I’m hanging out at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mandeville, Louisiana this week, because they asked. It’s a big commitment out of the year, but they heard me saying recently that I missed the rhythm of the parish and asked me to spend a week enjoying theirs.

Here’s what it looks like:

Bishop’s Hosanna Events


Drive to New Orleans

7– 8:30pm Church Council Meeting


7:15 am – ALPHA Leadership Mtg

9-1 – Bayou Conference Gathering

1:00 – Preachers Meeting for Sunday Message

2:00 – Meet with Byron

3:00 – Select hymns for early service. Begin work on prayers.

6-8:30pm – ALPHA 1 (first night)



9-3 – Sermon prep

11:30 – Staff lunch

3:00 – Preacher’s Insert for small group discussions of sermon due in office.

7:00 – Divorce Care group (may skip)


9-2 – Write lectionary blog post, wrote prayers, prepare presentation for women’s retreat Friday.

2pmSunday’sPrayers of the Church due to office.

7– 8:30pm – Financial Peace University (50-80 people)


A few non-Hosanna appointments perhaps

7pm – Hosanna Women’s Retreat




9am – Traditional Service – (70-80 av. attendance

10:30 – Contemporary Service (220-245 av. attendance)

Evening – Youth nite: confirmation and senior high, 50 or so kids (may skip)

Thanks to Bob & Linda Busfield who are housing me for the week. Pastors Chris Christopher and Diana Booren make a good team. Gifts differing. Note the pastors share an office (with a fireplace no less).

Council meeting tonight ran about an hour and a half. Matthew, the president ran an efficient meeting. Relaxed atmosphere. This is not an old-fashioned committee-reports-to-the-whole governance. No standing committee reports. More overarching concern over the general direction of the church. Devotions, financials, property, an update on the database redux and some staffing issues.

2010 – 242
2011 – 260
2012 – 281
2013 – 300+ so far

The budget is built around the five purposes: Worship, Fellowship, Ministry, Evangelism, Discipleship. Hosanna has a history of focusing on evangelism. Worship is prepared with newcomers in mind.

Hosanna celebrated finishing 2012 $30K in the black. Last year 28% of giving was online. January 2013 21% of giving is online.

They are in a capital campaign to raise $400K in debt retirement. So far they are up to $372K. Once they meet that they are going for an additional $300K for some bricks and mortar capital improvement.

We closed with the Lord’s Prayer. Side conversations started and were still going when I left. It’s nice sitting in a healthy, enjoyable council meeting where things are going well and people are enjoying their work together.

More tomorrow.