September 2019

Greetings to the Holy People of God,

With the beginning of school, it’s time to revisit our Epiphany word. In January, Eric Klein reached into a bag and pulled out the word “Discipline” for us as a communal word to hold before us this year. I hope you have your individual word and are enjoying how the Holy Spirit is dangling that in front of you. My word is “Life” which seems so ironic in the wake of my mother’s passing in November. I think the Holy Spirit is calling me back to life as I grief, especially in this year of firsts without her. Carolyn Laxson has the word “Illuminate” and each week on Face Book she posts a reflection on what has been illuminated. If you have miss placed your word, just take our collective word of “Discipline” and try it on for size.

Together we began with the bulletin board asking for your responses to the word discipline. During the season of Lent, in worship we practiced being silent together for a few minutes after the sermon and with Intern Nicole’s help, we learned how to fold origami butterflies in anticipation of Easter. It was frustrating and fun. During the season of Easter, we folded cranes to remind us of the gift of the Holy Spirit blowing through our community.

During the season of Pentecost, the LEAD Team along with Evangelism and Fellowship Committees worked together to host for the first time National Night Out. I hope that this is a discipline we will continue. I enjoyed seeing our committees work together and was pleased at the turn out of both CTK members and our neighbors. You did a fabulous job with hospitality and we had great fun. We also tried Service of the Word instead of our regular Eucharist worship.

Our next exploration of discipline comes on the heels of the movie, Emmanuel, which some of us saw in June (and hopefully a DVD will be in the library by Oct), the youth’s mission trip to Birmingham, AL, the ELCA’s churchwide assembly’s declaration of apology to our siblings of African descent, which was received by the African Descent Lutheran Association with thanks and a call for accountability and living into the words shared.

In Luke 12, Jesus challenges the disciples and the crowd to interpret the patterns of God’s behavior as well as they know how to read weather patterns. We won’t always get it correct but we can try to interpret the signs of what God is doing in our midst. So I invite you to read the book, Dear Church by Lenny Duncan, hear him speak at Gloria Dei on Sept 9 and participate in our adult forum or gather a group yourself for conversation. There is a discussion guide in the back of the book. In the discipline of doing this together as a faith community we also join with the larger church. I am wondering if we can use any electronic or internet tools to have a safe place to post thoughts and wonderings from our reading and discussion. If you have gifts in this area and ideas, I would love to explore this further with you.

Believing It Boldly Loving Expansively,

Pastor Connie Spitzack