Part 1 – written after Rally Day. Some lines from my sermon on Rally Day on Sunday September 11th seemed empowering to me as I preached them: “As I look out at you here in church, I say – What a team. What a kingdom team. I realize we are not as large a team as we once were, but we are formidable. That means strong.” I realize now looking up ‘formidable’ in the dictionary that it can mean ‘causing fear and apprehension’ like if I were using the word about how underpowered teams might view the Buckeyes in these pre-season games.
What I meant on Rally Day is that we as a congregation really have strength together, strength in the Lord. I really sensed that in our Rally Day worship on September 11th when we held hands together and boldly prayed that Lord’s Prayer closing strongly with the ending; ‘For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen.’ I sensed it in going over to the Haimerl Center and walking through an amazing EXPO with 31 booths of a big range of ministries from our church. (It was obvious that much effort had gone into the posters, etc., at the Expo.
There was even some live hand bell music.) When we work together on projects it is amazing what we can achieve, and how creative we can be. Thank you to all who put together the EXPO. Thanks to all who helped Rally Day come together, and in particular Pat Abele. At Ascension we are formidable in partnership. We celebrated our partnership with Ascension Lutheran Preschool as we introduced the new director, David McBride, to the congregation.
Soon, on Sunday October 2nd, Noreen Palmer, the new director of Helping Hands, will speak at both services, and also lead the Adult Forum on that day. Part 2 – written after Congregational Call meeting on Sunday September 18th.
I was really moved by the ‘formidable’ turnout for the meeting. Over 120 people attended. Our previous vicar Dale Linder has been called to be our Associate Pastor – part time – for one year. Dale will be ordained soon. Dale will be very helpful in this transitional time – as we move to not having vicars in the future because of financial constraints. He will be helpful in the establishment and structuring of the high school Sunday group, with the strengthening of confirmation ministry, with getting us organized for up to 14 young people going to the ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston in 2018.
He will be an integral part of the Leaders Group – with Noreen from Helping Hands, David from the Preschool, our president Orin and vice president Bev, our business manager Jeff and myself. Dale has been asked by the church council and the finance committee to partner with them in helping to strengthen our income stream.
Dale will preach about half of the time and lead Bible studies and do some pastoral care. This will be helpful to us as I want to give some extra time in this coming year to helping to coordinate and plan various festivities for the 100th year of Ascension and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
I know Pastor Dale has already begun some worship planning for this festival time, worship focusing both on in reach and outreach. I'm thinking we are in for a formidable year. Ascension – what a team we are together.
Hang on for the ride.
- Pastor Tim.