Call Committee Update
October 10, 2021
We are looking forward to Pastor Kevin DeHope and his family arriving in Topeka in early December. He is unsure of the exact date but hopes to be in the office the week of December 6. They have rented a house which will give them some time to become familiar with Topeka before deciding on a permanent residence.
Pastor DeHope will be installed at 3:00pm Sunday afternoon Dec 12 with a reception to follow. Please continue to keep him and his family in your prayers as they embark on this journey.
Celebrating God's answer to our prayers,
Greg Hoglund and Janis Kitchen,
Co-Chairs, Call Committee
September 8, 2021
Pastor DeHope, his wife Alicia and their children, 4 year old Leah and 1 year old Joshua, will be arriving in Topeka for a visit the evening of Wednesday, September 15. The Call Committee will be hosting a come-and-go reception for the congregation on Thursday, September 16, from 4:30-6:00pm. Please stop by and meet Pastor DeHope and his family. We want them to experience the friendly, caring personality of our members as he prays for God's discernment regarding this Divine Call.
Greg Hoglund and Janis Kitchen,
Co-Chairs, Call Committee
September 2, 2021
The Call Committee would like to thank the members who attended the congregational meeting Sunday evening for the questions, answers, and support they offered regarding extending a divine call to Pastor Kevin DeHope. After a unanimous decision to extend the call, a phone call was placed to him. Pastor Mark Schulz, Greg Hoglund and Janis Kitchen were present on that call. Pastor DeHope expressed his appreciation and said he and his wife would give it prayerful consideration.
Since that time, there have been a couple follow-up phone calls with Pastor DeHope. He had some additional questions which have been answered in full. He and his wife are considering a trip here; but as of this time, this has not been confirmed or finalized.
Again, thank you for your continued support of this process.
Blessings on your day,
Janis Kitchen and Greg Hoglund
Co-Chairs, Call Committee
Who is Prince of Peace?
The Call Committee put together the below document that describes who Prince of Peace is. The purpose of this document is to provide this to those pastors from a call list so that they know about us before we speak to them
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and Preschool, Topeka, Kansas
A Church with a Rich History and Great Potential
Proclaim the Living Christ and Live the Peace of Christ
Prince of Peace (POP) Lutheran Church is a body of believers who were brought together in 1987 as the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod sought to plant a mission church in southwest Topeka. The core membership began with 37 members and was led by an ordained minister who had spent many years as a missionary in Taiwan. Our core value was to be “a church not just in the community but for the community.” Within 10 years POP had grown to a membership of well over 800 men, women, and children. At that time, the average age of our members including children was 25. Our members included District Presidents and Executives. Besides the senior pastor, there was a full complement of paid staff helping to execute all the functions of a thriving, young church. During the past 32 years, we have been blessed with three full-time Senior Pastors, several Assistant Pastors, DCE’s, Administrative Staff, a Parish Nurse, Lay Ministers, and hundreds of caring and supporting congregation members.
Our preschool has been in existence for over 30 years. It was chartered one year after the church building dedication. It is well known for its outstanding High-Scope curriculum, and its dedicated Director and teachers. It is a community leader in early childhood education and Christian education. In addition, each year parents, teachers and congregation members raise thousands of dollars to support the school’s and teachers’ needs.
MEMBERSHIP, YOUNG ADULTS AND CHILDREN
Over the last 10 years, POP has shown a decline in membership, particularly in the area of young adults and children. However, our Vacation Bible School and Trunk-or-Treat have excellent participation. We are seeking ways to better understand how to improve our overall membership while building upon our young adult and children’s programs.
FACILITIES AND FINANCES
Geographically, POP is sitting on prime real estate valued at over three million dollars and is surrounded with thriving neighborhoods. Our multi-functional worship space and education buildings are debt free. We are currently undertaking a capital campaign to fund the purchase of two boilers that had to be recently replaced after 30 years of use. We have borrowed $150,000 to pay for the boilers but are optimistic that this debt can be paid off at the completion of the capital campaign. We have substantial savings for operating costs, ministry programs and special needs from memorial funds. Our current baptized membership is almost 300. Our current financial challenge is regular stewardship and church attendance.
COMMITMENTS AND CORE VALUES
POP recognizes the opportunities that appear to be just within our grasp and are committed to doing all we can to work side by side with each other and our church staff to achieve astounding results in reversing the declining membership and to re-engage our core value of being “a church not just in the community but for the community.” Our commitment to bringing others to Christ is strong. Accepting, caring, and welcoming are words that describe Prince of Peace.
COMMUNITIES AND OUTREACH
As we have seen the businesses and surrounding communities changing so have the wants and needs of our members and visitors. In hindsight, these member and visitor needs have not been addressed and supported in a way that would help us to maintain our membership and outreach to the community. We recognize this and are seeking a Pastor who can lead us to build upon our strengths while leveraging the strong commitment of a significant number of members.
PREVIOUS THREE-YEAR JOURNEY
Our previous full-time Pastor retired almost three years ago, and we have been supported by three very caring and experienced vacancy Pastors and one Intentional Interim Pastor who was called for one year. The Intentional Interim Pastor completed his call in December 2020. He helped us to update our constitution, by-laws, policies, and procedures, restructure our board of directors and took us through a challenging spiritual journey all during the Covid pandemic. He also helped us to establish a new Call Committee. That Call Committee is working full time to help our congregation call a pastor that is not only right for us but right for the pastor and his family.
CONGREGATION SELF STUDY AND PRIORITIES
Also, the Intentional Interim Pastor helped us to better understand through a congregation self-study, our strengths and challenges, and the type of Pastor that would be best suited for our wants, needs and culture of the congregation. Those findings are reflected in the following priorities:
- Worship, preaching content and delivery
- Leadership through people skills, communication, initiative, and innovation
- Outreach and community involvement
- Children and family ministry
These findings also reflected a congregation that observed “close communion” celebrated weekly in the name of Jesus through five key points in our bulletin of welcoming those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Those five key points follow:
In Jesus’ name we welcome all those to the communion table who:
- Acknowledge Jesus Christ as their personal Savior from sin.
- Can discern the Lord’s Body and Blood as truly present, together with the bread and wine as taught by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.
- Can examine themselves and repent, as instructed in the Scriptures.
- Have faith in the words of Jesus, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins”, as embodying the purpose of the Sacrament.
- And look to the Lord only for His help to change their lives.
WOMEN SERVING IN MINISTRIES
The findings also stressed the continued involvement of women in our worship as readers and assisting with communion, leadership of boards and officer positions, while respecting women are not to be placed in offices which call upon them to carry out the specific functions of the pastoral office. Our practice regarding the use of LCMS-trained Lay Assistants in reading liturgy is and will be determined by the preference of the Pastor.
GOD’S BLESSING AS YOU CONSIDER OUR CALL PROCESS TO PRINCE OF PEACE
We have the talent, resources, structure, and desires to grow again. We are seeking a Pastor who can lead and teach us how to do it again. We hope you will consider our Call process for your talents and desires to walk with us. God’s Blessings as you consider being a part of our Call process.