Our first Governing Board Meeting of the year was held on Thursday, September 27. Read on for a summary of the meeting, information about new governors, and an update on all our campuses from President Carlos Leyrer...
Last week, our Governing Board gathered for our first meeting of the 2018-19 school year. We welcomed three new members: Pastor Dave Bivens of Sienna Plantation, Mr. Robert Timmerman of Santa Rita Ranch, and Pastor Ben Kuerth, Coordinating Pastor of Divine Savior Ministries. We pray for God's blessings on these new governors and thank Him for the continued service of all our governors.
Doral: We continue to praise God for the blessings of a great staff and a growing ministry to 980 students and their families at Divine Savior Academy. We are excited that Divine Savior Church is working hard to harvest the mission field that the Academy creates. Coordinating Pastor Ben Kuerth shared results of the Spiritual Life Surveys from our DSA students and families. The results were a compelling reminder of how much ministry is happening on our campus and how many opportunities God continues to provide. We discussed the need for a campus pastor to the Academy. The intention is to call one this year, and as we work through the call system we leave this in God's hands.
Head of Early Childhood Shawna Mehlberg and Head of Schools Tim Biesterfeld shared thoughts on how to grow our early childhood enrollment through targeted marketing and open houses. New programs were discussed, and we rejoiced in our first ever class of over one hundred students. Above all, we are grateful for the many people committed to making this ministry work on a daily basis. Gospel seeds are being planted in our community through the excellent work of our faculty and staff. God has been very, very good to us!
Delray Beach: The building is open, and children are hearing about Jesus! We celebrated with a school grand opening event to the community on September 23. Mission accomplished; however, it was not without its challenges. Due to delays, permitting, and construction issues, the campus is behind schedule. We began the school year on September 13, but, as to be expected, this affected our enrollment. We do believe it will continue to grow throughout the year and remain very optimistic about God's plans in Delray. We have an excellent, committed staff excited to reach the Delray community.
Divine Savior Church - Delray Beach now has a beautiful and functional place for worship. The Delray/Pompano group has been somewhat nomadic for the last three years. They are now home and are excited to have a permanent address to do ministry. They have been worshipping in the building for about a month and attendance has been increasing each week. Pastor Joel Schulz had an awesome church dedication service on September 23, and it is clear that God is going to do great things through the DSC - Delray team. Praise the Lord!
West Palm Beach: A ministry update from Pastor John Boggs
"Divine Savior Church in West Palm Beach had a busy summer: adjusting to ministry from two pastors to one, our DS Youth attending the WELS International Youth Rally and Camp South, and a midweek family Bible study night that proved a wonderful opportunity for our congregation to get together and CONNECT with one another while gathered around our God's Word. Ministry has not slowed down this fall, as we "work the plan" for our 2018-19 ministry plan, conduct a self-study for all areas of our ministry to make better use of available resources, and rejoice in the ministry our gracious God has given us in our little corner of South Florida. Whether it's our DS Seniors preparing for a special veterans' event in November, our Pumpkin Patch and Harvest Fest throughout this month, or our monthly Jesus Cares Worship at the Cross service, there is something for everyone at our church. What confidence our God give us always, keeping us in his tender care and leading us forward in his most holy name."
Sienna Plantation: They are off and running as a DS campus. In retrospect, it's incredible what transpired in just over 5 months. The merge was approved on February 11th, and the building rededicated on July 14! This included over a major renovation of their current facilities, a complete rebranding, the creation of an early childhood program, and the list goes on. We are thankful for the tireless work of all involved across the Divine Savior Family.
The campus has been blessed. Enrollment is at 98 students. This is up from 76 students inherited from Sienna Lutheran Academy. We believe we'll surpass the previous high enrollment of 101 a few years ago. Thank you, Jesus! We have a great staff in Sienna. They are talented, energetic, and excited to move this ministry forward as part of DSM.
In late October, we will begin planning a Phase II for the campus. This is required by the community, as they seek to see how we will grow and expand over the course of the next 5-10 years. We have no timeline as to construction, but it is clear they will be out of room sooner than later in their current facilities.
DSC - Sienna Plantation is worshipping under the leadership of Pastor Dave Bivens and finding ways to continue growing through the partnership with the other DSCs. Santa Rita: The building is designed. It now needs to be engineered. We have built a team of contractors and consultants to get the job done. We feel very good about this group. The current timeline is to begin construction this spring and open for the 2020-21 school year.
God's hand has been evident in this project. We have a great team in Santa Rita, we were gifted over 1.2 MM in land in a wonderful growing community, and generous donors have come forward to help make this ministry a reality. We do still have hurdles to clear before construction can happen, so we ask that you keep this ministry in your prayers as it continues moving forward.
We formed three committees on the Governing Board (Core Values, Policy Uniformity, Financial) to help us best address the blessings and challenges we will face as a multi-site ministry. These are not the only issues to be discussed, but rather a manageable first step as we work to be good stewards of all God has given us.
Pastor Carlos Leyrer, M.Div., MBA
President - Divine Savior Ministries