From the Pastor

When Jesus calls his first disciples, he calls them to leave what they know and try a new kind of life. And he said to them The last year has been a year of our congregation taking steps of faith down a path knowing that we cannot see its conclusion. The mission year got started when we gathered, prepared and blessed 9 travelers representing 4 different churches to help house, feed and support the people of San Lucas Toliman Guatemala.

We had some changes on our council. I blessed and celebrated the stepping down of multiple council members upon learning of the struggles they were facing. God provides, every leadership transition, although difficult, has resulted in a realignment of the leadership team that can address the current demands.

We took some steps in faith in ways we have never done before. Our church took part in two outreach events that were new to us, and demonstrated that A. we survived, B. it was pretty fun and C. everyone brings something positive to the table. The Outreach team worked a table at the Jefferson Valley Mall and increased awareness of our church to the greater community. Building on this experience, we hosted a beverage station at the San Gennaro Festival and not only increased our presence in the community but netted (pun intended) over $1000 for our church.

We have welcomed many new friends into the community. Our Sunday School teacher crew now includes teachers who are multi-decade members of the church and new comers who have dove right in. You should get to know John Leisher who within about a year went from first time visitor to council member, AV team member and all-around awesome guy. Shake hands with any of the Hedke family and you’ll meet people who were greeted as newcomers and are now regulars in both Sunday School and church events. Norma, this sweet soft spoken disciple is a blessing to everyone she interacts with, again moving from first time visitor to a pillar of support for our church. Talk to Joan, whose life took her away from church for a while and after her hesitatingly return she found a warm-welcoming group. I could continue but I think you get the idea.

In worship we launched a major overhaul of our Biblical understanding as we shifted from the traditional lectionary to the Narrative Lectionary. Might not sound like a lot, but meant that we have heard and learned stories from the Old Testament that many haven’t heard since their own Sunday School days. This also ushered in a revived interested in personal Biblical literacy to which we made time in our worship schedule allowing a weekly Bible study. We often need to bring out more chairs and sometimes entire tables to accommodate our Bible study group. You should come, we have had some great conversations empowering our faith.

Funerals, and spending time with the sick and their loved ones are a sacred part of my calling to this place. These are often deeply meaningful times and have lasting impacts on how the family members see our church or their life within our church.

Thank you, for calling me your pastor. It is a title I hold with deep humility and honor. I am so blessed to be part of this awesome church!

See you Sunday, Pastor Dave

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