The most important key to achieving great success is to decide upon your goal and launch, get started, take action, move” 

– John Wooden (1910-2010)

John Wooden (1910-2010) remains an inspiring figure for me. While he is known for his tremendous success as a college basketball coach, Wooden was a man of devout faith that shaped his approach to life.  Wooden would win an unprecedented 10 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championships and was elected to the National Basketball Hall of Fame.  In addition to his stellar coaching career he is widely known for developing what he termed the ‘pyramid of success.’  The pyramid was his approach to developing character in his players through an emphasis on character traits and practices including friendship, loyalty, cooperation, and industriousness. You can view the pyramid at and copies are available on the narthex bridge.

Wooden’s daughter, Nan Wooden, recounted how Wooden’s pastor visited the ailing coach and asked him, “Coach, you love the Lord, don’t you?”  His reply was “I’m working on it.”  ‘I’m working on it’ was a fundamental component of Wooden’s philosophy on life and faith.  Whether improving in basketball, developing character, fostering relationships with loved ones and friends, or maturing in one’s faith, Wooden understood it was a process. Each process  began with a first step and a decision to take action.

The beginning of a new year is a time for reflection on the past, an embracing of present opportunities and setting goals for the future.  As I reflect on the past year at Christ Lutheran Church, I give thanks to God for the efforts and energy of the faithful.  Over the last year the congregation achieved a number of goals while continuing the long tradition of worshipping and serve the Triune God.  I want to begin by thanking all  who attend worship and offer their thanks and praise to God.  Our congregation is edified and strengthened by collective voices in prayer, song, and confession.  Thanks to all who contributed their time and talents as worship leaders, committee members, and hospitable social ministry volunteers. Thanks to all who contributed financially to support the ministries of Christ Lutheran.  Without your faithful gifts of time, talent, and treasure the many ministries of the congregation would not be able to take place. This year also brought the call of Pastor Jay Eckman and the hiring of Cantor Cameron Wentz.  Their presence and ministries have begun to infuse new energy and possibilities into our life together.

Again, this new year many of us will set personal resolutions and goals.  Such goal setting is helpful and important as we seek to change, grow, and improve our lives.  As Christians we believe that the grace and mercy of God are constantly at work to refresh and renew us.  Setting goals can help us to respond more faithfully and generously to the gifts of God’s mercy, love and grace. 

With the completion of many goals set forth in the 2015 mission study, the congregation council has begun to pray and consider the next goals and mission direction for Christ Lutheran Church.  The council will be giving thought and reflection to the congregation’s future and a two year mission plan.  They intend to share their ideas and reflections at the annual meeting.  At that time the congregation will be invited to share their thoughts and hopes.   In many ways the annual meeting will be an opportunity to discuss and set the congregation’s new year’s resolutions and goals.  Whatever the congregation determines, John Wooden’s words inspire us to launch and get moving towards growing and deepening our missional response and faithful commitment to our timeless and gracious God.

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Stephen Herr