It's been a long, strange trip so far, this pandemic has.
So far we have worshiped online for 24 Sundays. I don't know how you're feeling, but I'm feeling like it's been a thousand years since we've seen each other. I think I can safely speak for Pastor Nate here in saying that both of us MISS YOU. We miss worshiping together, we miss seeing you on Sunday, we miss singing together, and we miss physically being together.
That being said, my oh my was it GOOD to see you on Sunday at Drive-Thru Communion!
Was it our ideal way to receive communion? No. But nonetheless we trust that the Holy Spirit was at work in the way she blew through here to feed God's people this sacred gift of grace. Your smiles, the joy that came with getting to just see one another in person...it was powerful. I think for me, it proved that God can indeed work in unexpected ways even if it's not the way we've always done it as the church over the last 2000 years.
Even as a dispersed community, were were still able to welcome some young ones to the table for the first time! With the sudden change in plans in late March, they were not able to gather together to celebrate their first communion in the traditional way. Even in these strange times however, families were still able to recognize this special milestone.
How did they celebrate?
One of our students came in his grandpa's mustang; another got dressed in a shirt and tie to ride to church followed by a special time with family at home; and another watched worship in the afternoon with his family and they took communion during their worship time. You can see a short video that features some of our first communion students below. What a joy it was to be able to share in this feast of God's love with our new dinner table guests!
I'll be honest with you, my dear siblings. There have been many times during this pandemic where I have struggled to find God's presence. But....no part of me questioned that this past Sunday. It was obvious. It was beyond clear that God was in your cars as you pulled up, as you drove away, and as I pictured you all sharing in the meal together in your homes. I hope you, along with the 175 others who received communion on Sunday, were all able to sense that presence as well.
I often say that food is one of God's love languages. This past Sunday, God gave us a taste of that love in the form of a wafer and a little plastic cup of juice that was shared in our homes. God is certainly good! All the time!
Peace be the journey,
This coming Sunday, the Lutheran Church of the Wilderness located in Bowler, Wisconsin has graciously offered to provide worship to the congregations of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin with Native American Elements. The Church of the Wilderness is a congregation made of the Stockbridge-Munsee band of Mohicans.
We are excited to offer this worship service to you through our blog this week!
In our Lutheran understanding you have heard it said, “We are being made new each day.” By God’s love and by God’s grace, no matter what happened yesterday or the week or the year before, God is making us new today. Welcoming that freshness is a perspective that takes time to learn. When you can embrace it, there is a sense that nothing can keep you from God, although everything is trying hard to pull you away from God. It is in this ‘being made new’ that we have the opportunity to dream of how our staffing needs can meet the needs of our growing ministry. Even during a pandemic, it is amazing to see how God is at work within our congregation to embrace technology and in another week install the projection system (Aug 17-21). God’s newness, freely given to us, gives us space to dream, to reevaluate and to recast the positions for our changing ministry.
I am delighted to share with you the new hiring of one of our own, Sue Wendler, as our Visual Storyteller! Sue and her family have been long time members and are very active in the life of CtK. I am grateful for that, but I am also grateful for the what God has been doing in Sue’s life. A graphic designer, substitute teacher, and many other hats she wears have been shaping and molding her with skills and wisdom for such a time as this to be our Visual Storyteller. This position will be a work in progress as we embrace a new and enhanced way to worship at CtK. Thank you, Sue for answering the call and we look forward to your gifts and skills to help us see God’s love coming to life at CtK!
I am also delighted to share with you that we have hired Dane Casanova as our new Custodian. Dane much like Sue has had a rich work experience that has prepared him for the newly developed responsibilities to care for our building(s) and the many people we welcome to CtK. Dane is looking forward to retirement in the new year but knows he will need to keep active. This position will allow him to keep active, while serving the Lord. Thank you, Dane for answering the call to serve!
I never know where, how or who God will provide, but I am delighted to introduce these two CtK members who look forward to serving you. We are being made new at CtK where God’s love comes to life!
Continue to be well and stay safe.
Christ’s Blessings & Peace,
A cheerful heart is good medicine
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22
Have you heard the latest legislation? Lawmakers want to make the racoon the official mascot for the year 2020! Why? Because racoons:
All kidding aside, the first full week of August is declared National Clown Week!
I give thanks for the clowning ministry that has been a part of CtK’s history for many years! I also give thanks for Denise Barnaal who continues to hone her craft by going to clown school and is willing to share her trade with anyone who is interested. Denise has a few different personalities, or I mean names that she goes by. The picture here is “Dr. Belle E. Button.” You have seen Dr. Belle E. Button, Chief of Navel Operations in worship and at events like our church picnic or places in our community like Rennes Health & Rehab Center. No matter where the doctor goes, she brings a smile to every face and cheer to every heart.
In all seriousness, legislation was passed, and President Nixon declared on August 2, 1971 National Clown Week to be held in the US. In fact, it has grown to be an international week for clowns! President Nixon said, “Today, as always, clowns and the spirit they represent are vital to the maintenance of our humanity.” Folklore says the heart of a clown is sad, and that all the gladness a clown provokes is simply a facade for the pain they cannot reveal to the world. Actually, a clown leaves happiness wherever they go and takes misery away with them.
Thank you, Dr. Belle E. Button, for taking away the difficulties and misery, even for just a few moments, so that we can laugh and smile and see God’s love come to the life!
Be safe & be well!
Christ's Blessings & Peace,