Faith Lutheran News

From the Pastor’s Desk…

From the Pastor’s Desk…

Greetings children of God.

Mark 1: 16-17 – “As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people.’”

Last week, Philip invited his brother Nathanael to “Come and see” after he told him about Jesus. This week, Jesus extends the invitation to Andrew and Simon as he says to them, “Follow me.” Both of these phrases are non-threatening. They are kind, warm invitations. That’s it; nothing fancy, nothing heroic; just a simple invitation. This is what we are called to do, invite others to experience how Jesus works in the world and in our lives and to experience Jesus for themselves.

As I said last week, it’s difficult for many people to summon the courage to do this, even when it involves inviting family or friends. Have you actually found something that’s important to you at church and can you name it? If you can’t answer yes and say what it is, that may be the issue. I’m willing to bet that y’all have found something important to you at church; the problem is you’ve never been asked to say what it is. So I’m asking you that again this week. What is your favorite thing about the life we share in this community of faith? And would you be willing to invite someone you know to “follow me” or “come and see,” and share this aspect of our congregational life that you enjoy? You can email me your answers or write them on a notecard, bring them to church and put them in the collection plate, or you can send them through the mail, or you can keep the answers to yourself if it makes you feel vulnerable to provide that information. I ask these questions because it’s important to be able to identify for yourselves what elements of the congregation draw you to come to church in order to help you imagine inviting others to come, see and share what they appreciate.

As an FYI…Noelle is having knee surgery this Friday. Please keep her in your prayers.

Reminder – Our congregational meeting is this Sunday and will be much different than last year. We’ll meet after worship in our sanctuary, broadcast it on the TV in our fellowship hall, for those who wish to stay in the parking lot it will be on the radio, and we’ll have virtual access via Zoom. The annual report is available for pick up in the office. We will not be reading through every report like we did last year. Please review the reports and note any questions, corrections or concerns you have, that way when we get to that report, your questions can be addressed. The main focus of our meeting this year will be discussing and voting on our revised constitution and voting on a quote for repairing the structural issues and replacing the roof on the parsonage.

I will email the Zoom link and invitation to our annual meeting this Friday. If you do not already have Zoom on your computer or smartphone, there are a couple steps involved with downloading it. It’s a simple process (if I can do it, anyone can) and only takes a few minutes to do. I highly recommend doing this before the meeting just in case you have any technical or technology issues.

Our current constitution mandates that our vote must be by written ballot. For those attending virtually via Zoom, once you are in the meeting, at the bottom of the screen in the middle you will see a “chat” bubble. Click on that and it will open a chat window to the right of your screen where you can type in questions, concerns, or comments. This is the feature you will use to vote. Once the chat window is open, at the bottom of the window you will see “To: Everyone v.” Click on the drop down arrow and select “Host.” This is the only person who will be able to see your vote. The host is our Council Vice President Niki Wasserman. If there is more than one person in your household that is a voting member, each person’s name needs to accompany their vote.

As previously mentioned, our meeting this year is going to be different and I’m sure there will be logistical issues that we will encounter along the way. Please know that we will do our best to address any issues as quickly as we can. Your patience is greatly appreciated.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Tim

Faith Formation at Home from Bishop Daniel

Faith Formation at Home from Bishop Daniel

I want to share Bishop Daniel’s thoughts on this with y’all.

Dear Friends in Christ,

“Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).

 

On Sunday morning September 27, I led worship at St. Paul, Jenera. For the children’s message, I simply read the story “Words or Actions?” based on Matthew 21:23-32 in the Whirl Story Bible. After the story I mentioned to the congregation that one of my earliest memories as a child is of my grandmother reading Bible stories to me from a children’s Bible. I then encouraged the grandparents and parents present to take the time to read Bible stories to their children and grandchildren.

The response to that simple encouragement caught me off guard. There were many comments after worship and two e-mails. “Bishop, I do that every time my grandkids visit!” “That’s a great idea. We’ll start today!” “What was the name of that Bible you used? And where can we get one?” A long e-mail arrived on Monday from a woman sharing her memories of sitting with her grandma who read her Bible story after Bible story.

This simple encouragement (which I’ve shared in many parishes) was heard in a new way on Sunday morning and I’m trying to sort out why? Surely the COVID-19 pandemic plays a part. And a longing for a simpler time, perhaps. Or maybe God is reminding us once again, of the importance of faith formation in our homes.

The Rev. Dr. David Anderson is a Lutheran pastor who serves as the co-director of Milestones Ministry. This is a ministry committed to faith formation in the church and in the home. “A healthy church is a church that practices faith at home!” I am intrigued by Pastor Anderson’s five principles of faith formation.

1.      Faith is formed by the power of the Holy Spirit through personal, trusted relationships – often in our own homes.

2.      The church is a living partnership between the ministry of the congregation and ministry of the home.

3.       Where Christ is present in faith, the home is church, too!

4.      Faith is caught more than it is taught.

5.      If we want Christian children and youth, we need Christian adults who practice the faith with them.

As you reflect on the words from Deuteronomy 6 above, what are some of the ways we have encouraged our children to keep God’s Word in their hearts and on their minds?

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Tim

This just in…

This just in…

Greetings children of God,

This year, the NWOS is inviting everyone to join them in 2021, as they read through the entire New Testament in Chronological Order. Not Matthew to Revelation, but James to Revelation. You may be surprised to know that many of the New Testament Letters were composed before the Gospels were written. You can click on the link below to get the daily reading guide. Spending time reading God’s Word daily is something we should all do and many times, it feels daunting or more like a task, something we have to do instead of something we want to do, because we’re not sure how long we should read for or how much we should read. The daily reading guide for the New Testament solves those issues as the readings are a chapter a day, sometimes less. Reading a chapter a day takes about 3-5 minutes and after reading, I encourage you to spend some time reflecting on what you’ve read. You may just be surprised as to what you think, feel or experience. I look forward to this journey with you.

God’s blessings,

Pastor Tim

https://files.constantcontact.com/8f1c062f001/00c3b4ce-9a87-42a3-8bbf-52b4da8cdadf.pdf