Pastor Mary's office hours are: Monday 10-2pm Tuesday 9-12 and Wednesday 12-3 If you'd like to meet outside these hours, please call ahead to be sure she is in the office. Contact by church phone (715-879-5115), home phone (715-309-4065) or by email at: meide@luthersem.edu

August 2018

"Encouraging faith and proclaiming God's love by Gathering, Growing and Giving."





THOUGHTS FROM PASTOR MARY

Welcome one and all!

Well, the sweltering heat has passed (for now), and the mosquito invasion seems to have abated, as well. This has made it more enjoyable to be outside, which has allowed me to do two of my favorite things at the same time:
* Listen to inspirational books on my Audible app
* Get outside for some powerwalks
It may seem like an odd combination, but all that oxygen running through my brain on the walk...seems to allow the thought-provoking and sometimes life-changing messages of the books - come to life for me.

This week I started to 're-read' Canoeing the Mountains...Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory by Tod Bolsinger. I'm pretty sure I've written about and spoken about this book in the past. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the future of the church, and honestly I think you can apply the lessons within the book to many different types of businesses. But here's the great thing about re-reading a book...you get new insights from doing so. No doubt many of you have had the same experience. As I listened to the book the other day, my attention was caught by the author saying there was GOOD NEWS in what was being discovered with regards to the changes within the church and the culture around us. You all know how I love to hear about and share GOOD NEWS...especially God's GOOD NEWS. But this is what surprised me...almost had me stop dead in my tracks: Bolsinger said it was GOOD NEWS that the church has entered uncharted territory...entered a place in time where what lays before us, is nothing like what lays behind us. I found myself thinking, "Dear Lord, what could be good about this news?" As if the author had sensed my thoughts, he followed up by explaining "the church is at an exciting crossroads. We are entering a new day, new terrain and a new adventure. We are not alone. The Spirit of God goes before us. The mission of Christ will not fail." That's right, being in uncharted territory requires that we place ourselves in the hands of God. It means we need to be transformed, be willing to change and raise up leaders in the church.

Bolsinger repeatedly teaches that we need to learn to ADAPT...not merely to survive, but to thrive! "We are called to adapt to a changing world because we are called to reach the changing world. We participate in Jesus' mission to reestablish the will of God on earth as it is in heaven,' while becoming more and more 'conformed to the image of his Son' (Romans 8:29) to the glory of God." A key to this adaptation is recognizing that we are not only a people with a mission...but we need to become missional people. Bolsinger explains it this way: "In a post-Christendom world that has become a mission field right outside the sanctuary door, Christian community is about gathering and forming a people, and spiritual transformation is about both individual and corporate growth, so that they - together - participate in Christ's mission to establish the kingdom of God "on earth as it is in heaven."

And as I powerwalked my way home and later pondered all that I had heard...it dawned on me...Hey, there IS GOOD NEWS in what he is saying. Our congregation can face this uncharted territory with the help of God. We can 'map out' our future, discover new things together, and strengthen our connection to the One who created us...saved us...and daily inspires us. Are you with me on this journey? Do we have leaders...adventure seekers...folks who are willing to help us adapt? So I suggest we move beyond thoughts and conversations about scarcity, and replace them with conversations and imaginings about a bold new future.

In Christ, Pastor Mary


Last updated: August 7th, 2018