Thursday, June 01, 2006

State of the Ministry Address (Summer 06)

The summer is in full swing and I am presently sitting in the basement of my in-laws place in rural Nebraska. The kids are playing with cousins and grandpa’s Nintendo 64 and I thought I’d take a moment to update you all with a summer “State of the Ministry” address.


The vocal and instrumental ministries are charging forward for the summer. Both the vocal and instrumental schedules have been released and in some cases are presently being refined. John Carlson is working on a re-release of his instrumental preludes project that was originally recorded and mastered when he was a Music Director at Willow Creek in Chicago. I’ll let you know when his re-release is out so you can get a copy. Also, John is going to be featured in the “Art Scene Iowa” newspaper. The article will be on “Jesus and Jazz.” I’ll let you know when that is also released.

Singers and instrumentalists, your year around commitment is so appreciated. It’s awesome knowing that our summer programming maintains the same excellent quality as it does in the Fall and Spring, It a testimony of your love for the Lord and commitment to excellent ministry.


The Visual Arts team is presently working on our Proverbs Series installation on mainstage. Thanks to Ann and all the team for your continuous work. Also, thanks to Nancy and Alice for the beautiful plants and communion décor that we enjoy on a regular basis. Sue Aunan is the artist presently displaying her excellent art in the Café gallery. Please check in regularly for new art displays. On top of leading the VA team, Ann is also the coordinator for the Atrium Café. Her teams are continuing to provide an amazing ministry to our church with fine coffee’s, muffins, fruit drinks, and yes, even chocolate (try the bug bites… I love em’). When you see Ann and the other baristas, be sure to thank them for all the hours they put into providing excellent ministry week in and week out. If you are interested in serving in this ministry, be sure to contact Ann, I know she is always looking for future baristas!


For the second summer in a row our ministry has a summer intern who is learning the ins and outs of the Arts Ministry at Parkview. This year Eli Suddarth is filling the position. In the Fall Eli will be entering his final year at the University of Iowa. You’ll be seeing Eli in a lot of different positions throughout the summer either playing guitar, running sound, shooting a camera, or leading worship. Eli is a great asset to the ministry and brings an amazing heart for the Lord to all he does. Welcome Eli!


Thanks to the tireless help of Phil Gugliuzza, Bill Christensen, and Don Keiser the Technical Ministry has been charging forward despite the loss of our former Technical Director, Dan Grimes. Thanks guys and all the volunteer teams for doing a fantastic job keeping this ministry moving forward! By the end of the summer we will put plans in place that will transition us from an “Interim” structure toward a more permanent structure. More on that coming later this summer!

If you get the chance, be sure to thank Julie Bates for all she does as the Head Producer for our weekend services. She is now serving in a more “official” capacity this budget year and we so appreciate all she does to keep the services well coordinated and flowing seamlessly. Thanks Julie!


Some Drama Team members are beginning to work on a “next level” drama ministry implementation following the loss of our former Drama Director several months ago. I know all of you drama queens (and kings) out there are getting anxious to serve. Please know that plans are in the works and that I look forward to seeing you in action very soon.


One of the very sweet benefits Parkview extends to the Pastoral staff is a sabbatical policy that allows for 3 months of sabbatical for every 5 years of service at Parkview. This summer I will be taking about one month’s worth of time for some personal R&R and to attend the “Worship God 06” conference at Covenant Life Church in Maryland. My beautiful bride Carrie will join me at the conference. She is my editor, support, and encouragement for all I do in ministry. It will be wonderful getting to share the conference experience with her and getting some long overdue time together and away from the kids (this will be the first time we have been away together for several days without a child since we had our first over 10 years ago!!!)

The dates I will be officially “out of the office” will be July 10-31 and then August 8-14. I am still working out the details, but Parkview will be in more than capable hands with John, Greg, and Eli holding down the “musical fort” for the four weekends I will be out.


As we’ve continued forward with our present weekend service schedule we are discovering some “weaknesses in the system” that, if resolved, will help us be more effective at reaching people and continuing to create more space for our capacity service at 10:15 am. The elders and staff teams are working on some proposed solutions, but we do not yet have a final draft that we feel will be effective at enhancing all the ministry areas. Please stay tuned as we continue to consider ideas, review trends, and get feedback about how we can better facilitate the worship of God through our ministry schedule. We would definitely appreciate your prayers as we wrestle through this process.


Zack and Eryn Durlam along with Julie Bates just wrapped up the Spring ministry season with the Parkview Children’s Choir. The kids add such an amazing energy to our services and have learned so much under their director’s commitment to education and excellence. We look forward to seeing them back in full force after the summer!


I hope you can all join us for our summer Arts Ministry Social on Friday, June 23rd at the Boatman’s ranch north of Iowa City. This will be a time for all the family. At their place you’ll be able to enjoy fishing, fellowship, a hayrack ride, a BBQ, and possibly even a baptism service to end the evening. Outside of meat and beverages, the food will be potluck. We would appreciate your RSVP for the event, so just reply as you get the e-mail within the next week or two. If you have not been baptized since you put your faith in Christ and would be interested in celebrating your baptism with the Arts community, please let us know. If we don’t have enough interest we may put off the baptisms for another time.


Thanks to Barb Alton and her teams for keeping this ministry going so seamlessly. Some of the recordings they make of the weekly teaching at Parkview are going around the world. It’s encouraging knowing that the God’s Word, through the teaching ministry at Parkview, is having such a widespread influence while also continuing to bless so many locally.


I want to thank the Usher and Communion teams for their ministry to us in services. Sometimes these ministries become so familiar to us that we take for granted the immense value they to our weekend worship experience. I feel blessed beyond measure to work with such amazing people in every area of ministry at Parkview.

Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!!!


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