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Shift Ministry Models

Carrying Successes Forward (Learning from the Lab)

Celebrating accomplishments from this past year
by Lee Ann Pomrenke | January 22, 2021

We know that:

  1. church leaders need opportunities to be congratulated on their successes, and
  2. we can learn from and build upon projects that turned out well in upcoming seasons.

So, we asked Learning Lab participants to share what they were proud of themselves or their congregations for doing during the Advent or Christmas seasons.

Here is some of what we heard!

We are proud of:

  • making virtual opportunities a priority

  • all the congregations that figured out how to support local communities with their donations and giveaways

  • collaboration with other congregations and community non-profits on outdoor events and online devotions

  • how worshipers embraced “walking worship” services, at a time of year when we are very attached to long-held traditions

  • re-using virtual special music throughout the season as well as for the big cantata opportunity

  • decorating the sanctuary with filming in mind and an opportunity for pre-registered pods to spend time in the sanctuary with all safety protocols observed and appreciated

  • assembling gift bags of meaningful seasonal items for every household

  • pods caroling outside of elders’ homes

  • inviting members to pick up cards from the church to send to homebound members

  • parking lot worship with FM transmitters

  • video children’s pageants with no stage fright and relatives from all over watching

  • personal contact and devotions with those who do not have access to online worship

Your Turn

As we look ahead to Lent and Easter, which of these ideas or your own from Advent or Christmas will you be adapting? Join the conversation in the Learning Lab



About the Author

Lee Ann Pomrenke

Lee Ann M. Pomrenke is an interim pastor in the St. Paul Area Synod of the ELCA, digital content editor for The Faith+Leader, and author of Embodied: Clergy Women and the Solidarity of a Mothering God (Church Publishing, Inc, 2020). She also blogs at

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