Some Random Pastoral Ponderings…
I’d like to start with a brief reflection:
I do a fair amount of driving as a part of ministry…hospital and nursing home visits, homebound visits, and a fair number of meetings. One day I happened to get stick behind a car that was just creeping along. Now, I’m a fairly patient person, but when I’m driving, that patience seems to vanish in the wind. So zipped around the slowpoke. As I did, I noticed his bumper sticker, which read, “Do you follow Jesus this close?” BUSTED!
It got me thinking, “How close am I following Jesus?” How about you? Are we taking time to “slow down” and spend some time listening to Jesus? Are we in too much of a hurry that we zoom past people in need of a listening ear? Are we so focused on what we need to do and where we need to be that we don’t even see…or think about…the people we pass by who might need some support?
Lent becomes a gift to us…a great time to practice the art of “slowing down”. It offers us the opportunity to make a little extra time to spend with Jesus…to hear the things he has to say about life and love…and maybe to relax enough that we can feel ourselves being wrapped in the warmth God’s love and care for us!
Some random news:
Well, I’m starting to get my feet wet. I’ve had my first worship services, my first baptism, my first council meeting, and even my first paycheck! I am beginning to recognize faces…and even put a name to some of them! I’ve begun visiting our homebound and care center members. It feels great! You are a wonderful, kind, and supportive group of people! During a couple of my visits, the members told me how much they feel supported by St. Paul’s members. Thank you for the ways you have welcomed Laura, Anders, and me.
Starting this Wednesday, March 9, at 6:00 p.m. (tomorrow) we will be having a very informal worship with a Bible study in the fellowship area. We will start at the beginning by exploring the book of Genesis…a book full of beginnings and firsts. I hope you will join us and make this opportunity a part of your Lenten journey.
Some Church Council news:
At the meeting on February 27, the council discussed:
- Recent guidelines regarding masking during worship and decided to make the wearing of masks optional until conditions change. We still ask that those who are not vaccinated continue to wear masks and that all worshippers use good handwashing practices and practice social distancing. During the “passing of the peace,” please greet your fellow worshippers in whatever way feels most comfortable to both parties.
- Updating the congregational constitution. It has been many years since this was done, and there are changes that need to be made in order to be in line with the synod and the ELCA. If working on constitutions gets your blood flowing and your heart racing, and you want to help with this project, please see one of your council members.
- The need to update and refresh our St. Paul’s’ website. Lynn Pohlman is looking for a few people to help with that project. The beauty of it is that you don’t have to know anything about computers…we have a webmaster for that. Your role would simply be to share input and insight about what you would like to see on that site. (more pictures, names of people to contact if you have a question, perhaps a calendar of upcoming events, etc.) If you haven’t been to the website recently, we have started putting YouTube videos of the sermon on there and are currently discussing what other parts of the worship service we should include as well. Check it out at stpaulsgl.org.
- The possible discontinuation of the parking lot broadcast. It seems that the FM transmitter is causing some interference with our sound system (which is being updated). Again, this would be on a trial basis. Those who feel uncomfortable worshipping in the sanctuary are welcome to sit in the fellowship area where there are speakers.
- And finally, saving the best for last…we will begin having coffee fellowship after worship starting this Sunday, March 13. I mean, what’s a church without coffee afterward, right?!! As always, this, too, is a trial. As the COVID numbers ease up, we are trying to find ways to return to a sense of rhythm and normalcy. We hope to continue fellowship indefinitely, but if things change with regard to COVID, we will adapt.
That’s it for this week. If you have any questions, comments, or arguments about any of this, please feel free to contact a council member or myself. In the meantime, I would like to leave you with a short prayer…one that the council has heard…one that is a favorite of mine. You can find it as part of the morning and evening prayer services in our hymnal. It goes like this:
Lord God, you call your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the
ending, by paths untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out
with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us
and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Blessings to you all,