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Lutheran Church of Honolulu, 1730 Punahou St., Honolulu, HI 96822; ELCA; 808-941-2566

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Identified “Norms” at Lutheran Church of Honolulu

November 2005

By making explicit our ways of doing things, we can make conscious decisions to keep a norm we like, or change one that we don’t.

Please add to the list and share your additions with the Ministry Plan Task Force as we continue this planning process.

  1. LCH has a very high standard for worship and music.
  2. Members are expected to be welcoming and open-minded to people with diverse lifestyles and members as well expect to be welcomed by the congregation.
  3. There is a reserved feeling towards newcomers, more so in the 10:30 service, as well as a feeling of “welcomeness” within the church towards newcomers.
  4. LCH relies/depends on members to help newcomers navigate through the service materials (bulletin, hymnals, etc.)
  5. LCH has been called “the gay church,” and therefore seen as being accepting of most walks of life / lifestyles.
  6. The congregation expects the order of service to be consistent, but accepts occasional changes.
  7. The formal worship service at 10:30 has more resources and is the anchor for worship at LCH. The congregation expects it to remain formal.
  8. The LCH congregation is open to new styles / formats of worship, but expects them to be high quality.
  9. LCH has one service in the summer time and the congregation accepts the alternating 8:00 / 10:30 worship formats.
  10. The liturgy and music is determined by the Minister of Music with input from other sources. There is no process for the congregation to suggest changes to the worship format.
  11. Worship at LCH does not happen without multiple handout and hymnal resources.
  12. Many ministries and programs start and continue because of one person with a passion.
  13. When a program is sustained by primarily one person and that passionate person leaves/moves on, the program may cease (this is for programs that are different from “official” ministries of the church).
  14. We have no systematic, ongoing way of letting people (especially newcomers) know what the ministry or program actually does, who to talk to, or how to become involved.
  15. Expectations of participation in ministries and programs range from “it is critical that you show up and participate” to “if you are interested, we are glad to have you, if you don’t show up, that’s okay too.”
  16. Usually, the Social Ministry Committee determines the social issues to be involved in, though sometimes a social ministry happens because of a person with a passion.
  17. We expect that congregational members have a social conscience about healthcare, food for the poor, and environmental concerns.
  18. Congregation is willing to take a leadership role in the church and community to address social concerns.
  19. Gays and lesbians are accepted and expected to be full participating members of the congregation. This does not necessarily translate into congregation action or advocacy when contrary to the official policy of the ELCA.
  20. Ministerial pay is lower than what synod guidelines recommend.
  21. The norm of being underpaid can be a hardship especially here in Hawaii as ministers are “required” to have their own home equity.
  22. The congregation expects the pastor’s spouse to be personable, friendly and supportive of his or her spouse’s pastorate. The spouse should have his or her own life outside of the congregation.
  23. Normally the pastor is expected to be serious when necessary, have an effective sense of humor, have an understanding of our RIC (Reconciling in Christ) commitment and be in tune with the congregation’s liturgical traditions.
  24. Members may address clergy in the manner they feel comfortable (formal or informal).
  25. Members don’t generally respond to requests for help, but do respond to specific, individual and personal requests, but some people are never asked specifically to help.
  26. Non-members are welcome and openly received and invited to participate, even without membership.
  27. Whatever people can give is graciously accepted, and all are welcome at whatever level of participation.
  28. We don’t spell out expected contributions for members.
  29. LCH is a very generous congregation; members set their own expectations and give additional gifts based on need.
  30. Congregation has a tendency to deal with money problems as they emerge using additional pleas if not enough money has come in through normal giving.
  31. Small staffing budget means greater dependence on members to give their time to church needs.
  32. Our conflicts result from people caring deeply about issues.
  33. On some issues, conflicts are resolved in mature ways.
  34. The current pastor promotes conflict resolution between members.
  35. The congregation tolerates unresolved conflicts.
  36. Confrontational behavior does not happen much; if people don’t agree, they don’t participate or leave the church.
  37. We don’t resolve conflicts by compromise.
  38. Church building is the center of worship/ministry.
  39. Chronic disagreement regarding use of church facility for revenue generation (for example, social ministry, shared ministry, pre-school, concerts, recitals, weddings, rallies etc.)
  40. Little or no congregational interest/understanding in church property issues (depreciation, liability, expense, contracts, codes, administrative red tape, etc.)
  41. We depend on property revenue generation in addition to member giving.
  42. A small number of people provide all of the property building maintenance (most are volunteers).
  43. It is unclear what the role and responsibilities are for youth in the congregation.
  44. LCH is very welcoming toward children and their parents, but the congregation expects parents to “manage” their children during worship.
  45. Monetary resources and volunteerism for children are a low priority for LCH.
  46. LCH gives priority to the pre-school for use of space.
  47. Children are welcomed in the Sunday music program, but there are not mid-week music programs for children.
  48. Children are not expected to attend the entire worship service.
  49. LCH does not have strict expectation on children's behavior and scriptural instruction.
  50. The LCH worship and membership does not reflect the cultural diversity of the islands.
  51. LCH primarily attracts people that grew up with a formal liturgical style of worship.
  52. There are high standards and time-commitment for participation in 10:30 choir.
  53. Resource priorities favor a strong music program.

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1730 Punahou Street, Honolulu, HI 96822 • 808-941-2566
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