Every year University Lutheran adopts an annual focus as a way of centering us on a consistent idea throughout the year. Our annual focus this year is “What Does This Mean?” It is the product of the Council of University Lutheran working together with Pastor Jay to arrive upon a focus for the year that incorporates the exciting 500 year anniversary of the Lutheran movement within Christianity.
The title of the Focus comes from Luther’s classic catechism question, “What does this mean?” and seeks to draw people into a conversation about the meaning of Lutheranism. Biblically, we see this conversation happening in Acts 8:30-31 in the story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch:
So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. (Acts 8:30-31 ESV)
This annual focus will mean that there will be internal and external components to the focus. Philip and Luther both had to know for themselves first what the truth of God was before they explained it to others, either on a chariot ride or via a catechism. After they knew the truth for themselves, they shared it with others, seeking to explain “What does this mean?” to those who could not yet answer that question.
Likewise, we are praying that the result of this year’s annual focus will be to grow in understanding of God’s Word and Lutheran theology with the aim of sharing it with our neighbors.
The specific goals of University Lutheran for this year of “What Does This Mean?” are around the topics of education, visibility, and membership growth.
Education – University Lutheran will be taking a look at offering Lutheran education opportunities during our normal education hour for adults and children, as well as new classes, including an online class that would be available throughout the year.
Visibility – University Lutheran will be seeking to be more visible in four areas: On campus, on the web, on our persons, and in our neighborhood — all culminating with a 500th anniversary celebration in October of 2017.
Membership Growth – University Lutheran will reach out to make membership growth a priority this year, attempting to add 10% (roughly 10 people) to our list of members.
We look forward to a great and exciting year!