Notice Those Who Need Our Compassion

November 6th, 2015

Dear Disciples of Jesus at American Lutheran,

We pay a lot of attention to people who are rich and famous and powerful—the mansions they live in, the clothes they wear and what they tweet or post on facebook. Yet we often avert our eyes to those who sit on sidewalks or stand at exit ramps asking for help.

When Jesus draws attention to a poor widow who put in her last cent at the Temple, he shows that God sees our struggles and hardships and cares about us. Likewise he invites us to notice and care for those around us—especially those who need our compassion—as we share the gift of God’s love with others.

See you in church,
Pastor Gretchen

widow

 

June Newsletter: Changes ahead…Share your ideas!

June 1st, 2015

On the heels of our special congregational meeting yesterday, I was reminded of the prophet Isaiah’s words: “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?” (43:18-19, The Message).

Indeed God is about to do something brand new here after members voted to approve the Council recommendation to lease our administration building to Brighton Hall (BH). Assuming BH accepts the new lease prepared by our lawyer, they will begin making renovations at their expense starting July 1st with occupancy on September 15, 2015. The details of the Council’s Capital Structure and Funding Strategy were e-mailed and sent to all our members and discussed at the meeting on May 31st.

The bigger question now is why are we doing this? The simple answer is for mission: to carry on the ministry that God has entrusted to our church for the past 74 years. With the money from BH, combined with a loan from the ELCA Mission Investment Fund, we will not only secure our daily operations as a church for the foreseeable future, we will also be able to reach out to the wider community with the message of God’s love. That will happen as we create a more welcoming presence by upgrades to our property, and as we create new program uses in our fellowship hall to serve the community.

What will those new ministry initiatives look like? That’s where YOU come in! Now that we know we are moving forward with plans for the property, we have time to envision our mission in a fuller, strategic way. This will include sharing hopes and dreams amongst ourselves as we gather to consider what we could be doing in the next 5, 10 years. It will also include listening to our allies and partners in the community. Taking this time to gather input from as many people as possible, will help us discern the brand new thing God is about to do. Trusting in the Spirit’s guidance, we will move forward making sure that our much needed facility renovations are truly aligned with our mission priorities.

This will be a very busy month of transition as we move our current office and program space from the administration building to the church and fellowship hall. We will need all hands on deck! Please watch for details about how you can help out. In addition to physical labor, keep our church in your prayers as together we stay alert and present for the new thing God is doing in our midst!

Your servant in Christ,

Pastor Gretchen