Dear friends in Christ,
If you worshipped with me and my family on Confirmation Sunday, September 9th, I pray witnessing the Holy Spirit’s work in the hearts of twelve of our young people gave you increased confidence and hope in the future of both our church and our religion. If you weren’t there, know that the Spirit is alive and well in our church families, and still works faith according to His purposes.
For several years now I’ve been encountering books and articles whose authors claim the Christian Church is in decline. In our own Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod, articles frequently appear in various publications comparing the current state of membership in light of past years. Even for someone like me who did not grow up Lutheran in the 1960s and 70s, these articles give me the impression the “glory years” of the LCMS are long gone. I would imagine for those of you who have been a Lutheran Christian all your life, you might agree that they have. I know I’ve heard some of you speak about Confirmation and Walther League, the LCMS’s long-defunct national youth program (aka. Lutheran dating service!) with fond memories. On the one hand, when I hear how dear to your heart those days-gone-by in the church are to you, a part of me wishes I could somehow restore them. On the other hand, I don’t imagine you called me as your pastor to bring back the “glory days” of the church. I don’t think Martin Luther himself or even Walther could do that in today’s world. Instead, you called me to bring you God’s Word, faithful to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions, to baptize and administer the Lord’s Supper, and to teach your children the truth found in Jesus Christ. I believe Luther and Walther would at least approve. That is why I’m very excited to get started with the next Jr. Confirmation class starting October 7th, as well as the new adult instruction “I Have Good News for You.”
Indeed the good news is, Jesus Christ is Lord of the Church. Even though the Christian Church on earth is broken because it exists in a world fallen into sin, Christ promises to watch over it, protect it from the devil, and restore it to its full glory on the last day when He returns in the sky. When you see our kids and adults in confirmation, you are seeing the promise of Christ’s protection of His Church being played out. So take heart and know the Spirit is alive and well at St. Paul, as well as in our fellow congregations world-wide.
In response to the Lord’s gracious and loving care for us, the elders and I invite you to give thanks to Him at an evening prayer service at 7pm on Wednesday, October 24th, which is St. Paul’s 134th anniversary. After all, as the preface in our Divine Service reminds us, It is truly meet, right, and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks to you, holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God, through Jesus Christ our Lord…
I hope you’ll join me and my family in giving thanks for a century-and-thirty-four years crowned with blessings. May God bless you and keep you.
Greetings in Christ Jesus
Fall has arrived and is a colorful Season, but it is a reminder that winter is coming. The change of Seasons reminds us that life also has changes. We go from child and adult to a “Mature” senior.
Arriving at the fall stage of your life should be joyous because, after all, we are getting closer to a departure to Heaven. We have experienced many things in our life. God has seen us through many circumstances.
Getting old is not for wimps. Here are a few reasons why –
Yes, I’m a Senior Citizen
I’m the life of the party—even if it lasts till 8 P.M.
I’m very good at opening childproof caps—with a hammer.
I’m usually interested in going home before I get to where I am going.
I’m awake many hours before my body allows me to get up.
I’m smiling all the time because I can’t hear a thing you’re saying.
I’m very good at telling stories over and over and over and over…
I’m aware that other people’s grandchildren are not nearly as cute as
I’m so cared for—long term care, eye care, private care, dental care.
Yes, getting old is fun!
If you are old—and looking for some fun – join us for our October Senior Saints Luncheon, (Sorry if you are not old enough) this Friday, October 19 at noon. It will feature “The St. Paul Pumpkin Patch”, including the Giant Pumpkin (maybe) and possibly a visit from Mr. & Mrs. Pumpkin. Bring your favorite sack lunch. Pumpkin pie, other desserts & beverages will be provided.
May God Bless you this Fall Season and may his love be a joy for you!
In Christ’s Love,