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Ellison Bay congregation looks within itself

You are a part of a bigger congregation than you might think when looking at Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church in Ellison Bay. This fall, Shepherd of the Bay joined a cohort of 15 other churches as a part of the Thriving Congregations Initiative. Funded by the Lilly Endowment, Pastor Jim Honig says the program helps congregations thin the walls between the church with its members and the entire community. A group within the congregation has been working hard to explore and understand the contexts in which they minister and to gain clarity about the church’s values and missions. They have done this through one-on-one meetings with members to gain information and ideas for the congregation's future. Honig says the program came at an essential time after COVID-19 kept people apart from each other for so long.

Honig believes during the two-year process that they will learn a lot about what is needed to help the congregation prosper, noting that it will take relationships, not programs, to keep it vibrant. 

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