What a year!

Looking back on our most-read blog posts from 2015, some central themes emerge. This was a year of transition and big-picture thinking for our congregation, and many of our most popular posts had to do with vision, direction, and governance.

But along with the governance of the congregation, worship took a primary place. A sermon series form last January and another from this fall drew lots of clicks and shares. And responses to worship or thoughts on worship were also popular.

Along with congregational direction and corporate worship, personal stories of faith took center stage.

Our list starts with a travel log and ends with an invitation to worship: an appropriate way of revisiting one more year on this journey of faith.

1Israel Trip Video Blog
Pastor Dan Flynn took a group of adventurous souls on a tour of the Holy Land. The result was a faith-building journey shared with our on-line community.

2. Imagining a Future of St. Luke
Pastor Justin Rossow talks about the three fundamentals he thinks we need to move forward as a congregation: Follow Jesus, Manage Missional Change, and Connect to Local Communities.

3. The Not-So-Common Table Prayer
Do you usually say, “Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest …” before meals? The story of Zacchaeus gives us a new way to think about those familiar words.

4. The Incredible Gospel of Mark
From Epiphany to Easter of 2015 we walked through the Gospel of Mark together. These handouts and sermon videos helped take Sunday worship into our week.

5. The Three Major Changes to the By Laws
In a year of making decisions about the future of our congregation, Congregational President Paul Dickerson gave an overview of the three major changes in the proposed by laws. Ultimately, the congregation approved the by law changes and 2016 will be a year of realizing decisions we made together in 2015.

6. Congregational Update, December, 2015
With so many important decisions, it’s no wonder information about the direction of the congregation was at a premium. This blog outlines minor adjustments to the newly-passed by laws, reports on the chartering process for ULC and Living Water, and gives an overview of the Ministry Plan and Budget passed by the congregation to finish our current fiscal year, ending July 1, 2016.

7. You Shall No Longer Be Called Wounded
This beautiful story of adoption helps put God’s love for us in real, concrete terms. The heart of this mother for her new son, and her thoughts about his past and his future, help us all understand God’s tender heart for us in Jesus Christ.

8. “… another series” Handouts
This fall we tried something new: we formed short-term, locally-based home groups that met together weekly to process what God was giving them in worship every week. The handouts and sermon videos helped engage people even when they had to miss a Sunday. The result: followers of Jesus encouraging each other to be open to what God is doing in their weekly lives.

9. Impossibly Possible
This post comes as a response to a sermon in our Elijah series this summer. Lydia Will uses ravens as a hook to help us think through challenging cultural times in history, times like the days of Elijah or our own day. Her insights lead us to hope for something we do not yet see. Elijah: His God is God.

10. Is it Sunday Yet?
Pastor Matt Hein shares an encounter with his young daughter, an encounter that helps him–and us–look forward to what Jesus is doing for us in worship. Lord, give us lives that thirst after Your presence!