The Pastor’s Pen – February 2023
Dear Grace Lutheran Church Community,
Grace, mercy and peace be yours from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
We are well into the new year, a month gone now, and life has begun to settle in. Are we back to our routines, or are we still in the “New Year’s Resolution” phase? Maybe some of both! Within the life of the church, routine is often a foreign word!
First, you can see dramatic changes taking place on the west side of church. The new outside approach to the west door is forming and by the time you get your newsletter, all of the concrete should be poured. What a nice addition to make an attractive and functional entrance into our church. Beyond that large project, everything looks pretty “routine!”
Except that in the church, there is little routine. Today the organ tuners are here, so that takes a few minutes away from the routine. Yesterday, a member was preparing for surgery so I went over to their house for a devotion and communion. At other times, I’ll try to work at preparing my sermon and someone calls that a member is in the hospital so I make my way to see them. And at other times, a member stops in my office to get something off their chest. My point is that, while I may plan my day, it rarely turns out the way I had it arranged!
And that’s all okay. If we want to be people-focused (and I do), then the little interruptions and disruptions are okay. Yes, they do put me behind in the routine work I need to do, such as preparing sermons and Bible studies, but the Lord always seems to help me get done what needs to get done! But, as a community here at Grace Lutheran Church, there is more that you can do to help out!
When I arrived here in October 2020, I heard a lot of talk about how the people of Grace wanted to “be the church.” People wanted to take responsibility for the ministry that was done here. I remember talking to Derek Anderson and mentioning to him how great it would be if that were true, and I could actively be the resource person and cheerleader for all the ministry activities. How great it would be if we could accomplish ministry in that way! That’s why it is vitally important that we identify who we are as God’s community here at Grace. What is it that we can focus on and do well with the gifts that God has given us?
At this moment, as your pastor, I NEED YOUR HELP! I spend too much time tired and frustrated at the ministry that is being done, but is being done either late, or when I’m tired (and so not fully present) or when I have a bad attitude about it. I’m confessing to you that all of these thoughts and feeling are real for me. BUT YOU CAN HELP!
We have 27 shut-in visits that someone could help with. I try to get to each person once a month, but sometimes that’s impossible. Do you like to visit? Then you could help. We currently have 6 families that could use a nice meal delivered. Do you like to cook? Then you could help! We are hosting the Nebraska District LLL Convention on March 18. Are you able to set up and take down chairs or tables? Do you like to bake cookies? Do you like making cakes or bars for dessert? Then you could help! Do you like kids? Would you like to be a teacher or a teacher’s helper? Then you could help!
Does it seem like I’m asking for lots of help? I’m sure it does, but that’s who the church is and what it does. It helps! Not just our own members but others in our community. It’s the second great commandment after loving God – Love your neighbor! Helping is part of our identity. How can you do your part?!
In Christ, Pastor Emery
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1100 G Street • Fairbury, NE 68352