Why are we talking about second site ministry?
You might be wondering why we are discussing a second site for Epiphany while we are struggling to support our present ministries at Epiphany. There are several reasons (in no particular order) why second site ministry is something we want to consider for our congregation.
- · Epiphany has always been about outreach. If you look at the confirmation pictures in the church basement hallway, you will see pictures with Reverend Jaster and his Sturtevant confirmation class. By looking to have a second site for Epiphany in the Sturtevant area, we are going back to our roots in mission work.
- · The Sturtevant area is not a ministry area for any of our WELS congregations. Yes, we have members who drive from Sturtevant to Epiphany, but most unchurched people will not drive into Racine looking for a confessional Lutheran church in the middle of the block. By putting a WELS church in Sturtevant, the church can do outreach in Sturtevant, Somers, Franksville, Raymond, etc. All areas that are not mission-target areas for Trinity in Union Grove, Trinity in Caledonia, Bethany in Somers, or Epiphany.
- · The District Mission Board (DMB) that I am presently serving on is seriously looking at helping the churches and schools in our southeastern Wisconsin district make use of the wonderful mission field created by School Choice. The DMB is examining having a school chaplain within a WELS school that has School Choice. This School Chaplain will then work through Word and Sacrament to connect the non-WELS families within the school to the congregations that support the school.
- · Our Inter Parish School Council (IPSC), which governs Wisconsin Lutheran School, has just started studying the feasibility of calling a school chaplain to WLS in future years. We currently have 40% non-WELS families at WLS. Half of those identified themselves as not having a church home. That is a ripe mission field.
- · Shoreland has similar percentages. There are 55 non-WELS students attending Shoreland through the Racine School Choice program and international program who are living in Racine and Mt. Pleasant. This is another ripe mission field.
- · God could certainly bless the ministry of a school chaplain in connecting families to Epiphany, First Evan, and New Hope.
- · God is working in the lives of our own members through Word and Sacrament. They just need to listen to the counsel the Holy Spirit is giving them and put God first in their lives for weekly worship.
- · At our church picnic, we had 10 non-member families from WLS worship with us at Pritchard Park. 3 of those families are now in adult confirmation class.
- · Every week since the church picnic, we have had one or two first time visitors worship with us.
- · The second site ministry isn’t about taking members away from Epiphany. It is about having a second site – Epiphany in Sturtevant that works with Epiphany in Racine – to do mission work.
These are just a few ideas I wanted to share with you. Pastor Nathan Strutz has far more experience in second site ministry. The Lord has blessed both congregations that he has served in with starting a second site ministry.
Please RSVP ASAP for the Pig Roast on October 8 from 3-5 pm. There will be movies and discussions for the children and teenagers in the ECC classrooms while the adults hear Pastor Strutz’s presentation.
Pastor Strutz will also be preaching and teaching on Sunday, October 9 about mission work in our ministry area. If you can’t make it on Saturday, please come on Sunday morning for worship and Bible study.
Even if you can’t make it to the Pig Roast, please consider a special monetary gift above your regular, weekly offerings. It can be large or small. God blesses both. Just place your gift in an envelope marked “second pastor.”
If you didn’t get a chance to watch Pastor Strutz’s video on second site ministry, here is a direct link to the 4-minute video.
In Christ’s mission field,