Showing posts from March, 2019

Yet Even Now…

By Rev. Kristen Van Stee, Associate to the Bishop

As a pastor, I usually prepare for Ash Wednesday every year by reading the assigned Gospel text for the day from Matthew 6 in which Jesus instructs his followers in how to give alms, pray, and fast.And indeed, that is what I and probably most congregations focused on for Ash Wednesday March 6th, 2019…but only a week later as I felt the fear of a rising Elkhorn River only a mile south of Pilger where I live, I remembered the often-overlooked text from the prophet Joel that was the first reading for Ash Wednesday:
1 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming, it is near— 2 a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness spread upon the mountains a great and powerful army comes; their like has never been from of old, nor will be again after them in ages to come.

12 Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with a…

We are dust, but we are loved

By Lisa Kramme, Director of Faith Formation

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.   -John 14:16-17

As I stood at the sink washing Mom’s dishes the day after Dad died, she walked up to me, gave me a kiss on the cheek, and said, “That’s from your dad.He gave me that kiss before he left in the ambulance, and now I’ve given that kiss to you and your brothers and sister, too.”This happened over 25 years ago, and it’s still a treasured memory in my heart.The reading from John comes only four chapters before Jesus is arrested and the arduous journey toward the cross begins.Reading these verses, I’m reminded of my dad’s kiss. I feel convinced that both Jesus, and my dad wanted the people they love to know they are loved and to continue feeling supported by that love throughout t…

Lent: not for Sale

By Deacon Karen Melang, Synod Council Secretary

Dust, the Great Equalizer