The 65th Annual Meeting of Nativity Lutheran Church was held on February 11, 2023, at 6:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall and continued following both worship hours on Sunday, February 12, for voting on Resolution Two: Constitution of the Congregation only.
On Saturday evening, Karen Volker, President of the Nativity Council, called the Annual Meeting to order and moved that the agenda as provided and made available be approved.
President Volker presented the following resolutions for adoption.
Resolution One: Reports to be Accepted with Thanks
- 64th Annual Meeting held February 12, 2022
- Special Meeting of the Congregation to Purchase 2921 33rd Ave. Property held March 4-5, 2022
- Special Meeting of the Congregation to Call Kyle Soderberg to the Ministry of Word and Service as Deacon held October 22-23, 2022
- Budget and Council Election held December 3-4, 2022
2. Senior Pastor
3. Congregation President
4. Nativity Child and Family Center
8. Public Ministry
Resolution Two: Constitution of the Congregation
Whereas a task force appointed by Nativity Council in consultation with the Minneapolis Synod reviewed Nativity’s Constitution in light of the ELCA’s proposed Model Constitution in 2020 and 2021,
Whereas the recommended changes have been before the congregation since February 13, 2022, have been reviewed by the congregation via public forums in April and October of 2022,
Be it resolved that the proposed Constitution be approved as Nativity’s Constitution effective 6:00 pm February 12, 2023.
The updated Constitution was voted on and passed: 121 in favor of the updates and 0 against.
On Saturday evening, Pastor Glenn Seefeldt, Senior Pastor, presented God Is Leading, and highlighted Nativity accomplishments as well provided an overview of the 2023 Initiatives.
Breakout sessions were created for further discussion. Responses were recorded for the two discussion prompts.
What Inspires Me about Nativity’s Accomplishments:
• Stewardship despite economy/pandemic
• Re-energized by music and singing with congregation
• Microsoft Teams agenda and files
• Music transition and its high quality
• Pastor Ben’s viewpoint: he really adds to/offsets/complements Pastor Glenn well
• Nativity’s reaching out to the homeless
• Beacon Interfaith Collaborative connection
• RIC – Proud and Inspired – Shows active faith
• Hybrid worship commitment
• Bible Study
• Mental Health Connect
• Number of young families
• Increase in budget
• Growing and moving ahead
• Daily activities and worship
• Longevity of people at Nativity
• Music is so important
• Inspired by the people here, participation encouraged, all inclusive
• Children at Nativity, a sign of healthy church, a new generation who sees the value of church
• Everyone can participate
• Missions we claim are visible in our actions, the integrity of that
• Being back at Easter made people happy
• That church has been able to come back at all and also be online, that we are strong in both settings
• Good attendance at services
• The amount of youth going youth trips
• The amount of outreach activities
• The amount of people Glenn knows is impressive
• The overall welcoming community
• The increase in giving and trust in the church to steward it
• Mission-focused – what we do for others – talk about services, not buildings
• REJM, RIC – real progress after so much discussion
• Social justice and Public Ministry
Some Things I’m Wondering About:
• What would happen is Bob got sick (1 person doing the job and no backup)?
• How are we going to share and get more stories of faith?
• How are we going to connect with a Minneapolis congregation?
• How do we create community when some people don’t actually come face-to-face?
• Will my children return to church?
• What will the church’s role be in our life after I retire?
• What are people’s skills and how can those be matched up with the needs of the congregation? And how can Nativity facilitate that?
• How can the church help heal the deep division in our society?
• How can we better understand all the contentious issues today?
• When will in-person attendance return to 400s level?
• How can we support people in their faith life who don’t have the language to talk about faith?
• How do we fight Christian nationalism?
• How long Pastor Glenn is going to be here and who will replace him?
• Are young parishioners volunteering?
• What is the balance between driving change quickly and bringing people along?
Following the breakout sessions on Saturday evening, the annual meeting was recessed until after the 9:00 and 10:30 am worship hours.
The meeting was adjourned at each of the sessions (Saturday 6:30, Sunday 10:00 & 11:30) and closed in prayer.