Pastor’s January Message

HappyNewYear

All joking aside, this is an important time for us as Christians.  The New Year helps us remember that we are always made new in Christ Jesus.  The good news is that we don’t have to wait to change the calendar on December 31.  Rather, we get to realize this every single day as we are baptized children of God.

Beginning fresh and new is truly a gift from God, yet so many things seem to get in the way of us fully realizing it.  What prevents us from being renewed and being the people that God created us to be?  My sense is that the answer will be different for each one of us.  However, I do believe there are similar patterns that can be addressed to clear a straight path.

To begin this conversation, the Social Ministry Committee will begin a luggage drive that will help transitioning children in difficult times.  The program is aptly called, “Let Go of your Baggage.”  What other baggage do we carry around that prevents us from fully living into our calling?

I confess to you that I have an issue with clutter.  This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise as I’m sure that you have been in my office…  To this end, I plan to immerse myself in reading and learning about decluttering as a spiritual practice.  First on my list will be reading Unstuff: Decluttering Your Home, Mind, and Soul by Ruth Soukup. I have every intention of sharing what I learn through my calling to preach and to teach.

I invite you to join me in this journey as we all strive to live faithfully in the new year.

Peace,

Pastor Julie

Pastor’s December Message

looking toward advent

Will you be ready for the light, ready for the light to shine upon you?

Will you be ready for the light, ready for the light to shine?

Will you be watching? 

Will you be listening?

Will you hear the angels sing?

Will you be waiting? 

Will you be searching for a Savior and a King?

Mark Patterson

Dear friends,

We now enter the darkest time of the year.  The days are certainly growing shorter and the nights seem to last an eternity.  World events keep our hearts and minds in dark places, as well.

In this darkness, there is hope.  For the Light is coming as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior who is the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords.

The Light of the world is coming, this is most certainly true.  However, the simple lyrics of this children’s Christmas song help us focus on our preparation for that great joy.  Martin Luther’s explanation of the Third Petition of the Lord’s Prayer states:   God’s good and gracious will comes about without our prayer, but we ask in this prayer that it may also come about in and among us.  The season of Advent is a gift to us.  It helps us prepare ourselves for the coming of the Light, that it will come about in and among us.  We are then able to reflect this light, this hope to the entire world.

Come; prepare yourselves for this great joy.  Join us as we celebrate the coming of the Light at our Christmas Eve service at 7:30 p.m.

Much peace to you all,

Pastor Julie

Jesus, light of the world, hope and salvation for all the earth,

Jesus, light of the world, from every nation we come to celebrate your birth.

Pastor’s November Message

from pastors desk

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, …that he may teach us his ways.”  Isaiah 2:3.  “…It is necessary to hear the Word of God constantly, in order that our feelings may be enlightened…Christians must live every day by the Word as the body lives by food…The heart is always grinding.  If the grain, namely, the Word of God, is good, the flour will be good, and the bread will be good.”  From Daily Readings from Luther’s Writings, selected and edited by Barbara Owen.

“The heart is always grinding…”…life and death, sin and Jesus’ righteousness…sinner and saint…lost and found.  Our hearts are grinding, and our church year in November brings much of the grinding to our ears and our hearts.  We remember All Saints, Christ the King…Christ’s return, the end of the age, and Thanksgiving.  Indeed, a full month that runs full circle around our human experience.

The end of the church year and the readings we will hear as we come together around God’s Word look to the end.  Do we live and look with anticipation, or do we hold back, putting on the brakes as we are directed to Christ’s return?  Living in the now, and yet waiting, this is a part of the grinding of our hearts.

The last Sundays in our church year will confront us with life and death, death and resurrection.  The readings will bring out the fearful child in each of us AND the comfort and challenge of the faithful adult.

Living as God’s sinner/saint means living a common life with uncommon generosity, and realizing that it is God alone who can make us righteous people.  I invite you to use the days of November as an opportunity to acknowledge the grinding of your heart, and to consider the places that we might “come to the mountain”, to be fed and nourished by God’s Word.

Peace,

Pastor Julie