calendar November 20, 2012 in Roster

From the Deans: Sharing God’s Blessings


In this column, Pastor Hilgendorf shares some of the ways the congregations (and social ministry organization) in the Northeast Conference have collaborated to support shared ministries, worship and do business together and hold joint youth programs, while having fun together and even saving some money on insurance and supplies. How could the congregations and leaders in your conference network for your mutual benefit? – Editor.


PlantIt_magnet2012.inddThey sang: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
and thanksgiving and honor
and power and strength belong to our God
forever and ever! Amen.” – Revelation 7:12

In the Northeast Philadelphia Conference, we have shared God’s blessings together for the last several  years in new and different ways.  Using Revelation 7:12 as an anchor verse, representatives from the Northeast Philadelphia Conference churches came together a few years ago and crafted a shared vision:

“One Body, Many Parts, Discovering and Following God’s Will.”

The eleven churches of the conference, along with Paul’s Run Retirement Community, are together planting and watering Christ’s mission and seeing God’s growth.

We nurture these connections in many ways. Our conference shares a monthly newsletter containing ministry information and activities among the congregations.  We have come together to better serve each both our churches and our communities.  Together, we support ministries: Hope’s Table (located at St Timothy’s); Feast of Justice (located at St John’s); Welcome Place (located at Prince of Peace); Turning Point (located in Rhawnhurst, founded by Redemption & Rhawnhurst Presbyterian) and Tom & Sue MacPherson (of St. John’s) as they represent SEPA Synod as missionaries in Tanzania.

Our Northeast Conference Coordinating Team, functioning as the conference board, meets monthly to discover ways to live out, and continue to support, our common mission.  Our most active is the “Resources Stewardship” group.  This group, representing the congregations who chose to participate, negotiated a very favorable insurance rate resulting in thousands of dollars in savings.  In addition, acting together, congregations now share in ordering office supplies together (at a discount), as well as in planning joint youth events and Confirmation classes.  This group also sponsored a ‘congregational audit training’ for interested persons from a variety of congregations and now those churches are better prepared to conduct annual audits for neighboring congregations.  In addition, we’ve sponsored a few conference-wide worship services, most recently an All Saints service.

This is “work in progress” continues through prayer, ministry-sharing and discerning the movement of the Holy Spirit among us.  We are mightily blessed in God’s venture together.  As we have worked together over the past few years, we will continue to share together the blessings of God at work among us in the Northeast Conference.


The Rev. Kevin Hilgendorf is pastor of St. David’s Lutheran Church and dean of the Northeast Philadelphia Conference.