Pastor’s Letter – November 2019 November 4, 2019
November is Thanksgiving Month. It might as well be called God’s Health Month.  For that’s what giving thanks generates  An attitude of gratitude has so many benefits.  Grateful persons experience fewer aches and pains, less depression, better sleep, healthier relationships and less anxiety.  A simple practice like keeping a gratitude journal can be life-changing.  Take five minutes a day and write down things you are thankful for.  This exercise is a prescription for both body and...
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Pastor’s Letter – October 2019 September 30, 2019
In many Christian traditions, a preacher looks out on his congregation and asks, “Does anybody have a testimony?” We have testimonies of a sort every Sunday morning as we gather for worship. Just after announcements comes a time for prayer concerns and joys. We are given a chance to lay before God and our church family something of where our hearts are for any given week. Sometimes a member delivers their testimony through a sermon as...
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Pastor’s Letter – September 2019 September 4, 2019
Sometimes it seems our world is falling apart, keeping us in a constant state of anxiety.  Whatever crisis we face, , it’s nothing compared to the man so frightened by a bear chasing him, he runs off a cliff.  As he’s falling, he grabs a branch.   He looks up and sees the bear leaning over the cliff, clawing at his head, missing only by inches.  As he looks at the branch he is clutching ,...
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Pastor’s Letter – August 2019 July 29, 2019
There is such deep despair in our world.  Have you noticed?  I even know persons in despair over their despair!  They see little hope, not even in the new generation coming up.  What to do other than complain? A reading of Scripture reminds us that it is in times of our despair that God is most likely to step in.  In their 40 years of wilderness wandering, God fed God’s people with daily bread and guided...
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Pastor’s Letter – July 2019 June 25, 2019
Why don’t Lutherans preach “hellfire and damnation”?  It’s in the Bible isn’t it?  Usually when I get that question, it’s other people that the questioner has in mind who need such waking up, seldom themselves. For centuries, the church has used threat of God’s punishment to keep their followers in line.  Why not?  It’s proven to be an effective tool.  “How do you know when you die that you won’t be sent to hell?”  We never...
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Pastor’s Letter – June 2019 May 29, 2019
Few of us have life-changing moments like St. Paul and Martin Luther.  Most of us are on a slow road in our faith development.  God works on us through our relationships.  We learn who we are and who we are not by our experiences with others and our involvement in doing things together. Adult Sunday School closed out the year by participants engaging in an exercise to uncover our gifts as persons.  Some of us turn...
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Pastor’s Letter – May 2019 April 25, 2019
The month of May is our reward for having endured the rigors of winter.     It is the season when life breaks into full bloom  and our hearts break out into praise.  How do we survive the winter times of  our lives?  Think May!  The essence of hope is in the Christian claim, “The best is  yet to come.”  That’s what it says in the Book of Revelation.  It takes a look at how history ends, when God...
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Pastor’s Letter – April 2019 April 8, 2019
Eugene Peterson wrote a book called Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up in Christ.  In it he notes Jesus’ use of the birth metaphor in his exchange with Nicodemus in the Gospel of John.  We use that same metaphor in describing our baptism. Lacking in imagination, Nicodemus had no idea what Jesus was talking about.  But a seed was planted that evening that grew.  Later when Jesus was under attack, Nicodemus came to his defense...
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Pastor’s Letter – March 2019 March 11, 2019
Scripture is full of stories of persons whose lives were changed by experiences of the grace of God.  The most famous is St. Paul who was met by God on the road to Damascus.  Resolving to stamp our Christianity, he became its most ardent supporter.  It’s amazing what happens when God is able to get our attention. During the Sundays of the Lenten season, a new preaching series will feature stories of life-changing encounters with Jesus: ...
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Pastor’s Letter – February 2019 March 11, 2019
Yale University has started a popular new course entitled “A Worthwhile Life.”  Students are challenged to reflect for themselves on how they would like to make a difference in the world; what are reasons they exist; what in their life would they find most fulfilling.  The need for such a course is highlighted by the overwhelming response of Yale students.  It’s amazing such questions rarely come up in our education system One question in the course...
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