I’m a little late getting this out. We are already a week into November but that allows me to share some information about all the activity around here. Last Sunday. November 5th was All Saints Sunday, and we were blessed by the presence of Pastor Matt Short, Assistant to the Bishop for Evangelical Mission. We began with our All Saints Remembrance, during which we read the names of our loved ones, those saints, who have gone before us. I had the opportunity to read those names aloud and I want to say that as emotional as it is to hear those names read it is even more so to be the one reading them. During Pastor Short’s message he spoke of this feeling when he said, “It feels like hallowed ground.” Indeed it did. He went on to remind us that all those we named as well as the countless ones we didn’t lived a life of discipleship and faith and the reading of the Beatitudes during the gospel lesson was a glimpse of what God’s kingdom looks like on earth. He challenged us to also live such a life. At the service we also installed your Mission Exploration Team (MET). Many thanks again to Cindy Duffin, Tracy Hahn, Karen VanDomelen, Karen Mannisto, Pat Marohl, Mary Sukopp, and Mattson Wick.
After the service, Pastor Short shared some really great information about ways to change our thinking to revitalize our ministry. Some of the information he shared comes directly from the book Leading Faithful Innovation that I wrote about last month. A book your Council is currently studying. The book proposes “simple” Spirit-led practices of listening to God, one another, and our neighbors and engaging in simple experiments of being present in the spaces of our wider communities where life takes place. One of the goals being to identify how God might be leading us into deeper relationships, connections and community where the gospel story speaks in conversation with ourselves and our neighbors. Pastor Short said one of his favorite quotes was, “We don’t think our way into new behavior, we behave our way into new thinking.” In that light we will be looking for your participation in some of these activities, meeting people where they are. The first one MAY be during the New Berlin Christmas Tree Lighting on December 2nd from 3:00-6:00 pm (try and keep that open on your calendar). We are hoping to pass out Holiday Greetings and an opportunity for people to share prayer requests during the event. We are still waiting for permission from the New Berlin Parks and Recreation Department, so I will forgo details at this point. I will just say watch future announcements and email for details.
Related to a ministry ideological shift from speaking to listening, Pastor Short shared another one of his favorite quotes: “For most people, feeling heard is so close to feeling loved, that the two are almost indistinguishable.” In the months ahead we will be looking for your participation in this as well. Our listening experiments will begin with listening to our own stories. This practice prepares us for listening to the stories of those in the community. Several congregation members have expressed an interest in presenting the message during a service. We will be encouraging them to share about their own spiritual journey. As they do think about what God might have been doing during these events in their lives. (Was God teaching, reassuring, encouraging, challenging, . . . them?). The hope is that the skills we develop while listening to one another will help us to better answer those same questions about the stories our neighbors share.
Looking ahead; next Sunday is Harvest Sunday (November 12th) when we will make our Harvest Offering for our outreach partners. Thanks to Sally Weiland for coordinating the stewardship and outreach presentations during the past weeks to make our commitments all the more meaningful. We will also be making our commitments of our time, talents, and financial contributions to our own ministry here at Resurrection. Don’t forget to stick around after service for the Bakery Auction, proceeds of which will also benefit our outreach partners. Finally, Sunday November 19th we’ll have pie!! This will be our annual Thanksgiving service followed by a Pie Social.
Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving,
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Copyright 2023. Resurrection Lutheran Church, New Berlin, WI
RESURRECTION LUTHERAN CHURCH
Rev. Steve Rutter, Pastor
Julie Johnson, Worship Music Coordinator
Steph Albert, Worship Music
Larry Gnatzig, Office Administration
12400 West Coldspring Road
New Berlin, Wisconsin 53151