From the President of the Congregation – January 2017

Happy New Year!!! What a great year this will be. All Lutherans will be celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. We will also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of our organ being installed with concerts and performances. There will be much celebrating and worshiping. Be sure to be a part of it all. Invite your friends and coworkers to these events. Let them experience the wonderful music experience or wonderful instrument and sanctuary offers. The Council has been meeting monthly to look at our current ministries and determine if there are new ministries that need to be developed to meet the needs of our changing congregation. This is a process that will take

The Council has been meeting monthly to look at our current ministries and determine if there are new ministries that need to be developed to meet the needs of our changing congregation. This is a process that will take time to develop. We have to ask ourselves if we can accomplish this with the volunteer help we have, or whether we need a Ministry Facilitator/Congregation Life Facilitator to help coordinate new ministries we develop. There are lots of needs to serve. What is God directing us to do?

There are several things that we have to ask ourselves as we further discuss the proposal by Upbring to partner with us next year to administrate the school. Do we have the expertise, knowledge and funds to administrate a school ourselves in this very competitive school market in Austin? Can we reverse the downfall in enrollment over the past several years? There are many private schools, and a continuing growth in charter schools competing with us. Are we being good stewards with our congregation offerings, using all our ministry/mission dollars to support the school? The amount that it will cost per student to operate the school this year in direct and indirect costs is $16,300. The tuition is variable, depending on member discount, employee discount, and grade level. Our congregation support of the school is at least $10,000/student. There are 46 students. What can we do to help keep all the current families and students on the St Paul campus if we decide to partner with Upbring? What do we need to do to ensure all grades are open? The recent work on the school website is generating interest. How can we get those who come for a tour to want to enroll in our school? What do we need to do to support our staff in either situation? These are things we all need to consider and pray about as we go forward as a congregation that desires to continue a ministry of Lutheran education.

Richard Covey
rpcov@sbcglobal.net