Newsletter: Summer 2013

PDF: Summer 2013 Newsletter

Dearly Beloved,
Summer 2013
Die Gute Nachricht
Die Evangelisch-Lutherische St. Matthäusgemeinde
The Good News St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church
If there is one thing we can count on, it is change.
Change comes to all of us, whether we are ready or not. We grow up and leave home, often marrying and having children ourselves. And what happens? Our children grow up and move out, as well, and the cycle continues, as we all grow older.
If there is one person we can count on – well, actually, three – it is God: our creator and divine parent, Jesus Christ, and the Spirit, a.k.a. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: one God, now and forever.
Contemporary theologians question and even discard the long-held position that God is unchanging. After all, how can we say that the God of all (including novelty) — the God, who, as scripture says, “Makes all things new” — can indeed be static rather than dynamic?
No one, however, claims that God’s nature is unchanging. Christians believe, as Jesus taught and demonstrated, that God is faithful, loving, and forgiving. This is good news for us, especially when we are challenged by the changes that the years bring to us as individuals and as a congregation. It is good news because we know that there is someone to whom we can turn when change leaves us confused, challenged, or just plain tired. We can – and should – turn to God in prayer.
On July 20th the leadership of St. Matthew’s will hold a mini-retreat here at the church, when we again will consider the question of church renewal.
What it is important for all of us to realize, is that the church is a spiritual community whose head is Jesus Christ. It is not a business, and there is no one model, or way, to “do church”, neither is there a manual to follow that will guarantee growth or success.
There are some things, however, that we can do that will guarantee that the church will fail. These include, first and foremost, cutting back on formal ministry (worship; study; and service), but also substituting our own “leadership” for that of God; not welcoming everyone whom God sends to us, whether neighbor, tenant, business associate, or Sunday morning worshipper; not praying for our church, or taking for granted that it will always be there; living in the past; and not listening to each other.