The Spiritual Leadership Council, or “SLC,” is the primary lay leadership group in our congregation. As defined by our by-laws, this governance board is elected directly by the congregation and acts on behalf of the congregation to oversee and support the direction and mission of the church.

BillBill Mahler
President
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Where have you seen Jesus at work in St. Luke lately?
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35

During this past year, evidence of our growth as Jesus’ disciples has been shown in many loving ways. First, the significant approval of the new organizational structure was followed by your generous affirmation of the new and continuing lay leaders in the election a year ago. We then supported our other two sites as they peacefully formed new congregations in order to share the love of Jesus more effectively. The third big step was the overwhelming agreement to call Pastor Justin as our Senior Pastor. We are now engaged in a process to discern where God is leading us and His vision for His church at St. Luke and beyond. We have not agreed on everything, but we have moved forward with love and respect for each other.

Along with these big events, the continuing ministries of this congregation have strengthened us in our discipleship journey and have encouraged us to invite others to share that journey. At the risk of leaving your special ministry out, let me just mention joint events with other congregations, continuing opportunities for various age groups and life circumstances, home groups, and support for organizations that serve the needs of our communities. In all of these situations, the leadership and support of our entire staff and the efforts of many volunteers have allowed us to share the love of Jesus with our fellow members, families and friends, and neighbors both near and throughout God’s world.

The future of St. Luke looks bright because we are based on the foundation of Scripture and dedicated to enriching our relationships with Jesus, each other, our communities, and the entire world. We are joining Jesus in His ministry of redeeming the world by being open to the opportunities He presents to us. “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24

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Jim Fink
Vice President
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Where have I seen Jesus at work in St. Luke lately?
Everywhere!  I’ve seen him in our congregation’s desire to put Him first and our own comfort second. I’ve seen Him in your willingness to participate in home groups with people you don’t already know. I’ve seen Him in the pastors’ bible study, in the faces of the elders and in SLC meetings where members discuss issues of governance and policy with attitudes of encouragement and love – even when they disagree. 

And a place I have particularly seen Jesus at work is at the 8:30 service, where I get to watch Ann Davison praise Him, rely on Him and love Him with all her heart.  If you don’t know Ann, you know who she is – she is the woman in the motorized wheelchair who sits on the pulpit side of the sanctuary. As her health declines, her faith grows and her face glows.  This sister in Christ knows she is dying and, instead of complaining, she embraces every moment, knowing that each hymn of promise was written just for her. When I see Ann – in pain, totally dependent on others and totally dependent on Jesus – raising her hands in praise and in anticipation of the coming kingdom – I am reminded that I also need to see Him everywhere and rejoice in whatever circumstance comes next.

AaronAaron Johnson
Secretary
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What is the most important step Jesus has asked you to take in your faith walk in the last 6 months?
The most important step Jesus has asked me to take in the last 6 months has been to rely on His time.  Being a member of the SLC for the past year and participating in the visioning process at St. Luke has allowed me to see a great deal of change happen in a very short period of time.  Even though the change from the ground level has felt extremely fast, the overall change is always less than I would have liked.  Christ asks us to trust Him and rely on His plan.  I have been wrong on multiple occasions over the last year as I’ve struggled to understand the difference between Christ’s time and my time.  As we enter a new year and continue the visioning process I pray that Christ would give me an open heart and enough humility and patience to act in step with His plan.

Karla

Karla Chapman
Treasurer
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Where have you seen Jesus at work in St. Luke lately?
I have seen St Luke members supporting the sick and hurting, encouraging each other in home groups, and getting to know visitors. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”(Galatians 6:2). Old friends are becoming closer and new friends of St Luke are becoming involved in opportunities to serve at St Luke and in our community. Especially at this time of year it is exciting to remind each other where Jesus shows up. “Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:4).


Along with four congregational officers, our SLC includes three at large members. The Senior Pastor is also a non-voting member of the SLC.

EllenEllen Davis
At Large Member
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What is the most important step Jesus has asked you to take in your faith walk in the last 6 months?
My first thought on being asked to answer one of the questions was Whoa, how have I seen Jesus at work in me the last six months? Gulp. For various reasons, no amazing life lessons stood out to me. No huge revelations. In fact, if anything I feel I’ve been coming through a dry place.

But I want to rely on the truth of God’s love for me and the fact that He’s active in my life, even when I can’t see it clearly. Maybe some of what He’s doing is teaching me to persevere. I’m old enough to know that some of the most important lessons learned have come through not the easier but the harder times I’ve faced. At the same time, I know I’m so incredibly blessed by God that it seems faithless to say I’m not entirely sure how He’s been working in me in this season—but it’s true.

What I do know and cling to is summed up in five points Beth Moore teaches and I remember Byron (our past youth director) leaning on: God is who He says He is; He can do what He says He can do; I am who He says I am in Christ; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me; His Spirit is alive and active in me.

I am so grateful not to walk this faith journey alone! You, my brothers and sisters in Christ, are God’s gift to me and a huge source of encouragement. Thank you for being a faithful faith family all along this way.

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Roxanne Smith
At Large Member
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What is the most important step Jesus has asked you to take in your faith walk in the last 6 months?
I was surprised and honored to be asked to serve on the Spiritual Leadership Council this past year when Jim Sorgatz stepped down to become Church Administrator. This is a faith stretching experience for me as a disabled person. It is very difficult for me to attend evening meetings because my spinal pain is quite severe and gets worse as the day goes on. However, the Council agreed that they would be willing to meet at my house in the morning once a month, rather than at church in the evening, in order to allow me to serve.

For those of you who don’t know me, when you see me standing up at church you may not realize that I am in pain. I typically have to lie down for the rest of the day just to manage my symptoms. You might see me lying down on a cot or using a special reclining chair. I also worship in a separate room which is just off the sanctuary to the left as you enter church. There is a daybed in the room which allows me to attend church.

I love St. Luke Lutheran Church because the people there have helped me to follow Jesus and to use my gifts despite my disability. I know that I am loved by God and by his people, and that gives me courage and a desire to share God’s love with others. In addition to serving in leadership, I have been a Stephen Minister for 13 years, where God has allowed me to encourage others who are going through difficulties in their lives. I love to read and have assisted Pastor Rossow in editing some of his devotions and Bible study handouts during the past six months. I am thankful that Jesus continues to grow my faith as a member of this community.

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Rick Ruland
At Large Member
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What is the most important step Jesus has asked you to take in your faith walk in the last 6 months?
The most important step Jesus has asked me to take in the last six months is to pray for St. Luke daily.  He has urged me to pray for the leadership, both pastoral and lay leaders, and steps we are taking together as a church.  For example, I try to pray for each pastor daily.  Pray for their protection and the protection of their families, for guidance for them and that they glorify Christ in their work and lives.  

The foundation for this prayer is grace.  It is summed up best in 2 verses from the New Testament.  The first one is from 2 Corinthians chapter 12 verse 9:” My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

The other verse is from the gospel of John chapter 15 verse 5:  (Jesus is speaking) “for apart from me you can do nothing.”  Then one verse from the Old Testament.  It is from Psalm 127 verse 1: “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.  Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”  

God has been making it clear to me that we cannot accomplish anything that really matters apart from him.  Human strength and human wisdom amount to nothing; but when God gets involved the right things happen.  This has been my foundation as I pray for St. Luke.

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Justin Rossow
Senior Pastor
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Tell a story of how you have seen the kingdom show up in a meaningful way recently.

At Ann Davison’s memorial service, I was told two stories that went together. The first was of a young boy who had drawn a colorful picture during worship (kids often listen best when they are drawing). When his mom asked what they should do with the artwork, the boy indicated that he wanted to give it to the lady in the wheelchair. Of course, that lady was Ann, who even from her wheelchair basically led worship every week, singing with her whole body to the Lord of her salvation. She took joy in the young man’s gift and she took the crayon sketch home with her.

That morning I also heard about the line of people who came to Ann’s room to bid her farewell in her last days. Of course, friends and family were there. But others came as well—fellow residents at the nursing home where Ann started a Bible study the day she arrived (and intentionally passed on leadership when she knew she was becoming too frail); workers from the home who wanted to thank her for her joyful spirit and way she received care; the lady who did the laundry, who’s life was touched by Ann’s prayers.

And hanging on the wall near Ann’s bedside, overseeing the entire procession, was a hand-drawn work of art from the heart of a young boy, given in love to a woman he knew from worship every week.

I wonder if sometimes we feel too old or too young, too frail or too inexperienced, too busy or too burdened to be used by Jesus in His kingdom work. But in the hands of a young boy and the heart of a dying woman I witnessed the Kingdom of God breaking into ordinary lives. And that gives me hope for how Jesus is going to use me, and us.


You can learn more about how we are organized to join Jesus on His mission by reading this blog or watching the video below.


The congregation annually elects the officers and at-large members of the SLC.

Please keep these members in your prayers as they seek to serve Jesus by serving you.