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A Look Back and a Look Ahead  by Jim Bradshaw 

We have reached the one year milestone in our Renewal in Wellness (RIW) journey as the people of God in the Kansas District. The RIW District Coordinators, District Chaplain Rocky Mease, Rev. Lee Hovel, and I look back over this past year and are absolutely amazed with what the Holy Spirit has done and continues to do in re-energizing and restoring the workers of His Church through wellness initiatives for the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ among His people. We continue to hear many stories of how a committed renewal in wellbeing on the part of the Church Worker has strengthened relationships in families and one’s ministry in congregations and schools. Praise be to God!

So, where have we been? Following the adoption of a resolution by our Kansas District Board of Directors endorsing RIW in October, 2014, a task force met in November and assisted in the shaping of this emphasis for 2014 and beyond. A webpage linked to our District website (www.kslcms.org) was created to store various resources on wellbeing, including monthly devotions and information pointing to other helpful preventive self-care tools.  Workshops, retreats, conferences, gatherings, and forums, were held in 2014 and attended by Pastors and their spouses, parish nurses, congregational lay leaders, early childhood educators, Directors of Christian Education (DCEs), Lutheran school teachers and administrators, and many more! The impact and coverage has been deep and wide throughout the Kansas District! Praise be to God!

Church workers and other faithful workers for the Lord have been exposed to the Lutheran Wholeness Wheel.  Using this Christ-centered and time-tested model, participants’ lives have been enhanced in their spiritual, emotional, vocational, financial, relational, intellectual, and physical wellbeing. All initiatives have been designed to refresh and reinvigorate passion and energy for ministry! Praise be to God!

We are now on the brink of a new calendar year. In 2015, the RIW emphasis will continue with specific focus on congregational wellness. Through our continued partnership with Grace Place Wellness Ministries, a Recognized Service Organization (RSO) of the Office of National Mission of the LCMS, we now turn our attention to creating church and school environments where Church Workers thrive in their ministries to the benefit of every member. One way is a resource called the Congregational Wellness Weekend. Grace Place trainers will lead the church/school staff and lay leaders in fostering the climate of nurture, care and support that will help congregational members receive the very best ministry from pastors, teachers, musicians, DCEs , and every worker in the local ministry setting. When our church leaders are living lives of joyful spiritual, emotional, physical, and vocational wellbeing, they model encourage and assist our Lord in transforming all of our lives to more joyous and abundant living! Trinity/Mission is the first congregation to embrace this training. Praise be to God!   

St. Paul writes in Philippians 2:2, “Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” May the Holy Spirit continue to renew each and every one us toward healthier wellbeing as we serve the people of God that He has entrusted to our care and keeping for joyful ministry in Christ Jesus! Praise be to God!

For further information about how your congregation might take part in a Congregational Wellness Weekend, please contact Grace Place Wellness Ministries at 314-842-3077.

Monthly Devotional Materials

Please feel free to use these Bible studies for a time
of personal reflection, as a group devotion in your congregation, as a short Bible Study to begin a meeting or in any way you think it might be helpful. Each month, some aspect of Renewal in Wellness
will be explored in this fashion.