Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We’re pleased and gratified to announce that the members of Bethlehem Lutheran Church Twin Cities have voted to call Pastor Mary Pechauer and Pastor Ben Cieslik to serve as our co-senior pastors. The official vote total was 606 in favor and 14 opposed, or 97.7% yes.
I’m convinced that Mary and Ben are the right pastors to lead the next chapter in the life of Bethlehem and I’m excited by the possibilities ahead of us.
I’m thankful that Bethlehem—and the former Minnetonka Lutheran—have a long history of great discussion and debate followed by unity in Christ after our collective decisions.
This is not an easy time for Christian churches. Indifference to faith seems to be growing, but Bethlehem has members and leaders who are firmly committed to sharing God’s love. Together we will connect even more people with God, each other, and their mission in the world.
I also want to share my gratitude for Pastors Kris Tostengard Michel, Bob Wertz, and Meta Herrick Carlson, our dedicated staff members, our leaders, and all of our committed and faithful members.
I close by asking each of you to pray for Mary and Ben and for the work of Bethlehem in the weeks and months ahead. Thanks be to God.
Dave Raymond, council president
There are so many stories that we are told each and every day. Some are true and some are false, but sometimes it’s hard to tell one from the other. We don’t have all the answers, but we think there are some important clues that can help us figure things out together.
September 17 – Exodus 32: 1-14 – Sundays are Great for Sleeping In
September 24 – Exodus 3: 1-17 – Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way
October 1- Exodus 34: 1-10 – I Fought the Law and the Law Won
October 8 – Exodus 14: 5-16, 27-30 and Romans 6: 1-5 – If One is Good, More is Better
October 15 – Exodus 16: 1-5, 22-32 and 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26 – You Are What You Eat
October 22 – Deuteronomy 6: 4-9 – Everybody’s Working for the Weekend
October 29 – Genesis 21: 9 -21 and Romans 3: 21-30 – Life is Earned, Not Given
There will be a special congregational meeting on Sunday, September 17, 2017 to vote on the call committee’s recommendation to call Pastor Mary Pechauer and Pastor Ben Cieslik as co-senior pastors. The meeting will convene immediately after the 8:00 am service and then reconvene after each of the four following services. Times and locations are detailed below.
The bylaws do not permit absentee voting but we will make provision for electronic voting, by means of speaker phone, for those who are out of town or homebound on September 17. If you wish to participate electronically please make your request no later than September 8, 2017. We need to know your first and second choice of meeting time, your mailing address or email address, and the phone number where we can call you at the start of the meeting. You can make this request by email to [email protected] or by calling either church office: Minnetonka 952-935-3419 or Minneapolis 612-312-3400.
Voting will be by written ballot. The ushers will serve as tellers, and the vote totals will be announced in an email on September 18. In accord with the bylaws, no other business can be considered at this special meeting. The bylaws state that “The congregation shall have the exclusive and final power to call a pastor to fill the position of Senior Pastor upon recommendation of the Call Committee. The exercise of this power shall require an affirmative vote by two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting at a special meeting of the congregation called for that purpose.”
The agenda for each session is below:
1) Convene or Reconvene
3) Read the motion adopted by the council on August 22: “MOVED, that the congregation of Bethlehem Lutheran Church Twin Cities, abundantly blessed by our Lord with leaders of vision and insight, and mindful of our mission to develop and equip disciples of Jesus Christ to live out their mission in the world, and to make disciples of all nations, note the unanimous enthusiasm of the Call Committee and our Council for this action, accept the Call Committee’s recommendation and call Pastor Ben Cieslik and Pastor Mary Pechauer to serve as our Co-Senior Pastors for our journey ahead.”
4) Second the motion
5) Questions or discussion, if any
7) Suspend or Adjourn
We urge you to attend one of the forums with Pastors Mary and Ben before the meeting: Minnetonka – Wednesday, September 6 at 7:30 pm (right after the bonfire) Minneapolis – Sunday, September 10 at 11:45 am in IversonAs we said before, time for discussion at the meetings is limited but we invite and welcome your questions and comments at one of the forums or by talking with any council or call committee member. And please continue to pray for God’s guidance as we move forward.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church Twin Cities
Notice of Special Congregational Meeting – September 17, 2017
By resolution adopted at its meeting on August 22, 2017, your Council has called a special congregational meeting as follows:
Date: September 17, 2017
Times and Locations:
Minneapolis Sessions – Sanctuary, 4100 Lyndale Avenue South
Meetings 8:50- 9:00, 10:05- 10:15, 11:20- 11:30, 7:50 pm- 8:00 pm
Minnetonka Session – Sanctuary, 16023 Minnetonka Boulevard, 10:30 am – 10:50 am
Subject: Action upon recommendation of the Call Committee to call Pastor Mary Pechauer and Pastor Ben Cieslik as co- senior pastors for the congregation.Bylaw Requirement: Bylaw Section 6.1 provides in pertinent part as follows: “The congregation shall have the exclusive and final power to call a pastor to fill the position of Senior Pastor upon recommendation of the Call Committee. The exercise of this power shall require an affirmative vote by two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting at a special meeting of the congregation called for that purpose.”
Procedure: Voting will be by written ballot. No other business will be considered at this special meeting. The meeting will consist of five sessions, each at the indicated time and location. Ushers will serve as tellers and count number of ballots cast to determine if the necessary affirmative votes have been cast. Our Bylaws do not permit absentee or proxy voting for this meeting.