Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pastor's Wednesday Messages

from Pastor Brian

All Saints' Sunday comes soon, November 2.  On All Saints', we give thanks for those who have been most important in shaping our faith — whether they've departed this life or still grace the Earth with their presence.  This morning, I started to think about who's in my personal communio sanctorum.  Who are those saints who've been most important for me?

The first person I think of is Ellis Waggoner, a young pastor at the church where I grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin.  He was there only a year but his enthusiasm for God and passion for justice made a big impression on me.  He's probably the reason I got interested in being a pastor.  It doesn't surprise me that I heard, a few years later, that he died while serving as a missionary.  He was the sort of person who would put his life at risk for the sake of his faith.

Another of my special saints was Bengt Hoffman, a pastor from the Church of Sweden and a professor of Ethics during my brief stay at Gettysburg Seminary long ago.  When I found myself stranded in an uncongenial seminary culture and stuck in an unwelcoming civic community, Bengt gave me hope and light.  I think we found mutual encouragement – we were both out of step with the spirituality and theology shared by most folks at the seminary.  He gave me courage to disagree with the majority report, and to strike out on a different path according to my sense of God's calling.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is among my communion of saints as well.  His work as a Christian pastor and civil rights leader building an inclusive movement of non-violent social change inspires me.  Indeed, I chose to write my Ph.D. dissertation in Christian Ethics on his understanding of redemptive suffering and its relationship to building "the Beloved Community" in America and across the world.  King's ministry gives me hope that people of good will can still work together across dividing lines, so that we can address the pressing problems of racial prejudice, economic exploitation, political disenfranchisement, and spiritual demoralization that so beset us today.

Finally, my spouse, Jill James, stands with the rest in my hall of saintly fame.  Her resilience in the face of repeated adversity, her deep and expansive spirituality, her gifts as an ordained minister (in hospital chaplaincy), her abundant good will, and her compassion for all who suffer — these virtues along with her steadfast love renew me in the power of God's Holy Spirit with each new day.

Well, I've told you who's in my personal communio sanctorum.  Who's in yours?  I invite you to take some time this week to reflect on those who've been most important in your faith formation — and to thank God for them.

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From Pastor Randy

"The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, of the priests who were in Ananthoth in the land of Benjamin to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.  It came also in the days of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of King Zedakiah son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the captivity o Jerusalem in the fifth month.

 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."  Then I said, "Ah, Lord God!  Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth'" for to all to whom I send you you shall go, and whatever I command you you shall speak. Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord."
Jeremiah 1:1-8

          This past Reformation Sunday, October 26th six of our young women (girls if you please) took part in the Rite of Confirmation.  They did what they thought they couldn't do.  But with great fear and trembling they spoke to us of their faith.  I fully believe that God was present with them and also believe it may have helped when we told them in unison "We want the best for you".  Confirmation has long been a rite in the Lutheran church.  Sadly it also seems to have long been a tradition that when young people are confirmed they are done with the church.  I pray that that is not the case for Amber, Emily, Taylor, Colleen, Anita and Marissa.  May we continue to let them know that we want the very best for them in any way we can, including, engaging them in conversation and supporting their efforts to go to Detroit for the National Lutheran Youth Gathering.  May they share more of their faith with us yet.

In the Power of the Creator,

Pastor Randy

Great News!  Pastor Randy will be leading Sunday Worship Service & Adult Sunday School on November 2nd and the 16th!   He will also be leading the Wednesday Adult Bible Class @ 10 AM for the month of November.  


Wednesday   9:00 - 1:00 p  KOK Preschool/Kindergarten
                    10:00 a Bible Study w/Pastor Brian
                     Scrip Order Sunday

 Thursday     9:00 - 1:00 P KOK Preschool/Kindergarten
                    12:00 p All Church Luncheon - Halloween celebration  (wear your favorite costume or Halloween shirt)
                     1:00 p Prayer Shawl Ministry

Friday          9:00 - 11:30 a KOK Preschool

Saturday    10:00 - 11:30 a SOV Choir rehearsal

Social concerns needs your donations to help fill Thanksgiving Baskets, please take a moment to look at the Giving Tree and see where you can help.

Sunday, November 2nd is the last day to order Christmas Greens through KOK

Fellowship committee has extended the Kitchen Shower
The pantries are still in need of paper products and fellowship food items, please continue to bring your donations.