New England Synod. Ministry Site Profile. Address: 132 Auburn Street, Portland, ME 04103

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1 New England Synod Ministry Site Profile Congregational Name: First Lutheran Church Congregation ID #: Address: 132 Auburn Street, Portland, ME Website: Does the Church own a Parsonage? Yes What is the churches annual operating budget? $359,000 Rev/$372,000 Exp/$13,000 Def [2018] Total indebtedness: $107,000 [31 May 2018] Total Savings in all accounts: $ 90,000 [31 May 2018] Do you have an endowment fund? $815,000 [31 May 2018] What is your annual Mission Support to the New England Synod? $20,000 [2018 Pledge] Congregational President: Steve Barmore Phone: (207) Call Chairperson: Debi Curry Phone: (207) References Conference Dean: Pastor Richard Horner Phone: (207) Key Lay Leader: (Treasurer, Property, Outreach): Katie Lamb Phone: (207) Community Leader (Someone in city who knows the church) Jackie Nelson Title: Director, FLC Children s Programs Phone: (207)

2 Describe Your Congregation s Mission or Purpose: (Why do you exist?) We strive to reflect Christ's love in the world by acting in ways that witness to the Good News of the Gospel. We are called to use our gifts and resources to glorify God, love our neighbor, and encourage each other in our daily walk with the Lord. To that end, our congregation exists to: Strengthen our faith community through worship in the ELCA tradition; Nurture enthusiastic involvement in outreach programs, touching the wider community with God s grace through our actions; Expand programs that appeal directly to families with children & youth; Provide a balanced Christian education program that accommodates today s complex lifestyle and ensures a path to spiritual formation for all who seek to know Christ. Pray earnestly for God s presence in our lives; and Engage new people in the life of the church through intentional invitation to join in worship, mission, education, and/or prayer. 2

3 Describe your congregation: (Membership, Activities, Worship Style, Property, Etc) We are from Portland and its surrounding communities; some travel 25 miles or more to participate in the life of First Lutheran. Our diverse greater Portland worship setting attracts a wide range of ideas - both politically and scripturally. While our opinions may sometimes differ, we are bound together by our love of Jesus, respect for each other, and common concern for our southern Maine community. We are poised for growth and ready for those changes needed to fully apply ourselves to our mission. We seek new opportunities for education and spiritual formation to meet the complex lifestyles in today s society. Our membership is reflective of Maine s population, where 2016 Census Bureau figures show a median age of 44.5 years and low ethnic diversity. Appealing to families with children/youth remains crucial to our ongoing vitality. Our commitment to bringing in new people is revealed in our Imagine! Capital Campaign and the intention to increase the hospitality, accessibility, and flexibility of First Lutheran s sanctuary. Worship is expressed in three distinctly different weekly services that celebrate our beliefs, nurture our faith, and strengthen our spirits for the days ahead. 8:00AM A casual take on traditional Lutheran worship, our early riser service appeals to those who wish to receive the Word and Sacraments in under an hour. 9:15AM This contemporary worship setting was born of the need to incorporate families with children in our Sunday School program. The Wafers praise band sets a lively, spirited tone for what is now our most popular service. 10:30AM Our traditional, liturgical Lutheran worship experience is filled with familiar hymns, choir, organ, and hand bells. Our members are most engaged when meeting the needs of our community. Thus, we live out our Christian lives within the congregation and our community through enthusiastic involvement in programs including Greater Portland Family Promise, Crop Hunger Walks, Give a Child a Chance, and The Root Cellar that touch the larger community with God s love. Our existing Ministry Center, fellowship hall, parsonage, and offices support us in our work. 3

4 Describe the Community where your congregation is located: (Demographics, Community needs, location, buildings.) Our Auburn Street facility and nearby parsonage are at the periphery of Portland, the largest city in the State of Maine. The city provides a colorful cultural fabric: restaurants serving seafood, ethnic specialties, and dishes designed for the most discriminating pallets [Portland was cited as the foodiest small city in America, with more than 230 restaurants and counting]; fine arts and crafts inspired by the sheer beauty of the ocean and nature; music venues that cater to all genres; and sports arenas to watch the Sea Dogs, Maine Red Claws; and more. Today, tourism and culture are major drivers of the economy, with the Old Port District, Portland Museum of Art, Merrill Auditorium, Portland Symphony, and the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside being major attractions. For those traveling elsewhere, Portland International Jetport, Amtrak Down-Easter, and Concord Coach Lines are within a few short miles of FLC facilities. Transportation continues to improve with a Metro service expansion scheduled for August These life-enriching activities enhance the lure of this small, well-educated city. Located only 115 miles (roughly a two hour drive) from Boston, the desirable southern Maine location now attracts a diverse population of immigrants, retirees, and transplants from other states who seek out a more relaxed pace of life. Some have visited or vacationed here throughout their lives; others seek an intellectual or cultural environment in which to flourish. Portland is now home to many immigrant communities; the area immediately surrounding the church is quite diverse when compared to the rest of the state. New populations put a strain on social services and schools; the influx creates opportunity for expanding outreach and service to the community. Housing issues for middle and low income families are an increasing concern. Family shelters are now usually full. Community needs for the homeless and hungry are provided by a network of services, many of which are supported by the FLC outreach efforts. Like much of the nation, Maine is facing a growing crisis of addiction. This also strains social services and the healthcare system, and creates a concerning epidemic of homelessness. Awareness of this problem is helping focus attention on solutions. 4

5 Describe your next Pastor: What gifts do you hope they will have? What would you like them to emphasize in their ministry? What kind of worship/preaching would you hope for? How would you like them to lead you in your walk with Jesus? What would you prefer they not emphasize? First Lutheran seeks a pastor to help us to make individual efforts gel as a team, to teach us and challenge us how to stretch as Christians. First Lutheran seeks a pastor who will: Build relationships and a sense of community through careful listening and clear communication within the congregation; Become familiar with the Portland community with an eye towards identifying opportunities for ministry; Assess current programs to help us understand where change might be most effective at reaching new people; Advocate for further development of youth programs and Christian education that speak to children, youth, and families; Pray with us. First Lutheran seeks a pastor who will work alongside us on those things that matter most to us: To nurture and encourage leaders in all areas; especially to help us rejuvenate a sustainable youth ministry by equipping parents and other adults as leaders; To re-focus our vision and lead us to realize our goals. To provide scripturally-based, widely relevant messages that connect our faith to other aspects of our life; To help us develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to reach new people and incorporate them in the life of the church; To increase opportunities for Christian education and spiritual formation at every age and stage of life; To lead us to greater external impact beyond the church; To engage members in the care of others in their time of need and provide pastoral care in life s final chapter; First Lutheran seeks a pastor who: Is an effective communicator; Works well with children & youth; Tries new and/or creative means to accomplish mission; 5

6 Willingly shares leadership and work as a team when called to do so. Is there anything you have not mentioned, that you believe would be important for a future Pastoral Leader to know about your congregation? Worship - The Sunday 9:15 AM contemporary service has grown to be the largest and youngest. This trend has presented challenges to continue to grow this service and meet the needs of younger members and families Lay Leadership While we include the nurturing and development of leaders as an integral part of pastoral tasks, First Lutheran is blessed to already have strong leaders in a number of key roles. Lay leaders are integral to the success of our Give a Child a Chance program, recent Imagine! capital campaign fundraising activities, coordination of Greater Portland Family Promise support, annual Once Upon a Holiday Christmas fair, and much more. Imagine! The church planned, funded and built a new kitchen and is in the midst of a capital campaign to refurbish the Sanctuary. Both require consensus building, commitment of time and money and are an impetus to look outward to the surrounding community. The kitchen was designed to allow more flexibility in whom we can serve, and the new sanctuary is designed to be more welcoming. Our campaign to renovate the sanctuary will provide for: Reconfiguring of the chancel area to make it more accessible New, durable carpeting Improved, energy efficient lighting Energy efficient windows that open A beautiful new background accentuating the cross More flexible seating Changes to the exterior entrance on Auburn Street to make it more attractive and welcoming Synod Association First Lutheran pledges annual financial support to the ELCA New England Synod and enjoys a close relationship with them through the training of lay leaders. A number of our lay leaders have attended the New England School of Lay Ministry [ an innovative program designed to give adult students an opportunity to grow in their faith for the purpose of personal spiritual development, biblical enrichment, and life-long learning. First Lutheran Children s Programs The Preschool at First Lutheran Church was established in They began with an enrollment of 20 children ages 4 and 5. Today, 60 children attend the Toddler and Preschool programs alone. The School Age Care program was started in 1989 to meet the ever-growing demands of working parents. It began with attendance of 25 youth and has reached a current enrollment of 55 youth in the Before and After Care Program. Today, FLCP offers enrichment programs through the school year meeting the developmental needs of children ages 12 months to 12 years, as well as a Christian-based camp during the summer months. While First Lutheran Church and our Children s Programs share facilities and overlap objectives, the program maintains its own budget, staff, and schedule. 6

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