“To everything there is a season….”
In 2011, Higher Things’ Board of Directors enacted bylaw and policy revisions that brought our organizational structure into better alignment with our mission and values. Included among these revisions were term limits for officers and directors, thereby ensuring a steady turnover of leadership and an infusion of fresh thinking and energy.
Although technically “grandfathered” from these term limits, I have chosen to respect their spirit and intent by not seeking reelection as president of Higher Things. My desire is to serve the remaining year of my term as a director in support of the new president. I thank the board for honoring this desire.
I am proud of what we have accomplished together under God’s immeasurable grace. Higher Things has emerged into adulthood as an organization. What began as a small startup venture among friends has grown and matured into a sizable network of pastors and congregations and an organization of staff and volunteers that is able to sustain a high level of activity. The Higher Things “brand” has become synonymous with liturgical and confessional youth ministry that takes worship, theology and fun seriously while keeping them properly distinct.
I look forward to my dear friend and colleague Pr. George Borghardt taking the reigns of organizational leadership. Pr. Borghardt has served Higher Things tirelessly over the years, most recently as our indefatigable conference executive. He brings to the board a boundless creativity and a long track record of working with our church’s youth. He will add a valuable dimension of outreach and relationship-building to the office of president.
The vacated position of conference executive will be filled by Ms. Sandra Ostapowich, who has been our conference coordinator. In her new position, she will not only continue her present responsibilities, but will be in a position to develop programs and personnel to take Higher Things conferences and retreats to the next level. This central area of Higher Things could not be in more capable hands.
I have learned much over my 8 years with Higher Things as a director, vice-president, and president. I treasure every Higher Things moment. I have had the pleasure to work with some of the most Gospel-crazy justified sinners one could ever hope to meet. I have made many treasured friendships. I have watched young people grow into mature adulthood, get married, start families, launch vocations, and take their place in church, home, and society. I have seen the living Word of God at work and have been privileged to be an instrument in delivering that Word. I have received far more than I have given.
I hope to continue to be a part of Higher Things’ future, whether by writing, speaking, preaching, or presiding. I thank the Board of Directors for placing its confidence in me and entrusting to me its chair and the task of publicly representing Higher Things these past several years. I pray that our Lord would continue to richly bless our church’s youth through the activities of Higher Things as we work together with parents, pastors, and congregations toward establishing a solidly Lutheran identity in our youth.
Stay Lutheran, my friends.
Rev. William M. Cwirla, President