On Reformation Sunday, October 25th, we had an Affirmation of Baptism service for Tanner McEwan, one of the youth here at St. Luke's. As part of the service Tanner was asked to choose a Bible verse and write and read a statement of faith. This is what Tanner presented to the congregation:
Tanner chose the following Bible verse: Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own. Matthew 6:34.
This is Tanner's faith statement: I believe that all are welcome in God's eyes no matter what race, sexuality, or any other differences. God loves everyone no matter what they have done. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of it own. I believe that God did not worry about tomorrow when he was creating the universe. Jesus, in my own eyes, never worried about tomorrow, just the current day.
Monday, October 19, 2015
All of us are given choices in our lives. This freedom of choice is a gift from our Lord.
I choose to make the world a better place to live. In order for me to do this I will direct my attention to notice others around me. Any other person that is young or old. Any individual that is poor, or sick, or needy, whether male or female. Any person that looks like me or does not look like me. Anyone that shares my personal beliefs, or anyone that has beliefs that differ from mine. Anyone that displays high capabilities or anyone that displays limited capabilities.
The next step would be to accept myself and to accept others. When I accept myself and other individuals then there is love for myself and others also. Then it is important that I forgive myself and forgive others. When I forgive myself and other individuals then there is a feeling of peace for me. When I demonstrate patience with myself and others then there is an opportunity to experience joy and acceptance.
These tasks of utilizing acceptance, forgiveness, and patience are not easy. Therefore it is important that I pray, reflect, and listen. Thanks be to God.
Monday, October 12, 2015
- God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. Genesis 1:31
When I think of stewardship, I think first and foremost of caring for God’s creation. Throughout my lifetime I have been aware of this great gift God had given us, although in my younger years I didn’t think of taking care of the environment as a calling. When I was growing up, it was just something we did. When we picnicked at the beach or ate lunch at a roadside park during a vacation trip, my dad would always tell us we needed to “leave this place cleaner than we found it.” Of course that meant picking up trash left behind by others who were there before us. I must give credit to my thinking about caring for the environment to my parents.
It was not until the past ten or so years that to me caring for the environment became caring for God’s creation. It seems to me that the faith community came on board with Creation Care after Earth Day began to be celebrated in 1971. But I just realized that that is what I had always been doing. What are some of the things I have always done for the environment? Recycling is the biggie. That and trying to keep trash to a minimum. I do not buy throw-away dishes, utensils, napkins, etc. I have never bought bottled water and don’t drink it when it is offered to me.
In recent years I have become more aware of the environmental dangers caused by certain corporations and have tried to be an advocate for clean air, water and soil. Although this seems to be a futile cause, I know I am not alone in this and there are some things happening now (slowly) that may eventually cause change, or at least make more people work toward change. I really feel the need for all of us to “leave this place cleaner than we found it.”
Monday, October 5, 2015
Many years ago I moved to a small Midwestern town and began attending the local Lutheran church. I was asked to help out with the youth group. I had no skills for working with youth but I could help with transportation, set up, clean up etc. There were close to a dozen teens in the group. The ones who stood out to me were the intellectually challenged girl who was a bit boy crazy, the effeminate, theatrical boy who didn’t seem to fit with the other farm boys and the two cool girls who were a bit aloof. The highlights of the year included spending a couple of days making homemade ice cream for a fund raiser and a midwinter overnight retreat in a very rustic cabin that could only be reached by snowmobile. But my best memory is of the year end mission trip. On that trip the two cool girls took responsibility for keeping the intellectually challenged girl safe and involved and the theatrical boy had a fantastic time.