2022 brought Southwood a few steps away from the season of COVID and several steps further into a new season of shared ministry. Much preparation was put into place in recognition of Pastor Greg’s retirement, which allowed for Southwood’s worship, ministry, mission, care and administrative efforts to stay in rhythm throughout a busy year.
As a congregation, we’ve come to recognize our new environment in a post-pandemic world. Sixty-six percent has become a familiar metric with attendance at in-person worship and events at about two-thirds of pre-COVID programming. Online worship is a strong alternative providing opportunities to meet people where they are and even expand our reach around the country and world.
Throughout 2022, Southwood’s Church Council and Call Committee have worked in tandem with the Nebraska Synod on identifying candidates for our Senior Pastor opening. When that will happen appears to be God’s timing. And God’s timing can come in ways we don’t expect, but always in ways which bless.
I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this shared ministry!
All confirmed, communing, and contributing members of the congregation are urged to join together for a celebration of God’s blessings upon Southwood, and to conduct the annual congregational meeting. At this meeting, we’ll be making decisions about Southwood’s future, including our 2023 budget and election of our Church Council members.
Opportunities to sing in the Mixed Choir, Men’s Chorus, and Women’s Chorus with only a few rehearsals provide easy entry-level ways for people to engage in choir.
Children in 3rd -5th grade also had the opportunity to sing in a short-term choir this summer and fall. These will continue to be offered in 2023.
Southwood began a bell ministry in partnership with Yankee Hill Village (33rd & Yankee Hill) this past summer.
Throughout this past year handbells have been used in worship in a variety of ways including accompanying hymns and choir anthems.
650 participants enjoyed the Women’s Spring Retreat, the Fall Festival and the Pride Picnic.
220 Small Group participants enjoyed the benefits of faith growth through group studies. 200 Fellowship Group participants enjoyed the benefits of social gatherings as part of our Widows/Widowers, Singles, Coffee Chats, MOPS and Seniors groups.
681 volunteers welcomed attendees on Sunday mornings. A Lunch & Learn event was held to show appreciation and provide updated training.
405 children registered for Sunday School
325 children registered for Vacation Bible School
268 people made a difference in children's lives:
68 new student Bibles
200+ children and family members attended
220 students and 40 volunteers participated.
70 students participated in gatherings and/or retreats and mission trips.
32 students served in Sunday School.
10 students led DELVE groups for our middle school students.
Between Sunday School, mission trips, and community service, our Youth have served a total of 3,000 volunteer hours for the sake of others.
30 students involved in Sunday Morning volunteer opportunities.
Took our first-ever Young Adult Global trip to our sister church in Honduras in March 2022 with 10 attendees.
Held at Southwood
161 prayer shawls
66 baby blankets
Care Ministry hosted 3 congregational events in the Fall:
70 requests received
during Thanksgiving and Christmas (consistent with the last 3 years)
Make a donation to Southwood through a one-time gift or as a recurring gift.
95% of budgeted income received totaling $3.06 million
Over $28,000 received
100% dedicated to our global mission partners
$3,000 dedicated to our hunger mission partners
$26,000 received and dedicated to our community mission partners
$12,000 donated by Southwood members to this fund
Used to help people in financial need in our community
Southwood Lutheran is currently calling a new Senior Pastor. This is a special time in the life of our congregation. It is a time filled with hope and expectation, of questioning and consideration. It can also be a time of anxiety. As a congregation, we have the opportunity to work together to identify a leader for our church.