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Congregational Letter

posted Jan 19, 2010, 11:59 AM by Unknown user
The following letter has been sent out to the congregation and is expected to arrive by mail today.

January 15, 2010



Dear Members of Gethsemane, 


I am writing to you today with important news about our current financial situation.  The budget that we presented and approved in April, 2009, and revised in September, 2009, was a tight budget designed to continue the positive ministry movement that we have experienced in recent years.  Since that time, the Operation Management Team (OMT) and the Church Council completed reviews of our finances which have identified a "trigger point" at which actions would need to be taken to maintain our budget goals.  The most recent review, which incorporated the giving that took place over the holidays, indicates that it is time to act.


Your church Council and OMT came together on Tuesday, January 12 to make decisions that will affect the worship experience for church attendees, as well as a number of staff members that directly or indirectly support Gethsemane Lutheran Church and School. A summary of these decisions is as follows:

  • The following positions will have a 20% reduction in hours and corresponding wages effective February 1:
      • Senior Pastor (Rev. Richard White)
      • Interim Associate Pastor (Rev. Tim Thompson)
      • School Principal (Judy Hinck)
      • Business Administrator (Gayle Bidne)
      • Administrative Assistant (Jan Malmberg)
      • Maintenance Supervisor (Randy Travers)

  • Starting Feburary 7, we will reduce our Sunday worship schedule to a single service.  The worship style will alternate weekly between Traditional and Contemporary.

  • Starting Feburary 7, the church’s Praise Band will be reduced from five to three members. 


These changes will be in effect for February and March, after which time the Church Council and OMT will re-evaluate whether they need to remain for a longer term, or if staff hours/pay and worship details can return to their current format.

Along with these changes, we are sorry to announce that Gayle Bidne has informed us that she is taking another position and will be concluding her service among us on January 26, 2010.  We will miss her and her excellent service very much, but wish her God's great blessings as she continues to serve the Lord in a new congregation.


In the recent months, you may have heard that the Faith Community has been doing better financially, and that is true when compared to last year.  We are in fact continuing the progress in financial strengthening that we have been making in recent years.  Even so, these changes to our staff and life have become necessary because of concerns that have emerged from our best financial projections.  Simply stated, we are not achieving our budget goals, so action is necessary.


We have worked through difficult times throughout our history and we will work through this together as well.  The recent work that the congregation has done so well on the challenging issue of sexuality bears witness to our resiliencence and vitality.

Paul encourages us in his letter to the Philippians when he states: "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me".   (Ph. 4:13)   We teach and believe here at Gethsemane that we are placed here in this time and place to do God's work in God's way, and God has promised to provide all that we need to do so.

So, what can you do?

Tell others about Gethsemane and invite them into our faith community.

Consider an increase in your giving.

Prayer – your prayers are a powerful tool in accomplishing God’s work.


As more information becomes available, we will share it on-line, via the Blast, through newsletters, Sunday mornings, and during our first Sunday of the month Town Hall meetings.



God’s peace,



Doug Angerer

Congregation President