from the pastor's desk

Dear People of God…in Lent and in Transition,

 

Lent means Spring.  It’s a season of renewal and growth, but it’s also a time of pruning away the dead branches and wood so that new growth has room to thrive.  So, a few thoughts:

1. Sometimes there’s a season of growth:   So this Lenten season let’s all choose 1 thing to practice in order to grow spiritually.  Maybe we do that by coming to the Lenten Soup Suppers & Midweek worship services, or by finding an online devotional to follow, or by committing to a regular time of prayer (this doesn’t have to be a long time BTW). 

2.    Growth over time:  The confirmation class will be helping to serve the Wed-Soup Suppers.  Some of the monies will go toward paying for their confirmation retreat that concludes their classes this spring.  Though the end is in sight, we have about two months of classes left, as well as their retreat.  As Pastor Joy Armstrong & I teach the class about the Bible, the Small Catechism, pray with the students, mentor them, introduce them to ways that they can volunteer at the church, & brain-storm about the retreat, we hold these dear students in our hearts.  Will you pray for these young disciples of Jesus as they make their final preparations to “affirm their baptism?”

3.     Sometimes growth is exciting:  This congregation is making preparations to call their next pastor!  The Transition Team has begun meeting!  The congregation will have the opportunity to attend a forum & give their input!  Next, all staff job descriptions will be updated.  A call committee will be chosen, & they will begin their work of updating the congregational profile, & work with the synod to set up interview potential pastors!  (Notice all of the exclamation points!!!)?   During Lent, please pray for the Transition Team & Call Committee as they do this important work! "

4.    Growth can bring new life & health:  In a healthy system there are both clear boundaries and clear expectations (this applies to the individuals as well as the teams/committees in any given system).  Boundaries limit what one does, expectations spell out what that same person (or team/committee) is to do.  When these boundaries and expectations are known and followed by the system, the system functions more effectively and efficiently.  Yet our culture, “church” culture, doesn’t always do this well, because, well, we think we’re supposed to be “nice Christians” (read: we avoid dealing with messy issues).  Communication about boundaries & expectations need to be happening in a clear and direct manner, often repeatedly.   Know this, growth in this area will be challenging, yet, clear & followed boundaries & expectations will enable this congregation to carry out their mission.

 

May the Lord bless us & keep us, during this season of growth, change & pruning!

Pastor Nancy Hong

joyful news

Dearly Beloved, grace to you and peace from God our Creator and Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

 

It is February Two thousand and twenty- three. January seems to have flown by. I am told that time passes quickly as one ages. This is most certainly true. It is also true that we will continue to celebrate the season of Epiphany in February. Then we will celebrate Transfiguration Sunday. At the close of the service, with the help of the children, we will bury the alleluia”.

 

During the season of Lent, the declaration of “Alleluia” is omitted from all liturgies, only to re-emerge at Easter, when the resurrection is proclaimed. Many congregations “bury the Alleluia” as a symbolic gesture at the beginning of Lent, marking the solemnity of the season about to begin.

 

Kathy Rye and I are working with the different agencies to discover what assistance is available and how we might assist those who are in need, homeless, loss of electricity … I have been in contact with Pastor Handsaker at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in regard to this assistance. I can tell you that Our Savior’s is on the list to be called in the event of an electrical outage. What that means is a place to charge cell phones, to obtain water, and warmth for a couple of hours. If you are interested in joining this group, please let Kathy or myself know.

 

As I pray each morning I am reminded of these words from Mathew 1:39.

Jesus said to the disciples, “Come and See.” “Come and See” is our invitation to be present during Lenten services as we share a meal and then worship service. Come and see what the Lord is doing in Our Saviors and in our community.

 

Finally, with my whole heart, I give thanks for your prayers and your presence.

 

I live and work with these words from Matthew.

    You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37

 

 

Pastor Joy