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Congregational Council

Lutherans root their vision of church leadership in passages like 1 Corinthians 12:7, 1 Peter 2:9, and Revelation 1:6. All these passages identify the Church as a community of equals where all serve as priests and where pastor and people make different, but equally vital contributions. As a result of this understanding of church leadership, the membership of Mount Calvary elects twelve lay people who serve on the congregational council.

With elections staggered by year as in the United States Senate and officers appointed or elected yearly, those who serve on the council are generally elected to a three-year term, with no more than two, consecutive terms permissible. Working with, rather than for, the pastors, members of the council set Mount Calvary’s vision, fund and staff that vision, measure progress against it, and encourage an interpersonal environment which corresponds to the biblical teaching that the Church is a community of equals, with pastor and people all doing their own, important part.

The congregational council meets on the third Tuesday of every month at 6:30, with all meetings open, except for those which involve confidential matters of personnel and the like. Present members of the congregational council are: Cindy Solarczyk (president), Mark Rychak (vice-president), Kevin Oleksa (secretary), Missy Brodt, Todd Moss, Ruth Pawlowski, Jeff Penrod, Dave Raho, Judy Stinebiser, Jack Weisbrodt, Cara Lonsinger, and Bobbi Ream.

Mutual Ministry Committee

Scripture encourages congregations like Mount Calvary to “be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind,” (Philippians 2:2). Appointed through mutual agreement between pastors and congregational council and generally completing its work privately, the Mutual Ministry Committee’s role is to create and maintain the kind of harmony that St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians says congregations are to have. When bridges need to be built, the committee builds them. When blind spots need to be identified, the committee calls attention to them. When creative tension needs to be resolved, the committee provides an independent reference point. As all of this is done in a fashion that tells the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), the aim is always to build up the body of Christ for mission and ministry (Ephesians 4:12). Present members of the Mutual Ministry Committee are Harold Ashcraft, Shirley Glova, Debbie Thomas, Sherri McQuaide, Tom Rohrabaugh.

All Parish Ministries Committee

Scripture insists that the faith which makes the Church go now and forever is a gift given by the Holy Spirit in places like John 3:5 and 1 Corinthians 12:3 and 7. Though the Spirit, like the wind, blows where and when it will (John 3:8), Christian experience and tradition hold that that Holy Spirit is particularly active when worshippers gather together and around word, water, wine, and bread and when Christians comfort and console one another throughout the ups and downs of life. The All Parish Ministries Committee manages these two, essential functions of congregational life—worship and fellowship. The committee chair position is currently vacant. During even-numbered months, it meets at 6:30 on the third Tuesday, with each meeting lasting no longer than one hour. 

Evangelism Committee

In Scripture, Christ enjoins his Church to make disciples of all nations, to baptize them in the name of the Holy Trinity, and to teach the disciples it makes everything its Lord has commanded (Matthew 28:19-20). The Evangelism Committee’s role is to manage Mount Calvary’s response to this defining mission of the Church. Meeting every month on the first Tuesday at 6:30 and for no longer than one hour, the committee aims to increase public awareness of Mount Calvary and its program, to create a hospitable climate for all, to meet as many spiritual hungers as possible, and to incorporate the skills and perspectives of all in the congregation’s ministry. Newly formed, the committee is growing into its work before a chairperson is selected. 

Property Committee

Scripture states that the Good News of Jesus is housed in clay pots (2 Corinthians 2:7). Mount Calvary’s physical plant is one of these clay pots. Subject to decay and having been reshaped and reformed many times over the years, Mount Calvary’s physical plant is a special place where people gather with one another and around word, water, wine, and bread so that faith, hope, and love might prosper in their lives and in the lives of the wider community. The Property Committee’s role is to ensure that the clay pot which is Mount Calvary’s physical plant is ready for all that the Holy Spirit, congregation members, and a wide array of community partners shall ask of it. The committee is presently chaired by Mark Rychak. It meets every month on the third Tuesday at 6:30, with every meeting limited to one hour. 

Social Ministry Committee

The Social Ministry Committee proceeds from the divine promise that whatever the Church does for society’s most vulnerable it does to and for Jesus (Matthew 25:37-40). Meeting in odd-numbers months on the third Tuesday at 6:30, the committee deliberates for one hour; identifying community needs and devising ways to meet those needs. The committee is presently chaired by Mike Kozak. Recent work has included serving the children of Coopersdale’s public housing units, supporting the Greater Johnstown School District with items of need during COVID-19, and organizing a yearly clothing sale where bags of clothing are sold for just $1. 

Stewardship and Administration Committee

Scripture often speaks of Jesus leaving the Church with time, talents, and treasures which are to be managed faithfully and in ways that serve the good ends desired by God. Sometimes the Church is described as collection of managers stewarding someone else’s household (Matthew 24:45-46) or money (Matthew 25:14-15). On other occasions the church is described as renting a farm from God, with the fruits of faith being expected in return (21:33-39). The basic premise is that the Church is blessed with many gifts born of God’s grace which aren’t to lay idle, but are instead to help congregations like Mount Calvary optimize its mission for Christ’s sake and the glory of God. The Stewardship and Administration Committee’s role is to manage Mount Calvary’s human and non-human gifts with this end in mind; doing anything and everything it can to maximize their reach and effectiveness. Kevin Oleksa presently chairs the committee. 

Youth Committee

In Scripture, Jesus makes it very clear that there’s to be a good and positive place for children in his Church (Mark 10:13-14). The Youth Committee seeks to provide such a place for the youngest participants in Mount Calvary’s life and ministry. Meeting in even-numbered months on the third Tuesday at 6:30 and limiting its in-person meetings to one hour, the committee manages Mount Calvary’s Sunday school and confirmation programs, as it also seeks to organize fellowship and spiritual growth opportunities for children and their parents. Recently growing out of a combination of prior committees, the group has not yet arrived at the appointment of a chairperson. 

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