September Newsletter Pastor's article

I’m hoping you’ll enjoy the updated look of our “Little Lutheran”  newsletter.  Its something I’ve been thinking about trying for some time.  So with the absence of a church secretary and the production of the newsletter in my hands I thought I’d “go for it.”  As always I appreciate your constructive criticism in helping improve this aspect of our communication ministry.  There’s nothing on the books, or in God’s good book, that says we have to stay with this format.

So why this format?  For a while now we’ve had the technology to include photos in our newsletter but seldom taken advantage of it.  I’m hoping to be more intentional from here on out in sharing the message of GLC’s ministry through both words and pictures, (And by pictures I mean more than just clip art.)  I’m thoroughly convinced the old saying is correct “A picture is worth a thousand words”  Why not give people an opportunity to hear a thousand words on the life and ministry of our congregation by sharing a picture?!

On the front cover is a cute photo of Robby Myers and Theo Elwood during church.  Robby is helping Theo with a puzzle they’d picked up from the “Kids Corner” cabinet in the fellowship hall.  I think this picture tells a story of how GLC, despite being a small rural congregation, is still blessed to have children in our midst. 

Thanks to our Christian Ed chairperson, Angie Bowman, and her committee we have a wealth of ideas of how to celebrate and cultivate this blessing. They’ve recruited  a number of members to serve as Sunday School teachers and are ready to get rolling on Rally Day, Sept 9.  The curriculum they’ve selected is called “DigIn” a multifaceted, interactive, and relational program that  this year will focus on the Life of Jesus.  The Bible Buck store is back again this year, to help encourage and reward our kids for attending Sun. School and learning scripture.  As I alluded to above we have a Kids Corner in the fellowship hall filled with books and quiet activities for children to use during church to make our hour long service more palatable for children and more peaceful for parents.  The Christian Ed committee is even working on providing a “children’s church” program during worship where children 2 years to 5 years old will be sent with adult volunteers during the service [probably from the sermon to the passing of the peace) to have a short Christian based activity.  All  these plans and activities try to fulfill Jesus’ command to “Let the children come to me” as well as reflect our mission “to Know Christ and Make Christ Known.”

Yet we know there is much that wars against children being in church, and for that matter there is much that wars against adults being in church:  schedules, trips, sports, illness, laziness...the list is endless.  What good is it to have wonderful Sunday School teachers, dedicated children’s church volunteers, if no kids show up on Sunday?  For that matter, if your worship service shares God’s eternal grace through communion, and vigorously proclaims God’s word through scriptures and sermons, and lifts God’s praises through lovely music and no one comes?  It can make all those good things seem futile.

Whether you’re the care free retiree, empty nester, frantic full nest parent, or footloose young adult, prioritizing church attendance can seem like an endless (or even loosing) battle.  In my estimation there is only one major weapon that effectively combats all the things that war against regular participation in worship.  That weapon is to realize “Its not about me, Its about God.”  That realization is like a double edged sword that cuts through all the objections and rationalizations we come up with.

We nod our head in approval as we hear the positives that recovering addicts talk about when they took that first step in the 12 step recovery program of “Letting Go and Letting God.”  By accepting and prioritizing a “higher power,” their out of control life started falling back into place. Yet, we (the functionally faithful) regularly fail to see the value of starting our week with God, why is that?  Because when we consider going to church the first question we raise is “Is it good/convenient/best for me.”  The thought of going to worship for God’s sake doesn’t even enter the equation.  The act of going to worship should first and foremost be an act of submission to God.   Therefore the questions of “Do I like the pastor/music/liturgy/etc. enough to warrant giving my time?” is taken off the table.  The question becomes God has asked this of me, am I willing to submit my will to his?  Its an important question to answer well.  Come to think of it, its not just a Sunday question, its an every day question!


God’s blessings be upon you,


Pastor Mike