Every year University Lutheran adopts an “Annual Focus”. The annual focus is both a plan and a touchstone for our congregation. This year’s annual focus is “Wise Unto Salvation” and comes from St. Paul’s words to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:15 – “From childhood you have been acquainted with the Sacred Writings which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.”
What is “Wise Unto Salvation” all about?
Not surprisingly, this annual focus is all about wisdom. In a world where being a Christian is no longer seen as an essentially “wise” choice, we focus on the wisdom found in Scripture. We look to how God would have us live, and while repenting for foolish and unwise ways of being the Church, we seek restoration of His Kingdom – which finally comes with Jesus Christ’s return in glory. Until that day, we seek to “look carefully how we walk, not as unwise, but as wise.” (Ephesians 5)
What wisdom is there in the Church?
The Church and her teachings about Jesus Christ are filled with wisdom. After all, God made this world and everything in it – He knows how to act in it. But far too often, we have stripped His wise ways of their meaning and have made the behaviors of the Church into empty “religiousity”. This year we want to especially answer the question “Why?” to all of the things that we do – seeking God’s wisdom in things of the Church like the sacraments, tithing, justification by faith alone, prayer, the church year and lectionary, and much much more.
Are there goals for this Annual Focus?
Every annual focus at University Lutheran comes with goals. These goals are things that our staff and interested congregation members try to accomplish in the annual focus year. This year, our goals include:
+ Production of a better “Living the Lectionary”. This devotional tool from University Lutheran has so much potential for the lives of our congregation members and alumni. It is our vision to continue to produce the Living the Lectionary content – the readings from Sunday and how we can interact with them in our daily lives – so that it can be used by individuals and small groups. We have in mind many possibilities, including a separate website, a video or podcast feed, and/or a print publication like a magazine. It is our hope to create something that we can use here locally, as well as provide for Christians throughout our circle of influence.
+ Establishment of University Lutheran “Locals”. Jesus says, “Whenever two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in their midst.” (Matthew 18) We want to encourage groups of two or three people to gather together in specific local areas on campus and throughout Tallahassee. It is our hope that these small groups will then use our “Living the Lectionary” content together as well as seek the good of the local area that they meet in.
+ Grow our alumni association, the LutherNole Network, from 30 to 100 alumni. After starting this network in our GIFTED year, we now look towards growing the network. The LutherNole Network seeks to not only connect our alumni back to the mission of University Lutheran, but also to connect them with one another so that they can support one another in their vocations in places like New York, Atlanta, Washington DC, Texas, Oregon, and beyond.
+ Create a “Mission Sustainability and Growth” thinktank team. One of the things that we have noticed in the past several years has been that our budget has been under some strain. This has led us to look to the wisdom of creating a specific team of people that will be looking far into our future concerning things like: staffing concerns, stewardship, family ministry, and student ministry.
We look forward to your support in prayer, as well as in talent, time, and generosity. We think it is going to be a very exciting year. If you are interested in being a part of what we’re doing with these goals, please let me know – I would love for you to be a part of the excitement when we celebrate how God worked through us in these things during the 2015-2016 Church Year.