Next time, we'll talk about the Ukelele photo... but this time...

Our younger son just got done telling me about the new policies at high school. He attended orientation this morning. The changes are multiple and significant and he is not happy.

At the end of last year, he was excited for this fall because upcoming changes were ones he was ready to embrace. He thought they would help solve problems. Block scheduling and a quarter system were things he was on-board with, but now removing use of phones and earbuds, and no more off-campus lunch... These new things change how he's feeling about going to school. He's gone from optimistic, to pessimistic in one morning.

So hearing him out also makes me think about all of you, the people of Open Heart. You all have been excited and welcoming and ready to try some new things. And..."New" is not always easy. Probably hardly ever easy, actually.

So, as we prayerfully make our way forward, doing our best to listen to voices both from within and outside of membership, as we seek to be guided by the Holy Spirit, please stay in conversation with me. We need to communicate. I shouldn't be the only one talking. That is a recipe for disaster.

Pastors can preach and Leadership Council members can vote and we all can make decisions about special events, worship time, discipleship classes, worship series, and more, but we also need to hear from you. We need to hear what your heart's dreams are. We need to know your struggles. We need to hear how God is moving in your life. We need to know what you are seeing and how you sense Jesus nudging you, and maybe all of us, to take action.

I believe that God is at work in us—in our community—and that we are on the cusp of something new. And as I said before, "New" is not always easy, even when it's for the better. Even if we're pretty sure it's what God wants.

So please get in touch and stay in touch. Here are some ways:
  • Join us for the August 28th, Ice Cream Extravaganza from 6-8 pm in our parking lot and volunteer to be part of our Community Wellness Survey.
  • Come to worship (again 10 a.m. on Sundays) in person. 
  • If you watch online, comment or "like" or send us an email each time you watch so we KNOW you are there. 
  • Let us know what's on your mind by phone, email or in-person
You are welcome to reach out to me personally, or to leadership, to share what is on your heart and mind. Here are the leadership chairs, below. I understand that you may already know and be more comfortable talking with them than with me. I am still new to you, comparatively.

Diana Auwerter - Leadership Council Chair
Katie Frooman - Staff-Parish Relations Team Chair
Galen Jones - Finance Team Chair
Linda Pottorff - Trustees Chair
Rev. Dan Bader - Southwest District Superintendent.

Please contact the church office at 605-343-1813 if you are on our list of connections and need contact information for any of the people above.

And as noted in the newsletter, the first one who contacts me and says something meaningful about this blog gets a free lunch. :-)  Who will it be????

~ Pastor Michele

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