 2017 is an FTE of 14 (16 PT & 7 FT). With the change in direction for the DCE position, the addition of the Worship Arts Director doesn’t change those numbers.