Pastor Mark’s March Blog

 

Pastor Mark’s March 2020 Blog . . .

 

 

5th SUNDAY WORSHIP

Sunday, March 29, 2020 – 9:45 a.m.

 

For the past few years, we have taken advantage of the 5th Sunday’s of the month and have worshipped as one body. Typically, we have gathered for a shortened worship service in the sanctuary and then eat breakfast together in the fellowship hall. 5th Sunday celebrations were halted during the remodel project because we had no place to eat together. Now that the fellowship hall is finished, we are planning a twist.  March 29    we will hold our worship service in the fellowship hall. Following the service, we will then share an extended coffee hour together.

For the past months, we have talked about the many and various ways we can use our new space for mission. I am going to talk more about that on the 29th. Not only will we talk about mission, but also experience worship together as mission in this new space.

As more groups have been using this space, positive feedback continues to pour in. People who have attended The Gathering Place meals, ConneXion events, Youth activities, and fellowship time have all been very pleased with the renovation. It’s an exciting time!

 

The Season of Lent is fast approaching.

Ash Wednesday will arrive next week, February 26, 2020.

We will be exploring a series by Adam Hamilton, entitled, “Simon Peter: Flawed yet Faithful Disciple”.

Peter was not rich or educated, but was familiar with hard work. He was quick-tempered and impetuous, but possessed a passion that would change the world. He left everything to follow his teacher, yet struggled with doubt and fear. We will follow and learn from Peter, through the highs and lows.  We can identify with much of Peter’s journey. And we have much to learn and be inspired by this full throttle follower of Jesus Christ.

Come, join the journey! Lenten ConneXion (Ash Wednesday) begins with dinner on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 6:00 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 


Pastor’s July Blog

 
Pastor Mark’s July Newsletter Blog
 
“On Our Way Rejoicing”
 
As a boy, I can remember my dad often choosing hymn number 260, “On Our Way Rejoicing”, as our sending song in worship.  This hymn was an upbeat, celebratory song that always put an exclamation point on the service and energized us to move forward.
 
The refrain declares, “On our way rejoicing; As we forward move, Hearken to our praises, O blest God of love!”  
 
On June 9, 2019, Our Saviour’s Lutheran congregation met to discuss and vote upon the proposed plan to remodel our fellowship hall and fireside room. We gathered together for one worship service and the place was packed. You could feel the vibe and excitement in the room (which, to be honest, I wasn’t sure how the whole morning would go. We had done our homework, been on our knees in prayer – yet still we were not sure how the congregation, as a whole felt about the project.)
 
After a great time of worship, the table was set, and we feasted with a great breakfast. Then our President, Ken Christoferson, opened our meeting and gave an overall scope of the project. Marv Hansen, our project manager, then focused on all the details and particulars of the remodel. I followed trying to focus upon the “why” of this effort – to further strengthen our mission and ministry in our church and into our community. Annette Bowden then discussed the funds necessary and a vision for how this could be accomplished.  
 
Then a motion was made and a vote was taken to consider this remodel project.
 
Overwhelmingly the congregation approved the effort with a vote of 118-2. And we went on our way, rejoicing!
 
That day, commitment cards were passed out and on the following day cards were mailed out for those who could not attend. Annette explained that to begin the project, we would need to raise $200,000 in pledges to be given by September 30, 2019. Those pledges were to be made on the “green” commitment cards. The “yellow” commitment card is for a 3-year pledge, that would cover the remainder of the construction costs of $170,000.
 
It is now 7 days after our congregational meeting and to date Sheri, our treasurer, who is the only one who will count these cards, has communicated that we have received pledges on the green cards of $148,844 – that’s 74.4% of our initial fund raising goal of $200,000! 
 
Are you rejoicing? I CAN’T HEAR YOU! How exciting and what a wonderful expression of enthusiasm from our congregation to see this kind of generous giving so quickly. Yes, we still have a way to go – but it is very exciting as we forward move. May God hearken to our praises, O blest God of love!
 
On the day of our vote, I told two stories involving Pastor Tony Campolo, pointing to the power and purpose of why we are here as a church and why we do what we do. Whether remodel or not, we are here to bring the message of reconciliation from Jesus Christ to a lost and broken world. And we have been given the opportunity and privilege to participate in His mission.
 
I close with one final Tony Campolo story:  Tony was giving a major address at a women’s conference. At a point in the program the women were being challenged with a several thousand dollar goal for their mission project, the chairperson for the day turned to Dr. Campolo and asked him if he would pray for God’s blessing on the women as they considered what they might do to achieve their goal.
 
To her astonishment, he went to the podium and graciously declined. He said, “You already have the necessary resources to complete this project right here in this room. The necessary gifts are in your hands. As soon as we take the offering and underwrite this project, then we will thank God for freeing us to be generous, responsible and accountable stewards.”
 
When the offering was taken, the mission goal was overreached. Then Dr. Campolo led them in a joyous prayer and song of thanksgiving. I wonder if the song was, “On Our Way Rejoicing”?
 
Thank you for your partnership and participation. More specifically, thank you for your partnership and participation in the mission of the Gospel.
 
In all that we do, may Jesus Christ be honored, glorified and praised.
 
Join us Sunday, June 30th at 9:45 a.m. in the fellowship hall  – as we eat breakfast together, hear from Sheri the results of our progress and then sing together,  “On our way rejoicing; as we forward move, Hearken to our praises, O blest God of love!”
 
Yours in Christ,
 
Pastor Mark