The June 16, 2017 Board of Directors' meeting began with a devotion from Matthew 9:35-38. Jesus says here that the Harvest is ready, but the laborers are few. These days the Church seems to be harvesting more people overseas, but what about the harvest here? This is not the time for us to give up, but we should still cultivate and plant. This is the time we consider using new tools for cultivating and "preparing the soil" for people to receive God's Word. Then the Harvest will follow!

The Board heard reports and made decisions to further God's Kingdom in the Ohio District until the Harvest –

District Personnel / Church Workers
+ Mr. Travis Grulke, District Superintendent of Schools, is preparing to become the Superintendent of Schools for the Michigan District. He noted several points about the preparations for his departure: 1. Mr. Kevin Creutz, New Haven, IN has returned the District's call to become the next District Superintendent of Schools. Since all principals have probably signed their contracts by now, the Call Committee should begin the calling process again in October-November, 2017. 2. Several District principals and teachers workers will help maintain the District's work with its schools. Travis' administrative assistant, Sara Krek, is well-acquainted with the necessary workings and documents for the District teachers and schools; she will provide the necessary guidance for the District schools this year 3. Mr. Bob Reisenbichler, a retired principal, will work with the state Department of Education. Travis believes that this group of educators will maintain well the District's ministry to the schools at least for this year.
+ Rev. Dr. Paul Hoffman has been appointed to serve as the District Archivist, replacing Rev. Peeter Pirn. (Pres. Cripe)
+ While the vacancy numbers are down to about 6, more retirements are on the horizon, resulting in more vacancies (Pres. Cripe)

+ Three congregations, Bethany, Erlangen, KY, St. Paul, Liberty, OH, and Concordia, Findlay, OH are taking up the process of revitalization from the Synod called Re:Vitality.
(Pres. Cripe)
+ Rising Hope, an urban mission in Canton, begun by Holy Cross, North Canton, baptized 12 individuals on May 7th. It was an exciting day, especially since the first group to meet consisted of three prostitutes, two drug dealers, and Chad Minor (now SMP vicar) and his wife. The mission meets in a neighborhood school with which they enjoy a very fine relationship. Young families and believers are mentored by older members of Holy Cross.
+ Ebenezer Ethiopian Lutheran Church has purchased their own building. They have been looking for new quarters for over a year.
+ Christ Lutheran Church, Cleveland, moved into its new building on Bellaire, which was given to them by the remaining members of Puritas Lutheran Church. Pastor Kavouras reports a remarkable spirit among the members, as they have refurbished and continue to improve their building.
+ President Cripe continues to monitor the status of Recognized Synodical Organizations (RSOs). He recently renewed RSO status to Luther Memorial School in
Cleveland and will consider other organizations for their RSO status.

+ Mrs. Lisa Rachul, District Treasurer reported on several items: 1. The District's mission support was down slightly compared to this period last year She will continue to monitor the budget. 2. The District's unrestricted cash is down slightly as a result of the payoff of the loan with LCEF for the Ohio District building renovation. 3 The merger between the Ohio District Lutheran Church Extension Fund (ODLCEF) and the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) has been completed and now new processes are in place for the reimbursement of expenses. We received $25,341 a month as reimbursement for shared costs. The final amount to be returned to the District as remuneration for the merger is $1,414,661.70. The District executive staff is in the process of reviewing options for the investment and use of these funds.
+ Lisa is also negotiating with Sunset Memorial Cemetery concerning the possible sale of the District office. The local cemetery people are interested in purchasing the building, but the national office is lukewarm about this.

Board Actions
+ The Performance Development Committee of the Board plans to develop an evaluation of the District President using an experimental survey from Survey Monkey®. The Committee will present this survey at both the Pastors' and the Teachers' conferences.
+ Several members expressed concerns about the effectiveness of the Board's communication with District pastors and congregations. It was suggested that the Performance Development Committee craft a survey using Survey Monkey® which would ask District pastors and congregations their opinions about the Board's communications. Several board members will also meet to suggest some practical ways for the Board to communicate more effectively with its constituents.

NEXT BOARD MEETING: September 8, 2017 at the District Office, Olmsted Falls, OH