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This month I wanted to take a moment to bring you up to date on some recent developments with our Lay Ministry program here at Saint John’s. When I began serving as vacancy pastor several months ago, one of the programs that deserved attention and direction was this important ministry to our members.

Lay ministers are an arm of the pastoral office, serving under the direction of the pastor to assist with the spiritual care of our members and also the distribution of Holy Communion during our worship services. Each Lay Minister is assigned a group of families or individuals as their “flock.” They are responsible for caring for the members of their flock in a special way as the need arises. They are to promote the fellowship of our congregation to their members by sharing the love of Christ with those in their care.

In order to continue to strengthen and develop this ministry to our members, the following changes have been made in recent months. Lay Ministry meetings are now held on the second Saturday of every month, giving us the structure necessary to make sure we are carrying out our responsibilities and communicating the needs of our members. Kevin and Ruth Seiler agreed to assist me in handling the administrative aspects of the Lay Ministry program. Their wonderful gifts for organization have already had a positive impact on our work. I have also asked every Lay Minister to send out a personal letter to their flock so that our members know who their Lay Minister is and how to stay in touch.

One of the most important parts of our life together is the care of members who are either home-bound or in nursing homes. We are currently instituting a new program to train our Lay Ministers to distribute the consecrated elements from Holy Communion to members of their flock who are unable to come to church. While this practice is new to us, it has been carried out in many Lutheran congregations where the need for assistance in spiritual care arises. This additional care by our Lay Ministers will be in addition to my responsibilities to visit as many of our members as possible who are either home-bound or in nursing homes.

Please keep our Lay Ministry program in your prayers. These folks are fellow members who have agreed to take on additional duties to help continue to make Saint John’s a place where the words of Jesus are put into action every day. May our gracious God continue to make His kingdom come among us!

Rev. Ron Nickel is Vacancy Pastor at Saint John’s Lutheran Church. You can reach him in the church office, by email at or at 970-482-5316.