Showing posts from February, 2019

The gifts you find in the margins…

By Stephanie Lusienski, Administrator for Finance & Development Have you ever purchased a previously owned book, borrowed a book from a friend, or borrowed someone’s bible?   Often times these borrowed books have doodles on the edges, notes written in the white spaces, words that have been circled or prayers that were lifted up.   Often times there is as much beauty and grace in the margins as there is in the main story or the main text.   Jesus’ story begins with his birth in a stable…in the margins, and his life and ministry was lived out as he served the marginalized.    Lisa Nichols Hickman writes, “Why do we write or draw in the margins?   What’s wonderful about the margins is their potential for discovery, creativity and daily joy.   The margins offer a place for faith to develop in clarity and deepen in mystery.   The margins offer a place for hope to gain security, grace to gain awareness, and wisdom to find its ground.   The margins are a place

Let all that you do be done in love

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Love Means Letting Go & Having Faith

By Michele Herrick, Administrative Staff “The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t.” ~Marie Kondo Lately, I’ve been cleaning like crazy. It all started last August when my son began his senior year of high school. I felt this drive to get my house in order. I began sorting items: to keep, to donate, to give away, and to trash. I found things I hadn’t seen in years. I found items I didn’t even know I had. I even found an old wedding gift! *I found a Christmas decoration that my son had made in Kindergarten - kept             *I found 3 old pairs of tennis shoes - trashed *I found the wooden rocking chair from when my son was born, which brought back so    many beautiful memories - donated Right away, I knew some of these items I was ready to let go of. They no longer held meaning for me. Other items have been difficult to let go, like that rocking chair. I’m slowly learning to let go but finding the process incred

“Let all that you do be done in love”

By Bishop Brian Maas That phrase comes from the guiding text chosen by the Nebraska Synod staff, from 1 Corinthians 16: “ Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love.” In the work we do—and to be honest, in the daily living in community that most of us do—there is no way to do things in love if we aren’t alert to God’s presence, grounded in faith, and courageous and strong in carrying out our tasks. We live in a generation addicted to “liking” things. Social media abounds with button-click “likes.” Few of us are unaware of, or unaffected by, how many “likes” a post gets. But wanting to be liked isn’t new, especially among good church folk, and particularly among their leaders. For the most part, we pastors really like to be liked. And the church needs that, to a point—it’s hard to be led well by sociopaths. There are skills that help make us likable, and those skills make for more effective care, commun