“Our purpose is to nurture spiritual growth, to know Christ more fully and to make Him known though our witness and service.”
We seek to accomplish our mission (purpose) in many and varied ways though our “Ministries.” We worship, we sing, we learn and equip, we pray, we serve and invite, and we support one another though fellowship and caring.
A major joy at First Lutheran is found in our service to those in need in the community and beyond. We seek truly to make a difference as God’s hands, doing God’s work. In caring and service, we have discovered the joy of giving.
From Our Pastor
Pastor Peter’s Pen
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look around; they all gather together…
How apropos that this long season of Sundays following Epiphany should start off with an exultation to praise God through our actions. Given the often-short nature of Epiphany, it is really easy to overlook its rich call to discipleship to be the Church. This year we have one of the longest Epiphany seasons and have the opportunity to delve into the depth of the call.
These days with the hurried busyness of our lives, being pulled here and there, watching the church attacked from both within and without, the call to discipleship can sometimes feel more of burden than a joy. Isaiah’s call is a reminder to the faithful that God’s promise to the people to be with us even in the darkest of times. In fact, the promise is despite the thick darkness, the Lord shall rise on us. God’s work in us continues as God molds us to be a community of light.
Our Communal Life, built on the gracious work of Jesus Christ’s holy love for us, continues with the building blocks of outreach, and love for our neighbor. At FLC we have seen this take shape through outreach based as much on relationship as it is on our resources. Yes, we have been blessed, but the call to share more than our material goods with our neighbor is a call into deeper community with the brother, sister, father, mother, neighbor and friend we know and do not know. Jesus minces no words on who is our brother, sister, father, mother, and neighbor. They are the very people that surround us.
The challenge that lies ahead, is how do we reach out to neighbors we do not know. Do they even know what we are about? Do the know of our ministries and what we stand for? If not, why not? And what can we do to reach out and be intentional in our Christian outreach. How do we scream out over the din of the negative media towards the Church? How can we traverse the nay-sayers against the faith, to have the chance to tell our story? If we want to engage those around us, a good place for us to start is recognizing God’s gracious love rising up on us.
We have to remember why we are here first and foremost. It is not to promote some arcane traditions that no longer speak to Adonai and God’s mighty work of love in the world. Epiphany bookends the old testament readings with Isaiah. It closes with an exultation of faith, even as Israel seemed to be on the brink of total destruction…
Isaiah 55:12ff You shall go out with joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;….