From Pastor Dave Dockweiler
Grace and Peace to you all!
What a wonderful time to be the church. There are a number of exciting things happening in our family of faith that I would love to tell you about. By the time you read this, our Trivia night will have happened. Through funding from Thrivent (the financial arm of the national church, and our local representative Rob Headley) we have hosted a fun-fundraiser all for the benefit of Koinonia (our outdoor ministry center). I feel this is a great example of the church helping in a time of need. Koinonia is working through a destructive fire and I have to give kudos to the staff and leadership of Koinonia for re-envisioning their campus and their ministry.
First communion instruction and reception is right around the corner. Many young people will be learning about what we believe God is doing through the act of communion, how we receive the presence of God in our lives and what we should do because of God’s presence in our lives. Historically, communion instruction happens in the 4th or 5th grade, it is my intention to continue this practice. However, you hear me say “all is ready and all are welcome,” every week. Communion instruction is not required to receive, it is my job to place the bodily presence of God into the open hands of worshipers. My policy is, if someone opens their hands at the rail, I put bread in it.
Our high school young people are finalizing their plans for the National Gathering in Houston Texas this summer. When I was young my church did not participate in this event. My first experience with the Gathering was when I held a position just like Judy’s (our youth director). Walking into the Georgia Dome in Atlanta I was amazed, shocked and in awe of the size of our church. All I had known was our local youth group, to see that this small group was attached to a massive church was unreal. I am praying for our youth and invite you to do the same.
I have also been thanking God for our church council. This group of men and women have begun peering ahead into the future to wonder and seek God’s way for our community. We have begun the efforts of putting together 2 mission trips for next summer. The first is open to high school aged youth called “Group Workcamp.” This is a weeklong home repair camp run through an amazing non-denominational Christian organization. The 2nd, is open to all adults and college people, I hope to lead a group to San Lucas Toliman Guatemala. San Lucas Mission, a Catholic Parish, was founded in 1584 (not a typo) and has been serving the impoverished area around Lake Atilan ever since. This is a church that knows how to host groups and has been doing it for years.
I have lead 5 trips to San Lucas and love this community. If either of these opportunities interests you, please talk to me, or see the tables in the gathering space for more information. Dates and costs for both trips are still being determined, but cost should NOT be a reason for you to back out. We will be doing some fundraising for both trips.
As you can see we are a busy place, bustling with life as a vibrant community of faith. Bless you for being part of this church and for welcoming your friends and neighbors to come visit with you!
See you on Sunday,