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Greetings, fellow disciples.


As you are likely aware, we are in the process of bidding godspeed to a valued colleague in ministry. We celebrate all of the energy, vitality, and vulnerability that Pastor Katie has shared with us over the past six years. I’ve truly appreciated her willingness to help us consider new alternatives, advocate for social justice, and engage the young people of our congregation with ministries to which they are can easily relate. We’ve been blessed by both her comfort and her challenging. Let’s give thanks for them as we wish her well in her new ministry! We will surely miss her presence!


The Visioning Council is planning a special farewell potluck and celebration for Pastor Katie after worship on Sunday, August 14th. Gilled burgers and hot dogs will be provided; members are encouraged to bring a dish to pass.


We’ll begin preparing for this event starting this Sunday; so come ready to contribute to a special hand-crafted creation that we can share with her on the 14th!


Meanwhile, the Council is looking to fall and the launch of a new program year. We are in real need of timely input into what we are all willing to invest. Hard copy surveys were recently mailed to all parents of Sunday School age children, “Club 56” (grades 5-6) youth, confirmation age youth, and high schoolers. Your feedback is sought by NEXT MONDAY (Aug. 8) if at all possible. Either complete and mail yours back when it arrives, complete a copy at church this weekend, or use this link. It is on our website on the children's ministry page, the youth ministry page, and on the Resource page. It should be very easy for anyone to complete this survey. It’s really critical that we hear back from all families involved as we can make the best decisions possible! Thanks in advance!


As for worship this weekend, we’re going to focus on the timely topic of being able and willing to step out in faith once again, following the examples of Abraham and Sarah, and so, so many of our ancestors in God’s family! The Letter to the Hebrews highlights their examples. We’ll use it as our “launchpad” for our joint exploration. Join us at 9:00 a.m.!


Remember to pray for both Richard and Pastor Katie, who will be each heading to Columbus next week to participate in our triennial churchwide assembly. We have been praying for the Assembly each week in the Pop-up Prayers using petitions prepared by the ELCA for that purpose. Safe journeys to all involved!


Your brother in Christ,

Pastor Tim

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Dear Friends,


My brain is still in youth mission trip mode! That means it's a bit fuzzy but focused on the tasks in front of me. It was a mountaintop week of 24/7 with the team of amazing, gracious, and hard-working youth. I am proud of them. You would be proud of them as well.


“Let them give thanks to you, LORD, for your steadfast love and your wonderful works for all people.” Psalm 107:8


This team of youth – they got it and they shared with all their hearts God’s purpose for the week. Together we served our resident, Francine, not only by the work we provided her, but by being in a loving and trusting relationship with her and alongside of her. One without the other is meaningless; but both together is life changing meaningfulness.


I would say the greatest challenge of the week was NOT the 90+ temps with high humidity, the reality of the condition of the home we were working on without a sustainable roof, the 30-foot ladders that didn’t come close to reaching the top floor, the cafeteria food, the air-mattresses, the limited showers, and so on. The real challenge was the strength to love one another each day without looking over our shoulders to see what “the others” were not doing – aka – youth from other communities on our same work crew who simply did not come to work.


We are called to love one another so that the light (in this case, the painting of a home in the center of Toledo, Ohio) shines the light of Jesus.


“Whoever is wise will ponder these things, and consider well the LORD’s steadfast love.” Psalm 107:43


You, my beloved friends, are loved now and forever by a God who loves first, loves forever, and invites, encourages, and commands that we love one another.


By now, you have received notice that I have accepted a new call to First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids. I am thankful for the opportunity to share God’s love with you and you with me.


See you in worship!

Peace,

Pastor Katie

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A huge thanks goes out to Pastor Ron Schardt for his generous offer to help lead worship last weekend! Pastor Katie was off on our Youth Mission Trip to Ohio, while I was participating in events around my daughter’s wedding. I’m thankful to report that it was a tremendous and memorable weekend, with near-perfect weather, venue, and participation of many of the people who have been a gift to her in all of her years of growing and serving! We have much by which to be humbled!


Pastor Katie and I will be rejoining you this weekend as we return to our “R.E.A.L. Faith in a Real World” series – this week pondering the many potential connections between that theme and the familiar text of the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11). I hope that you’ll be able to join us on Sunday or Wednesday, – as who knows - perhaps you will gain insight that forever transforms the way that you pray that prayer! It’s certainly a rich one and resembles a diamond that reveals more and more beauty as you view it from different perspectives.


Many thanks, too, to those who have already responded generously to our special appeal to help offset the unanticipated major repairs to our geothermal system. Thanks to you, we’re still able to gather in comfort! If you’ve intended to pass along a gift, but haven’t done so, we’d love to hear from you soon!


Meanwhile, join me in prayer for a safe return for our Mission team. Come share the Word and Holy Communion this week with your brothers and sisters in Christ! Let’s celebrate summer together!


Pastor Tim

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