First Sunday in Advent

November 27th, 2015

Dear disciples of Jesus at American Lutheran,

It’s Black Friday and the rush towards Christmas has begun! Frantic shoppers are vying for the best deal, people are filling their calendars with holiday events, and the most wonderful time of the year has turned into the busiest, craziest time of the year.
Unless you’re someone who also pays attention to the church year, and not just the calendar year, as part of the faith community which observes Advent.

And so on this 1st Sunday in Advent, instead of picking up the pace, we slow down. We take time to savor this rich season of waiting. The word advent means “coming.” Together we wait with bated breath for the celebration of God’s coming into our world in human form, as one of us. As we also wait, too, for the day Christ will return and God’s kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven. While at the same time we wait for the way Jesus will come into our lives right now, with grace-filled gifts of joy and peace.

May this time of waiting fill our hearts with great hope and expectation for Jesus’ coming into our lives and world.

See you in church,
Pastor Gretchen

“Don’t be alarmed”

November 13th, 2015

Dear Disciples of Jesus at American Lutheran,

We’re constantly reminded that life can change in an instant, whether it’s in the face of a wounded veteran; a homeowner whose house has burned to the ground; or a parent mourning the loss of a child. It takes courage and hope when the world as we know it crumbles around us. Yet that is exactly what Jesus gives us. “Don’t be alarmed,” are his words from the Gospel this week. For out of the rubble, God will build something new. Whether it’s a broken building, body or dream, whenever something fails it is but the “birth pangs” of a new beginning.

See you in church,
Pastor Gretchen

Icon1 Lectionary 33B (Color) (Clip Art)

Working Together to Make a Difference

September 25th, 2015

Dear Disciples of Jesus at American Lutheran,

The burdens of daily life can get heavy-especially when we try to bear them alone. Likewise the work of the church can get feel like a burden if left only to some people. Thank goodness the Holy Spirit is poured out generously on everyone within the community of faith-and even on those outside the community of faith-in order to accomplish God’s purposes. When the Spirit is shared among us, we can work together, as one, to bear God’s healing, hope and compassion to the world.

See you in church,

Pastor Gretchen

The Power of God

September 11th, 2015

Dear disciples of Jesus at American Lutheran,

It’s a familiar calling we’ve heard before: to take up our cross and follow Jesus. Familiar, yet hard to do. It means that nothing can stand in the way of loving God and loving others–even if it means suffering and painBecause even our suffering can be transformed by the power of God, who brings hope from despair and life out of death.

Your Servant in Christ,

Pastor Gretchen