Hello, all!

It’s been a long time coming, but I wanted to post an update on what’s going on for the teams at St. Mark who are the M.O.S.T!! 🙂

Before sharing what is below, please know that this communication will not be complete. I know of some teams who were/are set to meet, but I do not know of the outcome(s) taking place. If up-to-date information isn’t below, it could be a mistake or oversight on my part or, perhaps, I haven’t received an update to share. In either way, I ask your forgiveness and to (re-)share what you have so I can be better at communicating items to the team and congregation. Thank you!

Since our meeting on April 11, most teams have had at least one meeting and are progressing nicely!

I was able to share some basics of the ministry structure, purpose, and information with the congregation at the St. Mark annual Voters’ Meeting on Monday, May 18. I also was honored by the invitation extended by the LWML Evening Circle ladies to share about the MOST Ministry. They were very gracious and supportive! I asked if I could start receiving their minutes as they do so much in the way of missions.

A REMINDER:

For this ministry, we want:

  1. An overarching, comprehensive ministry
  2. To involve the whole congregation, not just a pastor or some teams

MINISTRY GOALS:

There will be some tweaking of these goals based on feedback from Pastor Duerr. In the meantime, the goals are:

  1. Join Jesus on His mission by responding to and imitating His love and actions

  2. Grow the faith of those at St. Mark through a habitual life of loving and serving

  3. Be a “good neighbor” in our community – both to individuals and as an entity, transforming lives with the love of Christ

  4. Focus and align the outreach efforts of St. Mark for maximum effectiveness and good

Some team specifics are below.

(01) MOST Home Team

Coordinating and leading the ministry and teams

The Home Team has met twice to go over some of the boundaries (geographic and philosophical) and definitions (“mission,” “outreach,” “service,” “evangelism,” etc.) we will work with regarding the overall ministry. As these solidify, it will help the rest of the teams solidify their work as well.

The team will also have as their guest Pastor Duerr at their next meeting, to share about his Mission and Vision progress so as to keep it in mind when looking at definitions and boundaries.

(02) GIFT Team

Gauging Individuals For Tasks

Evaluating the gifts and desires of those at St. Mark

The team has been in contact with the office to help figure out the best spiritual gifts inventory to use and has settled on one. They are working with the church office (and the DATA Team???) to implement the inventory.

The one that will be used is one that Pastor Duerr has been using with the more recent new member classes already, which should help as we go forward.

There is also agreement that we will need to encourage people to take the inventory as some have done so many different ones at different times. A strategy discussed is having those in the MOST Ministry take the inventory, followed by the staff, elected leaders, and then the rest of the congregation.

It will be important as we move forward to have our senior members as well as our youth take these inventories as well.

(03) CAN Team

Community Assessment of Needs

Evaluating the needs of the community so we can best meet those needs

The CAN Team has been very busy meeting with a lot of community agencies and seeing what is going on in the community.

They have canvassed organizations in the SML area, including (but not limited to):

  1. Spring Branch Transitional Center
  2. Spring Branch Medical Center
  3. Turning Point Ministries
  4. Santa Maria
  5. Trini Mendenhall
  6. The Police substation on Long  Point

They have looked through the Community Needs Assessment Guide as well as the United Way’s assessment to see how they might help.

They are anxious to get some of the boundaries and definitions in place so they can start moving on getting SML involved.

(04) BODY Team

Bonding Organized Disciples for You

Connecting & fostering partnerships with other community churches

Likewise, the BODY Team has been busy seeking ways to get invovled with MAM, LINC Houston, the Food Pantry, and more. Some have also attended the LINC Gala to understand more of what they do. They have also promoted the LINC work day.

This team will also have more to come as the boundaries and definitions are finalized!

(05) CURB Team

Connecting the Unchurched through Relationship Building

Building better, positive, caring relationships with people, as Jesus has done with and for us

I am not currently aware of the recent happenings from the CURB team. Any information the team can share would be great! Thank you!

(06) BOLD Team

Building Outside our Local Domain

Evaluating and working toward a short-term (inter)national mission trip

The BOLD Team has been busy meeting with some sister congregations (like St. Timothy and Salem) to see what they do in the way of international missions. The team will have one of the mission leaders from Salem join them for their next meeting.

 

The group has also been discussing possible partnerships with Pastor Fritsche in the Dominican Republic or Pastor Schuller in Puerto Rico as possibilities.

Finally, the team is looking at the possibility of doing a short mission trip in state as a team to “get their feet wet” so they can better lead the congregation in something later.

(07) FAST

Fight to Abolish Sex Trafficking

Working to end the heinous scourge & share Christ for victory, healing, & grace

The FAST Team has been very busy as well; mostly getting educated on the issues associated with Sex Trafficking.

They have watched two foundational documentaries on the issues and taken a van tour in the Houston area, which pointed out what is happening all around us, right under our noses. Their time with Cat French of Elijah Rising was inspiring and profound. Especially exciting is their vision of purchasing a huge lot – Kendleton – from a now defunct Christian college to serve as a base for recovery for rescued women!

Next month they will attend the Freedom Church Alliance next month and, following that meeting, come up with a game plan for involvement and how we at St. Mark will transform lives with the love of Jesus!

(08) DATA Team

Data Acquisition & Tactical Assessment

Finding the best way to keep track of, analyze, and use data M.O.S.T. generates

I am unaware of current information from this team’s work. If anyone can fill me in, that would be great! Thank you!

(09) LIFT Team

Lovingly Interceding For the Team

Praying for the ministry, teams, and community

I must apologize here. I know how integral this team is, yet I have not been keeping them informed or made specific request of them, even though their prayers are desperately needed!

I seek y’all’s forgiveness in that!

In addition, I ask for the following prayers, please:

  1. That the teams will start to coalesce and fortify their purpose and goals.

  2. That teams which are having struggles with forward momentum will get a “jolt” by the Holy Spirit, energizing and moving them forward and through any present morass.

  3. That I would be able to better and more fully communicate what is happening in the ministry to all the teams as well as to St. Mark.

  4. That the Spirit would guide as to whether or not to combine a couple of groups as well as when to open the groups to involvement by others.

  5. That we can start to move from “planning” and toward “doing!”

FINAL REMARKS:

I hope to start having a much more regular communications to y’all. My thoughts right now are about twice a month. Y’all can help me in this by making sure your team communicates happenings to me first.

Thank you and have a wonderful day in service to Christ, shown through the sharing of the love from Christ, because of the service of Christ!

In Joyful Service with You,
Pastor Scott

Author: Scott Heitshusen

Lutheran (LC-MS) pastor in Sealy, Texas. Amazing wife, Jennifer, since 1991. Two sons, Daniel (b.1999) and Ben (b.2001). Ben has Down syndrome. Wonderful daughter-in-law, Rachel, since 2020. Jesus. Family. Others. Passionate about abolishing sex trafficking.

One Reply to “M.O.S.T. Ministry – June Update”

  1. Rita Schaller says:

    Thanks for the up date. We(B.O.L.D.) have not heard from Kevin Pieper from Salem in response to our invitation but I realized that he is on a mission trip to Honduras! I’m sure he will contact us when he has time. He seemed very sincere in wanting to help us get started with mission trips.

    Reply

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