September 2015 Newsletter Article
September 1, 2015, 12:00 AM
First and foremost I want to say that my family and I are extremely thankful for all that each of you have done in welcoming us into the community of Newberry. Helping us move all our stuff into our new home, continually dropping by with delicious gifts, and pounding us beyond belief! Which, of course is better than it actually sounds! Thank you again for all that you’ve done!
These past few weeks I have also been able to meet some of y’all a little more intimately at our Cottage Meetings that have been held in a few members’ homes. These have been wonderful! If you haven’t signed up yet, I highly encourage you to do so! We’ve shared some great stories, had a lot of laughs, and we have pondered the future of ministry at The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer. We’ve also had some pretty good food too!
I know not everyone will be able to come to these meetings, so I wanted to give a short overview of what we have and will discuss in those meetings – especially as it pertains to my vision of ministry at The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer.
As many of y’all know, I am a get-to kind of person. There are so many things that we feel we have to do that it jades us in how we respond to those aspects of our life. We have to go to work. We have to pay taxes. We have to watch gymnastics whenever it is on – wait, that just might be my house… Either way, when we view things as something we have to do we can approach that as a chore or a bother. However, if we slightly change how we experience things as something we get to do we can experience more joy in it!
I get to come to worship! I get to go to work! I get to watch gymnastics! I get to pay taxes (OK, that might be pushing it a little…). Regardless, when we view an experience as something that we get to do we are more apt to enjoy it and participate fully into it. So, we get to live out our faith through worship, service, and learning! We develop an even greater passion for our faith and our worship to God in all aspects of our life.
Which brings me to my second point. We love our faith and we love our Lord. We love the gift that we have been given in this new and renewed life blessed to us through our baptisms. It isn’t an easy life, but we are free from the trappings of what the world bellows to us. Free from feeling alone, unworthy, and unloved. Through our baptisms we know that we are not alone, that we are deemed fully worthy, and we are deeply loved! We get to live out that passion that springs forth from that love and freedom.
We share our passions with so many people – even strangers! We share our love of certain foods, our favorite schools, sports teams, TV shows, movies, books, and more. We can talk endlessly about those passions in our life. I know from first hand experience because I love to do that too. So, what keeps us from sharing our passion about our faith? What keeps us from the wonderful gift that we have received and that God has freely given to the world in Jesus Christ?
So, where do we discover those opportunities to share that passion? In our service towards God and especially with one another – the full Body of Christ. We get to serve those within this community of faith and those within the community we are privileged to live in. For, even in the years that I was living in Newberry while at the College, I knew that the community and demographic had changed quite a bit and is still changing. There are more children of God in Newberry whose first language isn’t English than ever before. What are those ways that we – as a welcoming community of Christ – can be hospitable to all in our midst? In the service opportunities that we do participate in how can we better share this wonderful gift that we have been given?
I want The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer to be known as the church in Newberry where people know God is at work. The only way for people to know is to share the gift that we have, by being passionate about the service we do because we get to live out this life of faith.
So, that’s my vision for ministry, if y’all want to find out more about what we’ve talked about… I guess you’re going to have to sign-up for one of the remaining days! See y’all there!
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