September 2020
From the Pastor

Dear Apostles of Christ,

Before I begin my letter for September, a couple of people told me that they were not clear on my August newsletter article.  Let me put last month's article into context.  I have been working with a Pastor who is new to his congregation (outside Delta County).  There has been a tremendous amount of division in this congregation since his arrival.  This Pastor tasked me to help facilitate conversation and hopefully reconciliation.  I thought that what was happening in that congregation was a good life lesson for individuals as well as congregation.  My commentary was driven by conversations with that congregation not anything I experienced at ASLC.  I am hoping that this helps clarify.  I apologize that I did not put the article into a better framework of context.  So now with that . . . . Let's look to September.

I have made it known that my favorite season is calving season in the late winter months.  But over the past couple of years, I really have come to appreciate the fall season. There are a variety of reasons, but my favorite thing about fall is getting back into a routine. That might sound funny coming from me since I enjoy doing things at the last minute, but I really do cherish routine. I also enjoy having activity happening around me and when the calendar turns to September, ASLC begins to fill with activity.  Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of activity happening throughout ASLC and the community during the summer-- probably more than I ever expected -- but there is something about the routine that fall brings. That is until this summer.

In the past, we experienced the start of the school year and the start of Sunday School.  Confirmation would be starting up again.  However, due to Covid-19, all of that came to an abrupt halt. Our kids have already started school and there is now a sense of routine. Confirmation started this summer because we missed the entire Spring. The kids are going to have their first week of school off from confirmation.  I am hoping that they can begin to establish a new routine and then work confirmation in to that routine.

No doubt you also had or have a routine in your own life that changes when we get to the fall.  Maybe in the past, you participated in summer activities like golf or pickleball.  Perhaps you look forward to your favorite television show coming back from its summer break or you like cheering on a certain football team that resides in Denver.  But this year, that program may not be back, and we might be watching football taking place in an empty stadium.  I really appreciate sports for my entertainment.

As we ramp up into our new fall routine, I want you to think about how we do all of these things together.  Very little of what we do happens on our own. We need others around us to help make our routine successful.  We all play a role in the routine of others, whether we recognize that or not.

In Paul's letter to the Romans, he talks about how we are all in this together. " 4For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. 6We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; 7ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; 8the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness." (Romans 12:4-8 – NRSV)

What gifts do you bring to ASLC?  What gifts do you share with the Delta, Cedaredge and Orchard City community?  How are you a part of other people's routines and daily lives.  I think that is a lesson we need to keep learning.  We are all in this together, even if we do not realize it or believe it.  We are a part of each other's stories.

How will you contribute to someone else's story this month? Will it be in a positive way or a less than encouraging way? The choice is ours, isn't it? I pray that you will be a blessing to others as you have first been blessed.  Have a wonderful September!

Servants together,  Pr. Paul <><

p.s.  Did you know??  I said this last month and I have to say it again.  I am so pleased with the hard work our confirmation kids have been putting in this summer.  We doubled our class time to 3 hours weekly so that we can catch up AND THEY DID!! Please continue to encourage them in their studies and share in the joy that they bring to our class time.

p.s.s. - Did you know that Luther said. . . . ???  God does not need your good works, but your neighbor does.