September 2021
From the Pastor

Beloved Siblings in Christ,

Paul's Letter to the Romans is probably my favorite book in the Bible for a variety of reasons.  The most notable is how Paul lays out the idea of salvation for all, rather than for a select few (meaning only those of Jewish faith). He gives us a solid blueprint for living our lives focused on God rather than focused on society. It is a difficult task, no doubt, but one we are to strive for in our daily lives.

This New Testament Epistle is as relevant today, as it was when Paul was writing to the Romans. Its overarching theme is that we are all in this together, that we should not look at one another and see anything but a brother or sister in Christ. Again, a very difficult task to do, but one that Paul suggests we need to strive to do every single day. 9"if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. 13 For, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' "(Romans 10:9, 12-13)

As most of you should be aware we are entering into a busy time at All Saints (and in the community in general). September is always a month filled with activity and establishing routine that has escaped us over the summer.  From September to June we have one routine, from June to September we have another. No doubt a quick look at your own life you will see this routine as well. During the month of September, we also look at how each of us have been called to steward the gifts we have been given and how they can help the greater church.

We are not alone in this routine, but as Paul suggests, we are in this together. Every one of us is a part of this community, and I encourage you to be active in our community.  Find ways to be involved, to share the gifts that God has given you, and to help others see how God is at work in their lives. I continue to be impressed with how this congregation continually steps forward to share their gifts in so many varied ways. My prayer is that we continue and remain in prayer as to how God is calling us now to be his church.

In this month, we will be talking more and more about how you can use your gifts here at All Saints. We will rejoice in how you already use your gifts. As the ELCA mantra goes "We are church - Better Together!"  We have been given the task of sharing the good news of God's love together to all people. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. 6 We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; 7ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; 8 the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness. (Romans 12:4-8 - NRSV) May God continue to reveal God's glory and grace to us in new and exciting ways.  Have a wonderful September!

Our Consecration Sunday is September 26.  I am hoping that you can begin prayerfully considering how God is calling you (and your family) in the life of this congregation, through time, talent and giving. 

We were tagged by Delta's mayor one day, as he called us "The biggest little church in the county."  That alone helps us to identify who we are and how we are called.  You all are such an amazing gift to me and the life of this community.  I am excited to see how God will call us and lead us in the future.  What an exciting time it is!  Thanks be to God!

Servants together,

Pr. Paul <><

p.s.  Did you know??  I have often been asked questions about Liturgy and why Lutherans follow a Liturgical, even more important the Historical Liturgy form of worship.  I think there are 8 reasons, so over the next 8 months, I will reflect on "Why we love the Historical Liturgy." To start, let's begin with a basic definition of "Liturgy": it is the order and structure of a formal church service.

Reason #1:The Liturgy protects the congregation from the Pastor - There are both good and bad pastors (especially from the pulpit).  For the pastors that preach a less than Christ-filled message, the liturgy will protect the congregation.  A 10 minute circus sermon is overshadowed by 30 minutes of liturgy - the Scriptures, the Apostles' (or Nicene) Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the message in the hymns and the rest of the order of service.  Why do we love the historic liturgy?  The liturgy protects a congregation from a pastor who has a bad sermon, two bad sermons, or weeks and months of bad sermons.

p.s.s. - Did you know that Luther said. . . . ???  "To progress is always to begin always to begin again”"― Martin Luther, Commentary on Romans.