Logo, company name

Council Members Elected at Congregational Meeting on May 21

The congregation met on Sunday, May 21st, to elect council members, vote on a number of issues, and receive updates on finances, transition activities, and goals and initiatives for 2023. A total of 48 members attended.

Elected to a second two-year term on the council were Jim Gisselquist, Susan Brown, Beth Leaf and Chuck Yount. Chris Armfield was elected for one year to complete the term of Kelly Edwards. Officers for 2023-24 will be Gisselquist (president), Armfield (secretary), Craig Peck (vice president) and Michael Paradise (treasurer).

Thank you to Yount for serving as vice president and to Brown for serving as secretary in 2022-23. Also, thank you to the Nominating Committee for its work in identifying the nominees.

The congregation approved the Mission and Guiding Principles presented by Michelle Tinsley and developed over the past few months with input from the congregation. Thank you to the Transition Team for its efforts to complete our Ministry Site Profile.

Esperanza’s Guiding Principles are:

  • We set our goals guided by God.
  • We welcome all and respect diverse opinions.
  • We deepen our spirituality and put our faith in motion.

Our Mission Statement is:

  • Esperanza Lutheran Church creates authentic connections and a deep sense of belonging as a Christ-centered community.

Pastor Sarah presented the goals and initiatives that the church council had agreed to for 2023. Their intention was to make connections between the Esperanza community and the community that we serve. These initiatives were to be easy to implement and effective in building connections. We hope to learn from each of these initiatives as we move forward.

Esperanza’s initiatives are:

  • Host a “Hope Talk” on teen mental health in August-September 2023.
  • Invite the congregation to reach out to a family member via text once a month in worship to ask for prayer concerns for the rest of 2023.
  • Encourage everyone at Esperanza to learn the names of five new people who are part of our community. These could be visitors, preschool teachers, AA leaders, etc.
  • Have a potluck with all of the groups that meet on the Esperanza campus in October-November 2023, including preschool families, AA members, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Toastmasters, yoga participants, etc.
  • Hold two fellowship events in the Garden of Eatin’ by May 2024.
  • Participate in the Fourth of July Children’s Bicycle Parade in Ahwatukee.
  • Work jointly with the preschool on a project before the end of 2023.

Tom Vega reviewed the proposed ELCA church-wide constitution changes. He had presented the changes at our January 2023 meeting and also had posted them. The congregation approved the changes by vote, thereby aligning Esperanza’s constitution with that of the ELCA.

The congregation also approved two campus repair proposals. The first was to repair the roof on Building D, and the second was to give the Executive Committee, with consultation and recommendations from Denzil Klein, Randy Wright and other informed parties, authorization for emergency repairs to the campus. These repairs are to be limited to no more than $20,000, effective until the May 2024 congregational meeting. Discussion addressed the requirement in Esperanza’s constitution that the church council receive approval from the congregation for any expense greater than $5,000 that was not included in the annual Mission Plan.