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Notes from the Council

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https://unite-production.s3.amazonaws.com/tenants/dslc/pictures/182101/rick_rathert__3_.jpg  As I have explained in previous articles, the By-Laws govern the operation of Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church and School. Officers for various committees are elected or appointed every year. Elected officers serve in their leadership role for 3 years and can be re-elected for one additional consecutive term. When their term ends, they must wait 3 years before being elected again to the same committee, however, they can be elected to a different committee after their term ends. This does not happen often, but at present 3 committee chairmen have served almost continuously on different committees for about 9 years.

Committee chairman (elected and/or appointed) also serve on the Church Council as voting members. From time to time a committee chairperson will “resign” their office due to personal or professional reasons. When that happens the Congregation Chairman has the authority to appoint a new committee leader to finish the term of the person resigning. Presently, 2 members of the church council are appointed.  Typically, the appointed committee person is then elected to a full term at the January Voter’s meeting.

Currently, 9 committees exist, and each has a chairperson who is a voting member of the church council. The Congregation Chairman is the committee chair of the church council.  Pastor attends church council meetings as his schedule allows. The Church Council president (Congregation Chairman) and Pastor do not vote on motions. In the event of a tie vote, the chairman is the tie-breaking vote.

Speaking of meetings, there are a lot of meetings. Every committee meets monthly. The council meets every month except June and November and committee chairs also attend the council meetings. Committee chairpersons are generally active members of Divine Shepherd and they attend many other functions each month, such as worship, Bible studies, school board meetings, choir, chimes, events outside of Divine Shepherd that may affect the congregation, such as Black Hills Circuit meetings, district events, and other meetings. Some committees, such as Evangelism, also have meetings to plan and organize the Harvest Dinner event, Trunk or Treat, and other activities. Elders rotate on a schedule to be the Lay Leader and assist Pastor with worship services. They also are involved with member concerns and meet outside of regular monthly meetings to address these concerns. The trustees meet monthly but also are often at the church to maintain, repair, mow and do other necessary chores. The Congregation Chairman also attends numerous meetings monthly, when invited, or at his discretion as necessary. He works with paid employees, corresponds with outside vendors, regulators, insurers, and handles many routine business items for the church weekly. He also meets with Pastor regularly regarding church business and functions.

Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church and School is a busy place, and it takes many people who are paid, elected, appointed, and called, as well as many volunteers to help the church and school run smoothly. The By-Laws help keep things organized. 

Rick Rathert
Congregation Chairman
Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church and School

Fall 2019 Chairman’s Update



Summer is ending as I write this and the weather is reflecting that in cooler temperatures and rainy days. The weather change prepares us to make the adjustment to fall, and with fall comes so much for us to be thankful for. Cooler weather is one of those things, but beautiful fall colors, the harvest of garden bounty, the beginning of school, and the preparation of yards and homes for winter weather are important activities too. These lead to Thanksgiving and Christmas time when families spend important time together.

At Divine Shepherd fall means the school is busy with lots of children, committees are busy making plans for the Harvest Dinner, Trunk or Treat, and the worship services. Confirmation and Bible studies begin and Wednesday night suppers become busier events, too. The music department, organists, pianists, singers, and chime ringers, begin practicing to give our worship beautiful music, and all of this prepares us and leads to the Advent season.

As we move toward the end of the year the Church Council will begin preparing the budget for 2020 and identifying candidates for nomination to Church Council committees. Long Range planning via the 2025 Vision committee will begin earnestly meeting to look towards the future for Divine Shepherd. The Elders will continue to look to the future as well to be certain that our ministries and missions at Divine Shepherd meet member’s expectations. Planning for 2020 is a big job, and though we have many volunteers, Divine Shepherd is a growing congregation that will always need more member involvement and input. Please contact Melissa, the church secretary, if you have an interest in serving on a committee in any way. One time and recurring opportunities to serve are also on the website, www.divineshep.org, as well as lots of other important and interesting information. Divine Shepherd is your congregation, your church, so don’t hesitate to become involved.

Finally I want to thank all the volunteers who contribute time and talent in so many ways that help make Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church the friendly and inviting place that it is. Without volunteers Divine Shepherd would be a quiet, somber, and lonely place. God wants His people to make a joyful noise in whatever way they can to give life to Divine Shepherd.

Rick Rathert

Congregation Chairman