Pastor's Desk

What do you think of when you hear the word “church?”  Do you think of our nice A-frame building that fits so nicely in our natural surroundings?  Does it bring to mind our beautiful sanctuary windows that display God creation?  Do you think of the services we hold, where we gather to worship?  Or do you think of the people?
In an article in L Magazine, Dan Kimble talks about “church” in the Bible…and points out that it never says that people “went to church.”   Instead, he notes that the Greek word ekklesia refers to the people who are assembled, and not to the location where they are assembled. 
That may seem like a small distinction, but it does change our perspective.  Instead of saying “We go to church,” what if we say “We ARE the church.”    It means that instead of asking “Where is our church?” we ask ourselves, “HOW are we the church?”   And when we think about THAT question, we realize that there are many, many answers…
ü  We are a community assembled by God to worship together.
ü  We are God’s presence to each other as we support one another…in prayer, in listening to each other… and in helping each other with physical needs.
ü  We answer God’s call to feed the hungry through our donations and service at Five Loaves House.
ü  We serve those in need by giving our time to deliver meals through Meals on Wheels. 
ü  We hear and receive God’s promises when we study God’s Word and share in the Sacraments.
ü  We respond to God’s call to help the poor through our donations and contributions to ELCA and other benevolence funds and the ministries they support.
ü  We embody Christ’s love to the world when we serve our communities, opening our doors to welcome our neighbors.
ü  We build God’s kingdom and share in Christ’s mission when we spread the good news.
In the weeks ahead, we will BE the church in other ways.  Through our Summer Concerts we provide family entertainment to the community, and provide a venue for these artists to share their musical gifts.  The Sunday School teachers are preparing an exciting Vacation Bible Camp for youngsters in the area.  The music, lessons, crafts and games will not only be a lot of fun, they will also serve to spread God’s good news to the children.
I am beginning to contact some of our private communities to offer to hold a Pet Blessing service for their residents in their on-site facilities.  I have contact information so far for Arrowhead Lake and Camelot Forest.  I would also like to reach out to Locust Lake.  If you are involved in a community that you think might appreciate this kind of outreach, please let me know, and provide a contact if you can. 
One of the themes in this year’s Synod Assembly was “Building Relationships, Sharing Ministry”.  Several of the speakers stressed the importance of being the church outside our walls in order to best serve God and our community.  So, in the weeks ahead this summer, I ask all of you to think about...What makes US the church?...  How is God working in our lives and in the community?...and, What and where else is God calling us to be and do? 
These are important questions to consider as we take stock of who we are as God’s church, and where we are headed in the future! 
                                                     Yours in Christ,     
                                                    Pastor Debby