FROM PASTOR MIKE’S DESK:
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
About a month ago I preached a sermon on permanency. In that message I talked about how everything around us is changing and that the only permanent thing any of us can count on in our lives is the presence and steadfast love of our almighty and loving God.
And yet, here we are, about a month after that sermon and I still find myself trying to find this permanency, this “doing things like we use to do them.” They always told us in Seminary that we should practice what it is that we preach.
But it’s hard sometimes. It’s hard to change. Shoot, we’re Lutherans right? We don’t change! We come from a long line and a long standing tradition which is opposed to any sort of change. Well, maybe it is simply time for that mentality to … dare I say it? … Change.
As much as we would all like for things to go back to the way they were in February and March … the reality of it is … we will never go back to the way things were then. Too much has happened in the last five months to realistically think we can go back to that “old” way of life.
And yet … we keep trying. I know when it comes to trying to plan things for the next couple of months, I catch myself trying to plan things the way I always use to do them.
But things do change. Even without a virus, things change. One of the biggest changes we will all notice starting this month is the absence of a beloved man of God. For the past 27 years, Pastor Meyer has been standing in the front of our church preaching the good news of Jesus. He has baptized, confirmed, did weddings for, and buried numerous people. He has been a solid figure within Salem Lutheran Church. But as of August 31st, he stepped down from that role and entered into retirement.
The Call Committee, throughout the process of looking for a new man to be our next Senior Pastor has constantly said … “we are not looking for a clone of Pastor Meyer, nor are we trying to ‘replace’ him.” The man who God has in mind for us will be a … uh-oh, it’s that nasty ‘c’ word again … change. He will be a change for us. Ouch, there it is again! He will not do things the way Pastor Meyer did them, and honestly, that is okay.
As we move forward through life, things change. Wow, that word just keeps popping up doesn’t it? The way we do things are going to change. How we do things are also going to change. Ministry moving forward will look different than what it has in the past. How we manage the changes we need to do will determine how successful we are. I encourage you, if you have any ideas on how we can be doing something different, something which will help us reach out to the loss as well as our members, please let us know. Please talk with one of the elders or with me.
No matter what though, no matter what kind of changes we go through … whether it is a new Senior Pastor, a new approach to worship, Bible Studies, or ministries of Salem Lutheran Church in general … one thing remains the same. Jesus and his amazing love for you!
The writer to the Hebrews says in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” No matter what we are going through, no matter who the next Senior Pastor of our congregation is … Jesus, Jesus remains the same. His love for you does not change. Phew! His dedication to have you with him in the new creation to come does not change. Awesome news huh? By the faith you have in him as your Savior … you are a loved child of God!