From Our Pastor
March Council Meeting 2017:
It is hard to believe that a month has already passed since I arrived here at First Lutheran. Minna and I are settling into the parsonage, and have made it our home. We are nearly finished with all the little things which typically come with moving and have begun to work at building relationships both professionally and personally. I have enjoyed getting explore what life is about in Barnstable, the 2nd happiest place to live in the US, according to the current Well-being Index published by Gallop Healthways. It has been like putting on a familiar and favorite old pair of shoes. We have found places to eat, places to hear music, and even enjoyed time on Garrett’s Pond.
I am thankful for all that God has blessed me with in bringing me here. My prayer life has been deeply nurtured at both a personal and corporate level. The peace and beauty of the parsonage grounds naturally elicits a connection to God’s creation and handy-work unique to the Cape. We have added opportunities for member in the community to come and pray with us. There are now 2 regular midweek opportunities for Morning Prayer, both Wednesday and Thursday. This is beyond the Lenten worship services at noon and 7:00 pm. My personal focus in prayer has been on listening, since it parallels what much of the past month has been about at work. I plan to continue this alongside my regular bible study and sermon preparation. Our mission as a Church always begins with Christ’s movement toward us and our response of thanksgiving toward God for all that we have and are.
It has been a good month of spending time with each small group, committee and/or working group in the Church in order to get a good feel for how we are responding to the gifts that Christ has given to us. There is a lot of good stuff going on at First Lutheran; much of which needs to be continued and strengthened, which it shall as we define our vision and mission as God’s people gathered here in West Barnstable. Though most of my attention has been to understanding the big-picture, I have focused more attention on worship, youth and education and on building staff relationships. The worship committee is going through some restructuring, with a rotating initial encounter group working on themes for liturgical seasons. We have met for Lent and are getting ready to meet for Easter. The more formal committee will consist of the representatives of the various working groups that make worship happens, altar guild, ushers, lectors, etc. The other area of focus is youth and education.
We had a good turnout of young people at the meeting in February and have planned a church lock-in. I have been working with Russ on the Lenten classes and have also made plans to teach the adult forum on Worship after Easter. I am working at getting confirmation up and running. We have a small group gathered in my office for class. I am working on developing the curriculum online.
Our Lord has called two faithful servants home. We pray for the eternal rest of Norma Glaser and Elsie De Lane and for the comfort of their families in this time of grieving. There have been numerous people in the hospital for a variety of reasons. I have visited most of our shut ins and distributed Ashes to all of the shut-ins and near shut-ins who wished to have them. It was an honor to see 2 of our centenarians on Ash Wednesday, and humbling to have one of them administer the ashes to me. Being with all of these wonderful people so filled with the certitude and assurance that only comes from a life of faith set the tone for the day and the Lenten season that followed.