Showing posts from January, 2020

Loving What God Has Given Us

By Rev. Juliet  Focken, Assistant to the Bishop Sometimes, the work of being a pastor is overwhelming.   It’s a call to the whole church, and that often means our support systems and our closest friends might be too far away to be a part of our daily lives. Authors have written about the prairie for years, the peace that is in the wide open graciousness of the sky, the joy that comes from working the land and loving what God has given us, but also the wind that whips through and voices the struggles of loneliness.   It’s not that the wide open is bad, it’s just that if you haven’t grown up here, the land that you love might look and sound different.   It’s beautiful to see the first planters out, and to see the new sprouts of corn and beans in the spring.   It’s peaceful to watch the summer sunsets as the sun fades into gloriously vibrant colors.   It’s joyful to see the wind stir up the leaves into color and hope of growth for the next year.   Sometimes, it’s difficult to

We are Given as Light to the World

By Diane Harpster, Administrative Assistant to the Bishop My baptism took place in the little church in the country a few miles from my family’s home.   I was just a few weeks old so I have no memories of the day. I have a small photo that I am told was taken at the lunch later that day.   In that photo taken in front of the piano in my grandparents’ parlor, I am held and surrounded by my parents, my parents’ parents, and four great-grandparents.   Another set of great-grandparents were living in Germany and though I never got to meet them, I have a letter written by Great-grandpa August, sharing their joy In the news of the birth of a first great-grandchild born in America.   I was celebrated and held by people of faith across several continents. I grew up loved and supported by this family of birth, most living within miles of my home, and that same rural church community.   These were the people who showed me what it meant to live among God’s faithful peopl

Washed and Claimed for a Life of Joy and Purpose

By  Deacon Timothy Siburg, Director for Stewardship There’s nothing quite as wonderful in the life of the church as baptism. A day with baptism is a day another Child of God is claimed and named. It’s a day of celebration. It’s a day of proclamation of God’s promises, a day where God’s story is recalled, and perhaps when God’s work in our midst is most visible. It’s also a day filled with promises- promises by God, by the one being baptized, and the whole faith community providing public witness and promise. As we know, baptism is only a beginning. From the Water and the Word, filled with the Holy Spirit a Child of God enters into life walking with God who is with them always. From the flowing water, one is called, empowered, equipped, and sent into a life of discipleship and stewardship. It’s a life of joy and great meaning, but also one with plenty of challenges. The way of the cross is not always easy or happy. But it propels us forward. It propels us as the People of Go